Google's Earth Outreach team brought together regional experts in the fields of conservation, air quality, agriculture, and education for collaboration and learning. Together, over an intense 4 days, we put our minds together around how we can use geotools and data to solve real challenges in India. Cross-disciplinary discussions like this are so beneficial and I could tell everyone in attendance really appreciated the opportunity.
I was part of the education track and we analyzed India's unique challenges in education, brainstormed ways to better use geotools as a resource for teachers and students, and designed potential geoprojects that could have lasting impact.
Our guiding formula was:
"If Google did X, I could do Y, which would have Z impact on the world."
It took some serious brainpower during multiple hackathon sessions to come up with ideas, but the culminating presentations showcased some pretty amazing possibilities. Using a geo-inquiry process, our group looked at creating an open-source crowdsourcing map that could better match corporate funding and nonprofit expertise to the schools who need it the most.
It's more than mapping. Way more. It's making sense of our world in a way that sparks change. I've seen how important it is for teachers to help students develop geoliteracy, to interact well with the world around them, and to make a lasting impact on humanity as a whole.
A few of the resources we used in our education track:
- My Maps (check out these tutorials if you want to be a mapping expert or boost your skills)
- Google Earth (check out Voyager stories by clicking the sailor's wheel or spin the dice and get lucky)
- Google Expeditions app
- Google Arts and Culture and its app (for more than selfie matches!)
- Google Earth Engine (the platform for Google Earth data and analysis) and timelapse (visualizing change is powerful)
- Google Science Journal
- Google Scratch
- YouTube Impact Lab (social impact for nonprofits)
- Google.org (Google's philanthropy arm)
I have several thoughts as takeaways, particularly around visualization and storytelling possibilities. I'm going to need a bit of time to strategize how I can apply what I've seen and learned in a way that can help the teachers and students I work with, but I'm excited.
Thanks, Geo for Good team – you've inspired me!