Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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What If the Entire World Lived in 1 City?

What If the Entire World Lived in 1 City? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Two Yale architects pose the question in an ambitious research project.


"Hsiang and Mendis have increasingly come to believe that the only way to study and plan for our urban planet is to conceptualize its entire population in one seamless landscape – to picture 7 billion of us as if we all lived in a single, massive city."

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Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, October 17, 2013 1:54 PM

I was very exited by the work being done by Bimal Mendis and Joyce Hsiang.  I hear to much on the news and in conversation about over population, energy shortages and brutal living conditions.  Creating a digital interactive medium is the most efficient way to educate the internet consuming public about issues and developments all over the world.  It reminds me of the blue marble picture taken from Apollo 17, the first full color image of our planet.  This image is considered to be the defining moment that awoke the conservation movement and understanding that the earth is our home and should be treated as such.  I cant help hoping a program like “the city of seven billion” will help people to relies we are all one species and from that develop a move beneficial way of coexisting.

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The Permanence of Geography

The Permanence of Geography | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The current rise or durability of the economies of the Global South do not signal that economic geography does not matter, but that current investment has simply shifted.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In an era where globalization has rendered distances a minor barrier to diffusion, some have erroneously concluded that geography is no longer relevant to economic development and urban planning.  Nothing could be farther from the truth, but that doesn't mean that the 'old rules' of space and place aren't be re-written.  This is a nice article that discusses the continued importance of spatial thinking and geography for urban planning.


Tags: urban, planning economic, urbanism, globalization, unit 7 cities.

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Housing Patterns

Housing Patterns | Geography Education | Scoop.it
See the big picture of how suburban developments are changing the country's landscape, with aerial photos and ideas for the future
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are many types of housing development patterns throughout the world.  This article provides a summary of approximately 20 different housing patterns common in the United States with a visual example demonstrate the impact on the urban footprint (Pictured above is an example of new urbanism in Boulder, CO).  Each neighborhood has distinct cultural amenities and attracts particular socioeconomic market segments. 


Questions to Ponder: What housing patterns are you drawn to?  How come?  What are the advantages for the residents to live in that type of community?  What are the impacts that the housing pattern has on the physical environment and the urban system?  What systems are most profitable for developers?  How does the layout of the neighborhood alter the sense of place?  

   

Tagshousing, urban, planning, density, urbanism, unit 7 cities.

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Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 10, 2013 4:13 PM

A very interesting article on changes in landscape, while looking though this I came aross so many little things i never noticed about the topical layout of housing. The main thing that is apparent is density, how closely each house is put together, the amount of land each has as well as the view from the property. Its aslo interesting to see how the design of the area can be made for easy access or be desigend to keep people out with only one enctancte and exit. All of these charasticts make up how the land is desired as well as econimcly priced, which then determins who will be able to live there.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 15, 2013 8:53 PM

Having the streets interconnected allows for easy  traveling throughout the area.  when there is more density in an area it means there are more houses , more people.  The sprawl has the center on the place and the streets go out around it. The way the streets are made are for different reasons,.

megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 12:57 AM
This article talks about twenty different housing patterns and how we base these housing patterns around our society or enviroment. How looking at housing patterns can tell you what kind of neighborhood one lives in from the sky. Looking down and seeing a golf course with lush grass and big backyards shows you that this neighborhood is very expensive. Or Canal houses that utilize every inch of the waters edge to financially make them able to charge higher prices for the homes because each house has a water view and is on the waters edge.
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Streetcar Plans Plow Ahead

Streetcar Plans Plow Ahead | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Cities from Los Angeles to Atlanta are making big bets to revitalize their downtowns by bringing back a form of transportation many abandoned decades ago: the streetcar.

 

The streetcar was a staple in urban development projects generations ago and was subsequently abandoned.  Many mid-sized cities today (and a few large ones) are returning to that 'outdated' mode of transportation and hoping that streetcar stops will encourage businesses to open shop in those neighborhoods. 

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Walk Appeal

Walk Appeal | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Walk Appeal promises to be a major new tool for understanding and building walkable places, and it explains several things that were heretofore either contradictory or mysterious.

