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Why Map Projections Matter

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?  

 

Tags: Mapping, geospatial, video, visualization. 

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Lydia Blevins's comment, September 13, 2012 6:17 AM
I think it is very important that we start using more accurate maps. In school, the maps we use are so different from how the world actually is. I agree that children will grow up thinking some places are less important because they are minimized by the map projection.
Greg Atkinson's comment, October 10, 2012 12:31 PM
Great clip. I use it in my WRG class as a comedic introduction to the power of projection.
Mary Patrick Schoettinger's curator insight, December 18, 2012 3:01 PM

This absolutely the best video clip for SS teachers EVER!

Rescooped by Erin Miller from Cultural Geography
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A History of Conflicts

A History of Conflicts | APHG EMiller | Scoop.it
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.     


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Sakis Koukouvis's comment, August 16, 2012 8:06 AM
Oh... You are lucky ;-)
Paul Rymsza's comment, August 22, 2012 2:15 PM
the potential of this site is amazing between the interactive learning system and the correlation between the timeline and location. If the human geography class is anything like this i can't wait for it!
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 28, 2013 3:34 PM

 

This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time.  You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict.  This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting.  This site is brimming with potential.    

Rescooped by Erin Miller from Geography Education
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Visualizing Regional Population Statistics

It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion — in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population, especially in the West.

 

This is an excellent video for population and demographic units, but also for showing regional and spatial patterns within the global dataset (since terms like 'overpopulation' and 'carrying capacity' inherently have different meanings in distinct place and when analyzed at various scales). It is also a fantastic way to visualize population data and explain the ideas that are foundational for the Demographic Transition Model.

 

Tags: population, scale, visualization, Demographics, models, unit 2 population, sustainability, regions, spatial.


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Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 17, 2014 7:55 PM

Unit 2

Mohamed Mohamed's curator insight, October 13, 2014 4:03 PM

This video describes and explains how we got to a population of 7 billion people so fast

Mohamed Mohamed's curator insight, October 13, 2014 4:04 PM

It also uses water to demonstrate it.