10 What is Geomedia?

Michael Long

This part defines geomedia projects and has been adapted from research in my book chapter, ‘Geomedia as a Pedagogical Tool: Toward Sustainability Competence’ in The Emerging Role of Geomedia in the Environmental Humanities (2022), published by Rowman and Littlefield. In that research, I explore how geomedia, which can refer to “interactive technologies using multimedia to present the spatial information in the form of digital maps and georeferenced photos, videos and texts” (Motivate and Attract Students to Science, 2021), can be paired with ecocinema, which can refer to educative and issue-based environmental documentaries (or ‘eco-docs’) and short digital documentaries, such as video essays found on YouTube, Vimeo and other platforms. The pairing of geomedia and ecocinema, here called geomedia projects, is the amalgamation of interactive and/or digital maps and eco-docs, which are particularly helpful pedagogical tools for engaging with geography subject matter.

One example of the merging of geomedia and eco-docs is the Geo-Doc created by Dr. Mark Terry. In his book, The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change (2020), Terry explores the potential of combining digital documentaries with geomedia in order to foster positive social change by high-level changemakers. In particular, Terry’s Geo-Doc project, the Youth Climate Report (YCR), has been adopted by the United Nations and presented at numerous recent Conference of the Parties (COP) held yearly by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The YCR is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map that contains georeferenced short documentaries, created by youth from around the world, about pressing environmental issues. One of the many benefits of the YCR is that the georeferenced digital documentaries help to bridge the communication gap between scientists and policymakers by presenting the information in digestible ways. Another benefit of the YCR is that the Geo-Doc can be used as a pedagogical tool because it offers a substantial database of issue-based information on topical subjects like climate change, permafrost, and sea-level rise, as well as providing opportunities for experiential education through creating and/or interacting with the interactive maps and documentaries.

The geomedia project resources offered in this OER, namely Climate Central’s Surging Seas: Risk Zone Map and The Anthropocene Education Program, are the practical applications of my geomedia research, aimed towards active teaching and learning. Specifically, these geomedia projects can help to simultaneously teach issue-based topics (sea-level rise, and climate change) and soft skills (such as values thinking, futures thinking, and systems thinking) while also helping to achieve goals of experiential learning (through active engagement) and Universal Design for Learning (through multiple means of engagement with learning materials).



Long, M. J. (2022). Geomedia as a Pedagogical Tool: Toward Sustainability Competence. In The Emerging Role of Geomedia in the Environmental Humanities. Edited by Terry, Mark Ph.D. and Michael Hewson, Ph.D., Rowman and Littlefield. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781666913422/The-Emerging-Role-of-Geomedia-in-the-Environmental-Humanities  

Motivate and Attract Students to Science, ‘Geo-media’ General Description. MASS.  http://www.mass4education.eu/geo-media. Accessed November, 2023.

Terry, M. (2020). The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change. Palgrave Macmillan.

Youth Climate Report. (2021). The United Nations Climate Change Secretariat. https://youthclimatereport.org/. Accessed November, 2021. 


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Engaging STEM: A Guide to Interactive Resources Copyright © 2021 by Michael Long is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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