I just gave a presentation, “The Use of Advanced Technology for Environmental Outreach Campaigns,” at the second True Spin Conference in Denver. This is a meeting of communications professionals from a broad range of public-benefit organizations, addressing issues like public health, affordable housing, social justice, and the environment.
I talked about SkyTruth’s mission to understand and illustrate environmental issues using satellite images and other remote-sensing and digital mapping technologies. Of course, free tools such as Google Earth and Maps figured prominently, but we also discussed the potential to recruit people to actively provide us with “ground truth” — photos, video and other information they collect for a specific facility, mine, gas well, or other place of interest. There were a lot of good questions from the audience of about 30-40, who were very engaged and politely tolerated my bad jokes.
I was able to catch a couple of great presentations. Karen Showalter of Netcentric Campaigns covered the latest online communications tools being used for public outreach (“twitter” was new to me). John Kelly of Morningside Analytics provided an intriguing look at interconnectedness in the blogosphere that used statistical techniques and graphical cluster mapping to show how the most-cited bloggers are not necessarily the most influential (so I take heart in that…!) Click here for the two-day program, and here to check out all of the presenters.