ASPRS Foundation Awards $40K Grant to Penn State Public Broadcasting Project

Bethesda, MD — The ASPRS Foundation, Inc. has approved a $40K grant to Penn State Public Broadcasting (PSPB) to fund Phase I of The Evolution of Modern Mapping initiative, which consists of the collection of historic interviews and a feasibility analysis for a potential documentary and public outreach. Building on initial advice from an ad hoc group of ASPRS members, the purpose of the initiative and potential documentary is to examine both the benefits and challenges that arise in a world where anyone with an Internet connection can access, navigate, and analyze the landscape.

Dr. Thomas Lillesand, ASPRS Foundation President, said, “The Foundation Trustees were pleased to approve the grant to help support Phase I of this project. ASPRS individual members, Regions, and Sustaining Member companies contributed funds to support the initial phase of collecting interviews from some of the founders in our industry.”

The potential documentary—You Are Here: The Evolution of Modern Mapping—will tie short and informative glances of imaging and geospatial technologies to three primary themes: Safety and Security, Geopolitics, and Personal Productivity. Topics to be included are:
• A brief history of mapping
• Introduction – How geospatial technology is utilized in our daily lives
• Mapping’s role in national defense, politics and elections, communications, law enforcement and disaster management
• GIS effect on world issues such as commerce, human rights, energy policy and climate change
• The challenge of related privacy and legal issues
• GIS innovations in travel, transportation, space and oceanic exploration, the workplace and entertainment
• The future of geospatial technology in the hands of a tech-savvy public

Karen Schuckman, ASPRS past president and member of the ASPRS ad hoc committee working with PSPB said, “This timely project coincides nicely with the 75th Anniversary of ASPRS, which will be celebrated in 2009.”

If the documentary project raises sufficient funding, it will be offered nationwide to public television stations and will provide the insight necessary for viewers to understand and discuss the rapidly evolving influence of geospatial technology. Utilizing an entertaining yet informative approach, it will appeal to a broad demographic range and will play equally well in the family room, the board room and the classroom. A companion website and educational materials will further disseminate the program’s message

Founded in 1934, ASPRS is an international professional organization of 6,000 geospatial data professionals. ASPRS is devoted to advancing knowledge and improving understanding of the mapping sciences to promote responsible application of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems and supporting technologies.

About The ASPRS Foundation
Founded in 1979, The ASPRS Foundation, Inc. is an independent 501 (c) 3 organization established to provide grants, scholarships, loans and other forms of aid to individuals or organizations pursuing knowledge of imaging and geospatial information science and technology, and their applications across the scientific, governmental, and commercial sectors. The Foundation is the primary funding source for all non-sponsored awards and scholarships recognized by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.