The Earth in Vision Project

Earth in Vision is a three year project based in the Geography Department of The Open University, funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, and led by Prof. Joe Smith. It has two goals: first, to redraft environmental history and politics to include a rich new layer of material drawn from half a century of broadcasting and second, to explore the potential and future of online digital broadcast archives more generally. These hold huge potential as a novel source of ‘information, education and entertainment’ but we want to support a broad civic conversation about the purposes and tools that might need to be developed in advance of any substantial release of such archives. To do all this we are working with fifty hours of material drawn from six decades BBC environment-related television and radio broadcasts. In addition to the Open University geography team we are collaborating with the OU’s Knowledge Media Institute, the BBC and other partners. We are running workshops with students, teachers, researchers and media producers to explore the range of potential uses of archive content. In addition to scholarly publications the project will make interviews, transcripts and other materials, including new media-rich learning resources, freely available online. The team will produce a free e-book aimed at supporting ambitious but thoughtful releases of digital archive content in future.