Geography Education
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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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WomanStats Maps

WomanStats Maps | Geography Education |

"The WomanStats Project is the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world. The Project facilitates understanding the linkage between the situation of women and the security of nation-states. We comb the extant literature and conduct expert interviews to find qualitative and quantitative information on over 310 indicators of women's status in 174 countries. Our Database expands daily, and access to it is free of charge.  Click here if you are a new to the project."

Seth Dixon's insight:
I have linked to the WomanStats Project in the past because their global datasets and maps are perfect for get students to explore a potential topic that might be of interest to them.  I'm resharing this now because they have recently updated their maps page to include 28 statistical measures to indicate the status of women around the world (including this one on the gendered discrepancy of access to secondary education).  The WomanStats Project provides important data and maps regarding issues of gender, access and equity with a spatial perspective.

Mary Rack's curator insight, March 31, 2013 4:44 AM

Amazing and thought-provoking. 

Daniel Landi's curator insight, March 31, 2013 11:08 PM

Topic link: Population and Change: Gender

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Harvest | Geography Education |
Harvest is a time of plenty, when the season's hard work is rewarded by bounty. Many of the rhythms of our lives are shaped by the gathering of crops, even if most of us now live in cities.

This photo essay shows people from around the world harvesting their crops and taking them to the market. Pictured above, farmers who were waiting for customers gathered alongside corn-laden trucks at the market in Lahore, Pakistan earlier this month.

Questions to Ponder: What is similar in these images? What is different? How do those similarities and differences shape the geography of a given region?

Tags: Food, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture, worldwide, comparison, images.

Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 16, 2012 3:59 PM
The similarities in this photo are the type of people. From my observation, and the fact that corn is being produced and delivered to the markets, I would say these farmers are native Mexicans. These similarities shape the geography of a region, because we are aware of what Mexican culture includes - the land's productionof corn and its indigenous people having the characteristic of a darker shade of skin.
Don Brown Jr's comment, September 18, 2012 3:31 PM
How we cultivate crops can reveal a lot about the society we live in. The scale of agricultural production can show us the socio-economics behind who in society does the cultivation and the technological level or resources available to the society that cultivates it. Some of the differences depicted in these harvest pictures tells me that in lower developed societies cultivation can be associated with tradition and rural surroundings while in developed nations it is more industrialized. However the pictures also show the similarities of how agricultural production overlaps into other aspects of society in some nations more than others. Also another similarity I see is that cultivation is still a very social practice and requires the cooperation and coordination of many people.
Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 27, 2012 6:17 AM
This is a very inspiring picture. What we see is the product of labor. If men will only cooperate and work together, we will have an abundant world, no famine, no war. In this picture, I still see a lot of people missing. With only a few people working, we see a lot of products. Therefore, if many people will work together, we can expect more products.
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20 Classrooms From Around The World

20 Classrooms From Around The World | Geography Education |

We are all different...we are all the same.   This is a set set of images that highlights the essential similarities in people across cultures.


Nick Lesley's comment, May 27, 12:42 PM
i thought this was very cool and interesting to see different classes all around the world and how their culture is i would really like to see a video on the classes to see how they article and good pictures
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Understanding Poverty in the United States

Understanding Poverty in the United States | Geography Education |
Analysis of poverty in the USA: poor children rarely hungry; poor often have cable TV, air conditioning, a computer, and larger homes than non-poor Europeans.


This is an interesting series of bar graphs, pie charts and other data sets, all showing helping us to contextualize the life of the poor.  How is 'being poor' in the United States distinct from poverty in other regions of the world?  Is it fair to distinguish between the two?  How do you define poverty?  Is it a universal standard that is the same everywhere or is it a relation measure compared to others within the community? 

Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 22, 2012 5:22 AM
i believe one of the major issues as was stated, is coming up with a true definition of poverty. The word should not be merely thrown around. A practical definition would include the ability to acquire your basic needs, food, shelter etc, all your necessities. I hate to break it to them, but cable tv, is not essential to daily life. Air conditioning is a thin line, depending on whether or not the person(s) require it due to medical conditions. Sure it is wonderful to have the internet and video game systems, but it doesn't make it unlivable to go without. As long as you have a decent living space with your bills paid and enough food to eat, you can hardly be considered poor.
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Cambridge Ideas - How Many Lightbulbs?

Cambridge University physicist, David Mackay, in a passionate, personal analysis of the energy crisis in the UK, in which he comes to some surprising conclus...


