"Explore public data through Google's visualization tools."
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
One exercise that I do in many of my classes is based on this data and and outline map. I have the students map out the Human Development Index data for Central America (full global dataset here) on an outline map of the region.
Questions to Ponder: How might we be able to infer about migration within the region? Foreign investment? Political stability?
The Social Progress Imperative creates a shared language and common goals to align different organizations and achieve greater social impact.
I think we all know that we shouldn't judge a country just by it's GDP. Economic development might be correlated with development and social progress, but the outliers are so telling. In this TED talk, we learn about a new metric designed to measure how well a society provides opportunities for communal and individual success. Having lived in Costa Rica for two years, I'm not surprised to find that Costa Rica does much better on this index than it would if we were to use GDP or HDI as a way to measure social progress and quality of life. For a more detailed look at the United States, see Geographies of Opportunity: Ranking well-being by Congressional Districts.
Questions to Ponder: How is the Social Progress Index similar to and different from the Human Development Index? What assumptions are built into the system?
Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in recent history. And these trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life.
A decade ago, the public was less ideologically consistent than it is today. In 2004, only about one-in-ten Americans were uniformly liberal or conservative across most values. Today, the share who are ideologically consistent has doubled: 21% express either consistently liberal or conservative opinions across a range of issues – the size and scope of government, the environment, foreign policy and many others.
"The research shows that kids who have tough childhoods — because of poverty, abuse, neglect, or witnessing domestic violence, for instance — are actually more likely to be sick when they grow up. They're more likely to get diseases like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. And they tend to have shorter lives than people who haven't experienced those difficult events as kids."
The hotspot maps of crime and poverty are correlated (not a big surprise), but this is another example of using spatial data to drive public policy. After making these initially correlations, they noticed a total lack of services, including medical care in the area that needed it most. This podcast is the story on how geographic analysis gave birth to a "clinic on wheels."
FEMA has coined a "Waffle House Index" to indicate the severity of a disaster.
A proxy variable is an easily measurable variable that is used in place of a variable that cannot be measured or is difficult to measure. The proxy variable can be something that is not of any great interest itself, but has a close correlation with the variable of interest. So if you can't order waffles after a big storm at Waffle House might not matter in the big scheme of things, but as this podcast demonstrates, it is a good indicator that the region has been serious impacted by a natural disaster--they are the canary in the coal mine that FEMA is using to help plan their relief efforts. This is in part because Waffle House's core area is in the South and is has a wide spatial network.
Creating and Analyzing a Binary Map: This online activity demonstrates how easy it is to master key functions in GeoFRED.
"MyLifeElsewhere allows you to compare your home country with different countries around the world. Ever wonder what your life would be like if you were born somewhere else?"
Did you know that with 1/30th the territory of the United States, Norway still has over 25% more coastline? I didn't either until I compared Norway to the United States using My Life Elsewhere. This site is designed allow United States students to imagine how their lives might be different if they were born in a different part of the world. Students would probably die 21 years earlier if they were born in Liberia and 11 times more likely to have died in infancy. Students would be 43.8% less likely to grow up and be unemployed and have 36.3% less babies if they were born in Taiwan. This side-by-side format is a great way to help students help make these statistics real and meaningful. One major drawback: this site only allows users to compare a country to the United States. If you prefer to have students compare, say Cuba to the United Arab Emirates, I would recommend that you try If It Where My Home.
"Data is great, but working with numbers can be intimidating. We have more data than ever before that is available to us, and graphs, charts, and spreadsheets are ways that data can be shared. If that data has a spatial element to it, the best way to visualize a large dataset might just be a map."
"This map shows Human Development Index (HDI) for 169 countries in the World. The HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living for countries worldwide. The HDI sets a minimum and a maximum for each dimension, called goalposts, and then shows where each country stands in relation to these goalposts, expressed as a value between 0 and 1, where greater is better. The Human Development Index (HDI) measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development: health, knowledge and standard of living."
Without ever setting sail, Marie Tharp mapped the ocean floor and made a discovery that shook the foundations of geology. So why did the giants of her field dismiss her findings as “girl talk"?
I love this article, because it is a fantastic reminder of some excellent principles.
Take a look at the first day of school celebrations around the world!
Access to education is one of the great indicators of development and political stability--educators wish nothing but the best education possible for the next generation, but the experience is quite variable across the globe. As many places have recently started school again, this article is a reminder that this practice is experienced differently around the world.
