Photograph courtesy Project Budburst
Community Geography at National Geographic
Since its founding in 1888, National Geographic’s mission has been to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge." Digital technologies such as the web, geographic information systems (GIS), and social media are rapidly expanding the ways we pursue that mission. Today, National Geographic is developing powerful, new community geography platforms to help people learn about and improve their world.
What is Community Geography?
National Geographic has adopted the term "community geography" to describe activities that engage members of the public in documenting, understanding, and looking after the places they care about, including:
- exploring maps and data to ask and answer questions about places
- conducting fieldwork and sharing observations and stories
- participating in social and scientific networks to document and improve communities.
National Geographic's efforts to support community geography include the creation of social networking environments around interactive mapping tools.
- Web-based and mobile platforms to support community geography:
- Place-based citizen science programs:
- Online communities for finding citizen science projects:
Community Geography Projects
Find out how you can get involved in National Geographic Education's community geography projects.
Join us for a week-long, world-wide celebration of biodiversity in September 2013.
A bioblitz is a 24-hour event during which people come together to identify as many species of plants, animals, and other organisms as possible.
Citizen scientists, students, and teachers from around the Chesapeake Bay watershed collaborate to collect data and take action.
Explore a GeoStory
Meet people who volunteer in citizen science efforts across the country.
Using a Geographic Perspective
Use these activities for elementary, middle, and high school to help get students involved in the community and using a geographic perspective.
ACTIVITY What are the characteristics of places?
ACTIVITY What kinds of places are important to you and to others?
ACTIVITY How can you use field study to help your local community?
FieldScope & Community Geography
Read our peer-reviewed journal article, "National Geographic FieldScope: a platform for community geography," in a special issue of the journal Ecological Society of America's Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
Download the article, which appears in the August 2012 volume, here.