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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Raster vs. Vector

Raster vs. Vector | Geography Education |

"For all you fellow GIS geeks, this is for you!  I drew this comic sketch a few years ago after a student told me that they were confused for an entire lecture because they swore the professor was talking about 'raptors' and they weren’t sure what dinosaurs had to do with GIS."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What you think you are teaching isn't always what they are learning. 


Tagsfunart, GIS, edtech.

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A Map of the World, Made From Soil and Stone

A Map of the World, Made From Soil and Stone | Geography Education |
A walkable map of the world, made from soil and stone by one man
Seth Dixon's insight:

What am I thankful for?  A world filled with wonder and beauty. A world that is endlessly fascinating because its depths are beyond my ability to ever fully comprehend it.  A world that, despite all our faults, remains humanity's only home and we collectively need to to act as good and wise stewards of this planet.  

You can explore this glorious map in Denmark on Google Maps as well. 

Tags: cartography fun, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

Ian Fairhurst's curator insight, November 26, 2015 4:02 PM

One for our Master Plan STEM Unit..... a walkable map of the Earth

Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, November 26, 2015 5:35 PM

Un mapa del mundo hecho con suelo y piedras.

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The Orange Globe

The Orange Globe | Geography Education |
Creative Clever Objects by Martin Roler
Seth Dixon's insight:

I have used an "apple globe" is the past to symbolize geography education and enjoy this play playful artistic work.  Oranges have been used to help students understand map distortion and well as map projections, so I thought this artistic rendering would be a nice fun addition to the set.   


Emilycanfield's comment, July 4, 2015 2:10 AM
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Fruit and Map Projections

Fruit and Map Projections | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

Bare with me here; this culinary hack shows several images that are helpful for explaining how map projections represent parts of the Earth (or the orange in this example).  The Polar regions are often displayed in azimuthal projections which are most accurate near one specified point.  Slicing the orange at the top and bottom is akin to creating polar azimuthal projections.  Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) is a system that divides Earth into 60 "slices" with each wedge representing 6 degrees of longitude.  Each wedge has a Meractor projection map with perfect representation along a central line of longitude.  If we imagine the peel adjacent to one wedge has been flattened out, that is good way to visualize UTM maps.  

Tagsmappingmap projections, cartography, perspective, map.

Augustin Zusanné's curator insight, June 17, 2015 11:35 AM

Great artistic tips !

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The Chinese Art of the Crowd

The Chinese Art of the Crowd | Geography Education |
After viewing news photographs from China for years, one of my favorite visual themes is "large crowd formations." Whether the subject is military parades or world-record attempts, mass exercises or enormous performances, the images are frequently remarkable. The masses of people can look beautiful or intimidating, projecting a sense of strength and abundance. Individuals can become pixels in a huge painting, or points on a grid, or echoes of each other in identical uniforms or costumes.

Tags: China, East Asia, cultureart, landscape.

Nidhal Bk's curator insight, May 20, 2015 8:34 AM

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 24, 2015 7:19 AM

These photos invoke both a sense of beauty and intimidation. The photos themselves are majestic. They are almost perfect creations of art. The photos also invoke a sense of intimidation and dread. The Chinese have mastered the art of propaganda. They know how to put on a display that invokes both power and fear. Many of their photos involve military parades. The entire point of parading your military is to show both power and intimidation. It is both a threat and honor at the same time.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 6, 2015 4:30 PM

there were two things i learned from this. first, the Chinese are an insanely regimented society. the government can instill in soldiers the discipline to march in such an exact manner that it looks like a lineup of mirrors. second, the Chinese will beat you at any numbers based world record that catches their attention.

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Pun-Fueled Food Maps

Pun-Fueled Food Maps | Geography Education |
U.S. Map + Haha + Yum = Foodnited States of America
Seth Dixon's insight:

What can I say?  Horrible puns, crafty maps and gorgeous food could I not share this?  You can follow the progress of this on-going project as they add more beautifully silly food map puns to their series under the hashtag #foodnitedstates on Foodiggity's Instagram account.

