"Create a Map of all the places you've been."
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
This is an incredibly limited mapping platform, but if all you want to do is put countries of the world into two simple categories, then this works (see also their states of the United States, provinces of Canada, and countries of Europe maps). It is imminently shareable online, so this is a popular way of creating a map of 'countries/states I have visited' for a Facebook wall--and yes, those maps above represent where I have been.
"The city of Paris will start removing padlocks from the Pont des Arts on Monday, effectively ending the tourist tradition of attaching 'love locks' to the bridge. For years, visitors have been attaching locks with sentimental messages to the bridge in symbolic acts of affection. Some further seal the deal by throwing keys into the Seine River below. It was considered charming at first, but the thrill wore off as sections of fencing on the Pont des Arts crumbled under the locks' weight. The bridge carries more than 700,000 locks with an estimated combined weight roughly the same as 20 elephants."
Graffiti, tombstones, love locks, monuments...each of these are manifestations of people's desire to have some tangible impact on the landscape. Something that manifests a connection to place in a profoundly personal way.
Questions to Ponder: Why do people want leave a mark on places that are meaningful to them? When do you think that they that these markers are appropriate or inappropriate? Do we have more of a 'right' to mark some places than others? Why do many oppose these personal marks on the landscape?
Abraj Kudai, a complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is set to become the world's largest hotel by room count when it opens in 2017.
Las Vegas currently has the four of the five largest hotels in the world; people flock to the Nevada desert in droves for the gambling and nightlife. Mecca has a very distinct draw that pulls tourists in from all over the world. As a sacred pilgrimage site, the tourism industry thrives and needs an immense infrastructure to handle the high volume of visitors that come for the Hajj.
We've grown good at making many things in the modern world - but strangely the art of making attractive cities has been lost. Here are some key principles for how to make attractive cities once again.
While we can't objectively measure beauty, in this video from the School of Life, London-based Swiss writer Alain de Botton offers a cheeky, thought-provoking, six-point manifesto on the need for making beauty a priority in urban architecture and design. Alain de Botton feels that tourism can be seen as helpful proxy variable for what the general public perceives as good urbanism that makes for beautiful cities. The six main points of this article are:
A Bangkok bike tour of Bang Krachao (บางกระเจ้า) in Phra Pradaeng (พระประแดง) makes an excellent day trip. Read more of my Bangkok travel tips here: http://m...
Earlier I shared a fantastic satellite image of Bang Krachao, called the green lung of Bangkok. This lush oasis of green on a bend in the river is a vivid contrast to the surrounding, sprawling metropolitan area. For an "on the ground" perspective, the video above is a good visual introduction to Bang Karchao and the Phra Pradaeng neighborhood of Bangkok from a nice travelers guide to the city. These two different vantage points on an urban park are both very helpful in understanding place.
Untrammeled oases beckon, once-avoided destinations become must-sees, and familiar cities offer new reasons to visit.
Most geographers have more than a little bit of wanderlust. Maybe we don't all have the pocketbook for it, but so many people have the desire to explore, travel and see parts of the world that feel as if they are mythical. For students that have the curiosity, it our mission as educators to cultivate that and help them frame the world into a geographic perspective. I've always felt that window-seat flyers are have the seed of a geographer embedded within them...let's make sure those seeds can grow.
"The state transportation authority relies on federal guidelines that outline what it can put on signs, and these rules say signs must use only 'standard English characters, so when we replaced the sign, we didn’t put the umlaut in.' On Wednesday, the state’s governor put his foot down: The dots were coming back."
The cultural landscape isn't just passively 'there.' It is purposefully created, defended, protected and resisted by national, regional and local actors. This example might seem laughable to the national media, but this was a serious matter to those locally that pride themselves on the town's Swedish heritage. Many want to preserve it's distinctively Swedish characteristics as a part of it's sense of place, but also it's economic strategy to appeal to tourists.
We asked a range of people, from writers and chefs to musicians and photographers, to share one experience from the last year that truly inspired them – something that, in no uncertain terms, reminded them why they love the world. Madly. Here's what they told us.
Most geographers have more than a little bit of wanderlust. This BBC article is filled with images, quotes and insights into places all around the globe that fill me will a sense of awe and wonder. For students that have the curiosity, it our mission as educators to cultivate that and help them frame information about the world into a geographic perspective. I've always felt that window-seat flyers are have the seed of a geographer embedded within them...let's make sure those seeds can grow.
Not everyone is a fan of Paris, but the author of this article feels that tourism can be seen as helpful proxy variable for what the general public perceives as good urbanism that makes for beautiful cities. The six main points of this article are:
London to New York City by car? It could happen if the head of Russian Railways has his way.
As Asya Pereltsvaig, the author of Languages of the World, wrote: "That's what happens when Russia's main problems, fools and roads (дураки и дороги), are combined..." It's the opposite idea of the summer road trip that is designed to hit all the major tourist sites.
Questions to Ponder: What are the pros and cons of this project? What would it take to actually happen? This map is a Mercator Projection--would a different map change your perspective on the feasibility of the project?
The historic abbey of Mont Saint-Michel became an island on March 21 after a rare “supertide” flooded a causeway.
