Good afternoon, my name is Hannah Levine. I am a junior studying Public Relations in the College of Communications, and I have minors in Information Sciences & Technology (IST) and Military Studies. I am currently in Penn State’s Army ROTC program. Upon graduation, I am hoping to commission as an officer in Military Intelligence. I have lived in New Jersey and Virginia, but I moved to Pennsylvania in 2001, where I have lived ever since. I live in a town outside of Hazleton called Sugarloaf, which is in northeastern PA. Geography interests me for a couple of reasons. My family and I have had the opportunity to travel to several foreign countries, and it is always fun to learn about other cultures. Another reason is the fact that geography is a crucial aspect of every occupation. As a future intelligence officer, it will be my job to gather all types of data, analyze the physical and human geography, and synthesize a clear idea of a situation.
One issue that especially stands out to me is the problem of visualization. From charts to diagrams to map projections, any visual presentation can be distorted. The creators of such may distort their map’s presentation for more user-friendliness purposes, based on bias, or from a misuse of projection. Projection is a representation of a surface such as Earth’s round sphere to a two-dimensional map. Considering all map projections are flawed in some fashion, it shapes people’s attitudes and beliefs in different ways. I believe projection is one of the greatest challenges in geography, because it all depends upon the purpose of the map and creating the appropriate visualization. This issue speaks to me personally because as someone who will be analyzing maps of cities and terrain, it is essential to understand the projection scheme and the intended visualization.