 

What is a reasonable distance to walk around town?  Research shows that cities with improved sidewalks, less parking lots, attractive storefronts and other amenities that encourage walking.  If  walking the urban environment is and of itself an experience worth having and makes the person feel like a flâneur, experiencing the city on a deeper level, automotive transport goes down and walking goes up.  Urban infrastructure is more important for most people than distance in deciding whether to get in the car or walk down the street (for distances under 2 miles).   Bottom line: neighborhoods that have an appealing sense of place are more walkable.

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Urban Life In The 21st Century

Urban Life In The 21st Century | Geography Education | Scoop.it
More than half of the world now lives in urban areas. In the U.S., urban dwellers make up 83 percent of the population, and it's growing every day. What does it mean to live in a city today? What are the challenges for cities going forward?

 

This NPR special series, NPR cities, is an acknowledgement of what we already knew: cities are becoming increasingly important. To understand humanity in the 21st century, we need to understand cities. Included in this marvelous feature are numerous podcasts, infographics and articles about urban themes such as transportation, cultural amenities, economic and neighborhood revitalization.

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The Grave Health Risks of Unwalkable Communities

The Grave Health Risks of Unwalkable Communities | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Our car-dependent lifestyle has led to a dramatic rise in obesity-related illnesses. But we can do something about it.

 

What does urban planning have to do with our health?  Plenty.  More walkable cities not surprisingly have citizens that are healthier and more fit.   

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Container City

Channel 5 - Behind closed Doors Series on Container City at Trinity Buoy Wharf...

 

On my daily commute, I drive by a colorful container building in Providence, RI.  In terms of it's spatial configuration and aesthetic statement within the urban landscape, I found it fascinating.  After doing some more research, I began to appreciate this as a form of sustainable housing that 1) costs less than traditional structures, 2) can be built MUCH quicker that standard buildings and 3) has the potential to be an effective recycling method.  For more on 'Container Cities,' see: http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/kaidbenfield/40875/shipping-container-cities-bring-creative-funky-approach-green-construction

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Downtowns: How Did We Get Here?

Kennedy Smith is considered one of the nation's leading experts on downtowns, downtown economics, independent business development and the economic impact of urban sprawl, with a long career in downtown revitalization.

 

This video discusses the decline of the American Central Business District, the rise of shopping malls, the importance of the automobile and spatial organization of particular economic sectors.

 

Parts Two  http://vimeo.com/37041011 ; and Three  http://vimeo.com/37050944 ; continue the discussion with an emphasis on practical urban planning policies for small cities to revitalize the downtown region with some domestic and foreign examples. 

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:38 AM

I have wondered about that where these downtowns came from. I have thought of it because I am very curious to learn about downtown providence and how it became a downtown. Where did the word downtown come from? It is amazing how things are being called in this world.

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Eduardo Paes: The 4 commandments of cities

TED Talks Eduardo Paes is the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, a sprawling, complicated, beautiful city of 6.5 million.

 

What should city planners be doing to maintain a vibrant city?  The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro explains his vision for cities and city management for the future. 

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California Declares War on Suburbia

California Declares War on Suburbia | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In The Wall Street Journal, Wendell Cox writes that government planners intend to herd millions of new state residents into densely packed urban corridors. It won't save the planet but will make traffic even worse.

 

This is a article/video against many of the regulations that embody the 'Smart Growth' movement that would serve as a good ideological counterweight to many of the other sources that are available.  Would more dense neighborhoods create transit problems?

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The Crisis in American Walking

The Crisis in American Walking | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A few years ago, at a highway safety conference in Savannah, Ga., I drifted into a conference room where a sign told me a “Pedestrian Safety” panel was being held.

 

This 4-part series on walking is more than a nostalgic look at an era when more people walked in our cities than used automobiles.  While all countries have seen a decline in pedestrianism with the advent of the automobile, this decline is the most pronounced in the USA.  It answers the underlying question "why don't Americans walk more?"  In part there are cultural factors, but also the urban infrastructure plays a role in declining pedestrianism.  Many urbanists want to design more 'walkable' cities, but places like Jacksonville, FL, Charlotte, NC, Forth Worth, TX and Nashville, TN ranks as the least walkable cities in the country (NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia are ranked as the best). 

