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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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An Insider's View Of 19th-Century Paris

An Insider's View Of 19th-Century Paris | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Charles Marville photographed Paris' transition from medieval hodgepodge to modern metropolis.  Marville made more than 425 photographs of the narrow streets and crumbling buildings of premodern Paris, including this view from the top of Rue Champlain in 1877-1878."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This NPR podcast adds some great insight into Charles Marville's 19th century photography currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  The urban transformations designed by Haussmann made Paris the global capital of modernity and the many cities around the world copied the principles of Haussmannization.  A photographic glimpse into Paris before and during these changes that brought about social upheaval is a marvelous tool for an historical geographic analysis of urbanization.  

   

Tags: urban, historical, Paris, placeFrancepodcastimages.

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Kevin Barker's comment, October 6, 2013 8:38 AM
Little blurb at the top of the link for the gallery :) "Notice: During the federal government shutdown, the offices and all premises of the National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are closed to the public, and all public programs are canceled. Employees will not have access to their e-mail or voicemail accounts during the shutdown."
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These Interactive Maps Compare 19th Century American Cities to Today

These Interactive Maps Compare 19th Century American Cities to Today | Geography Education | Scoop.it

" The Smithsonian Magazine recently dipped into David Rumsey's collection of over 150,000 maps to find some of the best representations of American cities over the past couple hundred years. With some simple programming, they were able to overlay images of vintage maps of some major cities onto satellite images from today. The results are fascinating."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The 'spyglass' feature gives thesse gorgeous vintage maps a modern facelift. The cities that are in this set of interactive maps are: 



Tags: cartography, mapping, visualization, urban, historical.

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Tom cockburn's comment, September 20, 2013 2:09 PM
Absolutely agree,Marian!
Amy Marques's curator insight, February 6, 2:09 PM

These maps are a great way to see what North American cities used to look like in comparison to what they are now. Some great transformations are Chicago and NYC.

Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 8:56 AM

The Smithsonian Magazine overlayed maps of American cities for the past centuries with modern satellite images to show differences in the development and planning and the growth of the cities.

The growth and change of the cities changed over the years on how it was achieved and how far it could be expanded due to new technology and movement of people to urban areas. The technology helped achieved a certain hold over the environment to build more urban spaces. 

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Stanford History Education Group

Stanford History Education Group | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Stanford History Education Group has amassed some great resources for social studies teachers.  Their chief resources is a program called Reading Like a Historian.  The program has 71 stand-alone lessons for U.S. History organized within 11 units. These lessons span colonial to Cold War America and cover a range of political, social, economic, and cultural topics. They are continuing to expand the Reading Like a Historian program to World History.  Currently there are 15 lessons from across the world history sequence with more lesson plans under development that will be released in the next few months.


Tags: historical, teacher training.

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Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, August 30, 2013 3:27 AM

Des plans de cours et des documents sur l'histoire des USA et du monde. 

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Linguistic Diversity at Home

Linguistic Diversity at Home | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Counties where at least 10 percent of people speak a language other than English at home."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is ostensibly a map that would be great for a cultural geography unit, I'm also thinking about the spatial patterns that created this map.  What current or historical migrations account for some of the patterns visible here?  What would a map like this look like it it were produced 50 years ago?  Why are Vermont and West Virginia the only states without a county with over 10% of the population that speak another language at home?  


Tags: language, North America, mapping, regions, census, migration, populationhistoricalfolk cultures, USA.

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elianna sosa paulino's curator insight, September 10, 2013 7:48 AM

While this is ostensibly a map that would be great for a cultural geography unit, I'm also thinking about the spatial patterns that created this map.  What current or historical migrations account for some of the patterns visible here?  What would a map like this look like it it were produced 50 years ago?  Why are Vermont and West Virginia the only states without a county with over 10% of the population that speak another language at home? 

