Use Field Notes App to Explore the World on your Smartphone

Blog Post created by jkerski-esristaff Employee on Aug 14, 2015
What's it like on Planet Earth at the spot where you are located right now?  Use the new Field Notes - Earth to find out.  The app, available on iOS and Android, uses the power of three new global maps to help answer important questions about the current and future conditions on Planet Earth.

The three maps in the app include people (world population), life (ecological land units), and oceans (world seafloor geomorphology).  The app is an example of some of the rich content available from the Esri Living Atlas of the World and was built using Esri's AppStudio for ArcGIS.

To use the app, either choose your current location, or any place on the planet that you are interested in, and start learning.  I used the app last week in Washington DC while I was there for the National Conference on Geography Education, which I thought was the perfect venue for using it.  In that location, the climate is predicted to be much warmer by 2050; it is 1,038 miles to the nearest volcano, but it is only 74 miles to a location that experienced a recent earthquake.  I can find out about the terrain, the nearest available farmland and fresh water, and much more.  The best part:  I can also add a second location to compare and contrast the two locations side-by-side.

Using the Field Notes Earth app--some screens and information that you will discover.

For another reflection on this app, see the article from Time magazine.

In instruction, you could use this app to spark meaningful conversations about physical geography, cultural geography, environmental science, and much more, with themes including change over time and space, human-environment interactions, and others.   Use it but also get outside and observe using your five senses.  I daresay that this is the type of tool that you could also use in your "elevator pitch" when you are asked in your everyday experience, "What is GIS?" or "Why does geography matter"?

I look forward to your reactions and comments.