Developing Spatial Literacy
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Developing Spatial Literacy
Learning the spatial skills of Geography
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TeachSpatial: Resources for Spatial Teaching and Learning

TeachSpatial: Resources for Spatial Teaching and Learning | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

This resource is a comprehensive approach to teaching spatial thinking skills. Terms with spatial reference (i.e.-place, diffusion, migration, situation, scale, region, centrality, proximity, etc.) are defined within their spatial context and related to their multiple curricular connections such as Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science and (of course) Geography. These terms and concepts then link you to teaching resources, online modules, lesson plans and classroom activities. While useful for all units, this is especially useful for the beginning of a course to teach the importance of spatial thinking skills to then have them permeate the rest of the year. 


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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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The Invisible Borders That Define American Culture

The Invisible Borders That Define American Culture | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
We can be connected (or disconnected) based on where we move, how we speak, and even what sports teams we root for.

 

This article is a great source for discussion material on regions (include the ever-famous "Soda/Pop/Coke" regions).  How do we divide up our world?  What are the criteria we use for doing so?


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Bella The Non-Vampire's curator insight, August 21, 2014 10:22 AM

i believe that these fifty states are divided into three different regions that define them by what those regions are made of. Those regions im talking about are the formal, functional, and vernacular regions. Some types of examples of those regions are common language, transportaion, and mental maps. I.C.

Kedryn bray's curator insight, March 15, 2016 9:45 AM
I think the United states does have many invisible cultural borders like the way people use certain words like soda or pop or coke. These define where different types of people love and it shows different sides of America. We are split up by many different kinds of small borders but those borders sometimes change the way we all speak and do things.
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America's romance with sprawl may be over

America's romance with sprawl may be over | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
Three years after the recession officially ended, Census county population estimates show Americans are staying put or moving to cities.

 

The recession and foreclosure crisis really hurt many suburban families and the values of suburban homes.   This interactive map is helps students to notice the patterns that shape the changing demographic patterns connected to urbanization. 


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Regional Geography

Making the connections...

 

Thinking geographically is in essence about making the connections between themes, across regions and at a variety of scales.  


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Kids Who Get Driven Everywhere Don't Know Where They're Going

Kids Who Get Driven Everywhere Don't Know Where They're Going | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
A new study suggests vehicular travel affects children's ability to navigate their neighborhood and connect to their community.

 

We learn about the places around us by exploring.  Literally our mental map is formed by making choices (in part through trial and error) and that process strengthens our spatial perception of the neighborhood.  Research is showing that kids with a 'windshield perspective' from being driven everywhere are not able to draw as accurate maps as children for who walk and bike their neighborhood.  The built environment and the transportation infrastructure in place play a role in developing spatial thinking skills for young minds. 

 

This is a compelling article with some important implications.  What are the ramifications for geographers?  City planners? Educators?  Families moving to a new neighborhood?   


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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 10:52 AM

We may not realize it but when we take our kids out on drives to run errands or if we move to a different area we are ruining their understanding of the area they live in. Children often have a hard time of figuring out where they are if they constantly in a car looking at new places. This can cause them to lack a sense of direction and maybe have trouble remembering streets or landmarks near their homes. 

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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 6:33 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 10:32 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, 2014 11:09 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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A Tip for Restaurant Investors: Study the Demographics

A Tip for Restaurant Investors: Study the Demographics | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
The most successful investors in restaurants consider how a style fits an area and track who their customers are, said Hudson Riehle of the National Restaurant Association.

 

A successful business model for restaurants is about much more than quality food at an affordable price.  Ask your students: what geographic factors are important in starting a restaurant?  What variables might make an otherwise attractive location less appealing?  What would ensure a return on your investment? 


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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 6, 2012 8:42 PM
It's always important to consider an investment, especially one as great as a restaurant. Like Mr. Ruban said "be prepared to lose the money". You can't possibly foresee all the problems that will occur, but one of the best ways to increase profit is to pay attention to your demographic. Cater to the audience you wish to bring in, and do so in the right area, that will greatly increase your chances of success.
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11 Guerrilla Street Art Greats

11 Guerrilla Street Art Greats | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
When guerrilla-geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison travels, he always keep his eyes peeled for unexpected works of art that creatively subvert culture, rules, and politics and force us to see...

