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Developing Spatial Literacy
Learning the spatial skills of Geography
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What Is Geocaching?

Learn about the high-tech treasure hunting game being played around the world by adventure seekers! Learn more at http://www.geocaching.com Subscribe to this...

 

Geocaching is great way to get people outdoors, use geospatial technologies and have fun with the whole family. 

 

Tags: GPS, edtech, geospatial, technology, location.


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Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 7:56 AM

I have tried geocaching and it really does make you use geospatial tools. You have to know exactly where you are in reference to a map, you have to know directions in which you must travel, and you know you have to reach a certain place. While a fun activity, it is also a great geographic learning tool. 

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Maps and customized videos games

Maps and customized videos games | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

This is a ridiculous advertisement for State Farm Insurance (a robot seeks to destroy a particular address--but the one that YOU select)...but this uses geospatial technologies and online mapping instruments very well.  Low on content, but could be a fun "hook" to start a lesson. 


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Video tutorial: How to use geteach.com

This provies the basic overview of the layout and function of http://geteach.com .  The video unlocks some great features that are not intended to be hidden, but many first time visitors tend to miss.

 

This is a phenomenal site, designed by an AP teacher to bring geospatial technologies into the classroom in a way that is incredibly user-friendly. This site allows you to use Google Earth with clickable layers. With multiple data layers of physical and human geography variables, this interactive globe puts spatial information in powerful, yet fun, student-inspired platform.


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A Map Of Your City’s Invisible Neighborhoods, According To Foursquare

A Map Of Your City’s Invisible Neighborhoods, According To Foursquare | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
Every city is filled with different neighborhoods, but often, you won’t find these places on any map. They’re word-of-mouth zoning distinctions known only to locals.

 

How do you define the borders of a neighborhood?  This intiguing look at the social media platform FourSquare to mathematically find like-minded individuals that share spatial patterns.  Interestingly, the digital map with algorithms lined up with residents mental maps.  What types of regions are these?  How come? 


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What is Geo-literacy?

Geo-literacy extends far beyond knowing where places are on a map.  National Geographic Education has put an emphasis on geoliteracy, which entails spatial thinking skills and understanding systems in addition to content knowledge about locations and places. 


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Adam Lenaarts's curator insight, September 30, 2013 3:33 PM

Geo literacy explained to all people that don't know I Teacher Much more than just places...

Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 1, 2013 7:32 AM

Geo-literacy extends far beyond knowing where places are on a map.  National Geographic Education has put an emphasis on geo-literacy, which entails spatial thinking skills and understanding systems in addition to content knowledge about locations and places.

Kyle Kampe's curator insight, May 28, 8:09 PM

In AP Human Geo., this relates to the concepts of geo-literacy and spatial perspective because it indicates that for a population to be knowledgeable about geography, it must go above the mere rote memorization of toponyms and instead explore the spatial characteristics of places.

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National Atlas: Interactive Mapmaker

National Atlas: Interactive Mapmaker | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

The National Atlas that is available online has an extensive database for simple online mapping.  This is "GIS-light," an easy way to explore the spatial patterns within U.S. census data and other data sets.  The lists all contain a wide variety of variables, making this a good way to get students to explore potential research topics.  Thanks to the Connecticut Geographic Alliance coordinator for suggesting this link.   


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Lisa Fonseca's comment, August 27, 2012 8:10 AM
I think this website is great! I can see myself using this in a classroom. It provides a clear visual for students and anyone in general to view statistics on a variety of content.
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Mapping Sept. 11

Mapping Sept. 11 | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
In collecting cartographic materials relating to the events of 9/11, the Library's Geography and Map Division is concentrating on documenting the role maps played in managing the recovery effort.

 

This page from the Library of Congress, hosted by the Geography and Map Division is a visually rich resources of geospatial images (aerial photography, thermal imagery, LiDAR, etc.)  that show the extent of the damage and the physical change to the region that the terrorist attacks brought. 

 

Tags: Mapping, geospatial, remote sensing, historical, terrorism. 


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Matt E.'s comment, September 12, 2012 7:19 AM
I found the thermal imaging and the lidar was very interesting, because it provided data and potential threats that rescue workers on the ground might be unaware.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 12, 2012 7:34 AM
These thermal imagery and LIDAR maps are very useful and high-tech for the year 2001. I have not seen maps like this in regards to the landscape of Ground Zero. What an awesome tool that was able to organize a scene like this one that was out of control.
Lisa Fonseca's comment, September 16, 2012 5:13 PM
These images are very interesting because it provides you with such a clear visual of just how much was effected by the disaster. I wasn't ever able to view the actual 9/11 location after the incident but these maps provide enough detail.
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What is GIS?

