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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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NASA and the World Cup

NASA and the World Cup | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"NASA goes to the World Cup! Satellite imagery from each country playing."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Not that we need any extra incentive to view NASA's gorgeous satellite imagery, but now that the World Cup has entered the knockout rounds, it is the perfect opportunity to view selected images from the participating countries.  This gallery of a dozen World Cup StoryMaps are but a few of the thousands of Esri StoryMaps that can serve as motivation to get your K-12 U.S. school an organizational account for ArcGIS online (then your students can make cool maps like these). 


Tags: sport, Brazil, South America, Esri, fun, mapping, remote sensing, geospatial, images, perspective.

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Brazilian Geography Lessons

Brazilian Geography Lessons | Geography Education | Scoop.it

“The thing about football - the important thing about football -is that it is not just about football."

Seth Dixon's insight:

They eyes of the world will be turning to Brazil next month as the World Cup will be played in this South American country.  This is a perfect opportunity to pounce on student interest and teach them about Brazil, the urban geography and politics of hosting a major event such as this.  Follow the link for some lessons bound to garner student interest.  

 

Tags: sport, Brazil, South America.

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Jordan Schemmel's curator insight, May 21, 10:02 AM

For those of you soccer fans, the upcoming World Cup and Olympics in 2016 will both be significant challenges for Brazil, considering both their political, economic, and urban challenges. Brazil was a bold choice for both events, but will they meet the challenge?

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A Map of Baseball Nation

A Map of Baseball Nation | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Fans may not list which team they favor on the census, but millions of them do make their preferences public on Facebook. Using aggregated data provided by the company, we were able to create an unprecedented look at the geography of baseball fandom, going down not only to the county level, as Facebook did in a nationwide map it released a few weeks ago, but also to ZIP codes."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This isn't just a fun sports map--there are some good geographic concepts that can be used here.  When discussing cultural regions, many use the core-domain-sphere model.  This map uses the brightest color intensities to represent the core regions and the lightest hues to show waning strength, but to still signify that the area is a part of a team's sphere of influence.  Essentially, this map is begging you to explore the borderlands, the liminal "in-between" spaces that aren't as easy to explain.  What other phenomena can be used to demonstrate the core-domain-sphere model of cultural regions?  What other geographic concepts can you teach using this map?  


Tags: fun, sport, placeborders, statistics, mapping, regions.

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Brian Altonen's curator insight, April 25, 4:51 PM

Anything can be mapped.  

 

This mapping did not fully account for hybridization--for example when a friend in Texas is a Boston Red Sox fan.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 28, 7:43 AM

unit 1 & 3

Greg Russak's curator insight, April 29, 9:53 AM

Maps and baseball - a good combination!

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Place and Opinions

Place and Opinions | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Some deeply held opinions that individuals hold are rooted in the cultural and regional influences (even if they feel that they are being purely objective).  Sports fans though, are rarely objective and are often swayed by those opinions that they hear the most, which often come for those closest to us.  While we are on the subject of basketball and geography, you've got to try Population Bracketology, which challenges your knowledge on the sizes of Metropolitan Statistic Areas and state population.     


Tags: fun, sport, place.

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Ms. Harrington's curator insight, March 31, 4:11 PM

Sports and regions

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Security Still A Major Concern In Sochi

ESPN Video: Jeremy Schaap details the threats to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's not everyday that ESPN will use terms like insurgency, region, state, suicide bombs, attacks, threats, heightened security, terrorists and black widows during a video clip, but when they do it's worth paying attention to the geographic context of their story.  Here is an additional NY Times interactive, also on the geopolitical context of Sochi.


Tags: sport, political, conflict, devolution, Russia.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 11:14 AM

Security is a major concern in Sochi! There have been suicide bombers and many other forms of bomb threats. The athletes are under MAX security and in my opinion need to be because they are in danger because of the way their society is over there and the current issues they have been dealing or not dealing with.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 11:57 AM

The Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia concern many across the globe. Located very close to neighboring terrorists, Olympic athletes question whether it is safe to go or not. ESPN discusses the concerns, threats and  increase of security at the games this year. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 5:29 PM

The Olympic games only come around every four years. From a spectators point of view, these games are a worldwide phenomenon. Millions of people will be watching them from home and in attendance in Sochi. Threats against HUGE events like these need to be taken seriously. Whether or not they are realistic, with so many lives in potential danger Russia needs to take the threats seriously.