Tagsart, mapping, food, fun.

Julie Cidell's curator insight, March 9, 2015 10:34 AM

Puns and maps and food all in one place; what's not to love?

zane alan berger's curator insight, March 24, 2015 3:58 PM

This article relating to our agricultural unit boasts a fun way to view all 50 states by showing foods in the shape of a state along with a playful pun.

Paul Farias's curator insight, April 9, 2015 1:09 PM

I think the one that got me the best, was Arrozona thats a good one!

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The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang

The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang | Geography Education |

"China is in the midst of a crackdown on what it describes as 'terrorism driven by religious extremism'. The campaign is focused on the western province of Xinjiang, home to China's Uighur ethnic minority who are predominantly Muslim."

Seth Dixon's insight:

China does not have a good track record of dealing with ethnic and religious minorities and the murals that can be seen in Xinjiang are a testament to that fact.  This has led to many Muslims in Western China being attracted to more radical ideas.  While I certainly don't condone radicalism nor China's heavy-handed tactics, I am fascinated by the cultural messages that are strategically being placed in the landscape to influence the politics and culture of the region.  

Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religion, culture, Islam, landscape.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 3, 2015 7:37 PM

This art seems like a logical extension of the government’s use of power although I personally don’t agree with their abuse of power. In China the government will uses its authority to monitor the personal activities of its citizens as demonstrated by the pictures dictating what people should and shouldn’t wear. When the citizens don’t follow through with China’s rule, violence typically happens. In fact, a fair deal of the paintings showed violence (i.e. the tank running people over). I actually find those depictions more offensive and disturbing than any of the other pictures because the end result is clearly that of dath rather than disapproval. Now, I understand that some places need to be ruled with an iron fist (i.e. Iraq), however I don’t really see how threatening people with more violence solves the issue of extremism. If anything, doesn’t this just give the extremist more of a reason to dislike the government? As such, is the government just creating more resentment that will lead to demonstrations in the future? I say this because eventually when a local population is subject to such horrible treatment, there isn't much else to lose and very little reason no to fight back. 

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:20 PM

This article has great insight on the way government influences popular belief. We have seen these many times in American society also when government was afraid of communism during the cold war for instance. Often we have prejudgements or beliefs and we are not sure where they even stem from. Pushed Propaganda can be very influential over the mass population, in instilling certain beliefs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:45 PM
The point the Chinese are trying to make is that the Muslim people are bad, they do unacceptable things and it needs to be taken care of. They are making it hard for a couple to get married and if they do it is with special permission. They even banned anyone under the age of 18 to enter a mosque. Praying in Xinjiang is highly regulated and comes with strict rules and consequences. In all their propaganda you can see how they represent getting rid of the muslims because they are wearing black. If you ask me, it seems like the government is doing this because they are afraid of being taken over and losing the area, just like we used to use propaganda in the wars.
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In an Ideal World...

In an Ideal World... | Geography Education |

Tagsart, fun.

Seth Dixon's insight:

And xkcd nails it again.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, January 23, 2015 12:09 PM

unit 1ish  :)

Jason Schneider's curator insight, January 26, 2015 8:45 PM

I am absolutely fascinated by Earth's Physical Environments. What I like specifically about this map and most maps for that matter is that you won't find a lot of comfortable environments that introduce you to many environmental areas in real life. As long as I have the survival skills, I would love to live in a place where I can know what are Earth's Physical Environments.

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This brilliant illustration shows how much public space we've surrendered to cars

This brilliant illustration shows how much public space we've surrendered to cars | Geography Education |
How lopsided the the proportions of an urban street corner really are.

Most roads in the US are built for cars, not for pedestrians. Whether we're happy or unhappy with this, most of us are aware of it.

