There are many innovative and interesting people in the list of 15 people in the 2012 class of Emerging Explorers (11 men, 4 women for those counting). Each receives a $10,000 grant from National Geographic. I was happy to recognize two names with which I've become very familiar.
Patrick Meier (Ph.D.) pioneers the lifesaving new field of crisis mapping and makes it available, accessible and free to humanitarian organizations and volunteers across the globe. As director of crisis mapping at the nonprofit technology company Ushahidi and co-founder of the Standby Volunteer Task Force (SBTF), he is helping revolutionize the effectiveness of relief efforts worldwide. He is bringing the worlds of technology and humanitarian response together for the first time, connecting social media and satellite imagery with the U.N., U.S. Marines and Coast Guard, World Health Organization, Amnesty International and other groups that can mobilize help when the worst crises hit. When crises occur, the SBTF gathers messages, photos, video, and high-resolution satellite imagery and integrates them on a live Ushahidi map, reflecting what is happening, what is most urgently needed and precisely where. The global network has mobilized aid response in Haiti, Japan, Libya and many other countries.
Guerrilla geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison brings the spirit of adventure to geographic education, allowing people to see the world — and the field of geography — in new and surprising ways. Guerrilla geography challenges people, especially children, to explore the world around them, engaging in creative play, making new discoveries and forming community connections. Through technologies that allow users to share their experiences digitally, guerrilla geography not only educates but also inspires young people to explore their world in ways that stretch their minds and bodies, and motivates them to educate others and take action in their own communities. His Urban Earth films demonstrate guerrilla geography in action. He has walked across 13 cities, taking photographs every eights steps and editing them to create films to reveal new perspectives on how to experience cities. His program/website, Mission:Explore, and a series of award-winning kids' books of the same name encourage youth to go on adventures to learn about the world.
Amber Case (Geoloqi) is in the list too, but I'm still learning who she is and what she does.