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Geography of Soccer in the US

Geography of Soccer in the US | Geography Education | Scoop.it

" 549 players from 62 different countries play in MLS in the United States"

Seth Dixon's insight:

In the United States, soccer is not as prevalant as it is in so many other countries around the world (but it is growing in importance in the United States as well).  This cultural discrepancy accounts for both of the spatial distribution of where athletes playing in Major League Soccer in the United States come from--answer: all over.  Also, American fans of the English Premier League have distinct preferences based on different cultural meanings behind team affiliations.


Tag: sportspatial.

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Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 8:40 PM

Perfect example of cultural diffusion.

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 12:59 AM

I am a huge soccer fan and with that i also have to say i tend to neglect the MLS due to its lack of talent. The problem in the past with the MLS was that it was too home grown and their wasnt many international players to provide a wider demographic in the leauge which also means worse players. But with the MLS signing some big names from around the world such as Henry from France Beckham from Uk and Cahill from the AU the MLS is growing in popularity around the world and is soon to be a globally viewed leauge. This is a map of where the nearly 600 MLS players come from and it goes to show the more nations you can represent the bigger crowd demographic you can draw in.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 19, 2:25 PM

There are 35 MLS players that came from Africa according to the article. In America soccer or football in Europe is not that popular it is more like our baseball or football then like the soccer over there. (That is their "past time") In America we have a large population that play sports but specifically soccer we do not have that many participants that involve themselves in this , I think part of the reason is that abroad soccer is so important to them and they try to flourish from that sport onto tournments and other MLS players go for the cup. Oppose to America and our excitment about the NFL and MBL.

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Finding the True Border Between Yankee and Red Sox Nation Using Facebook Data

Finding the True Border Between Yankee and Red Sox Nation Using Facebook Data | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By using Facebook data from the 2.5 million people in New York or New England that ‘like’ either the Red Sox or Yankees I was able to create a more accurate rivalry map than ever before."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Sports maps with team logos on them are often hand-drawn works of art without much data to back them up--not so with this map.  Read the article to find the actual data which is much messier than these bold color proclaim.  These regions aren't homogenous (are they ever?) but this is the best fit line between the major groups of fans, showing that Connecticut is the true 'battle ground' for this regional rivalry. 


Tags: sport, statistics, mapping, regions, Rhode Island, Boston, NYC.

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John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 10:12 AM

A fun map i can relate to a lot being a New Yorker living in RI. I also believe theres more Yankee fans in Red Sox territory then Red Sox fans in Yankee territory.

trampolinecalf's comment, September 26, 2013 11:55 PM
nice
Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 3:26 AM

Pretty neat use of mapping and facebook to create this. This map is around the idea of what i expected it to look like with a few exceptions. As a yankee fan i expected a little bit more out of fellow Rhode Islanders when it came to the distribution but i guess i was wrong. i would also like to point out that cultural diversity probably has a role to play in this, with western connecticut being more ethnically diverse than eastern.

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Out of nowhere: U football player comes from dusty California outpost

Out of nowhere: U football player comes from dusty California outpost | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Cedric Thompson retraced some of the steps that led him from L.A. to a dusty California outpost to, finally, the Gophers football team.

Seth Dixon's insight:

A young man for the tough streets of South Central Los Angeles found refuge from from gang troubles out in the desert in a community on the Salton Sea.  His family believes this unconventional move was key to him becoming a successful football player at the University of Minnesota.  His personal geographies follows uncommon migrational patterns, but it demonstrates that personal geographies can show some of the great diversity that is a part of the human mosaic.      


Tags: Los Angeles, sport, migration.

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Courtney Burns's curator insight, September 19, 2013 2:20 PM

It is amazing how much the location of where you live can influence your life. Thompson traveled all over the place and each place had a huge impact on his life. His whole life could have been different if he had lived elsewhere. For example if he stayed in L.A who knows if he would have ended up getting involved in gangs or even been killed like some of his family members. Then again if he hadn't lived in Bombay would he ever have found that motivation to work hard. He didn't think so. His area even had an impact on him being recruited, because not many people thought to recruit a kid from Bombay. The area you live in really can have a huge role in who you become. Fortunately Thompson was able to use his experience to change his life and even his families future for the better. Such an amazing story and it is all due to where a person lived. 