 

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 5, 2013 11:34 AM

The presence of large numbers of people that speak languages other than English at home occurs on the east and west coasts of the U.S., but largely in the south and western areas of the U.S..  In high school we used to have discussions about how there were many immigrants coming into the U.S. from or through Mexico.  With migration comes cultural diffusion, as the people coming into the United States bring their language and many other cultural elements of their country of origin with them.  I know there are certain neighborhoods in cities in Rhode Island where most people that I see on the street are speaking Spanish.  I have a relative that has married an immigrant from Guatemala, and she learned that the North East coast of the U.S. Is where many people from Central America move to- often in groups that settle as communities to help each other.  I can understand that it is essential to live near people that speak your language, and it makes sense that their strength and comfort in numbers is also a way of having a "home away from home."  Being the area of the world on the southern land border of the U.S., and that Central America consists mainly of Spanish speakers, it fills in the Southern areas of the U.S. with people that speak a language other than English.  The coasts overall can be explained as being populated by people that speak languages other than English at home because they contain ports of travel and trade, and are points where many flights from other countries would land and drop off travelers and migrants.  That and beautiful ocean views make the coasts a great place for foreigners to settle and live.  These pull factors are likely influential reasons for people to relocate to the areas on the map.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 8:02 PM

This map does not bring many surprises.  Places where there are a lot of Spanish speaking families are present in places where many Spanish people immigrate to, along the Mexican border and the southern tip of Florida, where Cuba is close by.  One interesting thing about the French areas seen in Louisiana is that their version of French is a regional dialect. Not only is their a cluster of French speaking families, but they are all speaking a language native to the region.  It is very surprising that there are not as many French speaking families along the Canadien border.

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The Longitude Problem

The Longitude Problem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Today we take it for granted that through GPS technology we can instantaneously determine our latitude and longitude.  This video documents how for centuries it was fairly easy to determine latitude at sea by measuring the height of the sun in the sky, but longitude (determined by the difference in time between local noon and the noon of a fixed point) could only be estimated.  The British Empire saw solving the "longitude problem" as the key to solidifying their economic dominance at sea and they established the Board of Longitude in this 18th century "race to the moon." Today the University of Cambridge has digitized the Board of Longitude's archives with a series of five shorter video clips.  


Tagsmapping, GPS, historical, cartography, geospatial, location.

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Romain ARMAND's comment, August 21, 2013 2:17 AM
Thank you for the video and fo the link to the Board of Longitude! Already know this story, but still amazing and well documented.
Richard Miles's curator insight, September 5, 2013 4:30 PM

Great video on how the problem of longitude was solved.

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American Centroid Helps To Trace Path Of U.S. Migration

American Centroid Helps To Trace Path Of U.S. Migration | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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."

Seth Dixon's insight:

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?


Tags: statistics, census, mappingmigration, populationhistoricalUSA.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, August 4, 2013 10:45 AM

Awesome way to show how the settlement of the US continues to move west with the population growing on the West Coast at a faster rate.  If you look at the biggest jump between 1850 and 1860 it shows the mass immigration into the US and the further migration to the western part of the US especailly with the gold rush starting in 1849.  Great littel piece of information.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 30, 2013 11:23 PM

The centre of population in the USA has moved further inland and southward compared to Australia. Comparing urbanisation in USA and Australia.

Blake Welborn's curator insight, November 11, 2013 7:33 PM

Informative, short podcast that details the changing migration of the US. This allows for the comparison of migration and time and the effects of migration over the years in the US. 

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Re-examining the Battle of Gettysburg with GIS

Re-examining the Battle of Gettysburg with GIS | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"GIS has given us the chance to re-examine how the Civil War battle was won and lost." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

July 1-3 mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and it seems only appropriate to share these rich, interactive resources to commemorate the event (this particular interactive feature uses an ESRI storymap template).  This fantastic example from the Smithsonian Magazine shows how history teaching and research can be benefited by using GIS with the example of Gettysburg.  Many student today visit the sites of the Battle of Gettysburg and get a greater appreciation of battle by getting a sense of the lay of the land and the  challenged confronting both armies.  National Geographic has additionally put together resources to display other Civil War battles.  GIS is not a tool that is just for geographers; any analysis that requires spatial analysis can be mapped. 


