Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Mapping US History with GIS

Mapping US History with GIS | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

Get students thinking about patterns and the 'why's' of history with a focus on the geography and movement behind the historical story.  This is the link to some of the digital maps that can help you put history in it's place.  For more lesson plans, click here

Tags: historical, USA, mappingspatial, GIS,  ESRI, edtech.

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 5:20 PM

These maps help show different patterns in the United States throughout different periods of American history such as during the Civil War, the locations of the first railroads, difference in the North and South, and also mapping the constitutional convention. it really help put it all in a geographical perspective. 

This helps create a focus on the movement of people, the "whys" of history, and the different political states and counties we have made over the years.  

Gareth Jukes's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:39 PM

Use of geospatial technologies, such as GIS, remote sensing, global positioning systems (GPS), and online maps-

This article explains how GIS can be used multiple ways, whether it be in location, past, present, or predictions on the future. These GIS examples show how  the American Civil War and many other things would have been seen as.

This article demonstrates the use of geospatial technologies by showing how American history would be like if represented by GIS.

Corine Ramos's curator insight, December 8, 2015 8:27 PM

Get students thinking about patterns and the 'why's' of history with a focus on the geography and movement behind the historical story.  This is the link to some of the digital maps that can help you put history in it's place.  For more lesson plans, click here. 

Tags: historical, USA, mapping, spatial, GIS,  ESRI, edtech.

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Did You Know It's Legal In Most States To Discriminate Against LGBT People?

The Supreme Court debates same-sex marriage Tuesday. But in many states, a person can marry someone of the same gender and still be fired for being gay.

Tags: sexuality, USA, mappolitical.

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49 Maps That Explain The U.S.

49 Maps That Explain The U.S. | Geography Education |

"49 Maps That Explain The U.S. For Dumb Foreigners--The United States is mind-boggling. Right?!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of these maps are goofy and intellectually uninspiring (granted, it is from Buzzfeed so that comes with the territory).  However, some of these maps are absolutely fantastic and I think that it's worth searching through this list to find some maps that are solid teaching resources.  Which ones are your favorites?  

Tags: historical, USA, map, map archives

Gary Harwell's curator insight, April 5, 2015 8:32 AM

For students that are new to the US, these maps could prove very educational..

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, September 16, 2015 2:00 PM

Some of them are quite fascinating. Scooped from my professor.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, November 23, 2015 2:32 PM

Understanding the landscape of our Country is important. The way to best understand it is to look at maps, especially these maps, and get a hold on what the country looks like. From the height of exploration to seeing where the most trees are within the country. This map has a lot of information for anyone who has questions.

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200 years of immigration to the U.S., visualized

200 years of immigration to the U.S., visualized | Geography Education |

"Where have immigrants to the U.S. come from? Natalia Bronshtein, a professor and consultant who runs the blog Insightful Interaction, created this fascinating visualization of the number of immigrants to the U.S. since 1829 by country of origin.  The graph hints at tragic events in world history. The first influx of Irish occurred during the potato famine in 1845, while the massive influx of Russians in the first decade of the 20th Century was driven by anti-Semitic violence of the Russian pogroms (riots). Meanwhile in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, army conscription and the forced assimilation of minority groups drove people to the U.S. in the early 1900s.  Since WWII, Central and South America and Asia have replaced Europe as the largest source of immigrants to the U.S. Immigration shrunk to almost nothing as restrictions tightened during WWII, and then gradually expanded to reach its largest extent ever in the first decade of the 21st Century."

Tags: migration, historical, USAvisualization.

David Holoka's curator insight, September 8, 2015 9:36 AM

The statistics in this article shocked me. I already new America took in a large number of immigrants, but I thought most came illegally from Mexico. Instead, the immigrants we hold are very diverse in ethnicity.  