This is a great video to show students the amount of energy they use, both at an individual level and at the national scale (this video is from the U.K.)  To 'flip' this Ted-Ed talk, visit it's homepage at:

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The Miniature Earth Project

The Miniature Earth Project | Geography Education |
Miniature Earth. What if the population of the world were reduced into a community of only 100 people?


Reminicent of the picture book, "If the World were a Village" by David Smith, this infographic and website attempts to make large statistics more meaningful to young learners. 

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Pittsburgh Then and Now

Pittsburgh Then and Now | Geography Education |

This interactive feature provides a great tool for analyzing the urban historical geography of Pittsburgh.  This would also be a valuable resource for teaching about the cultural landscape.  What are the major changes you see between the two sets of images?   

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Where is Matt?

Just in case you've never seen it, this is my favorite "horrible dancing" video.  Filmed in over 40 countries, the dancing is just a silly prop for the realy unfolding drama.  The gorgeous cultural and physical landscapes literally take center stage in this production.  The cultural icons, environmental settings and social context within which these images are spliced make this more than just "fluff" piece to distract the students.  It's a clip that can instill a desire to travel the world over to gain more geographic knowledge. 

Lanastasiou's comment, January 30, 2012 11:13 AM
very funny video and it was interesting to see how each culture has their unique style of dancing!
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What Percent Are You?

What Percent Are You? | Geography Education |
See how your household income ranks in 344 zones across the country.


It isn't always about how much you make, but purchasing power, cost of living and local economic situations show us that one number doesn't tell the story of the national economy.  This interactive feature compares household incomes with how they would compare with other regions of the country.  

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Global data geovisualized

Global data geovisualized | Geography Education |
Learn about the world by changing the familiar map. Select a subject from the top menu and watch the map resize. A countrys total area no longer represents land mass, but items relevant to the subject (i.e.


The geovisualization in this interactive map is outstanding (translation: I could play with this all day).  This displayed map shows the destination countries for migrants, with links to the data and information to read up on the topic.  Truly impressive.   For the live link, see:

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What’s your local HDI (human development index)?

What’s your local HDI (human development index)? | Geography Education |

"A recently-released online tool enables Californians to see where they stand on a “human development index” – a composite measure of health, knowledge and standard of living developed by the American Human Development Project of the Social Sciences..." 

This is cool.  Instead of aggregating the data at the country level and comparing countries, we can see differences in local levels of human development.  Students see patterns of socio-economics and development vividly, and in an intensely local way tailored to their regional frame of reference.   

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Body Ritual of the Nacirema

Body Ritual of the Nacirema | Geography Education |

Written by Harold Miner, the Body Ritual of the Nacirema was written in part to parallel an early 20th century cultural anthropology report on a culture this can be used to discuss culture and different perspectives of culture groups.  This could be very fun, especially waiting to see when the "aha" moment comes and they understand just who the Nacirema are (the SPOILER will be embedded in the comment section).  It is lengthy and written as academic paper, so for K-12 use, I'd recommend using snippets and having them work in groups to analyze the seemingly bizarre cultural rituals of the Nacirema.  

Seth Dixon's comment, November 11, 2011 11:17 AM
**SPOILER ALERT** The NACERIMA are is modern American society (American spelled backwards). This little bit of information drastically changes the reading.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 14, 2011 1:05 PM
The "Nacirema" are "American" spelled backwards (or interpreted backwards).
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Tornado Satellite Imagery: Before and After

Tornado Satellite Imagery: Before and After | Geography Education |
Compare before and after satellite images of tornado damage in Alabama.


This is an older image from the Tuscaloosa tornado (April 2011) but still a powerful representation of natural disasters and their impact of both the environment as well as urban systems.   Using current geospatial technologies in the classroom helps to solidify the idea that geography is much more than "just capitals and landforms" in a student's mind. 

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Geography game: how well do you know the world?

Geography game: how well do you know the world? | Geography Education |
Play the Global development game: identify the world's countries and territories, rank them according to GDP then fingers at the ready for the picture round
Seth Dixon's insight:

This game is not as simple as it may appear.  The first round challenges you to be able to recall basic facts, the second has you comparing countries while the third asks you about global current events.  Hopefully geography education around the world can get past that '1st round' and into deeper content.  Good luck (Hint: use a computer with a mouse since locating the countries on the map is a timed activity).  

Tags: games, K12.

Matt Evan Dobbie's curator insight, December 22, 2012 12:42 AM

Geography game

Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 26, 2012 3:46 AM

Are you ready?


Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 11, 2013 9:07 PM

Ughhhhhh, this is addicting. Must stop playing. Must keep playing so I can beat JC.

