Wednesday, December 12, 2007

AGU, Polar Year and lack of time

I'm at AGU this week, its absolutely massive, 10,000+ earth scientists all milling around downtown San Francisco.

I caught up with Rhian from the International Polar Year at a special outreach session for them and hopefully I'll be talking to her and some of her colleagues about their Google Earth work sometime in the future.

What came out for me at the session was the enthusiasm of Polar Scientists for engaging with the public when it doesn't really score them any promotion points and they have to do it in their spare time. I think this kind of thing impacts on a lot of Google Earth projects (and I mean that for science outreach generally not just IPY), its always done as a minor part of someone's role or even in their own time. In this situation, tweaking and polishing up the design of a Google Earth project after the pain of collating the data together hardly ever gets the time it deserves.

The other thing I learnt is that if you are anything to do with Polar Science outreach you MUST use pictures of a penguins or polar bears in your talk :)

I'm talking at a special Virtual Globes session tomorrow so more on that later in the week.

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