Mrs. Madeck's curator insight, October 1, 2015 5:56 PM


Fred Issa's curator insight, October 5, 2015 4:24 PM

We tend to forget that the first real Americans were the Native American Indians. Immigration is a hotly discussed topic right now, but I wonder where we would be as a nation, if the original Native Americans told the settlers at Roanoke Island, the Chesapeake, and Plymouth Rock, that no, we are not allowing any foreigners to settle on our shores and land. Food for thought. Fred Issa,

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The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom

The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom | Geography Education |

"Imagine you are a slave. You belong to a farmer who owns a tobacco plantation on the eastern shore of Maryland. Six long days a week you tend his field. But not for much longer . . .What will you do? Make your choices well as you embark on your journey to freedom.


To play The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom, you must download and install the free Sandstone Player Software on your computer. Sandstone is required to support the 3-D style interaction in the game. Click here to find instructions for downloading Sandstone on a Mac or PC.  The game is also available as both an iOS and an android app."

Tags: USA, historical, National Geographic.

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White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier

White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier | Geography Education |

"In the United States, there is a long tradition of trying to draw sharp lines between ethnic groups, but our ancestry is a fluid and complex matter. In recent years geneticists have been uncovering new evidence about our shared heritage, and last week a team of scientists published the biggest genetic profile of the United States to date, based on a study of 160,000 people."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Race is a cultural construct; even though it is incredibly problematic, it is a powerful way in which we think of who we are and how others think of who we are.    

Questions to Ponder:  What are some problems with putting too much stock in race?  Why does the idea of race still matter so much in the United States? 

Tags: race, historicalthe South, USA, map.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, January 28, 2015 11:58 PM

Some people like to distant themselves form a certain ethnic background, when we are all one. Europeans came from one area same with latinos, blacks and natives we all are similar. Africans have a major influence to  who Europeans are and also who most of the americans did descend from so theres a possible connection somewhere.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, January 29, 2015 12:50 PM

This article was very intriguing, especially because there have been so many migrations and movements of people in the U.S.  When you think about it, people were already here, and then Europeans came, and then they brought over Africans.  But, since then, people from all over the world have continuously moved here and spread throughout the country. In this map, you can see each region, and it's almost just how you would imagine it to be.  The south has more people who think that have some amount of African ancestry, and with the amount of slavery that had occurred, that makes sense.  However, the line between the percentage of African decent you have that makes you to be considered white, and then one percent more and you are African-American, is a bit bizarre to me.  In reality, in today's society, we are just as focussed on who is what race as they were a hundred years ago, whereas it actually should not matter anymore.  But, we don't live in a perfect world, and people need to be willing to work to get to that point.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 16, 2015 10:05 AM

I found this article particularly interesting because my father recently had a DNA test done. As a Portuguese immigrant, he was surprised to find how varied of a background he comes from, with significant parts of his DNA tracing its origins to Southern Europe (outside the Iberian Peninsula, which only constituted 50% of his markers), the British Isles, Northern Africa, and West Africa. What I think everyone should take away from this article is that the human species is a beautiful mosaic of intermingling cultures and nationalities, especially here in the United States. We are all a part of each other, despite a past filled with hate (the article discusses a Pocahontas Law in Virginia that honestly had me chuckling at the hypocrisy of the legislators who drafted it) and issues of race that continue to plague us a society to this day. Race is entirely a social construct, and issues of white and black become meaningless when you look at data such as that complied in this article. A very interesting read.

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The economic threat to cities isn't gentrification; it's the opposite

The economic threat to cities isn't gentrification; it's the opposite | Geography Education |
Many urban neighborhoods are places of concentrated poverty, and it's killing opportunity in the US.

American cities are growing, and as they grow, they're adding lots of high-poverty neighborhoods. Nearly three times as many "high-poverty" census tracts existed in 2010 as in 1970.  That's unsettling on its face but even more so when you see the havoc a poor neighborhood can wreak on a resident's chances at a good life. Forget gentrification — this is a bigger problem. 

The chart above tallies up the people living in these neighborhoods in 1970 and 2010. What it shows is that the number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more — has roughly doubled since 1970. That's because these neighborhoods of concentrated poverty have a tendency to stay that way, even while new ones sprout up.

