360° panoramic photography by Harbert F. Austin Jr.. Visit us to see more amazing panoramas from Japan and thousands of other places in the world.
The interactive panorama is eerily compelling...this is a haunting image.
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Finding Materials: This site is designed for geography students and teachers to find interesting, current supplemental materials. To search for place-specific posts, browse this interactive map. To search for thematic posts organized by the APHG curriculum, see http://geographyeducation.org/thematic/. Also you can search for a keyword by clicking on the filter tab (looks like a funnel) above in the upper-righthand corner.
Staying Connected: You can receive post updates in the way that best fits how you use social media.
Email: Click 'follow' button at top right of this page.
I hope that you enjoy the content and materials that you find on this website. This represents the best news, materials and resources that I have found that can be used in geography (and other) classrooms. Use the 'funnel' as a way to filter and search for resources of specific topics or places.
Which statement is true?
A. 60% of all households without toilets in the world are in India.
B. India’s Muslims are less affected by the sanitation problem than Hindus.
C. India’s lack of toilets is worse than China’s.
D. Lack of toilets in India puts women at especially high risk.
This is the ultimate trick question because unfortunately, ALL of these statements are true. India is a country of tremendous economic growth, but also filled with squalor; there are more cellphones than toilets in India. The lack of adequate sanitation and toilets is serious enough that that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made building toilets a national priority. Comics are using their platform to bring this issue of uneven development to light.
"Did you know that Swedish has more in common with Hindi than it does with Finnish? Explaining everything within the limits of the world is probably too ambitious a goal for a list like this. But here are 23 maps and charts that can hopefully illuminate small aspects of how we manage to communicate with one another."
Corn, watermelon, and peaches were unrecognizable 8,000 years ago.
I think the term 'artificial' in the image might be misleading and it depends on your definition of the word. Humans have been selectively breed plants and animals for as long as we've been able to domestic them; that is a 'natural' part of our cultural ecology and has lead to great varieties of crops that are much more suitable for human consumption than what was naturally available. Long before climate change, humans have been actively shaping their environment and the ecological inputs in the systems with the technology that their disposal. This is a good resource to teach about the 1st agricultural revolution.
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.
Just how much of the world's cropland can we really call urban? That's been a big mystery until now.
Now, a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters has an answer: Somewhere around 1.1 billion acres is being cultivated for food in or within about 12 miles (20 kilometers) of cities. Most of that land is on the periphery of cities, but 16.6 percent of these urban farms are in open spaces within the municipal core.
"Uganda plans to introduce a new anti-gay law that will withstand any legal challenge, a government minister has told the BBC. It will not explicitly refer to homosexuality, but will rely on the penal code which prescribes a life sentence for 'unnatural acts', he said. Activists say the plan is more draconian than anti-gay legislation annulled by the courts in August. The US and other donors cut funding to Uganda in protest against the law. Uganda is a deeply conservative society where homosexual acts are already illegal."
"Naif al-Mutawa, creator of comic book series THE 99, spoke with Al-Monitor about the recent death threat by the Islamic State and how US President Barack Obama's enemies became his."
Seven years after the Kuwaiti psychologist and entrepreneur first launched his comic book series based on the 99 attributes of Allah, he's facing a sudden onslaught of death threats, fatwas and lawsuits (his comic books were highlighted in this TED talk on cultural change in the Islamic World). His US distributor, meanwhile, continues to sit on a TV deal, in part because of pressure from conservative bloggers who object to any positive description of Islam.
The most viral images on the internet, curated in real time by a dedicated community through commenting, voting and sharing.
"This program, Boundaries and Borderlands, introduces the case study approach of the course. Here we examine the borderland region between the regions of North America and Latin America. The first case study, Twin Cities, Divided Lives, follows the story of Concha Martinez as she crosses between the U.S. and Mexico in order to make a life for herself and her children. The second case study, Operation Hold the Line, follows up the question of cross-border migration raised in the first program. It takes a look at how U.S. border policy is shaping the lives of not only the people living in this borderland region, but in more distant U.S. and Mexican locations as well."
This is a not a new resource and I know that many of you are familiar with it, but this is worth repeating for those not familiar with the Annenberg Media's "Power of Place" video series. With 26 videos (roughly 30 minutes each) that are regionally organized, this be a great resource for geography teachers that need either a regional of thematic case-study video clip.
"Mass killings have become increasingly common across Mexico due to the country's ongoing war on drugs. Cartels and gangs, often working with help from local police, are murdering innocent victims by the dozens and leaving them in unmarked graves. So just how bad is the violence in Mexico, and what is the Mexican President doing to stop it?"
A new study links climatic instability and a lack of natural resources to belief in moralizing gods in cultures around the world.
I’m not posting this in spite of its controversial nature—I am sharing this precisely because it has raised eyebrows. Many have read this and seen elements of environmental determinism in the cultural analysis of religions (despite the researcher’s insistence that their findings should not be taken as a form of geographical determinism).
