Sound maps, fire risk mapping, and declassified satellite images of Earth from the Cold War Era are among the research to be presented at the 95th annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, to be held in Honolulu, Hawaii March 23-27, 1999. Reporters are welcome to attend the meeting, which will include over 2,200 papers by scholars from the U.S. and overseas.
Among the topics of interest to be presented by geographers are:
THE CORONA PROJECT: Newly declassified data from a top-secret U.S. satellite surveillance effort, the CORONA project, reveals not only the secret technological breakthroughs that allowed U.S. security to be maintained during the Cold War, but also the clandestine roots of modern earth sciences, say two geographers who have studied more than 800,000 images and other material released by the government in 1995. Keith Clarke and John Cloud of the University of California-Santa Barbara will present research funded by the National Science Foundation. CORONA, initiated in 1958, was originally designed to survey China and the Soviet Union. Almost immediately after the first successful satellite launch, government agencies realized that there were also massive civilian applications for satellite images of the Earth, in air navigation, environmental protection, and mapping.
SOUND MAPS: Maps, traditionally a highly visual medium for conveying information, will soon be available as sound maps on the Internet for the visually-impaired, with computerized audio and tactile features that will move users through landscape features, streets and buildings via their ears and fingers. Blind users who have tested the sound map prototypes obtained better and faster information than a control group using only tactile maps, according to geographer Dan Jacobson of the University of California-Santa Barbara.
PYROGEOGRAPHY: As the number of catastrophic forest fires in the U.S.
increases, geographers are u
Contact: Christine H. O'Toole
Association of American Geographers