Tags: urban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhood.

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Visited States Map

Visited States Map | Geography Education |

"Create a Map of all the places you've been."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an incredibly limited mapping platform, but if all you want to do is put states of the United States into two simple categories (such as 'states I have visited' and 'states I have not visited'), then this works. 

Tags mapping, 201, edtech, cartography, mappingUSA.

Joy Kinley's curator insight, November 18, 2014 2:55 PM

This is a pretty cool visual representation of the different US states that you have visited.

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, November 19, 2014 9:45 PM

really cool site!

Jason Schneider's curator insight, January 27, 2015 12:28 AM

I haven't been to a lot of United States. I have been to Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina & South Carolina. As we can see, I pretty much know New England pretty well. I would however, like to travel throughout the west side of the United States.

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Cultural Politics

Cultural Politics | Geography Education |
A state-by-state look at our cultural politics.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While this doesn't say everything about the state of cultural politics in the United States, it does lay out some of the more ideologically charged debates in the new political landscape after the midterm electionsWhat does this Venn diagram say about the state of cultural politics in your state?   The Courts have aided the push for same sex marriages; will that also occur for marijuana legalization?

Tags: narcotics, sexuality, USA, electoral, political.

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More than half of all Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal

More than half of all Americans live in states where same-sex marriage is legal | Geography Education |

"More than 168 million Americans now live in states where marriage for same-sex couples is legal following the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to not hear five states’ appeals.  That number represents about 53.17 percent of the U.S. population, according to data from the Census Bureau and visualized on the map above."

Tags: sexuality, USA. regions, mappolitical.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: As of November 20, 2014 this is now the new map of same-sex marriage in the United States.  Notice that all the states that oppose same-sex marriage are part of one single, territorially contiguous block of states.  How come that is the spatial pattern for this issue?    

Julia Keenan's curator insight, October 7, 2014 7:57 PM

Shows states that allow same sex marriage or have laws for or against them

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:29 AM

Concept of Human Rights in USA

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The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious | Geography Education |

"For at least 70 years, the Red Delicious has dominated apple production in the United States. But since the turn of the 21st century, as the market has filled with competitors—the Gala, the Fuji, the Honeycrisp—its lead has been narrowing. Annual output has plunged."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The story of the Red Delicious is almost a perfect analogy for the food industry.  It was genetically selected for its marketable skin, an aesthetically sumptuous red.  The skin of the Red Delicious better covers bruises than other varieties and tastes more bitter.  Consumers were buying what the industry promoted and “eating with their eyes and not their mouths.”  But recently there has been a backlash in the United States and more American consumer are seeking out other varieties; meanwhile the apple producers are working on exporting this variety to around the world, but especially into Chinese markets.  

Tags: agriculture, food production, food distribution, agribusiness, USA

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:55 AM

Oh how do I hate these waxy beauties. I remember in elementary school they offered these apples and I took a bite and had never tasted something so evil and wrong. Apples are supposed to be fresh, not tasteless and with no nutrients.

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, March 11, 9:34 PM
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This Fall, Minorities Will Outnumber White Students in U.S. Schools

This Fall, Minorities Will Outnumber White Students in U.S. Schools | Geography Education |

"While 62 percent of the total U.S. population was classified as non-Hispanic white in 2013, when public schools start this fall their racial landscape will reflect a different America."

Seth Dixon's insight:

A new report new shows the changing demographics in American education and how it differs from that of the general population.  The demographic shifts in the United States are transforming the cultural fabric of the country and this interactive feature from the Pew Research Center explores some of these changes.  What are some of the reasons and what are some of the impacts?

Tag: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, USA.

Linda Rutledge Hudson's curator insight, September 15, 2014 6:02 PM

Have observed the transition in our suburban school district.  I love the diversity -- yet, teaching students from all over the globe, sometimes with limited English, can be challenging.  And, our working population will eventually see the change as well -- at all levels.