Tags: historicalwar, landscape, spatial, GIS, ESRI.

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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, July 9, 2013 11:46 AM

Looking for GIS integration into history classes?  Smithsonian has a great page using the Battle of Gettysburg.  

John Slifko's curator insight, July 10, 2013 9:17 AM

the rent of the civil war 

Todd Pollard's curator insight, February 4, 7:34 PM

I really like this interactive map application.

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Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map

Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944.  However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a painful page in world history, but it needs retelling.  The Soviet era profoundly reshaped the cultural, political and economic geographies of the region.  

 

Tags: Russia, migration, Central Asiahistoricalwarethnicitypolitical, gerrymandering.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 12:43 AM

Stalin probably did not have the outlook of his country's geography in mind when he deported all of these people.  It goes to show that ruthless dictatorships are never the way to go, as impulsive decisions and tyranny can have consequences for the long term.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 28, 10:09 PM

This article details the ethnic deportation of peoples during the Soviet era. Many peoples were relocated under the guise of creating an ethnically unified Soviet Union but the truth was while some of the deportations were to simply move workers places of planned industry, many were to exile those deemed enemies of the state. The article estimates over 40% of those relocated died of diseases, malnutrition, or mistreatment. These forced migrations changed the demographics of Eastern Europe and Asia while causing major conflicts between various ethnic groups and Russia.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 6:22 AM

This article describes the practice of Lenin and Stalin of Russifacation.  This policy led to many ethnic minorities with in the Soviet Union being deported from their home soil to the interior of Russia.  The aim was to place ethnic Russian in boarder areas and to bring the ‘undesirable’ ethnicity into the interior to become Russian or sent to the gulags to die.  The effects of this mass relocation of ethnicity is still being felt today.  The rising conflict in Ukraine is a direct result from these policies as the country is split between ethnic Ukraine and the decedents of the ethnic Russians move there to secure the ports to the Black Sea.

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Kent State: Past and Present

Kent State: Past and Present | Geography Education | Scoop.it

On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down Jeffrey Miller, Allison Krause, William Knox Schroeder, and Sandra Scheuer during an anti-war protest at Kent State University.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a poignant image that strikes a chord with me.  History is embedded within place even if the historical events are not memorialized within the landscape.  May 4, 2013 not only marked the anniversary of the Kent State tragedy, it also was the day that the great Wilbur Zelinsky passed away. He was a geographer who analyzed the cultural landscape as well as anyone ever did, and I consider myself fortunate enough to have had conversations with him while I was at Penn State. 

   

Tags: historicalwar, landscape.

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Maegan Anderson's comment, May 6, 2013 9:37 PM
speechless...
Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, May 10, 2013 6:39 AM

Photos like this that juxtapose the original photograph to present day surroundings always grab me.  What an interesting discussion this could be in a history classroom!

Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 12, 2013 5:52 PM

Kent State: Past and Present | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

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New York's Changing Skyline

New York's Changing Skyline | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I love this visualization of New York City's evolving skyline from 1876-2013.  The urban landscape of America's prominent cities has changed dramatically. 


Tags: historical,urbanarchitecture, landscape, NYC.

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Louis Culotta's comment, May 1, 2013 8:32 AM
I wonder if the tallest building in the first picture is the first stage of the Brooklyn Bridge??????
Louis Culotta's curator insight, May 1, 2013 8:35 AM

if you look at the first picture...it looks like the tall building on the water could be the first stage of the Brooklyn Bridge...any suggestions to this?

