CWU News

Humanitarian Map-a-thon Featured During Geography Awareness Week

From Google Maps to global warming, we must understand geography to comprehend the immense global social and economic forces that influence our daily lives.

In celebration of Geography Awareness Week, November 13-19, the Central Washington University Geography Department is hosting a number of events to showcase the importance and fun of geography. All events are free and open to the public.

Third Annual Geography Trivia Death Match
November 15, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., SURC Pit
If you floated down the longest river in the world, into which body of water would you emerge? What city is partly in in Europe and partly in Asia? If you know the answers to these questions, come try your hand at this trivial pursuit. There will be three rounds of sudden-death elimination geography trivia. The winner of each round will earn a prize of $50.

Humanitarian Map-a-thon
November 16, 3:00-5:00 p.m., GIS Lab, Dean Hall 206
In the United States, we take easy access to maps, like Google Maps for granted. However, in many areas of the world, digital map data is nonexistent, outdated, or inaccessible by civilians. Up-to-date online maps can be crucial for aiding disaster response, planning, and mitigation.

Led by geography professor Sterling Quinn, you’ll learn to trace objects from detailed satellite imagery to fill in undermapped areas, placing the data into a free online map of the world called OpenStreetMap. Examples of recent projects have included tracing roads and buildings in Sub-Saharan Africa to support the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and other organizations that distribute vaccines and other medical assistance.

No previous experience with mapping technologies is necessary. A short training will be held during the first 20 minutes to aid beginners, but you are invited to come anytime during the event

What Do Geographers Do? Learn at a Field Notes Presentation
November 17, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Dean 106
Geography professors Jennifer Lipton and Elvin Delgado will discuss their recent travels and field work in various locations around the world. In two brief talks followed by questions-and-answers, Dr. Lipton will present “Global to Local: The Importance of Geography in a Changing World” and Dr. Delgado will present “From Buenos Aires to Patagonia: Research Perspectives from Argentina”. Refreshments will be served.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,
November 14, 2016