This is a brief introduction to what geographic information systems are.  This is not a tutorial on how to use it, but a conceptual overview on the potential uses and applications for GIS.  

 

Tags: GIS, video, Unit 1 GeoPrinciples, geospatial, mapping and location.


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Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change

Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

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.


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Luke Walker's curator insight, October 23, 2013 8:14 PM

See how much the Aral Sea has changed due to the impact of humans on their environment for yourself. Drag the slider tool to see a before and after. Reference your textbook (p61) for the whole story.

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 9:46 AM

This map is a true testament to the people who believe human activity does not affect the earth. Humans have been transforming Earth’s surface for years, through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate. Much of the transformation taking place in the Aral sea leads to its connection to the Soviet era and their lack of understanding of the environment. This mismanagement of the Aral Sea is leading to a lack of water for the people who live in Central Asia.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 7:30 AM

The colors seen in photographs and images like this is because of the equipment used. Sometimes the quality of the equipment makes the pictures look different than they actually are. This basin has dried up over time and its surface has signs of significant change.

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QGIS

QGIS | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

Do you want to use GIS but don't have the budgetary support to install expensive software?  Don't know where to start?  QGIS is a free, open-source GIS that is a nice option for schools operating on a limited budget that still want a full GIS platform.

 

Here is an excellent set of video screencasts that are an introduction to what GIS is, using the QGIS software: http://linfiniti.com/dla/ .  This site also has sample data, tutorials and worksheets.

 

Another excellent tutorial for novices to GIS is found here: http://multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu/tutorials/qgis-basics-journalists/ .  This tutorial was especially designed for journalists creating maps, and walks you through the installation process as well as some of the basics of the user interface.

 

Many small city governments without the budget to run proprietary GIS software use QGIS and here is a repository of QGIS resources including blogs, forums, tutorials and user manuals: http://www.townshipgis.org/resources/qgis ; An excellent blog with QGIS tutorials is: http://qgis.spatialthoughts.com/


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Chesapeake Bay FieldScope

Chesapeake Bay FieldScope | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

The National Geographic Education team has produced a fabulous site that has online GIS tools for understanding the environment of the Cheasapeake Bay watershed. Students can upload their data, click on various layers, and use drawing and measuring tools.  Other "Fieldscope" projects are available as well at: http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/program/fieldscope/  


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Why is Geo-literacy Important?

Geographic content, spatial analysis and decision-making skills are vital and this video succinctly explains it's important within our educational system.  I know, I'm preaching to the choir, but please share this video to promote geo-literacy.   


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Timothy Roth's comment, August 20, 2012 8:28 AM
there is a picture of a person on a bike and the road splits into two paths... incredible visual... I want that picture!
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Early World Maps

Early World Maps | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

I typically would not link to a Wikipedia article, but this one is not only well crafted, but represents an academic collaborative work in its own right.  This a fabulous cartographic gallery that explores the history of geographical thought through the ages (as archived in the earliest maps).  Enjoy the maps, and even more, the intellectual context that this article provides for each of these images.      


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Stories Displayed on Maps

Stories Displayed on Maps | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
On myHistro you can create advanced geolocated timelines that you can play as presentations. Pin your events, videos and photos to the map and share them with friends and family.

 

This new resource, myHistro, combines interactive maps with timelines to organize stories, journeys or historical events as the move over time and place.  By embedding photos, videos and links this creates an incredibly dynamic platform for telling historical and geographic stories.  By combining these features, this is a powerful tool to create customized resources for you students.  Pictured above is a sample timeline that shows the spatial and temporal journey of the Olympic torch for the 2012 Games.   


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EARTH Masterpieces

The natural landscapes shown as captured by satellite imagery is as beautiful as anything artists have ever created.  Some of the colors shown in the video may seem otherworldy.  Most of those color anomalies are due to the fact that remotely sensed images have more information in them than just what we see in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Some of these images are processed to show different bands so we can visually interpret data such as what is in the near infra-red band, skewing the color palette.


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Byron Northmore's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:09 AM

CD 1: The different types of landscapes and their distinctive landform features.

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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 3:17 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 9:31 AM
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 12:01 PM

This absolutely the best video clip for SS teachers EVER!