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History of the English Language

History of the English Language | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"What we know as the English Language today has evolved over thousands of years, influenced by migrating tribes, conquering armies and peaceful trade. Do you know the origins of the language you speak? Have a look at this detailed infographic from  Brighton School of Business and Management."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Languages, just like cultures, are incredibly dynamic and have changed over time.  Many people like to imagine an older version of their own culture of "how it used to be" or even "how it's always was."  This is an illusion though, to pretend as though cultural change is something new.  This fantasy allows for people to nostalgically yearn for what once was, even if that perceived pristine past was but a fleeting moment in history that was shaped by many other peoples, places and times. 


Tags: English, language, culture, infographic, historical.

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Christian Allié's comment, July 2, 2013 1:41 AM
Interesting scale.....thanks!
joelle's comment, July 2, 2013 7:31 AM
:-)
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Japan's Geographic Challenge

Stratfor examines Japan's primary geographic challenge of sustaining its large population with little arable land and few natural resources. For more analysi...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Part of knowing Japan's expansionist history has to do with understanding the geographic setting of the islands.  

 

Tags: Japan, population, historical.

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Kevin Cournoyer's comment, April 30, 2013 9:51 PM
Unlike other larger, more geographically diverse countries, Japan is faced with the problem of a general lack of farmable land and natural resources. The fact that the country is itself an island does not make things any easier for it in an economic sense. The way the country is divided up also makes for a difficult political situation, as mountain ranges create division, and therefore, political disunity.
The proximity of the Korean peninsula and China to Japan is also important to examine. Whenever Japan wishes to acquire natural resources and other economically beneficial materials, Korea is the conduit through which Japan tends to invade the mainland, usually China. Because of this, we can see how Japan’s geographic location may cause strained relationships with its neighbors, both politically and economically. Alienating two of its closest neighbors would clearly be a disastrous move for Japan, but it may be seen as necessary due to its unfortunate geographic location.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 2:31 PM

It would make sense to me that for a place like Japan to sustain itself successfully, it would have to have some help from other areas with more resources.  Again with the concept- people don't choose to be born, or where they are born... To be born in Japan is as unchosen by that person as it would be in any other country.  I don't think people should have to pay for resources that they do not have available, especially because they are on an island/island chain that simply doesn't have what they need.  I am really repulsed by the bartering system because of absolute indication of beyond excessive surplus and profit and greed and all that garbage that humanity reeks of.  Yeah some people are happy, but we could be completely unburdened of all negativity if we banded together to rid the world of negativity itself.  I know that Japan would be happy to receive everything that they need for no cost, but I also know that many people would be willing to work, and more willing to work, if they didn't have expenses to pay for... it would really be serving their life's purpose as a component of humankind if they worked to help others, rather than to pay their monthly rent.  I don't have a clue how I would go about organizing a movement to transform this idea into a reality, but I'll work on that.  In the mean time, I would advise supranationalism for Japan, and hope that with the alliance of other countries, they can band together and make deals that work for the greater good of their country, population, and the world.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 7:58 AM

This short video did a great job in explaining why Japan became expansionist in the decades leading up to WW II.  The mountainous nature of the islands and lack of arable land challenges Japan to provide food for its people.  To understand Japan you must understand her geography, this helps to understand why a country acted the way it did in the past and can be a predictor of future actions. 

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#deextinction

Seth Dixon's insight:

De-extinction is a new term for to me but this week a TEDx conference hosted by National Geographic focused completely on this concept on the possibility of reviving formerly extinct species. Just because we think we can bring back a lost species, does that mean we should?  What would be the benefits?  Disadvantages? 


I've read enough about passenger pigeons to know that beyond overhunting, the species went extinct as large swaths of North American forests became fragmented and modified.  While we may be able to theoretically bring back a species, we cannot rewind the clock and bring all the essential ingredients to their former ecosystem that allowed them to thrive in the first place.  De-extinction would NOT be repairing the world so that it was as if the extinction never happened, since other species in the ecosystem have adapted to their absence. Given the length of their absence, could these be considered "invasive species?"     


Tags: biogeography, environment, National Geographic, environment modify, ecology, historical, TED.

