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Follow the Things

"Who makes the things that we buy?  Few of us know. They seem untouched by human hands. Occasionally there's a news story, a documentary film, or an artwork showing the hidden ingredients in our coffee, t-shirts, or iPads. They often 'expose' unpleasant working conditions to encourage more 'ethical' consumer or corporate behaviour. followthethings.com is this work's 'online store'. Here you can find out who has followed what, why and how; the techniques used to 'grab' its audiences; the discussions and impacts that this has provoked; and how to follow things yourself."
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Fran Martin's curator insight, September 10, 2013 3:37 AM

Great website by colleague Ian Cook at Exeter University

Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, September 10, 2013 3:56 AM

About Globalisation, flows and production today. 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 12:32 PM

Where did your T-Shirt come from?   Where did the food your parents bought at the grocery store come from?  What's the origin of the components in your cell phone?  These questions all allude to what geographers call a commodity chain analysis.  Analyzing where the consumer goods that we use every day came from can make global issues hit a little closer to home and reinforce concepts such as globalization. The website Follow the Things is a great resource for learning  about commodity chains and mapping out your own personal geographies.

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What the World Eats

What the World Eats | Educated | Scoop.it
What's on family dinner tables around the globe? Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book "Hungry Planet"

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John Peterson's comment, April 30, 2013 10:38 AM
This collection of slides does a very good job of showing their very different diets that are present in different areas of the world. While the price of food is obviously going to be different throughout the world, it is very interesting to see he very different types of food that are consumed by different groups of people. In different areas of the world, there is more emphasis on different types of food. In some places for example they may eat a lot of fruit while in others they may eat a lot of beans or bread. The different amounts that these foods are eaten are tied into both the economic and social aspects of these different cultures. This is because in each area, different things are going to be more affordable and available, as well as being more traditionally eaten. There can also be a difference in the percentage of homemade food in a weekly diet in different areas of the world. While some areas will not have any fast food places or restaurants readily available, others will and will often use these locations which will drastically change their diet habits.
Jess Pitrone's comment, May 5, 2013 5:47 PM
These photos are very interesting, in the way it’s interesting to explore someone else’s house the first time you visit. Looking to see the differences in what people around the world eat, but also how much people around the world eat is fascinating. The fact that the family in Chad eat about one quarter of what most families around the world eat is really telling. What a family eats in week reveals a lot about both their culture, their economy, and their geographic location. It’s no surprise that the people in Japan eat a lot of fish, because they’re an island country; and it wasn’t surprising to see so much bread on the table of the Italian family, because bread is such a large part of the Italian culture. What I did find absolutely fascinating is that most of the families had a bottle of Coca-Cola on their table, which just goes to show you how interconnected our global community is.
Jess Pitrone's comment, May 5, 2013 5:47 PM
These photos are very interesting, in the way it’s interesting to explore someone else’s house the first time you visit. Looking to see the differences in what people around the world eat, but also how much people around the world eat is fascinating. The fact that the family in Chad eat about one quarter of what most families around the world eat is really telling. What a family eats in week reveals a lot about both their culture, their economy, and their geographic location. It’s no surprise that the people in Japan eat a lot of fish, because they’re an island country; and it wasn’t surprising to see so much bread on the table of the Italian family, because bread is such a large part of the Italian culture. What I did find absolutely fascinating is that most of the families had a bottle of Coca-Cola on their table, which just goes to show you how interconnected our global community is.
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Where Does Your Water Come From?

Where Does Your Water Come From? | Educated | Scoop.it

This interactive map documents where 443 million people around the world get there water (although the United States data is by far the most extensive).  Most people can't answer this question.  A recent poll by The Nature Conservancy discoverd that 77% of Americans (not on private well water) don't know where their water comes from, they just drink it.  This link has videos, infographics and suggestions to promote cleaner water.  This is also a fabulous example of an embedded map using ArcGIS Online to share geospatial data with a wider audience.  

 

Tags: GIS, water, fluvial, environment, ESRI, pollution, development, consumption, resources, mapping, environment depend, cartography, geospatial. 