But this brilliant illustration, made by Swedish artist Karl Jilg and commissioned by the Swedish Road Administration, shows just how extreme the situation truly is — even in an urban business district that's designed with pedestrians in mind. 

Tags: urban, transportation, planning, art.

Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks!

Baltimore's painted screens

"Jan Crawford explores a unique folk art tradition going back 100 years - once seen on nearly every row house in the working class neighborhoods of Baltimore, as artists today once again embrace the tradition of painted window screens, an authentic connection to the city's past."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is tremendous example of an urban cultural landscape that is distinctive to a certain place (Baltimore) and a particular time period.  The practice of painting landscape scene on window screens began over 100 years ago, as a way to beat the heat, but still afford some form of privacy.  This aesthetic emerged out of particular set of cultural, technological, and economic factors. What was once common is now perceived as a folk art that is a worth preserving because it is a marker of the local heritage.  This is an excellent example to demonstrate a sense of place that can develop within a community.  This video has been added to my ESRI StoryMap that spatially organizes place-based videos for the geography classroom (68 and counting).   

Tags: place, landscapeart, folk cultures, videoculture, community.

Kevin Barker's curator insight, October 24, 2014 9:22 AM

An excellent example of a localized cultural landscape characteristic that is a result of cultural diffusion that formed for economic as well as environmental factors.

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Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

"A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youths in Cambodia."

Seth Dixon's insight:
This video is a great example of cross-cultural interactions in the era of globalization.  Urban youth culture of the United States is spread to Cambodia through a former refugee (with a personally complex political geography).  What geographic themes are evident in this video? How is geography being reshaped and by what forces?
Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 18, 2015 3:26 PM

In this video we can appreciate how the skill of breaking dancing can be globalized from U.S. to Cambodia.  KK is a Cambodian refugee who use to live in California. Due to his participation in gangs, he was deported to Cambodia, a country he had never been in before. Since he has been exposed to violence, breaking dancing changed him for the better. Fortunately, for young kids in Cambodia, KK brings American culture and shares it with young kids so they can learn from it. Indeed, KK takes advantage of pop music and introduces it to Cambodian children in order to keep them away from drugs and teach them how to prevent HIV disease. Language is another advantage of the fusion of American culture, which make KK valuable to the local and regional young communities.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 26, 2015 3:38 PM

The 21st Century for countries is far different than many others that have gone by.  Globalization is changing how people think about countries and the culture of the sovereign states.  This video shows how an American Gang Banger who is of Cambodian Descent is transforming the life of Cambodian children for the better through Break Dancing and Hip Hop.  The man was exiled from the United States, but brought its culture with him.  However, he became a gang banger in the United States because he was part of an immigrant group the US helped to create by destabilizing the region during the Vietnam War.  This shows just how interconnected the world is becoming.  When he brought Hip Hop and culture from the US with him, the kids wanted to learn break dancing, so now he runs a school and encourages the students to do well and stay clear of drugs.  The paths that led to the creation and success of the school owe themselves to geographical factors.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 28, 2015 5:27 PM

It apperas that one countrys trash is anothers treasure, and possiblty so much more.  You can see first hand in this video how a culture from one part of the world can have great impact on another so different and so far away.  Being deported could be the best thing that happened to this teacher.  It also could be the best thing that happened to a lot of these childrens lives as well.

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The Transformation of Burning Man

The Transformation of Burning Man | Geography Education |

"Burning Man takes place at the end of August every year in the barren and remote Black Rock Desert of Nevada. The weeklong festival is described by its organization as “an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.” Earth-bound photographers have chronicled the legacy of art, technology, design, and fashion at the event over the years, but we at Skybox wanted to know if we could capture the transformation of the city from space, with our constellation of SkySats. This is the result:

A full-fledged city of population 70,000, “Black Rock City” is built up in a matter of days, experienced for a single week, and disassembled just as quickly, leaving no trace."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Last week I posted about Burning Man, noting that the landscapes in this experimental culture are inherently ephemeral and fleeting.  High resolution satellite imagery has captured the quick rise and fall of the Black Rock City.  Perhaps the term 'rise and fall' might not aptly describe the formation and dismantling of a city of 70,000 people; it is more like the ebb and flow of the tide, certain to return again.  

