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The power of a geo-narrative

Chantal Forster | October 22 2008

Sometimes a story needs pretty pictures to propel it into the realm of the compelling.

In the case of the Bioneers' "Dreaming New Mexico" project, we worked with a variety of resources to transform important but visually ho-hum data such as New Mexico's solar potential into convincing and actionable imagery.

Video: In their own words

In July, we hit the road with local independent filmmaker Lillian J. Kelly. Logging over 600 miles, we recorded the stories of New Mexicans working at the grassroots level to protect their land and their culture from the impacts of a fossil fuel economy.

The folks we interviewed were passionate and visionary. Here's one eloquent interview you simply must see.


View more Dreaming New Mexico videos


Google Earth API: A geo-narrative

The sheer size of New Mexico (it's the 5th largest state in the country) makes it hard to convey both the intimacy of people's stories and the scale of the land under threat.

So we had to think big. Google-sized.

Working with John Gardiner, a Googler who used his 20% time on this project, we implemented a geo-narrative using the Google Earth API. John's a masterful web-era storyteller (and a mean mountain biker) who created an innovative 12 scene narrative using satellite imagery of New Mexico from Google Earth as well as 3-D imagery from Google SketchUp.

Dreaming New Mexico using Google Earth API

 This weekend, the project was unveiled at the annual Bioneers conference in San Rafael, CA. Bioneers' partner and visionary, Rebecca Moore from Google Earth Outreach delivered a moving plenary speech highlighting Dreaming New Mexico and other grassroots efforts made compelling through the use of Google Earth.

Read the reaction:

Plone: Bringing it all together

To bring all these elements together into a visually pleasing, scalable, and easy to update website, we implemented the Plone content management system.

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