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Promoting Geographic Literacy Around the World

February 5, 2018

As a geospatial intelligence and technology company, Spatial Networks is committed to promoting geography in education to heighten students’ understanding of our changing world.

According to the 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 24% of U.S. eighth graders are proficient in geography (another assessment is expected to wrap up in March ― let’s hope the results are better).

That’s why we are proud partners of the American Geographic Society, an organization whose goal is to “enhance the national’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide.”

We are also proud of the fact that hundreds of schools and universities are using Fulcrum in the classroom. Here are just a few examples:

At Fordham University, students used Fulcrum while walking El Camino de Santiago in Spain, and to map Spanish-language graffiti in New York City. A sociology class also used it to collect field notes comparing malls, cafes, subway stations, and libraries, and two theology classes will use it to map sacred spaces in New York this semester.

Loma Linda University uses Fulcrum for its international missionary programs. In rural Chad, they used it to collect data about water wells to help facilitate the understanding of water quality in relation to other data, such as sanitation practices, water treatment, and waterborne diseases. In Haiti and Belize, electrical engineers from the university used Fulcrum to collect data (including photos and GPS locations) about the electrical equipment at resource-scarce hospitals to create an inventory and a plan for improving the delivery of electricity.

At Virginia Tech, Fulcrum is used in an Outdoor Recreation Planning course to teach upper-level undergraduate students about the tools available to plan, monitor, and evaluate both social and ecological conditions. The students are also encouraged to use these applications for crowdsourcing data for planning and monitoring.

Fulcrum is also being used in two capstone projects for students of the Master of Supply Chain Management-Blended program at MIT, in collaboration with undergraduate students of Monterrey Tech in Mexico.

Why is this such a big deal to us?

“We have four core tenets at Spatial Networks that influence the way we think and how we conduct ourselves,” said Founder and CEO Tony Quartararo. “One of those is referred to as ‘Fulfillment’ and says: ‘We maintain a conviction that each day we will add meaningful value to the company, community, the industry and science, and most of all, to ourselves.’

“And so in keeping with this core principle, we devote time and energy to advancing geographic education wherever and however we can. Providing Fulcrum to educators and students working on real-world problems or applied science challenges is not only exceedingly rewarding, but as leaders in the industry, we believe it is our responsibility to provide resources for the future generation of leaders.”

See the hundreds of other schools using Fulcrum in their curricula (along with some in-depth case studies) on our new education page!