Hellenic digital earth Centre of Excellence (www.digital-earth.edu.gr) is a research and educational center designed to promote the teaching of geography at all levels of education with an emphasis in digital geographic data and their use through the construction of digital geographical educational tools.
It was founded in 08/6/2012 after the approval of the evaluation committee of the digital-earth.eu Centre of Excellence, located in Salzburg, Austria.
The foundation of the Centre was approved unanimously by the Senate of Aristotle on 29/08/12. On 05/04/14 the Centre was accepted as a member of ICA-OS Geo Lab Network (International Cartographic Association - Open Source Geospatial Foundation) and Geo for All action, a global association of universities specialized in digital mapping. On 29/04/14 approved the Center was approved as a member of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Innovation (KEDEK) of AUTH.
The Centre is hosted in the premises of the Department of Primary Education of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki at 29 Archaeological Museum Str.
Founder and President of the Centre is the Associate Professor Dr. Nikos Lambrinos.
Purpose of the Center
a) To network, participate and cooperate with other Centers of Excellence.
b) To promote the ideas of the network and contribute to the incorporation of digital geography in the Geography Curricula in the compulsory levels of education.
c) To provide career advice to its members.
d) To construct, to diffuse and adjust digital tools that are helping on improving the teaching of Geography in education.
e) As a scientific Center, to support the necessities of the teachers in European level structuring /designing products and providing essential services for the educators on active service.
f) To offer services in connection with its interests, to everyone who would ask.
g) To train the educators who are interested in techniques used from the digital technology in geography.
h) to promote research in regards to the development of digital tools for geographic education at all levels of education.
The Centre has a structure that allows the development of a diversified activity. The structure is based on the following sections: a) Department of Digital Technology, b) Department of Development and Application of Teaching, c) Department of Translation and Publications, d) Department of Public Relations and e) Department of Members. All Departments staffed with teachers who offer voluntary work in their spare time.
Regarding the educational impact of the Centre, the Centre enables students to construct digital maps suitable for educational use and exploit the opportunities arising from the online cartography and its use in teaching school objects that use maps like geography, history, religious, etc.. Also, students are able to cooperate with the Centre for preparing their dissertations and publish on the Centre's website the digital maps they have built in a fully interactive environment.
Also, the Centre's website contains many free interactive maps to be used by students and educators to cover their instructional needs.
In addition, the Center offers free educational seminars for teachers in digital technology issues associated with geography, e.g. seminars on the use of GIS and web mapping. Finally, it publishes a quarterly Newsletter posted on its website and sent to its members.