On the final day of the workshop I presented Episode 4 to the group and the workshop wrapped up with a presentation of certificates to the participants.
That evening Doug Swanson and I presented to the American Corner Macedonia. To our surprise, we had a full house of eager young people looking to learn more about GIS and The Geospatial Revolution. I showed Episode 1 and Doug presented an introduction to GIS.
Most of the members of the audience were young people interested in studying or living in the United States. They had insightful questions about the work that Doug and I do.
I discussed the idea depicted in Episode 1 that young people like themselves had come together to make a difference when the Haiti Earthquake struck. We began talking about how people were able to fill in details on the map of Haiti in OpenStreetMap and I wondered whether Struga, Macedonia was mapped. One of the young men in the audience had watched Episode 1 ahead of time online and checked OpenStreetMap and saw that in fact there was no map of Struga but that he wanted there to be. I told them about one of the things that never made it into the episode, the idea of "mapping parties" where groups of people get together and go out and map assigned landmarks and come back together and put the information on a map. Several members of the audience are energized and excited about getting GPS units and putting Struga on the map themselves! I hope that I'm able to help make that happen in some way.
I really have no words to sum up my trip to Macedonia. This trip and the relationships I have built while here are much more than I bargained for. It has been an amazing experience to share The Geospatial Revolution in a country that I would likely have never visited on my own. I can now say that I have friends in Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia as well as across the United States.
A Big Thank You to the Crisis Management Center of the Republic of Macedonia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for allowing me to present here. It was certainly an incredible experience.
Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director, The Geospatial Revolution