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British Cartographic Society – Restless Earth Workshop

On the 1st July 2014, several gifted and talented GCSE geographers (armed with MAOAMs) set off to Alsager School for a workshop given by the British Cartographic Society entitled ‘Restless Earth’. The workshop was based on the Japan earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2011.

The workshop started with a presentation from members of the British Cartographic Society that gave a brief outline of the tragic natural disaster, as well as an introduction to the task ahead.

We were told that in groups of 5 we were tasked to produce a series of maps that would effectively aid a recovery operation for the disaster, focused on one of the worst hit cities in Japan: Sendai. Each group member was given a specific role: either Military, Humanities, Search & Rescue, Medical or Co-ordinator to allow them to focus on a certain aspect of the maps’ production.

After the allocated time to complete the task had elapsed, another brief presentation was given, this time concentrating on the aftermath and recovery operation side of the natural disaster, along with the importance of maps at the time.

Each group then had chance to present their creations to a member of the BCS, competing with other groups to win a prize for the best maps. Results to be announced at a later date.

Back in the classroom, students will be able to use their experiences to help studies in the ‘Restless Earth’ topic and in general mapping skills. A huge thank you goes to Alsager School for hosting the workshop, especially their geography department for inviting our school to attend, and the British Cartographic Society for hosting such a useful workshop free of charge to students across the country.

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