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The Map That Lincoln Used to See the Reach of Slavery

The Map That Lincoln Used to See the Reach of Slavery | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Historian Susan Schulten writes in her book Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America that during the 1850s many abolitionists used maps to show slavery's historical development and to illustrate political divisions within the South. (You can see many of those maps on the book’s companion website.)  Schulten writes that President Lincoln referred to this particular map often, using it to understand how the progress of emancipation might affect Union troops on the ground. The map (hi-res) even appears in the familiar Francis Bicknell Carpenter portrait First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln, visible leaning against a wall in the lower right-hand corner of the room."


Tagsmapping, historical, cartography.

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Expert's comment, September 25, 2013 7:09 PM
good maps http://www.skoyun.com/oyunlar/oyunskor
Anna & Lexi 's curator insight, October 3, 2013 8:18 AM

I chose this scoop because it relates to slavery, and slavery has something to do with economics. It also has to do with social. This map was used by Lincoln to see the reach of slavery. TOPIC: social

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 1:13 AM

Great historical map of the population density of enslaved people during the 1850s. I would like to see this map with a side by side of the poulation density of modern day african americans. I think they would be very similar due to many people not wanting to leave their culture and tradtion behind. Another little thing i found interesting on this map is where the slaves were the most populated such as along the mississippi and coastal carolinas. This is from the farms having to use massive amounts of water to run and whats better than being right on the water.

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Space archaeologist unlocks secrets of ancient civilizations

Space archaeologist unlocks secrets of ancient civilizations | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Dr Sarah Parcak uses satellite technology to unearth Egypt's ancient settlements, pyramids and palaces lost in the sands of time.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The uses of geospatial technologies are NOT limited to studying geography, but it is the bedrock of many research projects that involve spatial thinking (as demonstrated in this TED talk).  Geographic principles and geographers can be very important components of interdisciplinary research teams.


Tags: spatial, remote sensing, geospatial, Egypt, historical

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elizama ramirez's curator insight, January 24, 9:15 PM

DR Sarah Parcak a archeologist is passionate about finding  ancient settlements under the sands. She uses a satellite technology as a resource to find these ancient settlements. It can be either pyramids, temples, or just statues.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 3, 9:10 PM

It is interesting to find out that in this specific article there is controversy over the looting of tombs over 5,000 years ago as soon as the deceased were buried there were many more looting acts taken place. The Arab spring is an important landmark to think of when relating this to the reading.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 20, 8:51 AM

This describes human characteristics that defined this region because it shows how ancient artifacts are being unearthed through new-age technology.

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Chicago on the Eve of the Great Fire

Chicago on the Eve of the Great Fire | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This 1868 pocket map of Chicago shows the city in full-blown expansion, a mere 3 years before the infamous blaze
Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive map with a 'spyglass' feature.  Chicago is displaced during a economic boom period as the U.S. was expanding westward.  Where where the railroads located then?  Why have some of them vanished today?  Notice anything curious about the coastline along Lake Michigan?  Follow this link to see similar interactives of other major U.S. cities.


Tags: Chicago, historical

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 25, 8:07 AM

An interesting map which shows the difference between present day Chicago and 1868 Chicago. It illustrates what a dramatic transformation the city has undergone in the last 150 years. The trains and their tracks, which were such an important part of 1800's travel and logistics, were all removed and replaced with roads for automobiles. Lake Michigan was filled in approximately 1000 feet to expand the city to the east. Where Soldier Field now sits, was once roughly 150 feet into Lake Michigan. To the west, the 1868 map shows large squares of undeveloped city which is today subdivided into entire neighborhoods. Yet, while there are a lot of differences, it's surprising how much is still the same. Much of the developed part of 1868 Chicago has the same layout as today. The buildings may have changed, but the locations of buildings and streets are the same as they were then, a likely product of inertia since it would take more effort to restructure the city than renovate it.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 12:09 PM

This map is cool.  It lets you compare the old map to the new map by moving a lens around the satellite map.  It is a great interactive tool to compare old and new and allows the viewer to see how much the geography of the city has changed in the last 150 years or so.

