Monday, 3 November 2014

SAGT Conference 2014 - post #6

There were two keynotes at the SAGT Conference
The morning keynote was given by Neil Ackroyd of the Ordnance Survey, who followed in the footsteps of Vanessa Lawrence, who had previously given a keynote.
He went through the way that mapping had changed in an engaging way. He talked about maps as being "the first search engine", and talked about the technology being used in mapping today, and the near future. It was a reminder of the importance of maps, and their background in ordnance / warfare. He also gave an insight into the mapping that went on around the Olympic and Commonwealth Games as part of the security of the games, but also the changes in the area before and after the games, which all had to be mapped. He finished by looking at drones, and the quality of current imagery, and the possibility of near real-time mapping.
I took copious notes, and these will be added to the blog in the near future when I get a moment to finish editing them.

In the afternoon, Vanessa Collingridge spoke about the research she had done on the mapping of 'the Great Southern continent', or Antarctica.
This promised to be a very useful session, with my current teaching of the Polar regions, but it never quite settled for long enough on one map or idea.
I would also have liked more connections with the experience of teaching about the Poles too, but that's just me.
One useful theme was the question: 'Why does the way that a continent is mapped (or not) matter?' , which related to the importance of power and the idea of 'discovery' and exploitation.
It was pitched at a level beyond the classroom - ideal for the purpose of staff development and awareness raising, but not obviously relevant to the teaching I might do this half term in the same way as the Ordnance Survey material was.
There were some beautiful maps showed, including some I was unfamiliar with. Another really positive and well-attended session.

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