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100 People: A World Portrait

100 People: A World Portrait | Geography Education |

This is the truly global project that asks the children of the world to introduce us to the people of the world.  We've seen videos and resources that ask the question, "if there were only 100 people in the world, what would it look like?"  This takes that idea of making demographic statistics more meaningful one step further by asking student in schools for around the world to nominate some "representative people" and share their stories.  The site houses videos, galleries from each continent and analyze themes that all societies must deal with.  This site that looks at the people and places on out planet to promote greater appreciation of cultural diversity and understanding is a great find

Tags: Worldwide, statistics, K12, education, comparison.

Yagmur Pak's comment, April 21, 2013 3:42 AM
The 100 People Foundation is designed to sketch a portrayal of the world in terms of population and wealth distribution by representing the entire global neighborhood through stories and illustrations. This Foundation provides immense opportunities to help students acknowledge the global issues facing our planet and improve their abilities on examining statistics about the world population. As a pre-service teacher, I would use this website to engage my Stage 2 students in learning about the diversity around the world and raising their awareness about the issues that affect the planet we all share. Students can contribute to this world portrait by celebrating someone or something in their community (e.g. interviewing Indigenous people about the diversity within their community) through photography and writing about the specific information about their part of the world. Such an assignment has the prospective to commence a discussion of understanding of who we are and what position we occupy in the world. This HSIE assignment can also be linked to a Mathematics lesson in which students collect data from their local community in small groups where they have a look at the diversity of specific groups between communities. Teachers can provide students with a few variables in order to make the task challenging, but well supported. I believe, the 100 People Foundation is offering captivating and thought-provoking resources to expand children’s view of the world which may provide vast opportunities for students to “develop awareness of similarities and differences of beliefs and practices in various cultures, and learn to detect and avoid cultural stereotypes and prejudices” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008, p.9).

Commonwealth of Australia (2008). Global Perspectives: A framework for global education in Australian schools. Curriculum Corporation: Carlton South Vic.
ana boa-ventura's curator insight, June 27, 2013 11:31 PM

If you're looking at social media and diversity don't miss this site...In the last couple of years we've seen several sites / videos/ blogs rotating around the question 'if there were only 100 people in the world... ' In this case, children were asked to identify 'representative people' of that group of 100 and use visuals... many visuals.  And visuals of course bring up skin color, living conditions and much more. I don't want to be a spoiler though...Viist the site!

Canberra Girls Grammar GSSF's curator insight, September 1, 2013 7:43 PM

Year 7 Liveability Unit 2

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Amazing animated infographic look at various world stats

Amazing animated infographic look at various world stats | Geography Education |
Amazing animated infographic look at various world statistics in Oceania vs. Europe vs. America vs. Africa vs. Asia, from population to homicides to number of billionaires – a fine example of how to...


The video doesn't have captions to denote which continent is which, otherwise this is an excellent data visualization of global and regional differences, using the theme of the Olympics as it's symbolic motif. 

Abby Budorick's comment, September 2, 2012 9:14 AM
This is such a cool idea. I love how they used olympic rings to represent the different continents. I just wished they would've put which rings represented which continents during the whole video because it was kind of confusing. Also, I don't think they should've combined the Americas because I think they are so different and the stats would probably be very different.
Bradford Baumstark's comment, September 2, 2012 2:44 PM
The idea hat they had for this video was very interesting but it was also very confusing because they didn't tell us which color was which continent. The concted words at the beginig confused me a bit too because I'm not sure where Oceania even is.
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OverlapMaps - compare any two places

OverlapMaps - compare any two places | Geography Education |

"An OverlapMap is a map of one part of the world that overlaps a different part of the world. OverlapMaps show relative size."

Seth Dixon's insight:

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. 

Hannah Provost's comment, September 9, 2012 6:23 AM
This is a very useful tool because as illustrated in our class activity with the oranges and trying to flatten it out onto a flat piece of paper, it doesn't work. This causes distortion with most maps in most textbooks because they are Mercator. This tool will help people realize the actual size of countries in comparison to other countries.
Michael Grant's comment, September 12, 2012 1:07 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 8:31 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.
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If the World Where a Village of 100 People...

What if the world's population were reduced to 100 people community?


Reminicent of the picture book, "If the World were a Village" by David Smith, this video attempts to make large statistics more meaningful to young learners.  For more information see:

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StatPlanet World Bank

StatPlanet World Bank | Geography Education |

Explore world stats using StatPlanet World Bank, the first prize winner of the World Bank's Apps for Development competition. It directly accesses and visualizes all of the World Bank's 3000+ indicators available through its Open Data initiative, on many different topics from Agriculture to Science & Technology.  This is a great way to introduce students to thematic mapping and offers incredible freedom to explore what you find interesting.  This is the type of resource that could be used for any unit.   