 

Not all cultural landscapes are officially sanctioned by city planners or government officials.  These landscapes of resistance are often poignant critiques on society and represent the mulitplicity of voices within places.  There isn't one "Geography" with a capital G of a given place, but many geographies.  Many people and demographic groups interact and use the same place in distinct ways and the meaning of that place is socially mediated within the cultural landscape.   

 

Tags: art, landscape, culture, place, unit 3 culture.


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Historical Tornado Data Visualized

Historical Tornado Data Visualized | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

This strangely beautiful map shows every tornado to hit the U.S. between 1950 and 2011.  What physical geographic factors lead to this distribution?  What are the impacts of this data on human geography?  


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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 10, 2012 12:28 PM
Def in agreement with John I'm wondering myself as to what the cause of the hole is. Id speculate it is due to some sort of terrain issues. maybe even man made structures.
melissa stjean's comment, September 4, 2012 12:00 PM
the physical geographic factors that lead to the the distribution of tornadoes in the US is because the jet stream coming from the west and hot air from the Gulf of Mexio air both crashing together. This mostly happens in the Midwestern part of the country. Though there are times when supercell thunderstorms pop up in different parts of the country and can form tornadoes, such as the southern part of the US. The impacts of this data on human geography are can range from little damage to catastrophic causing billions of dollars in damage.
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OverlapMaps - compare any two places

OverlapMaps - compare any two places | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
An OverlapMap is a map of one part of the world that overlaps a different part of the world. OverlapMaps show relative size.

 

The above overlap map is the United Kingdom compared to the state of Pennsylvania.  This is an very simple way to demonstrate the true size of remote places, and 'bring the discussion home.'  This site is as simple and intuitive as it is powerful and easily applicable.  This is a keeper.  


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Michael Grant's comment, September 12, 2012 4:07 PM
This toll will and can provide a reliable mapping source to geographers everywhere. It is useful and fun. A neat way to learn cartography
Josiah Melchor's comment, September 12, 2012 11:31 PM
The OverlapMap is a very useful tool that will allow a user to compare different places and parts of the world. Having a more accurate size of a place is critical when comparing 2 or more places. I think that many users besides me will find this very convenient when other resources are not available.
Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 21, 2014 11:48 PM

The above overlap map is the United Kingdom compared to the state of Pennsylvania.  This is a very simple way to demonstrate the true size of remote places, and 'bring the discussion home.'  This site is as simple and intuitive as it is powerful and easily applicable.  This is a keeper. 

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‘Why Should Boys Have All the Fun?’

‘Why Should Boys Have All the Fun?’ | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
Rather than focusing on how to make cities safe at any hour for citizens of both genders, the official response has been to curtail women's access to public areas deemed sensitive by authorities.

 

This is an interesting topic to use to debate urban policies and planning issues.  What leads to a safer city for women?  How does the creation of zones not safe for women impact the city long-term?  Think about scale: Is what is best for the city policy what is best for the individual? 


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Kim Vignale's comment, July 16, 2012 10:10 PM
Women in India are outraged due to the decisions the officials have made. Instead of solving the problem fairly, they are covering up the issue. Women are viewed as inferior in many developing countries. The government is enforcing the law by taking the women's freedom away; they aren't allowed in a pub after 8pm. If the law was fair and practical, officials would enforce strict laws on rape and assault and reiterate the seriousness of the crime and consequences.
Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 6:57 PM

Public spaces in India are incredibly male-dominated, leading to problems with women's safety. Sexual harassment, molestation, and rape are becoming incredibly common, yet government officials refuse to address this problem. Instead of addressing the issue of male dominated spaces, officials are telling women to avoid public places. Blaming the women for the fact that they are getting attacked is a common occurrence in the world, and so far India is furthering the issue. Also, city infrastructure could be overhauled in order to light dark alleys and create larger open areas where women feel more comfortable. 