Shelby Porter's curator insight, September 26, 2013 6:13 AM

This is such an inspiring story, and it's crazy to think that everything he has become is due to where he grew up. If this man had not gone to Bombay Beach his life would be very different. He probably would have gotten involved with gangs and never seen his full potential. Attending high school in such a remote area encouraged him to better his life so he could get out of there. Being bored all the time, he became a workout fiend and his father made him become a better student. Being from such a remote area also intrigued the Minnesota college scout. The choices Cedric made in his life as to where he would live, whether in Bombay Beach or the Minnesota college campus have drastically changed his life forever. 

megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 9:20 PM
Cedric wanted more for himself and his life. He commuted hours away from home in order to stay away from the gangs and violence that surrounded him back home. So he endured the long travel inorder to better his life. He also was an exceptional football player. He felt he had no choice and it pushed him even harder because he wanted an out from that life he had at home. He wanted better for him and his family.
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Is Your State's Highest-Paid Employee A Coach? (Probably)

Is Your State's Highest-Paid Employee A Coach? (Probably) | Geography Education | Scoop.it
You may have heard that the highest-paid employee in each state is usually the football coach at the largest state school. This is actually a gross mischaracterization: Sometimes it is the basketball coach.
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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 8:58 AM

By looking at this map you can see that almost 75% of the United States highest paying public workers are basketball or football coaches. In my opinion this seems a little crazy to think about. I figured it would be maybe the school deans or plastic surgeons like the blue color shows in some states. 

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Out in the Great Alone

Out in the Great Alone | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race pushes participants to the brink on an unforgiving trek to the end of the world. And, as one writer who tracked the race by air discovers, that is exactly the point.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Iditarod is as much about conquering the physical environment and harsh climates as any sporting event in the world.  This article about this famous Alaskan race also has a unique geo-visualization component to it that is worth exploring--it has a map showing where the action takes place in the article and as the reader scrolls through the article, the map changes and it highlights the progression along the trail.   


Tags: physical, weather and climatesport, Arctic, visualization.

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chris tobin's comment, April 26, 2013 3:18 PM
very good story describing the long and dangerous trek. Its pretty amazing. I appreciated the video commentary and pictures of scenery and animals of the areas.
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Spatial Analysis of LBJ

Spatial Analysis of LBJ | Geography Education | Scoop.it
LeBron explains how he transformed himself into a ruthlessly efficient scoring machine.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This series of spatial diagrams (dare I say, maps?) shows how the offense game of LeBron James has changed dramatically over the last few years, greatly increasing his efficiency.  Do you know of a basketball-loving student that might appreciate spatial analysis more when seen through the lens of their favorite sport? 


Tag: sportspatial.

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Trisha Klancar's curator insight, March 30, 2013 6:36 AM

Okkk. This is really fun to watch... why not map it out!!

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Super Bowl Is Largest Human Trafficking Incident In U.S.

Super Bowl Is Largest Human Trafficking Incident In U.S. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
When it came time for the Super Bowl, Clemmie Greenlee was expected to sleep with anywhere from 25 to 50 men a day.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There certainly is a dark side to large sporting events as this article on human trafficking makes perfectly clear.  The 'event economy' based on tourism (even without trafficking) also has some negative impacts.

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Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, October 12, 2013 3:03 PM

This a very sad situation, I can only imagine, the torture and abuse this girls endure. This video should be play as super ball commercial, every year to bring awareness of what is going on behind closed doors. I bet they won’t play it, because we don’t like to hear about unhappy stories. Every year we get so caught up on the excitement and in our everyday life that we forget how bad other people are having it.

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NFL fans by U.S. county, according to Facebook

NFL fans by U.S. county, according to Facebook | Geography Education | Scoop.it
On the surface Facebook is a social network, but those in the know recognize that it's actually one of the largest datasets of human trends, preferences and activity ever catalogued.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a crowd-sourced map of NFL fans is very different from this more stylized version

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Heather Ramsey's curator insight, January 31, 2013 11:27 AM

This map shows fans of NFL teams by county. The data was collected from Facebook posts and people's pages. What patterns do you see for the fans in states that do not have a professional football team? In states that DO have a pro team, does everyone root for the home team? Why would a state have fans who root for another team? (Think geographically.)

