Celebrated the third week in November, Geography Awareness Week was established by proclamation in 1987, by President Ronald Reagan, to promote public awareness of the importance of geo-literacy and geo-education. The program is organized by the National Geographic Education Programs and geographic organizations at the national, state, and local levels. This year’s theme is “The New Age of Exploration.”
In 1934, Connecticut became the first state to complete a statewide aerial survey. Today, it can be searched and viewed through the Connecticut State Libray’s Aerial Photographs of Connecticut database. There are also a number of Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, application tools available to view and analyze this type of data. One such tool the University of Connecticut’s map mash-up Neighborhood Change in Connecticut, 1934 to Present. This online viewer allows the user to compare the aerial imagery from the 1934 survey with current satellite views so that alterations to the landscape overtime can be detected. An excellent example of the change to rural farmlands brought on by commercial and residential development can be viewed by comparing a current view of the WestFarms Mall location in Farmington/WestHartford to the 1934 view.