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Using a Smartphone and ArcGIS Online

Using a Smartphone and ArcGIS Online | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

"Now that it is easy to gather tracks and waypoints on a smartphone and map them in a GIS, it provides a good opportunity to remind students about the importance of being critical of and paying attention to data. I recently went on a walk around a local reservoir and used the Motion X GPS app on my iPhone to collect my track and a few waypoints. I emailed the data to myself and added the GPX file to ArcGIS Online so I could map and examine the track. I made my results public and made it visible below to feature some teachable moments......"

 

What a perfect combination!  Students more and more have these fantastic computing devices that we often underutilize (or ban outright) in their education.  This article shows how to bring GIS and a student's smartphone together.


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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 2, 2012 1:20 PM
Mapping and examining your tracks of direction on the move, you can't get any more "real time" than that! And I have been witness to a change in school settings, in regards to cell phone use in school. I can remember before students had advanced cell phones, and cell phones were not allowed to be seen out of one’s pocket in a classroom. But now I am seeing cell phones being an advantage to classroom studies.
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U.S. Teen Birthrates

U.S. Teen Birthrates | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
Teen births follow the same fault lines of religion, politics, and class that divide Americans. ...

 

What cultural, economic and political patterns can we see in this map?  What else might help us understand these spatial patterns?  The rates of highest teen births appear to be correlated with the 'Bible Belt.'  Why might this be? 


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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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One Island, Two Countries

One Island, Two Countries | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
Divided islands, like Market in the Baltic Sea, conform to a version of Sayre's law: the smaller the territory, the more confusing the border.

 

In the latest chapter of the Borderlines series in the New York Times, explores the smallest divided island with characteristic insight, humor and intellectual eclecticism.  "Borders allow humankind to separate what nature has united. But an island is a naturally closed entity. Its shoreline is the boundary of the bubble separating it from the rest of the world. And then impose a human-made barrier on an island? What is the meaning of isolation — a word derived, in fact, from the Latin for island — if you have to share it with someone else?"


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Population by Latitude/Longitude

Population by Latitude/Longitude | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

This is an excellent spatial graph that helps to explain the distribution of the human population.  Why do we live where we live?   The longitude map is still fascinating, but has less explanatory power.  What would be brilliant is a graph that charted population by latitude (as this does) AND charts the amount of land at each given latitude.   To see the originals on the Radical Cartography website, see: http://www.radicalcartography.net/index.html?histpop


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Kyle M Norton's comment, May 2, 2012 10:50 AM
interesting graph
Seth Dixon's comment, May 2, 2012 10:55 AM
This is quite an innovative method to visualize the data.
Ignacio Garrido's curator insight, September 22, 2014 11:42 AM

Exercise 34. Remember you must send your answer on Moodle Plattform.

 

a.What are the big population meridian and paralell areas? Why do you think?

b.Can you find/write about the most population countries in the world?

c.To sum up this news ( at least 5 sentences )

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IKAAW LAND Online Map Game

IKAAW LAND Online Map Game | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

"Learning Geography was never this easy. With the interactive Ikaawland Map Quiz, You can put your trivia knowledge to test in our game based on Maps. Different levels are presented infront of a player. In the whole game, the player has to mark answers on World Map. At the first level, the user is presented with questions , where he/she has to mark out the continents asked in the quiz. The player is given 10 seconds on each question to mark the correct location on the mapSimilarily, in the consequent levels, the player faces questions(quiz) related with countries, capitals, cities. More levels have been planned and would launch soon.

 

We offer exciting and educative games which revolve around Maps. The game enable players to learn varied concepts of Geography through quizzes. Other quiz/ games from Maps of World are Save Earth Quiz, Know your World Quiz, Jigsaw Puzzle Game and World Quiz, Map 'O' Puzzle." 

 

To read the article, click: http://trap.it/tvAdvB to see the game, just click on the image. 


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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 11:28 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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The Geography of Drug Trafficking

The Geography of Drug Trafficking | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Web Site... 

 

Afghanistan and Burma (a.k.a.-Myanmar) are the world's leading producers of the illicit narcotic of heroin.  What environmental, political, developmental and cultural factors play a role in these distribution networks?  What geographic factors contribution to the production of these drugs to be located in these particular places?  Follow the link for a map of global cocaine distribution patterns.   


