"Most of us think of international borders as invisible, but clear-cut lines: stand on one side, and you’re in one country; stand on the other, you’re in another country. But here’s a list of five international borders that, for one reason or another, are not quite that simple."
Shaped like a giant pistol sitting on its butt end, Wisconsin's new 22nd state Senate District is Exhibit A in the case against partisan redistricting.
The redistricting process is far from neutral; to be far we should remember that gerrymandering is has happened on all ends of the political spectum. Which map to you think is the best way to divide these districts? What is the fairest way to divide them?
After making an infographic depicting how much space would be needed to house the entire world’s population based on the densities of various global cities, Tim De Chant of Per Square Mile got to thinking about the land resources it takes to support those same cities.
Projections of urban growth indicate areas where biodiversity is at high risk.
The AAG Smart Brief is a fantastic source of geographic news. This is what they said about this article: "Areas such as tropical Africa and eastern China are expected to be hot spots of urbanization during the next several years, according to researchers, who used satellite imagery and other data to project future urban expansion through 2030. 'We're not forecasting population, we're forecasting the expansion of urban space,' said Yale University geographer Karen Seto. Their efforts could be used to assist conservation initiatives, Seto noted."
Tags: AAG, urban, sprawl, land use, urban ecology, biogeography, unit 7 cities, environment.
By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.
This interactive feature includes 12 places that have experienced significant change since 1990. This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time. Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era's (mis)management policies.
Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, esri, unit 1 Geoprinciples, zbestofzbest.
Every spring, China's cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year in the world's largest human migration.
I've posted in the past about this documentary which portrays the The cultural importance of New Year's in China and the massive corresponding migratory shifts that take place. What is new is that the 85 minute documentary is now available online. "Last Train Home takes viewers on a heart-stopping journey with the Zhangs, a couple who left infant children behind for factory jobs 16 years ago, hoping their wages would lift their children to a better life. They return to a family growing distant and a daughter longing to leave school for unskilled work. As the Zhangs navigate their new world, Last Train Home paints a rich, human portrait of China's rush to economic development."
Spain's dismal economy has residents of the country's richest region, Catalonia, wondering if they'd be better off going it alone. With their own language and distinct culture, Catalans have long pushed for independence from Spain.
This podcast merges several geographic strands together as economic turmoil in the southern portion of the Euro Zone has fanned the flames of cultural resentment and put discussions for Catalonian independence on the agenda for local politicians.
Questions to ponder: Will this internal devolution cause greater disintegration in the European Union or Spain? Would an independent Catalan be a wise move for the Catalonians? How would their independence impact Spain?
Tags: political, autonomy, economic, Europe, devolution, sovereignty, unit 4 political.
The United Nations General Assembly approved an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite U.S. and Israeli opposition.
While this may be primarily symbolic, it is still a highly significant move on the part of the United Nations. 65 years ago, the United Nations called for a two-state system. This map of the vote that I found on Facebook (can't find another source as of yet) is quite intriguing.
Questions to Ponder: Why might a country choose to abstain? Can you think of a specific reason why a particular country abstained? With this new geopolitical fact, how will Israel and Palestine move forward?
Created by Eirik Evjen. The production of this video was made out of 76,940 single photos.
"Norway has recently reached 5 million inhabitants and the capital is growing rapidly. The city scene in Oslo is steadily thickening with taller buildings, more people and the never-ending construction sites. Being by far the most populated city in Norway with 613 000 inhabitants, most Norwegians look to Oslo as a major capital. However, if one compares Oslo to other international capitals, Oslo only ranks as the 112th largest. Oslo is indeed a major capital, just a small one…"
Tags: art, urban, Europe, landscape, unit 7 cities.
Rome was the first city with one million residents, with that occuring in 5 BC. Over a thousand years later, London and Beijing joined that group as industrialization became the impetus for wide-scale urbanization. Today we are seeing an explosion of "million cities" throughout the world.
Today, a country’s marine economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line (hi-res image). This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example).
Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth's land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies? Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions?
Video. Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement.
There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and another situation where it is an incredibly limited perspective.
A refugee is a person who has been pushed away from their homeland and seeks refuge in another place. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) provides a more narrow definition of a refugee as someone who flees their home country due to a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”
As Neal Lineback notes in this Geography in the News post, not all refugees are covered by this definition. Environmental refugees have been forced to leave their homes beause of soil degradation, deserticfication, flooding, drought, climate change and other environmental factors.
Tags: environment, environment depend, migration, unit 2 population.