Spatial Networks is a geospatial intelligence and technology company. The CEO, Tony Quartararo, is a geographer and an American Geographical Society Councilor who is passionate about promoting geographical literacy. Since Spatial Networks’ mobile data collection platform, Fulcrum, launched in 2011, hundreds of schools and universities have used it to study everything from roundworms to sanitation practices in developing countries.
Spatial Networks and Fulcrum App Technology have created an easier way for educators in all subjects to implement Geography and GIS technology into their curriculum. Mapping and collecting data is not exclusive to Geography and can assist students in all fields. Fulcrum created “Fulcrum for Education & Universities”, an application used for workshop, research projects, classroom assignments, and so much more. The service is offered free of charge to all schools and universities in hopes that it can increase the geographic literacy of all students. They have a strong commitment to geographic education in order to heighten k-12, Masters, and Ph.D., students’ geographic lens.
There are currently 118 educators enrolled in the program. Many schools are taking advantage of the ability to easily access data rather than having to collect it themselves. Construction and utility programs are creating their own mobile forums to collect environmental protection survey research.
“In partnership with the American Geographical Society, we’re committed to the mission of promoting and advancing geographic literacy to heighten students understanding of a changing world.” – Spatial Networks
Northwestern University recently took a trip to the Hawaiian Islands to collect samples and used Fulcrum to scan, log, and GPS tag data into the database. This saved them time when they got back to the classroom and they did not have to insert the data into a program.
At Fordham University, students used Fulcrum to map Spanish-language graffiti in New York City. Another group of students enrolled in a theology class used it to collect field notes comparing malls, cafes, subway stations, and libraries to map sacred spaces in New York.
Loma Linda University electrical engineer students in Haiti and Belize used Fulcrum to collect data, like photos and GPS locations, about the electrical equipment at hospitals lacking resources. They used this data to create a needed inventory and a plan for improving the delivery of electricity to these places.
At Virginia Tech, Fulcrum is used in their Outdoor Recreation Planning course to teach undergraduate students about the tools available to plan and monitor both social and ecological conditions, as well as for crowd-sourcing data.
We spoke with Sam Puckett, Content Marketing Specialist at Spatial Networks, and she explained some of the unique features of the program: Instead of introducing the app as a geographic tool, Fulcrum advertised the program through many different channels in order to give students focusing on studies such as English or History the geographic lens they needed for their work.
Normally, there is a monthly subscription fee for the service, but educators are allowed access for free; in addition, they can add their students onto their plan, so they can utilize the apps as well. The Education Plan is granted for a year at a time and can be extended upon request. As long as the professors are not using it for commercial purposes they are free to have as many users, apps, and records as they would like to have.
Written by Nicole Fee