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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 23, 2012 10:54 AM
The second half of this article shows just how crucial of a part Mexico plays in the drug trade. Most of the cocaine that comes from the Andean region is pushed up through Mexico and the Carribean only 17 tons are sold in Mexico while 165 tons are distributed into the United States. The US makes up 40% of global cocaine consumption, leaving a huge opportunity open to Mexico.
Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 9, 12:06 PM
unit 5
Mr Mac's curator insight, June 7, 4:51 PM
Unit 5 - Narcotics Agriculture 
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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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Environmental Influences of Skating

"Dogtown and Z-Boys: A documentary about the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team."

 

Popular culture is shaped by taste-makers, counter-cultural movements, and the blending of cultural practices in new ways creating a distinct aesthetic. Often, the physical geography of a region plays a crucial role in shaping the cultural practices particular to their environment. All of that can be seen quite vividly in the colorful skating revolution of the 1970s that took shape in the Southern California. Kids who grew up idolizing surfers branched out their recreational habits into the modern form of skating that we see today at the X Games. Made legendary through a series of Skateboarder magazine articles (accessible online here: http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/dtown/articles.html ), these kids shaped the cultural ethos of skateboarding for over a generation. With the coastal influence of surfing, the socioeconomics of a seaside slum, it’s abandoned piers, the ubiquity of cement and asphalt in the urban landscape, the run-down neighborhood of “Dogtown” was home to cultural movement. The fierce droughts of the 1970 meant abandoned swimming pools; that drought led surfers to the technological infrastructure for modern skating ramps and half pipes as they skated in emptied swimming pools. As stated in those Skaterboarder articles, "two hundred years of American technology has unwittingly created a massive cement playground of unlimited potential. But it was the minds of 11 year olds that could see that potential." The documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and the fictionalized “Lords of Dogtown,” both produced by skater turned filmmaker Stacy Peralta, chronicle the age (“Lords of Dogtown” is probably not appropriate for the classroom).

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Soda vs. Pop with Twitter

Soda vs. Pop with Twitter | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
One of the great things about Twitter is that it’s a global conversation anyone can join anytime. Eavesdropping on the world, what what!

 

While many educators have been using http://popvssoda.com/ to show the linguistic regions in the United States, this is a similar map, with the added social media component.  To map out these regions, the cartographer used the word choice on geo-tagged tweets as the data source.  For another twitter, map, the following link shows which regions are most actively engaged on Twitter: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/top-countries-on-twitter_n_1653915.html

What do these regions show us?  What types of regions are these?


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Chris W's comment, August 27, 2012 11:02 AM
This is a really cool use of twitter! I use the term soda, which most of the northeast uses as well.
Courtney Burns's curator insight, September 14, 2013 10:35 PM
Twitter is something that is becoming widely used, and is something I usually check everyday. I never really thought of twitter beyond advertising and communicating. It is amazing the kind of data that can be extracted from peoples tweets. In the soda vs. pop argument I would say soda which makes sense since the data shows that people in the Northeast refer to it as soda. Twitter is so current that you can actually get some current and accurate data just from reading the hash tags in peoples tweets. It's amazing that such information can be extracted from all around the world.
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Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments

Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
As a graduate student I wrote my dissertation on the meanings within the symbolic landscape.  Since very few are clamoring to read my 500 page dissertation, this is a sampling that shows one of my ...

 

I didn't intend for this to be the weekend of statue resources, but the Joe Paterno controversy (for more opinions on that see: http://geographyeducation.org/2012/07/13/the-joe-paterno-statue-on-penn-state-campus/ ) has me thinking of other controversial statues that I researched while in Mexico City.  I wrote an article in the Journal of Geography showing how you can teach cultural patterns and processes using contested monuments in the symbolic landscape.  Consider this site a supplemental resource to that article (with the original article, photos, videos and Google Earth files attached). 


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Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 28, 2014 8:14 PM

Shows how cultural monuments and sculptures have the ability to teach and provide insight on cultural history and patterns. 

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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 11:10 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.