The internet and other technologies have radically transformed the way we look at the world, allowing us to understand and connect with our physical environment in ways that we’d never thought possible. Interested in seeing what Manhattan looks like from 5,000 feet above the earth? Google Maps has an app for that. Want to see what the hiking conditions are like on Half Dome? The National Park Service offers a virtual tour.
As great as these conveniences are, technology has also allowed us to become complacent when it comes to exploration. Children now spend less time engaging in outdoor activities and more time clicking away online. Adults move from home bubbles to work bubbles and back again, often ignoring the outside world and instead seeking adventure through entertainment on the television or the internet.
National Geographic Emerging Explorer Daniel Raven-Ellison wants to change those unsettling trends by overhauling our definition of geography. Through a concept he coined called “guerilla geography,” Raven-Ellison challenges individuals and groups to rethink their perceptions about the world around them. Questions such “could you cross a forest without touching the ground?” and “what would you see if you walked through your entire city taking a photo every eight steps?” allow Raven-Ellison to help engage others in a dynamic and social approach to geography.
Watch Raven-Ellison explain the guerrilla geography in the following video from National Geographic Live.