Wisconsin Geospatial News

UW Geography staff featured during “Wednesday Nite at The Lab”

Tanya Buckingham (Assistant Director of the UW Cartography lab) and Jim Lacy (Associate State Cartographer) both spoke this summer during a weekly series at UW-Madison called “Wednesday Nite @ the Lab” (WN@TL). The event typically draws in 45-50 retirees from the community who are interested in learning about the many science activities happening on the UW-Madison campus.

Tanya discussed the many recent changes to the world of production cartography, and how it affects her work with the UW Cartography lab. She introduced ideas and variables that cartographers must consider when making maps, and about recent efforts to use maps in new ways, such as crisis mapping and location-aware technologies in response to disasters. She also discussed efforts to map areas that were invisible to the majority of the world, in a project called “Map Kibera.” A recording of Tanya’s June 8th presentation, “Hasn’t Everything Been Mapped Already?!” is available on the UW Biotech video site.

Jim’s talk on August 31st, “The Geospatial Revolution: Transforming How we Map Our World” touched on the ways in which the mapping industry has evolved in recent years, and what these changes mean for the general public. He showed a brief excerpt of  “The Geospatial Revolution,” a video series produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting, followed by a short explanation (and demonstration) of what professional “mappers” mean when they refer to geospatial information technologies. He also walked the audience through some very practical examples of how they can utilize geospatial technologies in their daily lives.

Both presentations will also be broadcast along with other WN@TL presentations during the University Place feature on Wisconsin Public Television’s “Wisconsin Channel” (WPT Digital Channel 2).

WN@TL runs every Wednesday night, 50 times a year, and the topics cover the full range of science, engineering and technology research at UW-Madison, from astronomy to zoology, and from bioethics to biomedical engineering. The weekly program is organized by the Wisconsin Alumni Association, Science Alliance @ UW-Madison and by BioTrek, the outreach program of the Biotechnology Center at UW-Madison/Extension.