Tags architectureimages, art, landscape, geospatial, remote sensing.

CT Blake's curator insight, September 19, 2014 12:45 PM

An interesting view of the passage of short amounts of time and human interaction in a transitory urban scene-- Burning Man.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 21, 2014 10:12 PM

I have a friend from Nevada and he explained how excited he was to go to Burning Man and he was almost appalled when I asked what the big deal was.  I had no idea that this huge event is put up and taken down in such a short period of time, all that quick work for a weeks worth of entertainment.  The idea to document the construction and destruction through satellite was an excellent idea, as it is more meaningful to someone than writing that it was constructed in so many days and taken down in this many.  

Alec Castagno's curator insight, September 23, 2014 11:39 AM

Burning Man is a massive and creative counterculture festival, and its surprising to learn that the majority of the camps are created by participants of the festival in whatever manner they choose. It is amazing that such a huge number of people can flock to such a remote location and in a very short amount of time build a complex, organized settlement, all for the purpose of a festival dedicated to independence and expression. What is popularly seen as a drugged out Mecca for the weird is carried out in a shockingly complex manner, and by working with the local infrastructure and providing one of their own the festival is able to be carried out year after year.

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A wide-angle view of fragile Earth

A wide-angle view of fragile Earth | Geography Education |
In this image-filled talk, Yann Arthus-Bertrand displays his three most recent projects on humanity and our habitat -- stunning aerial photographs in his series "The Earth From Above," personal interviews from around the globe featured in his web project "6 billion Others," and his soon-to-be-released movie, "Home," which documents human impact on the environment through breathtaking video.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've linked galleries of the artistic, aerial photography of Yann Arthus-Bertrand several times before.  In this Ted Talk, you can hear what motivates his artistic vision and the global perspectives that he wants to bring to the fore.  You can also watch the 90-minute video 'Home' that he discusses in the talk here.    


Tags: images, art, worldwideTEDenvironment, video.

Diane Johnson's curator insight, August 25, 2014 10:07 AM

Useful for Human Impact DCI!

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Place and Self

"We are Dangerdust. We love chalk. We started this project at the beginning of our senior year in college. It all began because we wanted to share a quote that had inspired us, in the hope that it would inspire others. We sneaked into school that weekend to illustrate the quote on an abandoned chalkboard. After that one time we were hooked, and Dangerdust was created."

Seth Dixon's insight:

We are sometimes so obsessively focused on the self in our society, that we discount the communal and the spatial impacts in describing who we are.  So much of our 'selves' that we prize as so highly individualized and unique are a beautiful product of all the places and people who have influenced and shaped our lives. 

Tagsregions, images, art

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Map quiz: How well do you know the American landscape?

Map quiz: How well do you know the American landscape? | Geography Education |

"Using data from the USDA, Pecirno has mapped the lower 48 states by picturing just one single subject, and nothing else – no political borders or backgrounds. The project aims to show how richly detailed single-subject maps can give people a new way to understand their landscape, Pecirno says. Can you guess what Pecirno is picturing in the minimalist maps below? To make it easier, we’ve given you a few options to choose from."

Tags: games, USA, mapping.

Gilbert Faure au nom de l'ASSIM's comment, October 5, 2015 8:17 AM
got 7/7!
John Puchein's curator insight, November 6, 2015 10:47 AM

Fun and short quiz to see how well you can think of the U.S. in a different way. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 9, 2015 4:12 PM

It is odd how many of these I had no idea what I was looking at. I never realized how much of the US is classified as shrub land or pine forest.

