Why, who and how YOU can help#
The why is easy to answer. A geographic database like http://global-geography.org with reliable information including aspects of culture, anecdotal stories and pictures with good descriptions is certainly something everyone will want to use once in a while. The interactive parts of the server (Lab, Visualizations and 360° Panoramas) have turned into quite popular tools in schools.
The who depends much on whether you see yourself as occasional user - almost everyone will be. Or whether you see yourself as someone who can possibly contribute because of your knowledge of geography, culture, the photos you have taken at various times, trips or events you have participated in, folklore you have picked up, etc. We want to particularly e.g. encourage professor and teachers of "English as a foreign language": In this context, students will often have to write essays that teachers will correct and judge. Why not give students the task to write an essay about where or how they grew up, some special event they remember, some experience they have had... and if the quality is good the teacher sends the story to office nospam@TUGraz.at @global-geography.org including the name of the student and your name as supervisor. The student and you will be instantaneously world-famous . And if you include the name of your institution maybe it will be so proud to send you as delegate to the first global geography convention planned for 2018. On other good reason to join, is the hope to get approval for national, bilateral, multilateral or other projects where you might be interested in participating, or that you can initiate with the backing of the Global-Geography consortium (GGC) or some of its members.
The how has many sub-aspects, of which we will list just a few.
(1) You may know a friend or colleague who would be interested to participate in the project and even join the GGC.
(2) You may want to read a bit about the country you live in or some other country you are familiar with and we would much appreciate if you check the information and send comments, corrections, additions to either office nospam@TUGraz.at @global-geography.org or to the current secretary of the consortium Hermann Maurer at hmaurer nospam@TUGraz.at @iicm.edu. Note in particular that under "Culture" every country has a list of famous persons. These lists are still very incomplete. Just send us "Add the name xxx with the URL yyy to the famous person list of country zzz". We will be happy to take care of the rest. You may also be able to help us expand the Culture part of your country in other ways. In the geography part of each country you find a list of important cities and other entities. Just send the information you want to add with a link to a site where the entity is explained or shown!
(3) You may have a small set of pictures (2 - 10) of some special place or event: Do send them to with a title and description and we will add them to the pictures of the country involved under contributed pictures as it has already happened e.g. with a set of pictures for France and Ireland.
(4) You may want to write a special story without or with some pictures, like on Borobudur or on Pagodas in Bagan or on Swimming pigs or on How to hike in New Zealand or about Deep snow skiing in Canada or about the incredible city Shahara in Yemen, or other stories as listed .
(5) To send a story, if the number of pictures is small, the easiest way is to incorporate them into a world file and just send the file. Or you could just send a text file, pictures separately, and place-holders for pictures in the text like "Picture 1 here", "Picture 3457.jpg here" or such. Sending the picture separately is a good idea. No need to overdo resolution: Quite a few pictures of 1500 pixel converted into jpgs can be sent in one or more emails easily. Just make sure that pictures have solid descriptions. A picture does not need a description if it shows the same scene from different angles, but a description is a must for the first picture of a scene or when there is a complete change of scene. Please do not send attachments lager than 18 MByte. Larger sized collections we can uploaded in a variety of ways.
(6) If you have a treasure chest of pictures (like say Gerhard Huber had them on the Philippines and many other countries) we will explain how deal with them. Also, if you send pictures, let us know if they can be freely used or not, or if they can be used under some "Creative Common" license as is usual with pictures in Wikipedia. Note that you must not send us any pictures where you are not the holder of the rights to use them.
(7) In passing, we have also prepared sequences of pictures just on the basis of PPT presentations that were made available to us, as was the case with a part of Andalusia. Do not worry about embedding maps or such, we can do this for you.
(8) You find an interesting URL or good YouTube clip: Just send the URL, the country it should be attached to and the title to be used to either office nospam@TUGraz.at @global-geography.org or to the current secretary of the consortium Hermann Maurer at hmaurer nospam@TUGraz.at @iicm.edu.
(9) If you own the rights to suitable papers, brochures, or books or such and you have the material in electronic form (PDF preferred), we can convert them into nice looking "Web-Books" that one can browse through but not download (unless this is explicitly wanted by the author] , see e.g. Art by Franz Weiss or The PEACE project in five different languages, or Imperial Vienna. We do have an English interface ready if the "library" of English books grows. Links can be created from arbitrary web-pages to any page of any book, adding value to web-pages. Also: If many links lead into a book, people will, as they browse, "stumble" over the book and hence make it more visible. Indeed, sales of printed copies of a number of books in our (right now mainly German library) went up because people found them as web-books.
(10) Let us discuss the possibility of international projects using and extending our platform, be it with national or international funds!
(11) So: Go ahead and help us and the world in a small or large way.Maybe you can make statistics available to us so we can do something for your country that we did for Austria ... and I am sure you have many more ideas yourself.
(12) Let me finally point out that our "philosophy" has been, so far: We handle the first 5- 10 contributions for you, but if you want we can then provide you with editing priviliges and instructions. You can also help a lot by spreading the URL https://austria-forum.org/af/Geography/Highlights by mail or as a post in your social network!
PS:: Why don't you join the consortium? Just contact the current secretary of the consortium Hermann Maurer at hmaurer nospam@TUGraz.at @iicm.edu : How much time you invest will be completely up to you ... maybe you will just help by pointing out persons who you know could contribute pictures, clips, stories, data....
Thanks for reading up to here!
Hermann Maurer, for the Global-Geography.org consortium.