A. Perry Homes's curator insight, July 24, 7:09 PM

This map is truly revealing of how far we've progressed as a city. 

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Religious Geographies

Religious Geographies | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I recently got my hands on a fabulous atlas entitled Mapping Mormonism which shows the historical geographies of this particular Christian denomination (see a review here).  I'll briefly share just this one cartogram above that is from the atlas; it displays territory not by the size of the landmass but by the LDS population living within the given territory.  While we would expect to see Utah to be very large on this cartogram, are there other pockets of large LDS populations that are surprising to you?  What explains the small spatial distribution patterns of limited diffusion that you see?  The LDS church is well-known for its missionary program and proselytizing efforts—does that play a role in this map?


On a related side note I found a curious political/religious map of the United States (a map that is partially explained by understanding some of the patterns on the map above).  The most typical religious maps show where particular religions are pre-dominant.  This map shows territories marked not by the faith of the residents but by the religion of the local congressmen.  This make me wonder:  Is this map religious or political? Is there valuable information to glean from this maps or is it simply a fun curiosity?  How does the religious geography of the United States impact political geography (or vice versa)?    


Tags: religion, culture, diffusion, mapping, historical, cartography.

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Jacob Ramsey's comment, September 1, 2013 7:42 PM
Its really interesting how a so many people can collaborate on one topic to bring not only the history of a ideal, but the true history of a long line of people that were a big part of the development of the west in the United States. We always learn about how this and that president did something to help the country expand but it would very interesting to see how we as a country grew from the influences of someone outside of our own society. And not only does this book offer maps but it also includes charts and timelines!
Kendall Belleville's comment, September 2, 2013 2:11 PM
It is really cool to see how much of tho religions are in the United States. it is really nice to see that people are being supportive of them. It is interesting that there are large areas of religion and then some areas have very little.
Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 28, 9:30 PM

This map conveys the population of Mormons in each state. The sizes of the states are presented as corresponding the the Mormon population in each. The map links to more than what it shows. When you ask why are so many Mormons in Utah you can look into the past of Utah and the past of Mormons and you will find that Mormons settled in Utah following one of their leaders. You can then even ask the question why are Mormons still migrating to Utah or the question why did they stay there. Human geography can help us find the answers to these questions. A shared ideology among the community. A lack of repercussion for being open about their belief. A sense of belonging. Family connections. Human Geography help us unravel these mysteries which were brought to our attention by a simple map.

Regional spaces of Mormon's (such as the rather Formal region of Utah) are shown through the map and show the distribution of Mormonism throughout the world.

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What's in a Name?

What's in a Name? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Pentagon has upset patriots by labeling the body of water between Korea and Japan in an exhibition depicting various battles fought during the 1950-53 Korean War as "Sea of Japan" rather than "East Sea."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Earlier this week I posted on whether a group of islands off the coast of Argentina should be called the Falkland Islands or Las Malvinas.  There is some geopolitical significance to which name you ascribe to particular places.  Does it matter if I call the sea to the east of the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" and if someone else refers to this same body of water west of Japan the "Sea of Japan?"  For many years the Sea of Japan has been the defacto name internationally and South Korean officials have lobbied (quite successfully) to bolster the legitimacy of the name within the media, publishers and cartographers and other governments.  Last summer, a worker in the South Korean government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that I share some resources that state South Korea's position(see also this 10 minute video), showing their commitment to this rebranding effort.  Also see this GeoCurrents article on the subject in 2012, after South Korea's failed attempt to get international recognition.


Questions to Ponder: What other places have multiple names?  What are the political overtones to the name distinctions? What are other tricky places on the map where distinct groups would label/draw things differently?  Is the map an 'unbiased' source of information? 


Tags: language, toponyms, South Korea, historical, colonialism, cartography.