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Turn This Parking Lot Into a Village

Turn This Parking Lot Into a Village | Geography Education | Scoop.it

If we built village of small streets today, where would we locate it?

One great candidate would be a park-and-ride lot, which is parking located next to a subway or commuter rail station. Such parking gets some to use public transit who wouldn’t ordinarily...

But that’s just the problem: the people who use park-and-ride lots don’t ordinarily take transit. The reason they have to drive to a train station is that they don’t live near it. That’s why building new neighborhoods next to transit (called transit-oriented development in planner lingo) has become popular in the last 10 years.

If we built a small streets village next to transit station, then we’d have a whole village of people who could use transit for all of their trips longer than a walk or bicycle ride away.
There are countless park-and-ride lots to consider, but we’ll look at just a couple. Greenbelt Station is located in Maryland at one end of Metro’s Green Line, which goes through Washington, DC and back out to Maryland. If you’ve ever hopped a ride on the Bolt Bus from New York City or the bus from BWI Airport, you may have visited this station...


Via Lauren Moss
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Hail Columbia!

Hail Columbia! | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The federal government's relentless expansion has made Washington, D.C., America's real Second City.


From 1890-1990, Chicago was America's second largest city.  Since then Los Angeles has been the second largest city, acting as the west coast capital for the United States. Both of these cities have declined in economic and political importance in the recession, and in this article Aaron Renn argues that Washington D.C. (although demographically not in the same category) could be considered an emerging second city and chronicles it's historic development.  Readers may also be interested in how Renn ("the urbanophile") argues that all our impressions about Detroit are inaccurate


Tags: Washington DC, urban, historical, unit 7 cities.

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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 15, 2015 8:45 AM

This is a very thought provoking and surprising article. I did not know that Washington D.C. was doing so well. There is no question that Washington D.C. has always been important. The capitol of any nation will always be the center of the national government and political infrastructure. However, for much of its history Washington D.C was not much of anything. Politicians used to flee the city during the summer months due to the oppressive  heat. Up until the New Deal era, the federal government was a  small institution. The massive expansion of the federal government over the past 75 years has made the city an economic powerhouse. The author of the article believes that this may be a bad sign for the country.  The founders would have decried the creation of an imperial capitol.

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City Life Changes How Our Brains Deal With Distractions

City Life Changes How Our Brains Deal With Distractions | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A new study finds that urban minds don't pay as much attention to their surroundings unless they're highly engaging.
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's often noted that people from smaller towns prefer a slower pace of life and people from large cities enjoy the hustle and bustle more.  So does the urban environment change how we handle the vast quantity of information in major metropolitan areas?  This article points to data that says it does.  


Tags: rural, housing, urban, planning, density, urbanism, unit 7 cities.

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nancercize's curator insight, May 31, 2013 10:03 AM

This helps explain why we are exhausted at the end of the day, and why a walk in the park is so refreshing. We need to make sure city folk have parks nearby.

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Public Transit and Density

Public Transit and Density | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This image is an excellent visualization to use when teaching about density, public transportation and urban planning. 


Questions to Ponder: How is this a persuasive image?  Do you argee with the argument that the planning office is making? Are there something important factors that this image ignores?


Tags: transportation, urban, planning, density, sustainability, unit 7 cities.

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Imran Ahmed Khan's comment, January 17, 2013 3:44 PM
Good picture! It defines the growth of the city that impact on urbanization rate, public health, socioeconomic environment. It also tell us that if we reduce vehicles on the road more space and clean environment may we get, that reduce motality and morbadity of several disease especially lung diseases.
Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, April 8, 2013 9:31 PM

What are the benefits for each?  Drawbacks? You decide!

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New York -- before the City

TED Talks 400 years after Hudson found New York harbor, Eric Sanderson shares how he made a 3D map of Mannahatta's fascinating pre-city ecology of hills, rivers, wildlife -- accurate down to the block -- when Times Square was a wetland and you...

