1 Complutense University of Madrid (SPAIN)
2 Universidad de Zaragoza (SPAIN)
3 Universidad de León (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 107-116
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
Some centenary scientific societies such as the Real Sociedad Geográfica are capable of adapting their aims to XXI century educational requirements. In this case, the Real Sociedad Geográfica-Digital Earth Excellence Centre (RSG-DE-CoE) has been set up providing new opportunities for lifelong learning (informal & formal learning in secondary and higher education) and research. The challenge of integrating emerging technologies (e.g. spatial enabled mobile devices) into science and society itself should raise awareness in geospatially responsible citizen science. The objective of the paper is to demonstrate the centre’s contribution to citizen open science as an example of informal learning with emerging technologies (De Miguel & Donert, 2014).

The paper addresses a new initiative or development with the purpose of summarising activities of networking between members of the Centre of Excellence and other digital-earth project Centres of Excellence all over Europe (Buzo, 2011) as a network with a great potential for informal learning processes.
The standards for the European Excellence Centres were established by the main centre: the European Centre of Excellence directed by Karl Donert (Paris-Lodron University of Salzburg, Austria, 2011). Since then, the number of Excellence Centres has increased, and now there are more than 15. Centres of Excellence can provide courses, publications, online materials, links and good practice learning scenarios. When it comes to core interest topics they are autonomous. The Real Sociedad Geográfica joined up with the Complutense University of Madrid, Zaragoza University and León University and applied to become an Excellence Centre in 2012, and thus the Real Sociedad Geográfica-Digital Earth (RSG-DE CoE) was set up. We will gather information available on the Internet regarding Digital Earth Excellence Centres and do an interview with the father of the idea, Karl Donert.

What we conclude is that establishing centres of excellence enrich and implement geospatial education possibilities through forums for sharing ideas, debate and coordination activities in order to integrate Digital Earth education and technologies in society with new ways of learning, working and researching. This is the experience of the Real Sociedad Geográfica and its relations with other centres.

Buzo Sánchez, I. 2011. “Red Europea Comenius”, Didáctica Geográfica 12: 157-161.
De Miguel. R., & Donert, K. (Eds.). 2014. Innovative Learning Geography in Europe: New Challenges for the 21st Century. Newcastle: Cambridge.
Donert, K. 2013. “ a European network for Digital Earth education", Proc. SPIE 8795, First International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2013), 879504 (August 5, 2013); doi:10.1117/12.2027223
Networking, informal education, digital-earth excellence centres, open science.