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Argentina's Falklands Banner Sparks Anger Ahead Of World Cup

Argentina's Falklands Banner Sparks Anger Ahead Of World Cup | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Argentina and England are unlikely to meet at the World Cup finals, however their rivalry was reignited at the weekend when the Argentine national side posed behind a banner claiming the Falkland Islands belong to the South American country. Ahead of their warm-up match with Slovenia in Buenos Aires, the team displayed the message in support of the country's claims over the sovereignty of the islands in the South Atlantic, which are a British Overseas Territory.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The World Cup can make things interesting when nationalistic fervor becomes politicized and moves to issues off the pitch.  Are they the Falklands or Las Malvinas?  It's not just a simple linguistic translation but also a statement of territoriality and geopolitical recognition.  Like Gibraltar, the Falklands are British Oversees Territories, ones that Margaret Thatcher was willing to fight Agrentina to maintain;  Argentina still claims Las Malvinas as their territory.  For a great teaching resource on this issue, see the second slideshow in this series of  AP Human Geography talks that was given at NCGE 2013 (sign up to attend NCGE 2014 here).  


Tags: Argentinasport, bordersgeopolitics, political, territoriality, sovereignty.

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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 12, 6:17 PM

Sempre a geopolítica...  Malvinas.

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Sports Movies and Globalization

Hamm said he was drawn to the true story of an agent looking for India's first pro-baseball player
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 6 minute clip is a preview of the movie "Million Dollar Arm."  It looks to be a fun movie, but what I find academically interesting about the movie is that it is a portrayal of one of the countless fascinating cultural and economic interactions that was created by globalization.  The story is about the economic forces motivating baseball scouts to seek out untapped labor pools in areas such as India that were previously not a part of baseball's cultural reach (and the really cool global lives of these individuals). 


Tags: sport, globalization, popular culture, economic, labor, India.

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Nicky Mohan's curator insight, May 5, 3:31 PM

There's an absolute treasure trove of not only movies but also games that are very powerful for educational purposes. It is something that students can relate to. It is relevant & interesting.

Jyoti Chouhan's curator insight, May 13, 10:45 AM

This 6 minute clip is a preview of the movie "Million Dollar Arm."  It looks to be a fun movie, but what I find academically interesting about the movie is that it is a portrayal of one of the countless fascinating cultural and economic interactions that was created by globalization.  The story is about the economic forces motivating baseball scouts to seek out untapped labor pools in areas such as India that were previously not a part of baseball's cultural reach (and the really cool global lives of these individuals).

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Coast to Coast: Baseball Hall of Fame Geography Lessons

Coast to Coast:  Baseball Hall of Fame Geography Lessons | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The history of baseball reflects the story of expansion in the United States. New cities have emerged and modern stadiums have been built as a growing population fueled the popularity of our National Pastime. The result is an extensive network of baseball teams at every level - from the major leagues to the little leagues - that represent the communities and environments in which they play. Everything from jersey colors, names, and symbols to the foods served at ballparks reflects the local landscape and culture of baseball teams. A simple game that began with a bat and ball is now a comprehensive case study of how people and geography are interrelated.

 
All of the lessons and activities have been prepared to accompany "Geography: Baseball Coast to Coast." You will find that the curriculum is organized into three levels: Level 1 for elementary school students, Level 2 for middle school students, and Level 3 for high school students.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Thanks to the NCGE and the Baseball Hall of Fame for working together to bring us these great resources...play ball!!  On a local note, what baseball team is the most popular in your area?  Is there a geography to fan support? 

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 4, 7:07 PM

Thanks to the NCGE and the Baseball Hall of Fame for working together to bring us these great resources...play ball!!  On a local note, what baseball team is the most popular in your area?  Is there a geography to fan support? 

Marianne Hart's curator insight, April 23, 8:28 AM

 Local teams, stadium name, mascot, Great addition to #MysterySkype

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 28, 8:50 PM

It neat to think as the population grew a new city needed a new field and team and they use the landscape and culture around them to help decide factors of a team including the name and mascot and even the food. An example would be although you would find hot dogs in every stadium its probably a specialty in Chicago while in New York its pizza and down south in Texas its nachos. 

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Why Sochi?

Why Sochi? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Why would Vladimir Putin want to host the Olympics in an underdeveloped place where terrorists lurk nearby? The answer is not as complicated as it may seem.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article is an excellent explanation of the geopolitical significance of holding the Olympic Games in Sochi.  Geographer Carole McGranahan writes critically about the location of the Olympics given Putin's policies in the Caucasus Mountains (especially in regard to the 2008 invasion of Georgia to protect Russian interests in South Ossetia).  Additionally, here is a link from Stratfor discussing the shifting foreign policy concerns of the United States towards Russia.


