Tweet from Earth Pics (screenshot preserved for when it gets taken down). Retweeted over 1,000 times in the first hour.
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Tweet from Earth Pics (screenshot preserved for when it gets taken down). Retweeted over 1,000 times in the first hour.
This is a real island...well, sort of. It is an island off the coast of Thailand (most certainly not Ireland) and there is no castle on the top. Photoshopping and easy file sharing make it harder to assess the validity of online resources (this fantastic digital manipulation is the work of Jan Oliehoek). Most students start their research with online sources. This isn't to pretend that that I've never mistakenly assumed that some online content was accurate when it wasn't true; I think we all have. I think that it's an important conversation to have with our students so they can be more critical consumers of online information and use some geographic skills to assess the quality of that information.
A geographer and a biologist at Salem State University team up to curate a new exhibition, featuring confounding views from both satellites and microscopes
When I teach why scale is an important concept in geography, I say that depending on the situation a scientist might need a microscope or a telescope to properly understand a phenomenon. Most images give us enough context clues to help us determine the scale of the image, but this set of 15 images does not. So is it micro or macro?
In the Winnie the Pooh Movie Pooh's Grand Adventure, the character Rabbit has absolute confidence in the printed word and especially the map.
Questions to ponder: How much do we trust any given map? How much should we trust a map (or the printed word)? What makes a document reliable or unreliable?
"FOUND is a curated collection of photography from the National Geographic archives. In honor of our 125th anniversary, we are showcasing photographs that reveal cultures and moments of the past. Many of these photos have never been published and are rarely seen by the public. We hope to bring new life to these images by sharing them with audiences far and wide. Their beauty has been lost to the outside world for years and many of the images are missing their original date or location."
How have I not found National Geographic FOUND until now? The curators post approximately 2 pictures a day that generally have never been published before; the result is an archive that is a wonderfully eclectic treasure trove. There are simply too many great teaching images to share them individually. Pictured above is the Sutherland Falls which thunders down a 1,904-foot drop from Lake Quill in New Zealand (January 1972, Photo by James L. Amos). I consider National Geographic FOUND as a must see and will include it in my list of best scoops (filed under the tag zbestofzbest).
|Suggested by Kara Charboneau|
Hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty and privacy, most notably expressed in women’s clothing that covers most of the body.
What is the geography of hijab? Covering one's head pre-dates Islam in the Middle East but many associate this practice strictly with Islam and only for women--read this article (with teaching tips and supplemental resources) for more context on this cultural and religious practice.
Dynamic infographic on world religions (don't be intimidated by the page being in Russian... The graphic is not).
Religious traditions are interconnected and often share common roots and ancestries. This stunning infographic is an attempt to visually reconcile these disparate strands of faith into one cohesive whole (the image above is far too small to do it justice, but I tried to show the image at various scales).
"Europe and Asia, while often considered two separate continents, both lie on the same landmass or tectonic plate, the Eurasian supercontinent. The historic and geographic story of the Eurasian boundary is intriguing."
While most continental borders follow some physical geographic definition, the border between Europe and Asia is purely cultural and a remant of classical regional differentiation. Some argue that Europe isn't a separate continent from Asia, and while they are not wrong, the concept of Europe is deep and pervasive in how many of us think about the world. You can find more Geography in the News articles on Maps101.com.
Though he never actually crossed it, the Greek mathematician Pythagoras is sometimes credited with having first conceived of the Equator, calculating its location on the Earth’s sphere more than four centuries before the birth of Christ.
This is an interesting article on some Earth-Sun relationships that challenges the dominant north-centered normative view of how to think about our planet. My favorite tidbit of information: "The velocity of the Earth’s rotation varies depending on where you stand: 1,000 mph at the Equator versus almost zero at the poles. That means that the fastest sunrises and sunsets on the planet occur on the Equator, and centrifugal and inertial forces are also much greater there. "
This is a fabulous map---but is the statement true?
I present this map (hi-res) without any context to my students and ask the question: is this statement true? How can we ascertain the truthfulness of this claim? What fact would we need to gather? This exercise sharpens their critical thinking skills and harnesses the assorted bits of regional information that they already have, and helps them evaluate the statement.
The answers to these questions can be found here.
Here are two shirts are from the Avengers. Both are designed for their children apparel production line, but I don't have to tell you which one is marketed for boys and which one is marketed for girls.
Questions to ponder: How (and why) do companies use cultural ideas and values to market their products? How do companies shape cultural ideas and values? What impact do messages like this have on a society's culture? Do seemingly subtle differences is pop cultural products like this matter?
