The Brazilian government's geographic department (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística-roughly equivalent to the U.S. Census Bureau) has compiled an fantastic interactive world factbook (available in English and Spanish as well as Portuguese). The ease of navigation allows the user to conduct a specific search of simply explore demographic, economic, environmental and development data on any country in the world.
Flightradar24 is the best live flight tracker that shows air traffic in real time. Best coverage and cool features!
Ever wanted to find out where that plane overhead came from? Where is it going? Here it is. The flight that was over Rhode Island 5 minutes ago that left the JFK airport? It's officially on it way to Geneva Switerland and now over the Atlantic.
Coastal and low-lying areas that would be permanently flooded in three levels of higher seas.
This interactive feature is designed to answer a simple, yet profound set of questions. What areas (in over 20 cities around the U.S.) would be under water if the ocean levels rose 5 feet? 12 feet? 25 feet? The following set of maps show "coastal and low-lying areas that would be permanently flooded without engineered protection."
This is another old classic image that I might have shared earlier but it merits repeating. As Salvatore Natoli (a leader in geography education) once said, "In our society we unconsciously equate size with importance and even power." This is one reason why many people have underestimated the true size of Africa relative to places that they view as more important or more powerful.
This is a clip from the TV show West Wing (Season 2-Episode 16) where cartography plays a key role in the plot. In this episode the fictitious (but still on Facebook) group named "the Organization of Cartographers for Social Justice" is campaigning to have the President officially endorse the Gall-Peters Projection in schools and denounce the Mercator projection. The argument being that children will grow up thinking some places are not as important because they are minimized by the map projection. While a bit comical, the cartographic debate is quite informative even if it was designed to appear as though the issue was trivial.
Questions to Ponder: Why do map projections matter? Is one global map projection inherently better than the rest?
This is an interactive way to teach the importance of the redistricting process. Mapmakers (and geography) are crucial to the process. This game shows students how the process can be manipulated and if you understand local demographics and voting patterns, subtle shifts in the district borders can swing elections. This is a great way to teaching gerrymandering and how political cartography can be.