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Topography of Religion

Topography of Religion | Geography Education |

"The Pew survey sorts people into major groupings--Christians; other religions, including Jewish and Muslim; and 'unaffiliated,' which includes atheist, agnostic and 'nothing in particular.'  Roll your cursor over the map to see how faiths and traditions break down by state."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a particularly useful interactive map with a lot of teaching applications.  It is a nice visual aid to process the religious data in the United States.  

Questions to Ponder: What patterns do you notice?  Are there religious regions that could be drawn based on this data?   What geographic factors have created the differences in the religious geographies of the United States?

Tags: culturereligion, Christianity, USA. regions, diffusion, mapping.

Ignacio Quintana's curator insight, December 1, 2014 6:56 PM

Even though this is just an info-graphic, this is very interesting. What we can see from this map is the spatial organization of religion specifically in the U.S. It's interesting to see how protestant makes up the majority (but apparently not according to the article above this from Haak's page) and how drastically these views can change from coast to coast, and state to state. What I find particularly interesting is that you can clearly find hearths of many of these religions, for example, Utah has an extremely out-numbering amount of Mormons. For obvious reasons that is, but still very educational to see the centers of many of the big religions in the United States.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, January 28, 2015 8:46 PM

Looking at the map, it looks like the Northeast is predominately Catholic while the further South you go along the Eastern coast, you find more Protestants, mostly Evangelical, especially in the from Confederate States. The Mid and Northwest seems to hold a healthy mix of all the Christian denominations while places in the Southwest have a higher Catholic percentage, my guess would be from immigration from Mexico. The one odd ball out in the Southwest is Utah with its 58% of Mormons.

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 2015 4:04 PM

Different cultural religions and senses of place in America. This graph shows the diversity of religion around the united states as it varies from place to place. 

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Shifts in Political and Cultural Norms

Shifts in Political and Cultural Norms | Geography Education |

Eleven years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, the Supreme Court on April 28 will hear arguments about whether to extend that right nationwide. The case comes amid a wave of gay marriage legalization: 28 states since 2013, and 36 overall. Such widespread acceptance in a short amount of time isn't a phenomenon unique to gay marriage. Social change in the U.S. appears to follow a pattern: A few pioneer states get out front before the others, and then a key event—often a court decision or a grassroots campaign reaching maturity—triggers a rush of state activity that ultimately leads to a change in federal law.

We looked at six big issues—interracial marriage, prohibition, women’s suffrage, abortion, same-sex marriage, and recreational marijuana — to show how this has happened in the past, and may again in the very near future.

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The United States' Geographic Situation

The Greater Mississippi Basin is the United States' core and serves as the underpinning of its role as a global superpower. For more analysis, visit: http://...
Seth Dixon's insight:

I wouldn't use the word "core" to describe America's breadbasket, simply because of the economic core/periphery connotations.  Other than that, this video highlights some aspects of U.S. regional geography that I cover every semester.  1) The United States is bi-coastal on the two most important oceans for global trade.  2) Between those coasts is a large agricultural region overlayed on the most navigable river network.  These two basic facts go a long way in explaining the United States' position in global affairs.

Tags: USA. regions.

Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, April 20, 2015 8:51 PM

Think about the units and topics  we've covered this year. Migration, urbanization, development, and geo-political theories. Use examples from all of the above to justify the statement that the geography of the United States is responsible for its role as a global superpower.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, September 21, 2015 12:14 PM

This video contains a nice overview of the United States' geography. This bi-coastal country has the ability to access to a wide variety of trades from Europe and Asia. Along with the self-sufficient interior breadbasket region and coastline, it explains why U.S became such a major superpower in the 20th century. Understanding United States geography is an important skill to know when studying History. As a student of History I find this video very informative. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 4, 2015 8:30 PM
I personally do not agree with the name "The United States' Geographical challenge," because to me is seems as if geographically we have a great set up, as the video said we are insulated by two oceans with naturally indented deep harbors and because of the Mississippi River Basin, we have the naturally interconnected system that allows us transport goods for cheap and to supply itself efficiently. it also nice to know that because of our advantages, we have what other countries do not and have a protection with the help of our Navy.
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Political Polarization in the American Public

Political Polarization in the American Public | Geography Education |
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.

