Episode 17: Virtual Field Trips, Automobiles, and Global Commodity Chains
Over the summer, the NiCHE New Scholars group organized a virtual environmental history workshop that invited graduate students from around the world to participate in two days of discussion and review of working papers on a variety of topics in environmental history. Students from Canada, the US, Britain, France, Japan, and Australia were connected using Skype, Google Groups, and a WordPress blog to review compelling new graduate research in environmental history.
One of the hallmarks of the workshop was the virtual field trip. Because field trips play such a prominent role in environmental history workshops and conferences, the New Scholars organizing committee wanted to somehow include a field trip component in the virtual workshop. Using a combination of the photo-sharing service, Picassa, Google Maps and Google Earth, the workshop participants created an impressive collaborative geo-tagged photo essay on the topic of the automobile and its impact on landscapes as a global commodity.
Workshop participants were asked to upload and geo-tag photos of the impact of automobiles on their local environments and provide brief annotations and captions for each picture. Those images were then three-dimensionally mapped, using Google Earth, to allow each participant to virtually travel this global commodity chain through images of the impact of automobility in all of the participant countries and regions.
On this episode of the podcast we speak with some of the participants from this virtual environmental history field trip and ask them about their collaborative work on this project.
Colin Tyner, The Labour of Nature and Island Life
“That’s For Sure” by Clarence Simpson
“Another Try” by Clarence Simpson
“Just As You Will” by Clarence Simpson
“2007 at Coal Point in Goleta, California” by Sean Kheraj
Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 17: Virtual Field Trips, Automobiles, and Global Commodity Chains” Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 29 October 2010.
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