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Detroit's Beautiful, Horrible Decline

Detroit's Beautiful, Horrible Decline | Geography Education |

Two French photographers immortalize the remains of the motor city on film.  Pictured above is the Packard Plant; luxury-auto maker Packard produced its last car here in 1956.  To see more work by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, visit their website.

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The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams | Geography Education |
A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.
Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, June 13, 2015 2:16 PM

Article en anglais

Sally Egan's curator insight, June 13, 2015 8:55 PM

Some ideas from urban planning which clarify the morphology of urban places.


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Cartographically Inspired Fashion

Cartographically Inspired Fashion | Geography Education |

I found this on pinterest (where else?) and decided to share the geographically inspired craftiness:

1. Paint your nails white/cream
2. Soak nails in alcohol for five minutes
3. Press nails to map and hold
4. Paint with clear protectant immediately after it dries.

This also works with newspaper, but don't try it with NatGeo Maps because the paper is of too high a quality to have the ink bleed out; I would recommend using an old USGS Topo map


Mrs. B's curator insight, March 25, 2015 8:13 AM

Yes to map fashion! I saw a woman with a map skirt - so cool. MAPSMAPSMAPS!!!

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, March 25, 2015 11:34 AM

I heart maps!  I cant wait for spring break to try this :)

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Human Landscapes of Canada

Human Landscapes of Canada | Geography Education |
Canada is a massive country, yet it has one of the lowest population densities in the world. Despite this, Canadians have made a wide impact on their land, much of it visible from aerial and satellite photography. Hydroelectric facilities, roads, mines, farms, ports, resource exploration, logging, canals, cities, and towns have altered much of the landscape over the years.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great set of images showing the human impact on the environment, with a special nod to our neighbors for the north.  These images have an artistic beauty and I hope every geographer maintains a sense of wonder at the details and beauty of the Earth. 

TagsCanada, images, art, remote sensing, land use, landscape

Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, March 8, 2015 11:20 AM

Un vrai plaisir

Michael Amberg's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:28 PM

This shows how even small populations can make a big impact on the world from the changes in urbanization.

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Windows on Earth

Windows on Earth | Geography Education |

"Windows on Earth is an educational project that features photographs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station.  Astronauts take hundreds of photos each day, for science research, education and public outreach.  The photos are often dramatic, and help us all appreciate home planet Earth.  These images  help astronauts share their experience, and help you see Earth from a global perspective."

Tags: images, artspace, remote sensing, geospatial.

tosserestonian's comment, January 18, 2015 11:26 PM
Its tremendous
tosserestonian's comment, January 18, 2015 11:26 PM
Its tremendous
Rich Schultz's curator insight, February 11, 2015 11:33 AM

It just doesn't get much cooler than this!

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The Globemaker

"A short film about Peter Bellerby, artisan globemaker and founder of Bellerby and Co. Globemakers.  Directed by Charles Arran Busk & Jamie McGregor Smith."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Yes, these globes are precise archives filled with geospatial data and locational information--however, that pales in comparison to the artistic brilliance of the globes. These hand-crafted globes are truly works of art.  Marvel at the merger of mathematical precision and artistic design that makes a globe such as these a cartographic gem.   If anybody want to get me a Christmas present, you know that I love cartographic gifts.     

Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, January 13, 2015 8:26 AM

Un short film sobre Peter Bellerby, artesano fabricante de globos terráqueos y fundador de Bellerby and Co.Globemakers dirigida por Charles Arran Busk & Jamie McGregor Smith.

Bharat Employment's curator insight, January 13, 2015 11:57 PM

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Linguistic Family Tree

Linguistic Family Tree | Geography Education |

"When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages, they use a tree metaphor. An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, North Germanic), which feed into specific languages (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian).  Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent, a story set in a lushly imagined post-apocalyptic Nordic world, has drawn the antidote to the boring linguistic tree diagram."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Languages are interconnected and often share common roots and ancestries.  This artistic rendering of the Indo-European language tree (Hi-Res) is an attempt to visually show the linguistic connections between languages and language families.  