Tags: political, statistics, regions, USA.

Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, March 31, 2015 7:57 AM

The right-wing ideology is worldwide, years of racist colonial acculturation, sexist and neoliberal social inequality. The culture industry was filled to disclose these conceptions.

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 8:14 PM

Unit 6

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.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 16, 2015 9:49 AM

Bipartisanship is at an all-time low in this nation's history, which is evident in every facet of our political system; our Congress for the past 10 years has been the most inactive it has been since the 1890's. Party members on both sides of the debate have refused to compromise, leaving many Americans frustrated. The polarization of the parties has been the primary driver of this divide, with ideological and social issues now at the forefront of any political debate, in the place of economic, foreign, and other domestic policies. With this ideological element now added to politics, we see much more aggression in terms of how Americans on either end of the political spectrum now view the other end. Although this is great in the sense that many young Americans are becoming more interested in and more involved with politics, it also leads to incorrect, fragmented views that demonize the opposing party. Americans are finding a shrinking amount of political issues to compromise on, and until we learn to do so, Congress will remain in a gridlock. 

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The Runner-Up Religions Of America

The Runner-Up Religions Of America | Geography Education |

"Glance at the map above, Second Largest Religious Tradition in Each State 2010, and you will see that Buddhism (orange), Judaism (pink) and Islam (blue) are the runner-up religions across the country.

No surprises there. But can you believe that Hindu (dark orange) is the No. 2 tradition in Arizona and Delaware, and that Baha'i (green) ranks second in South Carolina? These numbers, although they look impressive when laid out in the map, represent a very tiny fraction of the population in any of the states listed."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This map of the spatial pattern of the second largest religious tradition in each state, tells a different story than the tabular data on the left. 

Questions to Ponder: What are the most interesting stories and patterns visible in the spatial, mapped data?  What is the main second religion that is not as visually dominant on the map?  Why are both data sources valuable in understanding religions in the United States? 

Tags: culturereligion, USA.

Gareth Jukes's curator insight, March 24, 2015 9:40 PM

Religion and sacred places-


This article displays the second most known and used religions  in the US. This explains why their is no christianity in the picture. In the end, the Islamic religion is mostly used in the eastern countries, and Buddhism is the mostly used religion in the western countries.


This article represents religion and sacred places because it  portrays the image of how so many different religious divides there are in the US.

Zeke Robinson's curator insight, May 26, 2015 9:01 PM

This is very eye opening on the countries second most religion in these states and how Islam has most of the states then Buddhism then Judaism.

Rylee English's curator insight, March 16, 9:58 AM
This map and article helps me have a better understanding of where the contrasting religions on my country are distributed. It's crazy to think that so many people around me have different beliefs than me.RE 
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The Most Common Job In Every State

The Most Common Job In Every State | Geography Education |

"The jobs picture has changed profoundly since the 1970s. This interactive map and accompanying charts show how those changes played out across the country."

Tags: economic, labor, USA, transportation, industry.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 14, 2015 7:48 PM

With the new millennium, jobs have been changed. Also, with new technology, which has led to an increased unemployment rate, different kind of jobs have shifted during the last past two decades. Driver trucks are one of the vast modes of transportation in the U.S. and between Mexico and Canada. It does not require too much to be a tractor-trailer truck operator. Usually, the drivers have a high school diploma and attend a professional truck-driving school. As the economy grows, the demand for goods will increase, and more truck drivers will be needed to keep supply chains moving. Truck drivers provide an essential service to industrialized societies by transporting finished goods and raw materials over land, typically to and from manufacturing plants, retail, and distribution centers. As technology continues to advance, massive globalization seems to be a better option for the economy. Driver trucks present a good chance in the workforce. As a result, driver truck careers are projected to grow 11% between 2012 and 2022. Furthermore, truck driving is a part of American lifestyle, and one of the fastest growing of all occupations.