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Nic Hardisty's comment, October 15, 2012 9:01 AM
I was definitely unaware of where my drinking water came from. This is nice, user-friendly map... Hopefully it gets updated regularly, as it will be interesting to see how these sources change over time.
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, July 1, 2013 3:55 PM

water is a resource we all depend on. Some of my best studies were on local Chesapeake Bay issues.

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Earth's City Lights

Earth's City Lights | Educated | Scoop.it
NASA's Visible Earth catalog of NASA images and animations of our home planet...

 

This classic image is full of classroom applications.  The first impulse of most students is to note that this image will show us where people live, where the cities are or some other comment that speaks to the magnitude of the population in the white areas.  Let them analyze this for more time, and they'll notice that population isn't the whole story of this image.  A place like India shines, but less brightly than the eastern part of the United States.  I like to point out that South Korea appears to be an island (because North Korea is literally blacked out).  Politics, development, affluence and population information are all embedded in this image.  As with all maps, the more information you have about the place in question (in this case, Earth), the more meaningful information you can extract out of the map. 

 

Tags: remote sensing, worldwide, consumption, poverty, population, spatial, political, regions.


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Matt Mallinson's comment, September 18, 2012 12:35 PM
This image is pretty amazing to see. It shows what parts of the world are more modernized just by the lights seen from space. Looking at the U.S. and Europe, they are lit up very bright because they are richer parts of the world. As you look at places like Africa and some parts of South America, they are shown in darkness due to poorer areas in those regions.
Michelle Carvajal's comment, September 18, 2012 6:07 PM
I was impressed with the explanation of this picture especially for the simple fact that I thought it was a picture that depicted the population of certain areas of each country. Places like Africa, Brazil, areas of Mexico, and Southern US are not lit because of the areas of forest, desert and less population. Very nice picture. -Michelle Carvajal-
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What the world eats -- a week's worth of groceries

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Jen-ai's curator insight, May 1, 2013 10:03 AM

!  This is so informative.  

Laurie Diamond's curator insight, May 3, 2013 9:03 AM

An interesting look and different cultures

Samuel Yeats's curator insight, May 8, 2013 12:40 AM

Q1) How does this slideshow depict the differing socioeconomic situations of countries around the world? (Use the example of at least 2 countries)

Q2) Do you think that the image of an Australian weekly diet is accurate to your own family and why?

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Stores reject 'wasted food' claims

Stores reject 'wasted food' claims | Educated | Scoop.it
Britain's biggest supermarkets defend their practices after a report suggested that up to half of the world's food is thrown away.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 16, 2013 4:09 PM

The mechanization of the all stages of food production has lead to some strange practices.  The geometry of a food matters for a mechanized processing and also for the aesthetics at the grocery store which leads to slightly misshaped vegetables and fruits are routinely discarded.  There is waste throughout the system, from 'field to fork.'  

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, unit 5 agriculture.

Tourism's comment, January 16, 2013 11:29 PM
thanks for the info
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The Global Food Waste Scandal

TED Talks Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.

 

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perpective on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 

 

Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:13 PM

Ted explains it well how we all waste perfectly good food that people would like to eat. Also it was amazing how much food was in the dumpsters that was just a day or week old. That meat could feed hundreds of people that are struggling to eat and all that meet to waste. 

megan b clement's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:51 AM

Ted talks about just how wasteful our planet is. How we just ignore the issue and act like it will  not affect us in the future. When he shows you video and pictures of massive piles of the ends of a loaf of bread or all the food that Stop and Shop throws out because it does not "look" good for the customer. How every little bit of help counts you can try to make a little bit of an effort to be less wasteful. We have so much unnecessary waste. Like when he uses the example of how many people throw away the ends of a loaf of bread then he shows the waste of the ends of bread in massive piles it makes you sick. Especially with all of the hungry people in the world we need to be more resourceful.

 

 

Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 21, 2014 2:13 PM

No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies.  It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem.  Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust).  This is an intriguing perceptive on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates. 


Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.