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The Great Geography Map Off Event


You might be fans of the Bake Off but have you ever heard of the Great Geography Map Off? Probably not! We don’t have Mary Berry hovering over freshly baked Battenberg but we do have a mouth-watering array of delicious maps to consume and our very own Geography celebrity, Mr Heath! Over the last two years over 22,000 students from all around the world have participated with the multi-award winning Map Off event since Mr Heath dreamed it up. It is a chance for students to work collaboratively with thousands of others globally to develop their spatial literacy skills.

This year’s theme is about climate change. We are inviting people (including parents) to respond to a survey exploring people’s views about the causes, impacts and management of global warming. Questions include asking how concerned people are about the effects global warming, if it will bring more problems or benefits to your local area, if you would support increased taxes on fossil fuels and the development of nuclear power.

These answers are placed near the respondent’s home location onto the online map. This will then let us explore if people in different regions or countries have differing views about this global issue. For example, would we expect people in the USA to have different views to Europeans? Would people living in Bangladesh or small Pacific Island nations have different concerns to us?

The event links to world GIS Day in mid- November to celebrate the importance of the work of computer mapping professionals around the world. The day is supported by Esri, the world’s largest GIS provider, so helping to build our student’s links with industry. The exercise is designed to develop professional skills in spatial analysis by our students. During November our students will enter their views onto the map and examine the results. They will also calculate their own carbon footprint, learn about climate change and enter the GDST Young Geographer of the Year competition based on their research. Our Geography department is passionate about developing cutting edge spatial literacy skills amongst our students which we know is a fast growing and important industry in our modern world. This activity gets them thinking about handing large scale crowd-sourced data sets and gets them thinking critically about analysing the findings.

Throughout the last week our sixth form geography students have helped run a promotional stall in South Side during lunch time. They got passing students to fill in the survey and also to add planetary pledges on post-it notes to the display maps for actions they could take to tackle global warming.

To find out more about this event please see Mr Heath’s website: The Map Off from where you can join thousands of others by taking part and entering your own responses.
Published: January 12 2017

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