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Justin McCullough's curator insight, October 17, 2013 7:16 AM

I agree with Peter Kim and others that are fighting to have the name changed to the East Sea. The term "Sea of Japan" was used in colonial times of South Korea. Now that those times are long gone, it I can understand why South Korea would want to get rid of anything related to that time period. This actually reminds of something that I'm going over in my colonial history class; the Pueblo Revolt (1680). During this time Indians revolted against the Spanish colonizers oppressing them and taking away their traditions, forcibly converting them to Christianity. During their revolt the Indians destroyed many of the Spanish institutions, especially those related to religion. They destroyed churches and even defaced the statues of the saints, and returned to their traditional practices.

This article also reminded of Sri Lanka changing the its colonial name on Government institutions from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. This happened not to long ago. The Island's colonial name (Ceylon) was dropped when they became their own country in 1972. However, the name Ceylon remained on many of the Government institutions (e.g. Bank of Ceylon or Ceylon Fisheries Corporation). However, in 2010 the name was dropped for good.  

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How the Canadian Provinces and Territories Got Their Names

How the Canadian Provinces and Territories Got Their Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Here's a little more Canadian history on this Canada Day.    

Via AP US History, Mike Busarello's Digital Textbooks
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm a little late for Canada Day, but the information about the origins of the names of all the Provinces and Territories is great information any time of year. 


Tags: Canada, toponyms, historical, trivia.

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Kaylin Burleson's curator insight, July 3, 2013 8:42 AM

Like Seth said - a little late for Canada Day, but we can certainly use in our World Geography  unit on North America.   

 

Sara Kanewske's curator insight, July 12, 2013 7:07 PM

Toponyms

English Gallery's curator insight, July 17, 2013 6:04 AM

Great for a little extra look at toponyms

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Atlas of True Names

Atlas of True Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Atlas of True Names reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings,
of the familiar terms on today's maps of the World, Europe, the British Isles and the United States.

For instance, where you would normally expect to see the Sahara indicated,

the Atlas gives you "The Tawny One", derived from Arab. es-sahra “the fawn coloured, desert”.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fun set of maps that forces us to reexamine the historical linguistic roots of place names.  Many toponyms have a complicated histories so the actual root of the name is not always a single straightforward translation as shown in these maps.  As you explore these maps, most readers will find something the they would dispute, correct, or want to see contextualized more but all in all, it is a fun set of maps.


Tags: language, mapping, art, cartography, toponyms, historical.


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John Blunnie's curator insight, July 2, 2013 8:12 AM

True names give these maps a unique and historic twist.

Carol Thomson's curator insight, July 17, 2013 1:57 AM

I loved looking at the map of great britain.  I hope it grabs my pupils' attention as an introduction to maps.

Amy Marques's curator insight, July 31, 2013 4:19 PM

Great to see what the original names where! Especially for those that are similar to its current name and those that are completely irrelevant!

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Choices Program--Scholars Online

Choices Program--Scholars Online | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Scholars Online Videos feature top scholars answering a specific question in his or her field of expertise. These brief and informative videos are designed to supplement the Choices Program curricula.

Seth Dixon's insight:

In this Scholar's Online video, Jennifer Fluri briefly answers this question: How has Afghanistan's geography affected its history?  This video nicely shows how contested international disputes have geographic dimensions to them.  The very borders of Afghanistan were created out of geopolitical maneuverings.


Tags: Afghanistanborders, politicalculture, Central Asia, historical, colonialism. 

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Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, May 14, 2013 2:57 PM

about The Middle East and frontiers: a short video to better understand this country's history. 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, July 23, 2013 10:36 AM

If you take a look back at history, the only people to ever sucessfully conquer Afghanistan were the Mongols.  The rugged, mountainous terrain made this plac hard to live in and hard to control.  The Mongols were a very mobile people and were able to control the area by aslo being very tolerant of the natives.  Eventually it bacame hard to notice the difference between a Mongol and a native Afghan, they assimilated the Mongols. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 28, 8:19 PM

These videos explain how the northern and southern borders of Afghanistan were created so no part of the great empires of Russia and the United Kingdom would touch. The two superpowers artificially dictated the borders which has caused conflicts. British India historically had used money and influence to support and indirectly rule Afghanistan to provide a buffer zone between its valuable colony of India and Russia while keeping their Indian subjects docile and secure.