While there appears to be a correlation between a belief in moral god(s) and a harsh environment, others could also look at this map and see the mapping of poverty, colonialism or historical evangelism. Environmental determinism was used to justify colonialism and racist ideologies, geography fully rejected anything with even a hint of environmental determinism. Geographers are hypersensitive to the critique of environmental determinism; that is why it is difficult to find modern geographic research that knocks on the door of determinism.
Questions to Ponder: How much environmental determinism is in this research? What alternatives exist to environmental determinism? How much of a factor is the environment in shaping cultural patterns?
"While women comprise 49.6% of the global population, they have the majority in the United States, where 50.8% of the total population is female. But what do the numbers look like at the state level? The Washington Post put together a map yesterday purporting to show which states had more women than men and vice versa. Their map was widely circulated, jumping to the number one spot on the popular subreddit Data is Beautiful and was the most read story on the Washington Post for a while..."
Unfortunately the top map was pretty sloppy way to visually explain the census data...it's wasn't THAT wrong (sorry Alaska and Hawaii), but the symbols convey a greater degree of difference than actually exists. Below is a map that shows the differences in the data in a much more informative matter.
Toporopa is compilation of different games and app for secondary students to review their geographic knowledge of geography, and learn new concepts in a fun and entertaining way. It does reinforce the 'encyclopedic' view of geography education, but the games are well-crafted and available in most of the major languages of the European Union. See a Spanish-language review of the site here.
Almost 10 years ago, a young Pakistani woman was held down by her mother-in-law while her husband and father-in-law threw acid on her. Some 150 operations later, Bushra Shafi is working as a beautician in a hair salon in Lahore, started by a hairdresser who was moved to help victims of acid attacks when one of them came into her salon and asked simply: "Can you make me beautiful again?"
"Quick 1 minute tutorial on using BatchGeo to create a map. This example shows copying data straight from Wikipedia and mapping, but you can also use spreadsheets, databases, or any other tab delimited dataset."
"How much does size really matter? Judging by this tiny home in France, not a whole lot -- as long as the space is functional.
Space in a home matters, but the functionality of that space is critical. Geography is about spatial thinking, and this video promotes a different type of spatial thinking, but one that still will help geographic thought. As our metropolitan areas get more and more crowded, planning of this type might become increasingly common. What advantages to you see in interior design that seek s to maximize space? What are some drawbacks to a design such as this?
Cityscape Chicago II is a personal timelapse piece that I have worked on periodically over the past two years. The inspiration behind the project ties similarly with the original piece. As the city of Chicago continues to change, my fascination with it grows as well. The goal for me is always to capture the city in a unique way from new perspectives, and to continue exploring it.
Is the American obsession with individual freedom really such a great idea? What other cultures know about how to make good choices.
This article show three distinct cultural approaches to the concept of choice, showing how they shape people and communities and cultural systems. The three models discussed are:
This TED talk from Malcolm Gladwell is also an interesting exploration into the world of choice and options.
"The Golden Temple is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. It is also home to one of the largest free eateries in the world. Read the related article."
This two-minute video clip is an effective portal to alternative religious traditions on the South Asian subcontinent. While students might not at first relate to the theologies of diverse religious traditions, they connect with the underlying ethics of many world religions. This video is an effective tool to help them gain greater cultural understanding and to demystify unfamiliar cultural practices.
TO OUTSIDERS, the magnitude of Indians' love for cricket is as incomprehensible as its feverish intensity. On February 4th India awarded the Bharat Ratna, its highest civilian honour, to Sachin Tendulkar, a recently retired batsman. Millions in India, a country of 1.3 billion people and only one nationally-popular game, celebrated wildly. When India's national side plays a big game, an estimated 400m watch on television. Yet cricket's take-off in India is a highly improbable development. The game is demanding to play properly, requiring space, a good turf pitch and expensive equipment—which only a relative handful of Indian cricketers have access to. Most will never strap on pads or bowl with a leather ball. So why do they so love the game?
Where do you live? Health specialists think that simple question could make a difference in how doctors prevent and treat diseases for individuals. That's expanding its storied role in public health.
This article highlights how spatial thinking and geospatial technologies can solve real world problems--in this case, tracking the spread of diseases is a spatial situation and not all places close to each other are equally connected to the same networks.
"Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding is that the Arctic and Antarctic are similar. One’s in the north and the other is in the south; but other than that, they’re the same, right? No, this couldn’t be more wrong. These polar opposites are literally polar opposites.
For starters, the Arctic is a small, shallow ocean surrounded by land: Eurasia, Greenland, Canada and the United States. It’s only about 5 ½ million square miles, which is five times smaller than the Atlantic and 11 times smaller than the Pacific. Antarctica, on the other hand, is a continent surrounded by the entire Southern Ocean.
This may seem like no big deal, but it makes all the difference in the world. It takes a lot of energy to change water temperature compared to what it takes to change land temperature, which means Arctic seawater isn’t as cold as the continental ice sheet covering Antarctica. So, the Arctic sea ice (frozen sea water) is about 10 feet thick, whereas the Antarctic ice sheet (compacted freshwater ice) is over a mile thick."