Magazine article Geographical

Road Map to the Future

Magazine article Geographical

Road Map to the Future

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I think it's fair to say that the discipline of geography has been one of the real beneficiaries of the computer revolution. The regular improvements in both data-storage capacity and processing power have combined to unleash amazing, often exhilaratingly interactive maps the obvious example being Google Earth and incredibly powerful and data-rich geographic information systems.

But without that data, such systems are just empty vessels waiting to be filled. And despite the concurrent improvements in satellite technology, there are still numerous instances where the only way to get the required information is to physically go out there and gather it.

This month, Mark Eveleigh reports on the Mapping Africa's Protected Areas (MAPA) project (page 34), which, in the grand tradition of the Royal Geographical Society, is sending out teams of intrepid explorers to map reserves across South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda. …

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