Tags: languageart, culture, infographic.

Linda Denty's curator insight, November 9, 2014 7:31 PM

A really wonderful graphic.

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, November 11, 2014 3:21 AM

Linguistic Family Tree

Sreya Ayinala's curator insight, December 2, 2014 9:50 PM

Unit 3 Cultural Patterns and Processes (Language)

      The image shows how many languages are related and have many common ancestors. Languages are grouped into language families and are even more broadly categorized.

      Language is a huge part of culture and it is the way that people communicate amongst each other. There are hundreds of languages in our world, but as globalization and pop culture diffuse many languages are being lost and no longer spoken. A good example of a dead language would be Latin. Many of our common day languages trace their roots back to Latin, but no one speaks Latin anymore.

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Pumpkin Geography

Pumpkin Geography | Geography Education |

"During the month of October, I take advantage of the pumpkin harvest to bring hands-on geography to my students.  After spending a month becoming familiar with the location of the seven continents and the major bodies of water, each student is given a pumpkin to turn into a globe. Students paint the entire surface of the pumpkin blue to represent water. Next, they use pushpins to position and trace the outline of each continent onto their pumpkins. They use actual globes as models and are careful to place the continents in the correct hemisphere. Then, they paint and label each continent a different color. They label the major bodies of water and use white paint to represent the North and South Poles."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Happy October everyone!  The pictures above (from a friend's website) show how teachers and parents alike can get children involved in a fun craft that will strengthen kids' mental maps--all with a seasonal twist.  If you really love idea of pumpkin globes, you should also see this one.   

Tagsart, K12, fun, seasonal.

Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 23, 2014 9:17 AM

Happy October everyone!  The pictures above (from a friend's website) show how teachers and parents alike can get children involved in a fun craft that will strengthen kids' mental maps--all with a seasonal twist.  If you really love idea of pumpkin globes, you should also see this one.  Besides the fun and games here are some resources to teach the geography behind Thanksgiving.     

Tagsart, K12, fun, seasonal.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 27, 2014 11:14 AM

This is a great use of connecting education and culture. Carving pumpkins is something that most children connect with this season. I think it is an effective strategy to connect these traditions with education. I think its a great way to put a educational spin on a childhood tradition. 

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The Tower of London Remembers

The Tower of London Remembers | Geography Education |
Be a part of the Tower of London’s major centenary commemoration for the outbreak of the First World War.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The news of this art installation this summer captivated the media.  Art transforms the place, and the place breaths additional layers of meaning into the work of art. The result was an highly evocative and poignant landscape created to be a living reminder of multiple historical events and the wounds that war can inflict on a national consciousness.  

Tags architecture, art, landscape, LondonUK, historical, war.

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Burning Man and Ephemeral Geographies

"An aerial perspective on Burning Man 2013, in Black Rock Playa, NV"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This annual arts festival with a strong counter-cultural ethos literally is an experiment in producing alternative urban and cultural geographies that reject normative regulations embedded within societies. These geographies created last only about a week, as an escape from the regular strictures of society. Burning Man celebrates alternative spiritualities and creates monuments to impermanence while allowing people to wear zany costumes. Many feel that in leaving behind ‘the real world’ they find their true home at Burning Man. The ephemeral alternative geographies then fade back into the desert but not without creating a visually remarkable place. Some feel that the festival has become too popular and famous to be what it truly was intended to be as the rich and famous descend on the playa as well.

Questions to Ponder: Part of Burning Man’s success is due to its impermanence; if this community were created to exist year-round, would it still work? Why or why not? Why do festivals like this attract so many? What does it culturally say about the participants and the societies that they leave behind?

Tags: communityplace, architectureimages, art, landscape.

Barbara Goebel's curator insight, September 13, 2014 11:58 AM

Fascinating topic for research...connect it to ecology themes, economics, psychology...what else?