Tags: sport, political, conflict, devolution, Russia.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 10:46 AM

It comes at not shock that Russia has had it's share of bad rulers that exzibit totalitarianistic views. Russia has always been in a state of massacre or some time of bad war torn conflict happeening. Russia is also the type of place where you can drive in each way 45 minutes and be able to either swim in the black sea or ski on the snowy trails. I think this is one of the reasons why the winter olympics are hosted here.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 11:52 AM

There are many reasons as to why the Olympics this year are held in Sochi, Russia i. Although it is an underdeveloped, terrorist driven area, it holds much potential and Vladimir Putin has reasons to why it is the perfect place.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 28, 9:59 PM

This article explains why Putin wanted the Winter Olympic games to be in Sochi. The Olympics have historically been used as a way for a nation to showcase progress or power, and the case is no different here. By hosting the games in Sochi, Putin was drawing attention to his successful crushing of the Chechen rebels and Russia's reinvestment into the area. Through the games, Putin is trying to make an international statement about the security and progress in this war-torn area. Still, there are a number of Chechen rebel cells and Circassian protesters in the area with a grudge against Russia.

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Protests and the World Cup

Protests and the World Cup | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Fury, anarchy, martyrdom: Why the youth of Brazil are (forever) protesting, and how their anger may consume the World Cup.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Protests in public spaces are colliding with the Brazil's World Cup/Olympic dreams.  The government wants to show the world the best that the country has to offer and protestors are using this moment to highlight the social ills in their country and some of the collateral damages of these major sporting events.  This may not seem like a sports issue per se, but one of social unrest that happens to be more highly publicized because of the coming international sporting events to Brazil.  Many see the money that went to constructing massive stadiums as money that bypassed those that needed it most and the poor neighborhoods (favelas) that were demolished to make way for an 'ideal city' that the world would see.  The world's eye is on Brazil and both sides know it.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 10:49 PM

These protests, though partially caused by events going on currently, could not have come at a worse time.  If this civil unrest continues into the days of the 2014 World Cup, there could be darker days for Brazil lying ahead.  Adding millions of tourists to the mix is certainly not going to help the problem.  If this problem is not fixed, it will have big implications for the 2016 summer olympics that are set to happen in Rio.  All the preparation that has gone into preparing for these events will all be for naught if the events are plagued by civil unrest and protests. 

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 2:48 AM

(Sidebar I used this article while gathering information for my research paper). Even though this is happening in Brazil i would like to beleive that this is exaclty what the United States founding fathers would of wanted us to do if our goverment was blatanly mistreating us like the politicians in Brazil. The youth of brazil realized what a moumentus occasion this was and didnt waste their chance to show the world their problems which forced the hand of the politicians into a political reform. Great example of how can make a difference if you have enough followers.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 11:08 AM

This is about so much more than the World Cup. It is protest against government corruption and politicians lining their pockets with money under the guise of public works.

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Pass Atlas: A Map of Where NFL Quarterbacks Throw the Ball

Pass Atlas: A Map of Where NFL Quarterbacks Throw the Ball | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Football’s analytics are evolving quickly. Thanks to new forms of data and emerging kinds of analyses, teams, media, and fans are gaining new insights into on-field performances."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The more advanced metrics in sports are now spatial: analyzing where on the field a particular play is more likely to be successful.  Conversely, scouting out opponents relies on detecting if a player has spatial tendencies on the court or field that might be exploited (for example, where is LeBron's sweet spot on the court?).  This ESPN article shows how different teams and quarterbacks use the field in their offense schemes.  Increasingly, many professions are embracing the power of spatial data and spatial thinking.      


Tag: sportspatial.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's comment, September 30, 2013 9:27 AM
Esri did a map of some stars successful and unsuccessful passes. I think it was Magic Johnson. Pretty interesting!
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's comment, September 30, 2013 9:27 AM
Esri did a map of some stars successful and unsuccessful passes. I think it was Magic Johnson. Pretty interesting!
megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 8:42 PM
This article explains how people come up with the statistics that they can for each player. Using spatial thinking anaylsts can figure out where a player is best on the field. Where players "sweet spots" are on the field or where a player is most effective when playing. It is crazy how people even thought of this.
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All-Star Final Vote Distribution Visualization

All-Star Final Vote Distribution Visualization | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Data visualization of the 2013 MLB All-Star Final Vote distribution
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Kaylin Burleson's curator insight, July 14, 2013 10:34 AM

AnotherAa other great geography source

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Brazil: Protests & Demonstrations

Brazil: Protests & Demonstrations | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Protests are ongoing in Brazil as people took to demonstrating against high World Cup spending....the unrest is the worst the nation has seen in two decades."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The origins of the protests were based on hikes in public transit fares, but a movement of general discontent began, with many voices and multiple perspectives.  While the World Cup is a rallying point, many argue that it isn't the World Cup they are angry about, but corruption and social inequality.  FIFA is starting to think of contingency plans if protests continue and threaten the World Cup.  The lack of clear leadership some feel is the reason why the protest have lost some steam in July as stated in this NPR podcast.  This photo essay of the protest movement with a gallery of 39 photos is quite intriguing.  


