July 2011 Archives

Final Day for The Geospatial Revolution in Macedonia

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From Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director:

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.

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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

Sharing Geospatial Revolution, Episode 3, in Macedonia

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From Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director:

On the third day of the conference, I showed Episode 3 and talked about some of the challenges of creating the episode. It was quite a unique experience to show Episode 3 in this region. The violence depicted in the segment about the former Yugoslavia and the Dayton Peace Accords was a reality for the people in the room. I had the opportunity to talk with some people whose lives were directly affected by the conflicts. It served as a humbling reminder that the stories we show are about real people with real, sometimes painful experiences and we should never forget that.

We were lucky enough to be joined by Colonel Todd Brown, the Defense Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Macedonia. He watched The Geospatial Revolution with the group and observed the morning's training sessions. After seeing the workshop in action, Colonel Brown asked geographer Douglas Swanson (Head of the US Delegation for the workshop) and I to present The Geospatial Revolution and information about GIS at the nearby American Corner Macedonia (ACM) on Thursday. The corner is an information center that houses reading material for research about the United States and hosts events and presentations throughout the year. According to the Embassy website, "this Corner is a partnership between the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje, the Municipality of Struga, and the nonprofit organization Macedonian American Alumni Association (MAAA)."

It is very short notice to get people to come out to such an event, but we leave Macedonia on Thursday so that was the only day available. We'll have to see how it goes!

Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director, The Geospatial Revolution

Day Two of The Geospatial Revolution in Macedonia

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From Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director:

On the second day of the Civil-Military Emergency Preparedness (CMEP) South Eastern Europe Technical Workshop, I presented Episode 2 to the 46 participants and workshop leaders.

I discussed some of the details of production, including how we were able to capture the stories using a small crew of 3 or 4 people and long shooting days. I also discussed the importance of including explanations or "teaching moments" throughout the episode along with engaging stories. This was very important to the filmmakers of the project, since our goal was to educate viewers.

The stories resonated with many of the people in the room who work with GIS in  their countries' governments. During the first day, representatives from Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia discussed how their countries use GIS. Today, a representative from The Republic of Serbia shared that the country's post offices currently use GIS (as do other areas of the government) and he hoped that in the future they would be able to incorporate GIS as thoroughly as the city of Portland (featured in Episode 2) has.

In between sessions, we chat about the fact that the producers of The Geospatial Revolution, whose expertise is in filmmaking, needed to learn about geospatial technologies in order to create the series. It's amazing to be in a room full of people interested in GIS, committed to learning more about it and interested in sharing information with each other.

Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director, The Geospatial Revolution

From Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director:

Today was the first day of the Civil-Military Emergency Preparedness (CMEP) South Eastern Europe Technical Workshop in Struga, Macedonia. Penn State Public Broadcasting was invited to show an episode of The Geospatial Revolution each morning of the 4-day workshop and to discuss some of the production techniques and behind-the-scenes insights related to the making of the documentary series.

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I showed both the trailer for the series and the first episode of The Geospatial Revolution. I explained the genesis and goals of The Geospatial Revolution and some of the challenges of the production. I also discussed how we integrated geospatial technologies within the video.

In addition to recording interviews and supporting footage for each episode, we also used the technologies we were explaining as visuals within the piece itself. The zoom that opens the episode is a perfect example of a mix of techniques. It is a combination of acquired animations, satellite imagery and footage we recorded, all working together to create a seamless sequence.

I also discussed how the Haiti story showed viewers how geospatial technologies are used to literally save lives.

I've met some very interesting and really nice people within the GIS community and learned about how various countries in the region are using GIS. I am excited about learning more as the week goes on.

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Macedonia is a beautiful country and a well-kept secret!

Cheraine Stanford-Producer/Co-Director, The Geospatial Revolution

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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