AGS and MapStory Foundation Develop Ambassadors Network

AGS and MapStory Foundation Develop Ambassadors Network The American Geographical Society (AGS) is pleased to announce that it is partnering with the MapStory Foundation to develop a nationwide “AGS MapStory Ambassadors Network”.

The AGS MapStory Ambassadors Network will continue the long tradition of AGS exploration by empowering ambitious high school and college students to spend a summer mining their own home communities for exciting historical geo-data to tell stories about community change that can be shared with the world at mapstory.org.

Every community has countless stories about their history, growth, and evolution over time and yet, very often, these stories are lost because no one records them.  Understanding our collective past is critical to navigating our future successfully.  These stories, and the data that gives them mass and meaning, can only be found locally, through intensive engagement with a community’s institutions and citizens.  What better challenge and learning experience for talented kids with few opportunities?  Mapping these data and stories geographically, as things have changed over time, is a clearly a captivating way to organize and share insights about our community with each other.  It is also a compelling way to let kids focus on their hometown, their cultural backgrounds, and the things that inspire them while also providing a unique Summer job that prepares them for a fast growing, technology-oriented career field – working with geospatial information.   Through a unique partnership between the American Geographical Society (AGS) and the MapStory Foundation, selected highly motivated young students will be awarded fellowships and serve as digital Ambassadors for their own communities.  They will compile powerful data and stories that are shared with their communities and the rest of the world via www.mapstory.org - preserved for future generations to learn from, and continuously improve.

100 Ambassadors Across 10 Cities

This effort seeks to place 100 selected AGS MapStory Ambassadors in 10 different cities around the United States (from rising high school seniors to college students).  Each cluster of 10 Ambassadors would be paired with a local mentor who is an expert with the technical skills to ensure the success of these Ambassadors.  Each cluster would pursue independent research in collaboration with media outlets, community organizations, local governments, NGOs, or K-12 classrooms that contributes new spatial-temporal data, insights, and narratives to the global data commons via www.mapstory.org.  These fellowships will take place from May-September and include an opening orientation and bi-weekly seminars where Ambassadors will be introduced to some of the most exciting institutions and innovators working in the geography sphere today.

How Can Community Foundations and Philanthropists Help

MapStory and AGS seek to partner with community foundations and philanthropists to fund each city’s cluster of Ambassadors for the summer.  MapStory and the AGS will structure and implement a unique learning experience for the next generation of digital storytellers, in a way that enriches our communities’ understanding of their rich past, complex present and uncertain future.  Each cluster of Ambassadors will engage their community and mine it for insights about how they have changed over time, and share these data, insights and stories with the larger community via www.mapstory.org.

If you’re interested in being involved or learning more, contact AGS Executive Director, Dr. John Konarski III at jkonarski@amergeog.org