Coastal physical geography produces some beautiful landforms such as tombolos. A tombolo is created when sand deposits attach an island to a larger piece of land--think of it as special type of isthmus. Mont St. Michel (picture above) is the world’s most famous example because of the iconic walled city with crowned with a striking medieval abbey. As the tides fluctuated, the city and abbey were alternately connected or disconnected from the mainland. However, a ‘super-tide’ that occurs once every 18.6 years wiped out the artificial causeway stranding motorists on France's most visited tourist destination (I wouldn't mind be stranded there right about now).
Have you ever wondered why Northern Ireland a part of the U.K.? Read this article from the Economist.
"There’s nothing more irritating to a pedant’s ear and nothing more flabbergasting than realizing you’ve been pronouncing the name of so many places wrong, your entire life! Despite the judgment we exhibit toward people who err in enunciating, we all mispronounce a word from time to time, despite our best efforts. Well, now it’s time we can really stop mispronouncing the following places."
I've only been mispronouncing 8 of them, but many of these toponyms (place names) are chronically mispronounced. Some of these have curious local of pronouncing the name, while others show that translating one language into another can be quite difficult since many sounds don't naturally flow off the tongue of non-native speakers.
The Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali, is a magnet for tourists, but it is increasingly difficult for locals to live a normal life around it.
This New York Times short video is an intriguing glimpse into some of the cultural pressures behind having the designation of being an official world heritage site. The great mosque combined with the traditional mud-brick feel to the whole city draws in tourists and is a source of communal pride, but many homeowners want to modernize and feel locked into traditional architecture by outside organizations that want them to preserve an 'authentic' cultural legacy.
"Create a color-coded Visited States Map, showing off your road travel in the United States and Canada."
The map above represents where I have been (green) and where I have lived (orange). Super easy, anyone can use this site to create a PNG file that maps out North America (maximum of 5 colors, including white). For more on how to create your own, read here. Canada, Alaska and Hawaii can be included as well.
Or the world's most terrifying runways, depending on your perspective and sense of adventure. Pictured above is the Matekane Air Strip in Lesotho. It is too short to start flying the conventional way so you drop on a cliff until the aircraft starts flying...if that is not your kind of funmaybe some extreme tourism would suit you in your travels more.
|Suggested by Kara Charboneau|
South Korea's tourism ministry estimates that more than 2.5 million Chinese visitors spent an average of $2,150 per person in 2012, more than any other nationality. That's helping companies such as iWedding, which is the largest of the South Korean wedding planners hosting Chinese tourists, to flourish.
"Chinese look up to South Korea for its sophisticated urban culture, style and beauty," said Song Sung-uk, professor of South Korean pop culture studies at the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul. "Rather than visiting traditional palaces or shopping for antiques, they would rather go to Gangnam to experience state-of-the-art shopping malls."
|Suggested by Aulde de B|
Construction has started on a cave hotel resort by Atkins that will nestle into the rockface of an abandoned water-filled quarry near Shanghai, China.
Once complete, the hotel will offer around 400 rooms, as well as conference facilities, a banquet hall, restaurants, a swimming pool and a water-sports centre.
The building will use geothermal technologies to generate its own electricity and lighting, while greenery will blanket a roof that extends just two storeys above the edge of the quarry.
Sustainability is integral to Atkins' design of this unique resort, built into an abandoned, water-filled quarry.
|Suggested by Don Brown Jr|
This is a look at 3 billion tweets - every geotagged tweet since September 2011, mapped, showing facets of Twitter's ecosystem and userbase in incredible new detail, revealing demographic, cultural, and social patterns down to city level detail, across the entire world.
In this this great social media dataset, patterns of population density are immediately evident, with areas with great population densities not surprisingly representing the greatest concentration of social media usage. On closer inspection though, the major transportation arteries (or in this particular map map of NYC, tourism districts) become much more visible than a population density map would suggest.UPDATE: See also twitter's newest visualization of this dataset where they used digital elevation tools to show "height" to represent the tweets.
Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.
The article leaves me with more questions than answers. What do the residents think about the tons of tourists wondering through their winding streets? The very idea of tourism to see poverty in situ in an authentic slum is riddled with power and cultural imbalances. Why would wealthy tourists from the developed world want to more fully explore the slums in the developing world? What do you see as the 'wrong' and the 'right' within this situation? Is slum tourism ethical?
Blue countries are more welcoming, red countries less. Where does yours rank?
The World Economic Forum compiled a report on global tourism and part of that was an estimation of the attitude of each countries' population toward foreign visitors--this map is a visualization of that data. Why would some particular countries be more or less welcoming? What surprises you about this map?
Disclaimer: according to this article, there is much that is methodologically wrong with this map.
|Suggested by Top 10 Lists|
South America is a land of natural exotic beauty that will leave you speechless, a land of mystery and great historic importance. If you make a trip to the southern hemisphere, be sure to include these precious gems.
When it came time for the Super Bowl, Clemmie Greenlee was expected to sleep with anywhere from 25 to 50 men a day.
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.
Oh, Machu Picchu, ancient city of the Incas, pride of Peru, must-see travel destination: You've never been so appropriately photobombed by a llama.
Millions of tourists have already taken a picture of Machu Picchu from this angle, and yet, tourists all want to replicate the iconic shot as for themselves--proof that they were there and had the full experience. Iconic images are perfect for internet memes (and in this instance a photobomb) because there is a shared cultural understanding of what the picture should look like normally and inverting that provides the comic relief. CAPTION THIS PHOTO IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.