I’m on a global mission: to get children and young people interested in a career in surveying, Schools don’t teach children how maps are made, or how buildings or transport corridors are constructed, so they don’t know that surveying exists or how it would translate into a day-to-day job. That’s why I’ve developed a colourful series of cartoon-led posters showing all sorts of different surveying activities happening in busy and exciting environments.
I began the series last year and plan to create six editions each year, with a book series in the pipeline. So far, the posters have depicted surveying in the British countryside and Antarctica, and smart cities. The latest edition features mining, with forestry, mobile mapping and crime scenes still to come. Each poster is action-packed, and it’s a lot of fun for children to pore over them for particular characters or roles. The characters include animals and humans (female and male), with ‘Geo Ginger’ showing, for example, that surveying is just as good a career choice for women as for men. Each poster includes questions and answers for group discussion, such as “Can you find the yellow ground-penetrating radar? ”
So far, we’ve had staggering levels of interest, to the extent that our initial runs sold out quickly. What’s been so great is that 95% of the posters have been ordered by survey companies, who then take them into their local schools.
This provides the perfect, on-the-ground connection between business and education – after all, it’s our responsibility as an industry to spread the word about this great career.
Any geospatial organisation can sponsor the posters, which means featuring your organisation’s logo, on clothing, products or equipment, or sponsoring a unique character. For example, Piggle Wiggle the dog wears a TopoDOT hi-vis jacket. I also support sponsors through publicity, my web presence and social media.
You can order the posters online at
www.getkidsintosurvey.com. They’re also available in the US and Canada from the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS), and from Elaine Ball Technical Marketing in the rest of the world. Similar organisations will begin distributing the posters and books over the coming months. In the meantime, follow #GetKidsIntoSurvey!
Elaine Ball is a geospatial business and marketing evangelist