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The Names Behind The States

The Names Behind The States | Geography Education | Scoop.it

An infographic of the etymology and cultural origins of the names that made the United States of America.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I would dispute the accuracy of some of the alleged linguistic origins of the state names, so take this with a grain of salt (still it's a clever concept for an inforgraphic and shows some interesting patterns).  As with all long infographics on this site, you can "scroll down" on the image by putting the cursor in the top right-hand corner of the image and sliding on the translucent bar.


Tags: language, USA, infographic, toponyms, historical, colonialism.

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Seth Dixon's comment, May 6, 2013 12:21 PM
@Carly, Texas is also inaccurate...
Francisco Javier 's curator insight, May 12, 2013 5:52 PM

The Names Behind The States | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...

Aulde de Barbuat's comment, May 18, 2013 4:08 AM
quite interesting, thanks. Unhappily, the link seems broken..Do you happen to have another one?
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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a very intriguing infographic (download high-resolution image here).  How are old colonial patterns a thing of the past?  How do old colonial patterns continue to affect the African continent? 


Tags: Africa, states, language, infographic, historical, colonialism.

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 7:27 AM

This infographic was very interesting.  By using color coding it highlights the areas of influence the colonel powers still maintain over their old possessions.  This map is helpful in understanding how this affects the politics of theses regions today.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 9:59 AM

Colonial ties are still very prevalent due to Europe's dependence upon the resources of Africa. European countries like England and France invest billions in Africa, not to help those African nations, but to build infrastructure for resource extraction or to keep governments stable. Though the true exploitation of Africa has ended, the current situation certainly has the ring of exploitation as the people of Europe enjoy the diamonds and chocolate harvested by the multitudes of impoverished people of Africa.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 1:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

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1832 Cholera Epidemic in NYC

1832 Cholera Epidemic in NYC | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A cholera outbreak in New York in 1832 led to broad efforts to clean up the city and others like it.
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The Cyrus Cylinder: An Artifact Ahead of Its Time

The Cyrus Cylinder: An Artifact Ahead of Its Time | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This relic from ancient Persia had a profound influence on the Founding Fathers
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video can be seen as the three minute version of a 20 minute TED talk by Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum.  He discusses the profound importance that the Cyrus Cylinder (A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script) had on modern political though on multiculturalism.


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David Ricci's comment, April 30, 2013 7:07 AM
I decided to write a comment on this video because there were no others. After watching the video though, i realized that it was quite interesting. I love looking into the history of ancient civilizations such as the Roman empire. This video takes an artifact from the ancient Persian Empire and proves that it was used by our founding fathers to help dictate the way we live today. Persia was the first empire that allowed complete religious freedom. When Jefferson was writing the Declaration he looked to Cyrus and the cylinder for inspiration. At this time period they were doing something unheard of by having complete religious freedom and the fathers were not sure how they could make it work. With little experience they went to the only know successful example of this type of society. All societies have gotten inspirations from history and this is an interesting bit of information about where our countries inspiration came from.
Kevin Cournoyer's comment, April 30, 2013 9:52 PM
Again, as a history major, I found this video to be particularly interesting. I was not aware of the Cyrus Cylinder despite my deep interest in both ancient history and the American Revolution.
The Cyrus Cylinder and the U.S. Constitution are unique because they both provided for equal protection of different races, religions, etc. Because of this, both pieces allowed for a united entity that encompassed diverse cultures, making for a heterogeneous geographic area. I think this video was most interesting because it shows that despite both spatial and chronological separation, common ideas can transcend all different barriers to be upheld and striven towards for a better world.