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Mapping and eLearning

Cloud created by:

Graham Healing
4 May 2011

Where: Change of venue: Ambient Lab, Jennie Lee Building, Walton Hall (Library Seminar Rooms 1 & 2)

Time: 10.00 - 12.15, 17 May 2011

This event will be recorded and made available to OU staff via Stadium.

There's been a rapid expansion in the use of digital mapping in the wider world - Googlemaps and mashups, Google Earth, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - but are we in the OU keeping up? This eLC event showcases three fascinating projects that demonstrate how we are using digital mapping technologies - and indicate where we might go in the future.

10.00 - 10.45:  The HESTIA project: mapping the world of an ancient historian - Elton Barker (Arts) .

Funded by AHRC, the HESTIA (Herodotus Encoded Space-Text-Image archive) project, involving academics from Classics, Geography and Computing, employs the latest digital technology to examine the way that Herodotus talks about places in his narrative of the war between Greeks and barbarians

Using a digital text of the Histories to extract all the ancient places mentioned, we produce a series of maps that can be used to investigate his representation of the ancient world. In this presentation, I give a background to the project, discuss some of the webmapping technologies that we've developing in association with it, and offer some thoughts about its future direction.

10.45 - 11.30: Using GIS in science teaching - the Early Years - Tom Argles (Earth and Environmental Sciences)

In the last few years, the Open University has belatedly started using Geographic Information System technology to update and enrich distance teaching in Science. Why has the OU lagged so far behind 'conventional' universities in this field? Can we be canny in catching up?

I will try to address these questions and others in the context of recent GIS-based teaching projects, while giving a taste of successes and failures along the way.

11.30 - 12.15: Mapping and visualisation for collaboration - Out There In Here team - Anne Adams and Tim Couglan (IET)

With regard to mapping we will present an overview of research conducted by OTIH working with Microsoft Research. This work is seeking to develop an interconnected system of situational appropriate devices (e.g. smartphones, ipads, laptops, tabletops, large screen displays) and applications (GPS, live video, geo-referenced visualisations) that transform experiences through supporting distributed collaborative tasks.

Current OTIH trials are being conducted with students, academics and the public in quarries, nature trails and disused cemetery sites.  These collaborations increase the quality of situated investigations whilst supporting a deeper understanding of scientific situated learning and generic informal learning.


If you are interested in attending, please contant Sarah Davies (s.j.m.davies) as it helps us with setting up the room and ordering refreshments. As usual with eLC events, arriving or departing in between sessions is fine if you can't attend the whole programme.

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