Tags: sport, Brazil, images, South America.

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James Parker's comment, July 4, 2013 4:27 AM
That's really something eye catchy !
Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 28, 7:18 PM

These pictures show some of large scale protesting that occurred last year due to public transport fare and tax increases. The people are angry how little the government is helping with public education, healthcare, security, and transportation. The apparent cause of the tax increases was to help Brazil host the World Cup soccer games this year, which has caused the people to believe that their government cares more about soccer than them.

 

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A 'Ziggy' Path to the NFL

Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah's journey to the NFL, beginning as a walk-on to the Brigham Young University football team from Accra, Ghana, who had never played foot...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Ezekiel loved playing soccer and never played American football until he was in his 20's; that is NOT a typical path to the NFL.  Ziggy's life represents the geography of opportunity.  If he had grown up in the United States, a boy with his physical abilities would have been funneled into football leagues at an early age.  If he lived his whole life in Africa, he would never become a millionaire (probably not anyway).  However, global diffusion of religious ideas brought LDS missionaries to his home in Ghana; enhanced migrational opportunities took him to Utah and all of these geographic factors (combined with his personal skills and ambition) helped him to become the fifth overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft and a member of the Detroit Lions.  Read here for more on Ziggy.  


This story also makes be wonder if those with the greatest physical talent for a sport always gets the opportunity.  I'm sure some kids in tropical countries have the physical tools to be fantastic hockey players, but without access to participation at an early age because of the cultural preferences of the area (although with hockey you could argue it's also climatically determined), they are geographically constrained to a different set of possibilities for their lives.  

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Seth Dixon's comment, April 26, 2013 4:36 PM
I have (and forgot that's where the nugget of the 'hockey' idea came from). I just wish I had those cool glasses! Poor Eagles, Ziggy is ultimate high risk/high reward pick.
megan b clement's curator insight, October 12, 2013 9:30 PM

"The article discusses Ziggy who is orginally from Ghana who came to America and usually played soccer. As a result of coming to America and his profound athletic ability adjusted to the American tradition of playing football one of America's number one past times. He came into a foreign country and not only made it his home but made football a challlenge he was going to conquere. It was not always easy but with the talent, right tools, and the right people to inspire and push him he is one of the best players in 2013."

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, October 31, 2013 10:53 AM

The story of Ziggy is a great one; it not only shows how hard work and perseverance pay off, but also the importance of cultural diffusion. After hearing how ziggy grew up it was clear that he had some natural athletic talent, but with out the ability to come to school in America he would have never had a chance to explore his football abilities. I liked how in the video they showed a clip of him talking to the head coach when he first asked to play and he said, “ You know this isn’t soccer.” And Ziggy responded by saying, “Yes I understand but if you give me a chance I believe I can do well.”

This just shows how much geography can limit possibilities, Ziggy had never even had the opportunity to try out, train or play football from a young age. I guess it all kind of reminds me of how America is really a land of opportunities, and how a sophomore at BYU with no prior football experience can go to being the 2013 number five overall draft pick in the NHL.

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Baseball Geography Lesson

Seth Dixon's insight:

This resource has grade-level appropriate lessons on the spatial diffusion of of teams and the cultural geography of the baseball. 


Tags: NCGE, sport, diffusion, K12.

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2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

The brackets are rarely as "regional" as the names Midwest, West, South and East would suggest; still a map of all the participating teams shows that there a geography to basketball participation.  See also this collection of maps visualizing basketball fandom.  Also, what about the high schools areas that produce college basketball players?  What patterns to you see? 

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Emily Ross Cook's curator insight, March 21, 2013 5:28 AM

Oh man! I love March Madness!

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Super Bowl rooting interests

Super Bowl rooting interests | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Facebook Data Science wrote a note titled NFL Fans on Facebook. Read the full text here.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Who is rooting for which team in the Super Bowl?  How does regional geography play a role in this distribution of the data captured in this map? 

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