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Seven Tools for Creating Data Visualizations

Seven Tools for Creating Data Visualizations | Geography Education |

Digital tools have faciliated an easier way to visually represent complex data and information in ways at are logical and intuitive.  This blog post outlines tools that students can use (read: free!) along with basic tutorials to demonstrate their functionalities. 

Fabryka Prezentacji's comment, February 5, 2012 5:05 AM
Great one, thanks. Re-shared.
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The Power of Comparison: Just How Big Is It?

The Power of Comparison: Just How Big Is It? | Geography Education |

This site transposes global events or features (e.g.-If the Great Wall of China were in Europe, how many countries would it go through?) and places that event on a portion of the Earth more familiar to students to help them relate more to the magnitude of global news.  Just how big is Africa compared to Europe or North America?

Cam E's curator insight, January 29, 10:56 AM

I was especially surprised by the map of Africa, I had absolutely no idea it was that large! Fitting China, most of Europe, and the United States within it with room to spare is pretty incredible. It also gives me hope on the question of overpopulation. A good portion of the strip of Africa which equates to the United States has a very low population density mostly due to how harsh the climate is. Spaces such as this, and many others around the world, could provide new havens for humanity if technology could be developed to the point of being able to sustain large populations in harsh areas such as that.

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What side of the road do people drive on?

What side of the road do people drive on? | Geography Education |

Simple, fun and effective...this is a great little tool.  As you select a country, the flag will appear on the roof of the car and the car will shift lanes or stay in the same one(as pictured here, in Costa Rica they drive on the right side of the road).  Where are the 'left lane countries?'  What similarities do they have besides lane preference?     

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The Big Religion Comparison Chart

The Big Religion Comparison Chart | Geography Education |
The Big Religion Comparison Chart is a comparison chart of religions that compares the origins, beliefs, practices, and texts of world religions, small religions, ancient cults and new religious movements.


While I might disagree with a few of the nuances of their doctrinal generalizations, this is a great way to compare global religions with a similar framework (and to be fair, summarizing a 'world view' in few than two paragraphs is inherently problematic). 

Dominique Kwon's curator insight, January 3, 3:44 PM

This Chart is a convenient way for people to compare and contrast religions that are more common. This chart also tells the origin of the religion and the number of adherents. Which is talked about in much detail in Key Issue 1 of Chapter 6:Religions. 

-Dominique Kwon

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2011 UN Human Development Report

2011 UN Human Development Report | Geography Education |
The Human Development Report (HDR) was first launched in 1990 with the single goal of putting people back at the center of the development process in terms of economic debate, policy and advocacy.


With a host of links that connect you to videos, charts, statistics about both the present and projections into that future, this is a fantastic resource for any lesson on development. 

Seth Dixon's comment, December 3, 2011 5:39 AM
Thanks for recooping the link...I think this one will be incredibly valuable.
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Vanuatu: Meet The Natives

"Five men from the remote Pacific island of Tanna arrive in America to experience western culture for the first time, and force us to look at ourselves through brand new eyes..."

This cross-cultural experiment reinforces numerous stereotypes, but also seeks to get viewers to look at issues from a variety of perspectives.  Folk cultures, modernization and globalization are all major themes of this show.     

Caleb Gard's curator insight, December 12, 2013 7:15 PM

These five men that were from the Pacific Island of Tanna go to America to get an experience for themselves of western culture for the first time. They travel many miles to find out for themselves what our culture was like. In doing this they brought over their own culture into America, making this a great expierience for themselves and those that they came in contact with on their journey. When these men came from Tanna to America to experience the cultural difference between the two places. Some long term effects of this experience is that the men might bring American cultures into their tribe, and they most likley had brought their cultures over here with the people that they came in contact with. Over all this excurssion will help the people cominig on contact with it learn about others cultural defferences from their own.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 3:14 PM

This promotion for the series "Meet the Natives" is a laughable cross-cultural experiment in forced globalization. While there are many political and cultural problems with this video, perhaps the Vanuatu people are less isolated and exotic than we really think. It's naive to think they are totally backward with no interest in connecting with the world.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 23, 3:46 PM

It is amazing to see travels of Pacific Islanders to America and their brief takes on their journey. Usually it is the other way around with the Americans telling the stories. These pacific islanders are greeted by their friends upon their arrival home and talk about how they met so many great people.