e-Atlas capacity building

e-Atlas capacity building

The e-Atlas team will be represented at the upcoming 2014 Winds of Zenadth Torres Strait cultural festival on Thursday Island from 9-12 September. This event is run every two years and brings together thousands of people from the region. The e-Atlas team will showcase the newly developed Torres Strait e-Atlas.

The Torres Strait e-Atlas is a valuable tool designed to enhance community access to information about their environments. Using a new website (http://ts.eatlas.org.au) and interactive mapping system for presenting environmental research and reference data, the e-Atlas promotes greater use and application of this information by local communities and management staff.

As Dr Eric Lawrey, the project leader for the e-Atlas, explains "The cultural festival is a great opportunity for us to engage with the broader Torres Strait community and to see what they find most useful and interesting about the e-Atlas. We have previously run a range of workshops with government stakeholders and the local Tagai State College but nothing on this scale."

At the stall, people will be encouraged to do an activity using the Torres Strait e-Atlas, in return for a specially created e-Atlas cap. There will be a large touch screen interactive display and a number of "physical" atlases to help explain some of the key concepts of the e-Atlas including base maps, map layers, and the catalogue of layers. Participants will be given a plastic slate, onto which they can choose a printed base map of the region. They will then pick from a catalogue of printed transparent map layers that they can layer together to investigate spatial relationships. Once they have made a map with the physical e-Atlas, they will then be guided through how to achieve the same result more efficiently using the online Torres Strait e-Atlas.

In addition to the cultural festival, the e-Atlas team will have one-on-one sessions with government stakeholders and will again run a classroom session at Tagai State College. The physical e-Atlas is something that should work well in a classroom setting and so it will be interesting to see how the young people and wider community interact with both the physical and online version of the Torres Strait e-Atlas.

Prototype of the physical e-Atlas with a number of layers for Torres Strait.
This teaching aid covers key e-Atlas concepts such as basemaps and map layering.

For more information, contact Dr Eric Lawrey from AIMS at e.lawrey@aims.gov.au.




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