updated 9/29/2010 9:45:52 AM ET 2010-09-29T13:45:52

REDLANDS, Calif., Sept. 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Penn State Public Broadcasting launched the first of four episodes of the Geospatial Revolution, an online documentary series that showcases the explosion of digital mapping and geographic information system (GIS) technology that impacts millions of people daily. The video series is part of the Geospatial Revolution Project, an integrated public media and outreach initiative. Visit http://geospatialrevolution.psu.edu/ for more details.

"This is a skillfully crafted production that translates the importance of GIS technology," says Jack Dangermond, president, Esri. "The series gives the audience a glimpse of how geographic knowledge is making the world a better place."

On September 15, 2010, the first of the project's four Web-based high-definition video episodes was released, accompanied by a Web site and free outreach resources, including videos, essays, and discussion questions.

The first episode, 13 minutes in length, is divided into four chapters. It begins with an overview and moves into how geospatial and location-based devices work. Following a brief history of the evolution of mapping, the episode concludes with examples of wide-reaching applications like crisis mapping and crowd sourcing. These are featured as part of a case study on digital mapping and the Haiti earthquake response.

The mission of the Geospatial Revolution Project is to expand public knowledge about the history, applications, related privacy and legal issues, and potential future of location-based technologies. It provides the general public audience with a view into how geospatial information influences nearly everything. Some of the uses highlighted include fighting climate change, improving neighborhoods and communities, tracking disease, assisting first responders, providing better public services, and navigating through daily life.

Penn State Public Broadcasting worked with numerous GIS, mapping, and technology experts in private business, government, the military, health, public safety, education, and nonprofit organizations. Esri provided significant support for the production effort.

"We are hoping our viewers will realize how broadly, deeply, and irrevocably these technologies are part of our lives, mostly for good but with their social side effects as well," says Penn State Public Broadcasting writer-director Stephen Stept. "We want folks to share these stories with family, friends, and colleagues and perhaps even join the revolution in some way." http://geospatialrevolution.psu.edu/ .

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at www.esri.com/news .

Esri, the Esri globe logo, GIS by Esri, www.esri.com , and @esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Esri in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.

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