Michael Amberg's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:33 PM

This is an interesting way to look at each state and it makes sense given the economic opportunities in each state.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, September 21, 2015 12:34 PM

It's so amazing within 36 years the most common jobs in United States changed drastically. The dominated jobs of secretaries and machine operators got replaced to quickly as new technologies are developed. The one that stuck out the most were truck drivers because it was relatively common in the 1980's and now its dominated the whole country. People are shifting from jobs that machines has replaced and are working in jobs that actually need human involvement. It will be very interesting to see how machines in the future will replace truck drivers without causing major accidents or teaching a human being without classroom interactions.

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Would You Guess There Are Fewer Amish Today? You'd Be So Wrong

Would You Guess There Are Fewer Amish Today? You'd Be So Wrong | Geography Education |

"There’s no denying that the Amish are fascinating to the rest of us ("the English," in Amish terms).  We buy their furniture and jam, and may occasionally spot their buggies when driving on country roads through America’s heartland.  Many may not realize, however, that though the Amish make up only a tiny percentage of Americans (less than 0.1 percent), the Amish population has grown enormously since the early 1960s, with much of the increase occurring in the last two decades." 

Tags:  population, USA, folk cultures, culture, religion

Cohen Adkins's curator insight, March 10, 10:02 AM
In my opinion I thought the Amish would not continue to grow in America since we are in a modern time with high tech and appliances that the Amish do not use. Another reason are the tourists that can possibly disrupt their folk culture and change it. -C.A
Ethan Conner's curator insight, March 10, 10:07 AM
Today there are more amidh than ever befor in American history. Their numbers have raised a great deal thanks to small migrations and years of passed knowledge.
Ethan Conner's curator insight, March 17, 10:05 AM
The Amish community is a very intresting one, they are in thieir own little world where life is simple. This makes them a very intresting community with a growing population.
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MLA Language Map

MLA Language Map | Geography Education |

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great ESRI-powered portal to information and spatial data about languages in the United States.

Tags: language, culture, English, ESRI, USA.

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Map shows how race is a social construct

Map shows how race is a social construct | Geography Education |

"Americans' understanding of who counts as 'white' has changed dramatically throughout the country's history and even over the last century alone. This map — which covers a decade of immigration to the US, from 1892 to 1903 — is a dramatic illustration of what it looked like when 'white' wasn't the same thing as European.  Mouse over any part of the map to magnify it."

Tags: race, historical, USA, map.

LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, November 9, 2014 3:23 PM

And a political construct, too ...

Caterin Victor's curator insight, November 10, 2014 8:43 AM

 Up to me, race and colour don`t matter. Most important is the personality. America have now a black President. Is it better??

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Dozens Of Countries Take In More Immigrants Per Capita Than The U.S.

Dozens Of Countries Take In More Immigrants Per Capita Than The U.S. | Geography Education |

"If you think the United States is every immigrant's dream, reconsider. Sure, in absolute numbers, the U.S. is home to the most foreign-born people — 45.7 million in 2013. But relatively, it's upper-mid-pack as an immigrant nation. It ranks 65th worldwide in terms of percentage of population that is foreign-born, according to the U.N. report 'Trends in International Migrant Stock.'  Whether tax havens and worker-hungry Gulf states, refugee sanctuaries or diverse, thriving economies, a host of nations are more immigrant-dense than the famed American melting pot.  Immigrants make up more than a fourth (27.7 percent) of the land Down Under; two other settler nations, New Zealand and Canada, weigh in with 25.1 and 20.7 percent foreign-born, respectively. That's compared to 14.3 percent in the United States." 

