You might remember a post from way back in September 2010 about a video on “The Geospatial Revolution” which had been produced by Penn State University. Well, episodes 2 and 3 are now out.
Episode 2 covers how councils are making use of GIS to streamline services and to inform the inhabitants of the council area. This participatory GIS allows the public to receive information about services but also that allow them to report issues back to the council. Episode 2 also looks at how GIS helps business run more efficiently. One example is UPS who use GIS for efficient routing. If they can save 1 mile per van per day, they will save 20 million miles as a business in a year. Now that is a lot of fuel and wear and tear. The final chapter of episode 2 looks at how GIS can be used to improve the health of whole communities by looking at the lack of access to amenities. They use venn diagrams but on maps to locate the optimal place to build resources.
Episode 3 covers how geospatial technology is used in warfare and law enforcement. Some great examples are given on how GIS was used to divide the former Yugoslavia between the different ethnic groups. So many conflicts are the result of boundaries dividing communities and ethnic groups. The Dayton Agreement used geospatial technology to resolve a conflict by demonstrating where boundaries would be and why. Geospatial technology is also used in law enforcement to target resources so that a small number of officers can cover a large area. It is also used in reactive situations to calculate how far a suspect may have travelled since a crime was committed. This allows officers to target the right areas, increasing the chances of apprehending them. The final example looks at the use of GPS to track offenders that are released on parole. This allows officers to provide evidence on breaches of parole and also to step in if the offender is behaving suspiciously.
Excellent learning resources
The quality of information in the new episodes is just as good as that in episode 1 and provide an excellent learning resource for anyone who is interested in seeing just how important geospatial technology is in our modern day-to-day life. In fact, it is equally useful for anyone who has no idea what geospatial technology is, such people should start with the introductory episode 1 as it sets out what geospatial technology is. As an advert for what Geospatial Technology is and what can it be used for, it doesn’t get much better.
A big shout out to the team at Penn State, this video series is very good and will be very useful as a teaching resource.