Founded by a group of naturalists and archaeologists in the late 19th Century, the Geographic Society (or GeoSoc) is an organization dedicated to promoting an appreciation of science, culture, and education. Known for their visually stunning nature documentaries, their vividly illustrated long-running science magazine, and their broad demographic appeal, the Geographic Society is a pop cultural icon responsible for an appreciation of the natural sciences to many young people, many of who would eventually become Pokemon trainers themselves.
The Geographic Society's flagship publication is its magazine. First published in 1911, the Geographic Society Digest (known officially as Geographic Society Magazine in its centenary issue on May 2011 onwards) brought the iconic yellow vertical octagon logo to the public consciousness, featuring stories of adventure, beautiful illustrations, and spectacular photography. It also produced a broad set of documentaries, the Geographic Society Specials, which capitalized on the growing popularity of television and made the society a household name in edutainment. It also has a news magazine, the Geographer Weekly, which has regional and linguistic variants across the globe (Illumis Geographe in Kalos, Kantonian Geographer in Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn, and the Sinnoh Compass in Sinnoh and Almia). It also has a children's publication, Young Learner Weekly.
The television division has also diversified into costume dramas, survival-based reality programs, and documentaries hosted by famous actors. The specials themselves became longer than many blockbuster films, becoming artistically ambitious serials on Television. Despite this shift toward entertainment and its purportedly sensationalized titles, the society still retains the gravitas of an esteemed scientific publication. They also host a young learner's science program on [YouTube], which is currently hosted by Tommy Petersen.
The Society's Main Office is in Castelia City, Unova, where it was first convened. It has offices in major cities in several regions across the globe.
Although governed by a board of trustees, the Geographic Society is helmed by the editorial board, a group that comprises scientists, journalists, cinematographers, and academics. The television distribution rights of the Geographic Society are co-owned by the Vulpix Media Group and the Clavis Corporation, which act as producers for many of the Society's programs.
The Geographic Society also maintains close ties with several academic and scientific research organizations, including PEFE. Its relationship between the latter is complicated; PEFE often issues publication vetoes, citing the need for rigor, which has caused some conflict between it and the Geographic Society Editorial board. Likewise, the editorial board is often accused of being excessively intrusive in its demands. Nonetheless, the two respect one another as scientific institutions. Relations between them are expected to improve with the announcement of the Society's most recent special, the ambitious ten-part series The Pokemon Trainer, which is being made with some PEFE input.
Many famous names in science and art have been associated with the Society's publications. Pokémon professors, including Kanto's Samuel Oak, are often sought as advisors for television programs. Award-winning photographer Todd Snap had also lent his talents to the publication; many of his most iconic photos appeared in the magazine's covers. Actor Brad Van Darn is one of the many celebrity narrators in its programs.
The documentary division is presently helmed by Senior Editor Hank Habakkuk Harvey, an Unovan investigative journalist who also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Geographic Society Weekly. Other notable names include Gavin Albright, an up-and-coming documentary filmmaker and urban photography wunderkind Thomas Andrew Petersen, both graduates of the Todd Snap Photography Program. A key member of its Kalosian editor's board is Jean-Marie Martel, notable for his acumen in reporting news and current affairs and his longstanding ties with the Gendarme of Kalos.
The Pokécam is an innovation developed by the Geographic Society's engineering team that allows cinematographers an unprecedented view of nature from a pokémon's perspective. At its core, each Pokécam is a custom HD Clavis camera built into a remote-controlled stabilized rig that can be attached harmlessly to a wild or trained pokémon. Some models, built to be attached to wild pokémon, have remote control beacons that allow them to be recovered once they detach after a few days. Others require a specialist vest that would allow trained pokémon to insert a more complex and better-stabilized remote-controlled rig that can zoom in or out. The Kalosian division of the Geographic Society has dedicated a squadron of fearows and other flying types to wear Pokécams to create aerial shots without causing needless disturbances toward wildlife and without attracting undue attention from urban residents.
Notable and Named Members
Board of Trustees
- Dame Matilda Williams (Chairperson)
- Dr. Van Dyke
- Dr. Angus McSweeney (Editor-in-Chief, Kanto division)
- Capt. Jean-Marie Martel (Senior Editor, Kalos division)
- Hank Habakkuk Harvey (Editor-in-Chief, Unova division)
- Gavin Albright (Episode director and cinematographer)
- "Sparky" (Video editor)
- Dr. Roger Williams (consultant and former showrunner)
- Thomas Anthony Peterson (3D graphic modeler)
- Thomas Adrian Pearson (Raster graphic editor)
- Jonathan Halliburton (Investigative journalist)
- Gaston, Amélie, and Dominique (IT staff)
- Ivan Losken (Intern)
- The GeoSoc are based on the National Geographic Society and have analogues for several of their publications. Its news divisions are based on weekly news magazines like Newsweek and Time.
- Its occasional bouts of channel drift are a lampoon of the reality show-esque edutainment programming sometimes shown in both National Geographic and its rival Discovery Networks.
- The editorial leadership and staff of the Geographic Society is a hodge podge of pop culture references
- Dame Williams' leadership is meant to evoke that of James Bond's M as played by Dame Judi Dench
- Dr. Van Dyke is a reference to Mr. Dawes, Sr. from the Disney adaptation of Mary Poppins, who was played by Dick Van Dyke.
- Hank Harvey, Tommy Petersen, and Penelope Grant are based on characters (J. Jonah Jameson, Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and Betty Brant, respectively) from the Spider-Man franchise.
- Sparky's personality and name is an allusion to the Internet's interpretation of Spark, the leader of Team Instinct from Pokémon GO.
- The GeoSoc's Pokécam is based on National Geographic's famed CritterCam.