Recently, Five women activists have been arrested for wearing prayer shawls at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Israeli policewomen detained members of the religious group Women of the Wall for breaching orthodox rules governing prayers at the site, which only allow men to dress this way. This is Judaism's most holy site and orthodox traditions govern the legal code over who is permitted to be in this place and what they may do; this fight represents a struggle to redefine the meaning and usage of public space in Jerusalem (among other complex issues).
"Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding."
To gain a global perspective inherently requires understanding multiple perspectives. Africa is frequently portrayed as 'the other' but also homogenized within a single narrative that 'flattens' truth. How can we teach and learn about other places in a way that develops geographic empathy and shows the many stories of that can belong to any one place?
"Many of us have heard the stories of how our parents or grandparents had to walk miles in the snow to get to school. Perhaps some of these tales were a tad embellished, but we got the point. A lot of American kids have the luxury of being driven in a warm car or bus to a good school nearby. This is not the case for the children in this gallery.
The photos you are about to see are snapshots of the treacherous trips kids around the world take each day to get an education. Considering there are currently 61 million children worldwide who are not receiving an education—the majority of which are girls—these walks are seen as being well worth the risk.
In the above photo, students in Indonesia hold tight while crossing a collapsed bridge to get to school in Banten village on January 19, 2012. Flooding from the Ciberang river broke a pillar supporting the suspension bridge, which was built in 2001."
Welcome, Metafilter visitors! How can you map a sphere unto the plane? well you can't if you want to keep size, shape and proportions. Here are the alternatives... Learn more about the different projections.
We are accustomed to spatial distortion in maps; when we see that same distortion on a picture, it gives us an alternative perspective on the level of spatial distortion that we see on maps. The Azimuthal projections (circular) are my favorite for this photographic project.
Blue countries are more welcoming, red countries less. Where does yours rank?
The World Economic Forum compiled a report on global tourism and part of that was an estimation of the attitude of each countries' population toward foreign visitors--this map is a visualization of that data. Why would some particular countries be more or less welcoming? What surprises you about this map?
Disclaimer: according to this article, there is much that is methodologically wrong with this map.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
Two opposing groups battle to define the word jihad on public buses and subways.
This New York Times video highlights two current media campaigns that are in their own struggle to shape the meaning(s) of the word jihad for the American public. While the definition of "Holy War" is often quoted, it also means a struggle. When you hear the word jihad, who's jihad do you think of first? The cultural context within which a word is used might not be the same context in which the message is received and interpreted. This disconnect can be a part of cultural conflicts and misunderstandings.
I imagine I could tell you what I think about this image, but my opinion is just one man's opinion. I'm sharing this to provoke you to have your own thoughts, feelings, perspectives and reactions to this political cartoon. In what way(s) is your perspective a product of your cultural, historical and geographic setting?
Our thoughts shape the words we speak, but the language we speak (and ways we communicate) help shape the way we think. In this TED talk, an economist looks at how the grammatical structure that languages use to speak about the future impacts how the speakers of the language are able to save money for future events. For 5 other examples of how language can impact how we think and perceive the world, see this attached article.
Emphasizing the importance of protecting the nation’s global image, marketers at the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton Strategies, Inc.
I've got nothing but love for the good people of Alabama, but this spoof from the Onion is great.
A different perspective of Paul Harvey's "God made a Farmer." In reference to the foreign-owned Chrysler Corp. that showed a similar video that aired during ...
As a cultural production this is fascinating reshaping of the original Chrysler Super Bowl commercial. The original doubles as a tribute to a rural America of yesteryear and American labor. This one acts as a critique on the status on Latino workers in the United States. The audio is the same, with images that conjure out entirely different messages (here is an irreverent parody).
Oh, Machu Picchu, ancient city of the Incas, pride of Peru, must-see travel destination: You've never been so appropriately photobombed by a llama.
Millions of tourists have already taken a picture of Machu Picchu from this angle, and yet, tourists all want to replicate the iconic shot as for themselves--proof that they were there and had the full experience. Iconic images are perfect for internet memes (and in this instance a photobomb) because there is a shared cultural understanding of what the picture should look like normally and inverting that provides the comic relief. CAPTION THIS PHOTO IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.
This online game where you return the "misplaced" country on the map is more than just an exercise in locating places (there are many online map quizzes for that sort of activity). What makes this one unique is that as you move the country north or south the country expands or contracts according to how that country would be projected if that were its actual location on a Mercator map. This is a great way to introduce projections.
As more of our students go searching for information online, we need to also teach our students how to assess the quality of a particular media outlet and develop a critical eye. This great song is a humorous way to approach that topic.
Questions to Ponder: What makes a source reliable? Can a source be reliable on some topics but not others?
Here's an article about how an over-reliance on GPS (or Sat-Nav) can lead to the erosion of one's mental map. And yes, the article is from the Daily Mail (as the images on the side clearly demonstrate). Does that change how you approach the information?