Tags: migration, population, USAAustraliaOceania.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 30, 2015 3:08 PM

The son of an immigrant, I am always taken aback at the intensity of the hatred that is held by certain Americans towards foreign born individuals, as if being born in a different country is the greatest affront to all that we as Americans are supposed to hold dear to us. There is a lot of rhetoric in the current political climate concerning the rate of immigration to the US, with most conservatives unanimously declaring that there are too many foreign born peoples in the US; that our economy, ways of life, and culture are doomed to collapse under the weight of huge waves of uneducated, impoverished immigrants. While immigration is a controversial topic in this country that does deserve a portion of the attention that it receives, it was interesting to learn that immigration is so largely blown out of proportion here in the US, especially compared to other countries. 14.3% of Americans are foreign born; this number seems relatively large, until you learn that 1 in 4 New Zealanders were not born in New Zealand, and yet the immigration debate isn't anywhere near as fierce in New Zealand as it is here in the states. Perhaps we should borrow from the New Zealand model, and show a little more tolerance towards those who were born elsewhere, but call our country home. We pride ourselves on being the "melting pot" of the globe, and it's time that we actually start acting like it, instead of giving into ignorance, fear, and internal fighting.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, December 4, 2015 9:35 AM

Immigration has become a dominate issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. For those who believe that the United States is letting in to many immigrants, I refer you to the statistics in this article. Only 14 percent of our population is foreign born. The United States ranks 65th in the world in the percentages of the population that is foreign born. We are far behind the two most prominent Oceanic nations, Australia and New Zealand. Nearly twenty eight percent of Australians are foreign born. Twenty five percent of New Zealanders are also foreign born. Those nations are actually more representative of the melting pot philosophy, than the United States is.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:16 PM

the us is not the choice nation of nations. it is not the most sought nation for migrants. that means we must be doing something right or wrong.

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Which States Are in the Midwest?

Which States Are in the Midwest? | Geography Education |
Here's a somewhat regular argument I get in: Which states make up which regions of the United States? Some of these regions -- the West Coast, Mountain States, Southwest and Northeast are pretty cl...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Vernacular regions aren't defined by a one particular trait, but are how we think about places.  These 'regions of the mind' are how we organize information about places, which is why these regions aren't sharp or precise.  In a similar article, they investigate what we consider to be a part of the South using similar crowdsourcing data. 


Tags: USA. regionsmapping.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, January 28, 2015 9:08 PM

I've gotten into this argument a couple times, the one that sticks out in my mind is one I had with a Rhode Island transplant from Illinois. Being a living historian of the American War for Independence, some of those 18th century ideas leak into my 21st century life. Those transplants, also living historians, were shocked to hear that I claimed anything West of the Appalachians was the "frontier" and therefore, anything above Kentucky and West of Nebraska was the "Midwest". We had a slight friendly exchange of words about what the Midwest is and where it really is. These regional borders Americans have created not only rely on topography, but also with vernacular and culture on a regional level. A state one day could be considered part of the Midwest but a few decades later could be part of Northeast, the South, or any of the other regions.

Evan Margiotta's curator insight, March 18, 2015 12:03 PM

The map above shows the results of a survey that asked people if they thought their state was considered part of the Midwest or not. The highest percentage of responses of yes came from Illinoise at 81%. The lowest percentage of responses of yes came from Wyoming at 10%.This survey is a perfect example of how cultural factors influence how people see themselves spatially. Its a very interesting concept. Perceptual regions are hard to define by formal regions. It would have been interesting if this survey had shown where the responses were spatially in their state. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 4, 2015 9:31 PM
In my opinion, I believe that the Midwest is considered to be from North Dakota down to Kansas and from west to east, Nebraska to illinois. To me, the core of the Midwest would be Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. I have come to this conclusion based on how my grandfather used to tell me about the US. My grandfather was a contractor for a major corporation and traveled to all 48 contiguous states and whenever he was working in states such as Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, etc, he would tell me that he was in the midwest.
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America is rapidly aging in a country built for the young

America is rapidly aging in a country built for the young | Geography Education |

"Although we seldom think about them this way, most American communities as they exist today were built for the spry and mobile. We've constructed millions of multi-story, single-family homes where the master bedroom is on the second floor, where the lawn outside requires weekly upkeep, where the mailbox is a stroll away. We've designed neighborhoods where everyday errands require a driver's license. We've planned whole cities where, if you don't have a car, it's not particularly easy to walk anywhere — especially not if you move gingerly.