 

KC: The Manhattan Project created a picture of the area before the development of a city, the way Henry Hudson did during his 1609 exploration. After 10 years (1999-2009), the research project has expanded to study the entire city of New York. The Welikia Project analyzes geography and landscape ecology to discover the original environment and compare it to present day. Scientists have learned that world's largest cities once had a natural landscape of freshwater wetlands and salt marshes, ponds and streams, forests and fields with an equally diverse wildlife community. By focusing on the city's biodiversity of 400 years ago and the modern era, information can be gathered about what has changed, what has remained constant, where the city was done well and where it needs to improve. This source is useful because it allows for the visualization of NYC in a way never seen before. Urban environments, such as NYC, have a landscape largely created by humans, so the skyscrapers, pavement, and mass population is far removed from the landscape it once was.

 

Find more information about the Welikia Project and more on New York City's urban ecology on this scoop.it topic.


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Kim Vignale's comment, August 12, 2012 2:03 PM
I was surprised on how green NYC is because of all the cars and urban development. I think this project topic is very informative and interesting (makes me want to got to NYC) . I thought it was very interesting how NYC was in the early 1900s and how it became now. I also think it's a great idea how adding more greenery to the urban city will add sort of a rural feel to a big city.
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Urban Visions in Music Videos

Music video by Counting Crows performing Big Yellow Taxi. (C) 2002 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

 

This music video is a vivid portrayal of the cultural power of place and the deep emotional connection many people have to their neighborhoods.  What types of urban geographies are being critiqued by the original lyrics (orginally performed and written my Joni Mitchell) of this song?  What do the images portrayed in the video say to further this critique?  What type of urbanism are these performers advocating?  Given the context of this video, what priorities do you think city planners should consider when building and reshaping cities? 

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Roland Trudeau Jr.'s comment, July 30, 2012 11:52 AM
They are very much concerned with losing their history. Everything they knew when they were growing up is going to be transformed into a slab of concrete. I can certainly empathise with them, it must be extremely sad to see your childhood disapear. I forget the name of the comedian, but his routine involved a rant on parking lots being the most useless construct we could have ever come up with. An area you travel to just to go somewhere else.
Don Brown Jr's comment, July 30, 2012 11:17 PM
I never though about a parking space like that before. However when it comes to gentrification, how can you find a balance between the values of a local community and the needs of the larger society?
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Making Cities Sing

Making Cities Sing | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In urban centers around the country, local governments are looking to attract emerging industries and the next generation of entrepreneurs.

 

This video shows a panel of urbanists presenting at the Aspen Ideas Festival.  The panelists specialize in revitalizing cities and creating economically and culturally vibrant urban centers.  They focus not on public policy, but rather finding ways to implement the locally produced ideas of people from the neighborhood with an intimate knowledge of the community as well as a vested in strengthening the local networks.  They also highlight the arts, sense of place and the culture of a neighborhood as key components create attractive cities.

 

More videos from the Apsen Ideas Festival on urbanism, see: http://www.aspenideas.org/session/advice-megacity

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Ricardo Cabeza de Vaca's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:09 AM

I think this video is really interesting on how local government is looking to help cities create a great economically diverse environment and develop them. These panelists have new ideas and would like to implement them on cities and communities.. They would like to use the arts to help neighborhoods and change them for the better. I think this is a great idea and I think art can unite and improve neighborhoods. They would also like to use laws and local policies to improve neighborhoods.

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Urban Trees Reveal Income Inequality

Urban Trees Reveal Income Inequality | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Wealthy cities seem to have it all. Expansive, well-manicured parks. Fine dining. Renowned orchestras and theaters. More trees. Wait, trees?

