About the Project

Teilhard in Google Earth

I stumbled across the idea of trying to chart out the life of Teilhard on Google Earth because one night I tried to find Chateau Sarcenat – where Teilhard was born. It is tempting to spend all your time researching the ideas and thoughts of Teilhard but what about his everyday life. What about the places that he spent his time around. Could we still locate them and if we could what would we learn about Teilhard?

I found Chateau Sarcenat relatively easily and it was quite amazing to look around at the landscape. Perhaps if we all collaborate and use our knowledge collectively we could all use Google Earth to share our knowledge. In coming together and sharing our resources, it is a very Teilhardian approach. After all we may be able to visit some of the places Teilhard visited but most probably not all of them.

Although Google Earth only provides aerial photographs users can contributes photographs and I was able to find a photograph looking out over nearby Durtol and Clermont-Ferrand. Perhaps this was a view that Teilhard could have experienced on one of his walks from his family home?

Google Earth gives users the opportunity to contribute photographs, notes even videos. I was able to travel virtually to the Antarctic and find photographs, videos and sound files of the scientists and wildlife. There is certainly great potential with Google Earth.

Once all the locations are gathered together they can then be shared with other users so that you could follow on Google Earth the places where he travelled and even stop for example in Hastings to explore what it looks like today.

Once I found locations and places I was then able to search through Google for more information and I found some fascinating photos of the Holy Family School in Cairo where Teilhard worked for several years. The photos were from 1905 and this one chance find shows the potential of this project. I might show these photos to several people, then forget about them but if they are recorded and shared in one central location then we can all find out about these locations. Just think of the number of people who may have made other similar finds, this knowledge needs to be shared and not forgotten.

Whilst researching Teilhard in New York I discovered that the Wenner Gren Foundation have an audio history page which includes a recording of a lecture by Teilhard. To my knowledge this is the only know recording of Teilhard and quite a significant find!

What help am I looking for?

Locations – Do you know of a specific place where Teilhard visited or worked in? All you need to do is describe it to me, where it is near, or a distinctive feature and I should be able to locate it and record it. I know he did spend several years living in New York, I am sure there are other locations that he visited. It would also be good to reference the location – how did you find out about it, does Teilhard mention it in a letter? Also what date did he visit this place.

Photographs – Perhaps you visited somewhere that Teilhard was known to be. First of all, describe the location to me and send the photographs to me in whatever format you wish. Quality, size is not important. I can even scan photographs that are sent to me by post. Again a reference as to how you located it, and a date would also be useful. If you have technical issues please contact me and I will be keen to help.

Any information big or small is welcome.

This project was started in June 2010.


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