"Weak and failing states pose a challenge to the international community. In today’s world, with its highly globalized economy, information systems and interlaced security, pressures on one fragile state can have serious repercussions not only for that state and its people, but also for its neighbors and other states halfway across the globe. The Fragile States Index (FSI), produced by The Fund for Peace, is a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure."
How can political stability and security be measured? What constitutes effective governance? The Fragile States Index (formerly known as the Failed States Index) is a statistical ranking designed to measure the effective political institutions across the globe. There are 12 social, economic, and political/military categories that are a part of the overall rankings and various indicators are parts of the metrics that are a part of this index are:
•Human Flight and Brain Drain
•Uneven Economic Development
•Poverty and Economic Decline
•Human Rights and Rule of Law
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
"Amsterdam City Dashboard presents the city of Amsterdam through the lens of data, including demographic statistics, traffic reports, noise readings or political messages.
The small collection of information graphics are divided in distinct domains, such as transport, environment, statistics, economy, social, cultural and security. All data is shown in near real-time, based on blocks of 24 hours. Larger dots and darker colors symbolize higher values, whereas an interactive map provides a geographic reference."
"The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the severe deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards."
The MPI was developed out of a desire to fill some of the gaps in the HDI's applicability and utility. Allow me to quote the editor of one the NCGE's journals, the Geography Teacher, on the usefulness of the MPI website for classroom use: "With the infographics, maps, graphs, country briefings, and case studies, you have a ready-made lesson activities to demonstrate patterns of fertility, mortality, and health for a population unit, and access to health care, education, utilities, and sanitation for an Industrialization and Economic Development Unit. Connections can also be made to malnutrition and water, as well as to key concepts such as pattern and scale, to key geographical skills such as how to use and think about maps and geospatial data, and to the use of online maps and online data." Also, this article from the World Bank also give a run-down on the key findings of the MPI in 2014.
|Suggested by Top 10 Lists|
"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."
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?
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Scandinavia is the place to be. This interactive map uses data that was compiled from an index to measure gender equality in health, access to education, economic participation and political engagement. The four highest ranked countries in the world, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden) are all in Scandinavia. Thanks to the Guardian Datablog, you can download all of the data in a spreadsheet to map on your own. This interactive map is excellent, but a more expanded series of maps concerning gender (in)equality in the world regarding the status of women can be found on the WomanStats project page.
"Infographics to explain global statistics."
Understanding global statistics is nearly impossible if you can't grasp just how large of a quantity 7 billion is. This set of infographics are a great resource for teaching some of basic global demographics.
Apparently the latest internet craze is a 40 maps mix-tape. See the Washington Post's 40 Maps that explain the World for an interesting, eclectic compilation of maps as well as 40 maps they didn't teach you in school from Bored Panda and 40 maps that help you make sense of the world from Twisted Sifter.
"David Greene talks to writer Jeremy Miller about the American Centroid. That's the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if all 300 million of us weighed the exact same."
Every 10 years the centroid (the center of U.S. population) is calculated using the latest census data. As the map above shows, the centroid has continued moved west throughout history, but in the last 60 years has moved to the south and west. The recent shift to the south coincides with the mass availability of air conditioning (among other factors) which opened up the Sun Belt. In this article in Orion Magazine, Jeremy Miller discusses the historical shifts in the spatial patterns of the U.S. population and the history of the centroid. you can listen to podcast versions of this article as well, one by NPR and a much more detailed one by Orion Magazine.
Questions to Ponder: Would the centroids of other countries be as mobile or predictable? Why or why not? What does the centroid tell us?
"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."
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.
WeatherSpark: beautiful weather graphs and maps making in-depth weather information easily accessible.
Weather Spark is a platform with interactive maps, weather forecasting and climatological history for the last five years for many different weather stations. This is the data for the TF Green airport, and is an incredible set of information to teach physical geography.
|Suggested by Kristen McDaniel|
" Unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view."
The World Policy Analysis Center aims to improve the quantity and quality of comparative data available to policymakers, citizens, civil society, and researchers around the world on policies affecting human health, development, well-being, and equity.
Following seven years of data collection, the World Policy Analysis Center recently launched a series of over 100 easy-to-understand maps of current laws, policies, and constitutional rights in 193 countries. They are eager to share this information and the maps that we have created and believe it will help engage geography students. The maps address questions such as:
This data could provide exciting teaching tools to help students think about the implications of laws and policies around the world, particularly as they affect teenagers.
Transportation planner plots pattern of airline travel across the globe.