 

I certainly wouldn't argue that trees create economic inequality, but there appears to be a strong correlation in between high income neighborhoods and large mature trees in cities throughout the world (for a scholarly reference from the Journal, Landscape and Urban Planning, see: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204607002174 ). Why is there such a connection? In terms of landscape analysis, what does this say about those who have created these environments? Why do societies value trees in cities? How does the presence of trees change the sense of place of a particular neighborhood? For more Google images that show the correlation between income and trees (and to share your own), see: http://persquaremile.com/2012/05/24/income-inequality-seen-from-space/

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Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 10:00 AM
this short article explains the evidence supporting tree to rich cities ratio. it goes to show that if I'm going to pay big bucks for location I would want the scenery to be beautiful hands down. they mention the per capita increase to tree ratio and how its only a dollar that influences such a high quantity of trees in city. bottom line is that it makes sense for the more trees in wealthier neighborhoods of the city because when your in the heart of the city you tend to see quantity of quality of homes and being jammed packed into small square footage doesn't leave much room for nature. but go just outside the city where the real estate is high and more spacious and you will find more trees the further and further from the center.
megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 1:04 AM
Like a previous article it explains how if viewing a neighborhood with lush grass and huge yards with landscaped grounds it is associated with big money. People pay top dollar for houses that have huge back yards and privacy of trees. You would not see yards like this is the city though so these neighborhoods on the outskirts of the citylines.
Shaun Scallan's curator insight, January 27, 2014 11:48 PM

Interesting the value, in the broadest sense, that trees can bring in an urban setting

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The High Line

The High Line | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The official Web site of the High Line and Friends of the High Line...

 

What do you do with an outdated elevated train line running through a crowded neighborhood in New York City?  In the 1980s, residents called for the demolition of the eyesore since it was blamed for economic struggles of the community and increased criminal activity.  Unfortunately demolition is extremely expensive.  However, this one particular abandoned line has recently been converted into an elevated green space that has economically revitalized the local real estate.  Find out more about this innovated park and project.  To see a similar project in Saint Louis, see: http://grgstl.org/projects/the-trestle.aspx

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Sustainable Urbanism

"Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.  From building opera houses with wire to mapping the connection between the automobile and your mother-in-law, Jaime Lerner delights in discovering eccentric solutions to vexing urban problems. In the process he has transformed the face of cities worldwide."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Jaime Lerner does not see cities as the problem; he sees urbanism as the solution to many global problems.  This video outlines practical plans to rethink the city to be more sustainable.  Click here to see the trailer for a documentary about the urban changes in Curitiba, Brazil. 

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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 2014 11:47 AM

This video is enlightening.  The speaker uses the city as a model for fixing problems in the world.  Instead of seeing the city as an enemy to environmentalism, he purposes changing the cities and reworking old sites like quarries into something that is useable today.  He also advocates the integration of the transportation systems to make commuting more feasible as well as less pollution generating. 

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Radiant City

Radiant City | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In this feature length film Gary Burns, Canada's king of surreal comedy, joins journalist Jim Brown on an outing to the suburbs.

 

This 2006 documentary is a critical look at suburbia that has comments from suburbanites interspersed with planners, real estate agents, experts and urban academics. 

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Chris St. Clair's comment, April 27, 2012 2:03 PM
I've showed this movie once in a while during the Urban unit and the kids enjoy it. "Edutainment"
Seth Dixon's comment, April 27, 2012 7:09 PM
It seems a mixture of vignettes, with some academic founding mixed in. Warning: There was one F-bomb in the movie.
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Two Wheels Better

Two Wheels Better | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This cycling blog occasionally will have some political and urban commentary, especially arguing for more bike paths within our urban areas. 

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Are We Now in the Twilight of the Exurbs?

Are We Now in the Twilight of the Exurbs? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
HometownAnnapolis.com - A Web site for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Powered by Capital Gazette Communications and The Capital Newspaper.

 

This short article discusses the demographic shift in urban areas since the collapse of the housing bubble (explicitly referencing Burgess' Concentric Zone Model!).  With higher gas prices discouraging long commutes, is the era of sprawl over?  Some feel that suburban housing prices aren't in momentary decline, but that this represents a new normal as we reconceptualize the city and urban land values.  For more on the decline of the Exurbs, see: http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/04/05/growth-exurbs-falls-historic-low/WEsMHqBISD1n60T7WCJdTO/story.html ;     

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Elle Reagan's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:24 PM

I thought this diagram was colorful and nicely laid out. Sometimes on diagrams they put too much stuff on the picture but I thought this one was clear and simple as while being easy to follow.