Dr. Mark Terry is a filmmaker, writer, teacher, and professor who has created an international collection of documentary films on a GIS map. He has pinned feature-length, award-winning, social issue documentaries according to the cities, countries, or regions in which they take place. Mark selected films that primarily represent these areas, visually, and culturally. The films also represent artistic excellence, having won major international awards and critical acclaim. Mark chose films from each area to represent, as much as possible due to availability, a temporal spectrum dating back to 1895. Not only does the map provide an overview of current issues, but it also reveals the evolvement of the documentary film over the years which has benefitted from the affordances provided by new digital technology and methodology.
It is a remediated form of the documentary film which Dr. Terry has named a “Geo-Doc”: Geographic Information System maps being used on an overall comparative and documentary level, depicting the director’s vision of actual geographical locations around the world and the social issues affecting the people in these places. GIS maps prove to be an inventive way to zone in on the area of the world which most interests the viewer.
Click on a pin to view this GIS Map of Documentary Films representing each country.
Along with international feature-length documentaries, you can also view another GIS map of documentary films made in much shorter formats. Students from around the world submitted three-minute film projects to The Youth Climate Report created by Dr. Terry in conjunction with the United Nations Framework on Climate Change. Each year, students are given a choice of two subjects on which to focus, to help inform the world on issues affecting climate change, sustainability, pollution, water, and more. The result is The Youth Climate Report, and the films are juried and published by Dr. Terry and the United Nation Environment Programme to add to this evolving new form of a documentary film project.
Dr. Terry wrote, produced, and directed the documentary films, The Antarctica Challenge – A Global Warning and The Polar Explorer among other projects. See a list of his academic accomplishments at Ecotalkers.com, which includes papers and speeches on climate change and how Mark’s reimagining of GIS maps are an evolving form of the interactive documentary. You can read more about how GIS maps are being used for social change and to inform policymakers in Dr. Terry’s book The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change released by Palgrave Macmillan February of 2020.