This reality has been a fine one for a younger country. Those multi-story, single-family homes with broad lawns were great for Baby Boomers when they had young families. And car-dependent suburbs have been fine for residents with the means and mobility to drive everywhere. But as the Baby Boomers whose preferences drove a lot of these trends continue to age, it's becoming increasingly clear that the housing and communities we've built won't work very well for the old."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Population change is frequently a concern of city planners at the local level.  This article shows that major demographic shifts are going to mean major changes in our patterns in our cities as we become a 'greying' society. 

Tagsurban, unit 7 cities, housing, sprawlneighborhood, planning, densityplanning, declining populations, population, demographic transition model, USA.

Alexandra Piggott's curator insight, October 18, 2014 6:48 PM

This is also an issue in Australia where the overwhelming majority of people live in single story dwellings and are very car reliant.

Joshua Mason's curator insight, January 28, 2015 8:59 PM

I can definitely see this as a real problem. Both my Uncle and my Great Uncle moved their condos from ones that had numerous steps to climb to the second floor to more elder-friendly options. My Great Uncle even went a step further to move him and his wife to a senior living community, where there food, entertainment, etc. is all provided within an enclosed neighbourhood with other people of their age group. More of these communities that act like oversized retirement homes could be the answer. They give the illusion of suburban living, something the baby boomers liked, while providing the accessibility they need.

Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, April 8, 2015 12:27 PM

APHG- HW Option 1

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Local Shifts in Labor Demand

Local Shifts in Labor Demand | Geography Education |

"Daily oil production in the Bakken is approaching one million barrels per day, placing it in an elite group of only ten super-giant oil fields in the world that have ever produced that much oil at peak production. In total, nearly one billion barrels of oil have now been produced in the Bakken oil fields, and all of that oil production and related activities have brought the unemployment rate in the Williston area down to below 1% in most months over the last three years. For the most recent month – April – the jobless rate here was 0.9%."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As an oil boom has transformed North Dakota, the influx of oil workers has changed all the sectors of the local economy.  Agriculture has historically been the #1 economic contributor in the region, but huge piles of grain aren't be shipped to the market, as oil by rail is much more profitable.   

Questions to Ponder: Why is WalMart offering such high wages in North Dakota?  What local factors impact the prevailing wage rate?  What does this tell us about places with low wages?  How does the oil industry impact all the others in the region?     

Tags: manufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 11:38 AM

this is great for the economy of not only this area, i hope this sustained income trickles throughout the United States. the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota are grabbing around 1 million barrels of oil per day. it sounds crazy and it really is. this super production of oil has brought down unemployment in this area to 1%. This booming production of oil has also raised wages all over the state, and in return basically has made a cult minimum wage. if Walmart tried to use the state minimum of $7.25 then nobody would want to work at the said Walmart. Walmart must accurately pay their employees to keep them. it is now a competition for workers rather than workers competing for jobs in North Dakota.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 6:31 PM

Its crazy but understandable that the oil boom is having an effect on everything in the local economy, even the wages at store like Walmart.  If these are the prices being offered at Walmart, i'm sure other jobs in the area are paying well also.  On top of that, i'm almost positive that the cost of living here is also high.  But I don't care how much these jobs are paying...Your not going to find me moving to the Dakotas!

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, September 9, 2015 2:32 PM

Wages for companies are like everything in the economy based on supply and demand. Walmart currently has a large supply of jobs in a region where job demand is low, or vice versa. Either way for Walmart needs to increase their hourly pay in order to compete in the job market and appeal to the employees they are looking for. In Rhode Island where our unemployment rate is so high there is  huge supply of workers and a lesser demand for workers. In this scenario a corporation such as Walmart does not need to compete for workers they are in a sense disposal and in excess, therefor even only paying minimum wage  they know they will have no problem finding employees.