Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
This interactive dot distribution map of the United States 2010 census data has many great applications. The conversation can focus on the symbology of the map (for example, this could lead to a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of dot distribution maps) or notice how certain physical landforms are visible for either their high or low population density. One of the advantages of this map is that it uses census data at the block level. This means that the user can visualize distinct scale-dependent patterns. Sharp divisions (e.g.-urban vs. rural) might have less of a distinct edge as you zoom in.
UPDATE: This map now includes Canadian and Mexican census data as well as the United States.
This map might appear to be completely trivial and it probably is. Still, there are interesting historical and colonial patterns that can be seen in this technological culture region map.
Questions to Ponder: Will there one day be a single format? When? What are barrier to that happening? What does this tell us about the extent of globalization?
"As if J. R. R. Tolkien wasn’t brilliant enough with his creation of Middle-Earth, it appears that using his numerous maps and illustrations provided, supplemented by observations from within the texts themselves, a geological reconstruction can be achieved! I recently came across this old article from the Proceedings of the J. R. R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, Oxford, England, 1992, and figured it was worth sharing."
As many Lord of the Rings fans prepare for the release of the new Hobbit movie, I wanted to share two things that might be of interest. First this article is linked to a geologic 'reconstruction' of Middle Earth. Added to this is this fabulous Middle Earth Map Dress (complete with the traveling cloak collar, the Tengwar script on the belt and hem, and the matching clutch with the one ring).
Why are do we study geography? As Samwise Gamgee reminded us, we need to remember “that there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”
A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.
This article from the Atlantic is a great introduction to a mapping tool that puts the user at the virtual negotiation table. Peace talk proposals often center around the amount of land that Palestinians want and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that the Israelis want as a part of the state of Israel. This interactive, titled Is Peace Possible?, allows the user to propose potential land swaps, see the demographic breakdown of West Bank settlements and videos to introduce users to on 4 major issues: borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem.
Apple is working hard to move streets, buildings, and natural features of the Earth itself to be consistent with their heavily criticized Maps software.
The Onion is the best spoofing news channel, and in this video, they ‘report’ that Apple with correct the Earth’s geography so that it will conform to the their mapping software.
The Onion is the best spoofing news channel, and in this video, they 'report' that Apple with correct the Earth’s geography so that it will conform to the their mapping software.
Nielsen Prizm is a tool used by companies to analyze their customers spending habits, lifestyle choices and spatial patterns. Using their Zip Code Look Up feature, you can search any zip code to g...
This is an interesting glimpse into how market research analysts view neighborhoods, geography and spatial analysis. This economic and cultural data has a wide range of uses (albeit with some serious limitations).
TODALSIGS is an acronym for remembering the most basic elements of a good map. This interactive briefly explains what each of the letters represents and how it is connected to map-making. If this particular introduction is either too advanced or too basic for your students, simply run an internet search for the term TODALSIGS to find many other lesson plans and resources that might be more applicable to your institution (including this example-rich slideshow).
Free travel tip and photos from all over the world...
This map is not a professionally produced map and that is the beauty of this website. Virtually anyone can make a 1-feature world map by simply clicking on a checklist all the countries you want highlighted on your map. Second, opened the file and added some text and a few lines to label it. This took 20 minutes to make with no need for any cartographic or GIS experience (this PNG didn't compress well, the full image of this map can be seen here).
|Suggested by KochAPGeography|
A newly issued Chinese passport featuring a map that lays claim to disputed territory with several neighboring countries is only the latest case of cartographic aggression.
"Maps, like statistics, can lie — or at least tell only one side of the story. As often as not, they can belie the level of actual governmental control or the ethnic and social realities on the ground. And competing views over 'who owns what' invariably fuel nationalistic fervor."
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
The mapmakers have amassed some 80 maps for Food: An Atlas, ranging from surplus in Northeast Italy to meat production in Maryland. The goal is to spread information about various food systems so they can be adapted locally.
Social media is enhancing digital cooperation to enable some intriguing grass-roots projects such as this one.
|Suggested by Allison Anthony|
Experts warn that China's apparent claims to other territories could have a long-term impact on relations with its neighbours...
Many people assume oftentimes that a map merely reflects reality. In this passport map, China is flexing it's regional muscles, trying to reinforce their territorial claims as legitimate. Not surprisingly, their neighbors with competing claims are angered, calling this map diplomatically "unacceptable." Some look at this map and dismiss it as a glorified watermark. What you think the sub-text to this map is? You can find another article on this topic in the Washington Post.
|Suggested by Brian Yanish - MarketingHits.com|
There’s a South Pacific island positioned midway between Australia and New Caledonia featured on various marine charts, world maps, and has appeared in publications since at least the year 2000. It’s listed as Sandy Island on Google Maps and Google Earth, and yet Australian scientists have just discovered it doesn’t exist.
As part of a 25-day voyage, the group went to the area, only to find a 1,400m (4,620ft) deep section of the Coral Sea. The team collected 197 different rock samples, more than 6800km of marine geophysical data, and mapped over 14,000 square kilometers of the ocean floor. This is just a reminder that a map is only as reliable as the information used to compile that map (see BBC article as well). For another reminder of this same idea see "The Republic of Null Island."
"By 2025, the developing world will be home to 29 megacities."
Through this interactive mapping feature with rich call-out boxes, the reader can explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of megacities (urban areas with over 10 million residents). These 'cities on steroids' have been growing tremendously since the 1950s and present a unique set of geographic challenges and opportunities for their residents.
Download the data yourself as a CSV file and your can import this into ArcGIS online and symbolize your map with any of the columns in the dataset.
John F. Smith's smartly-designed biblical anti-slavery map of the mid-19th Century United States. Prepared in 1888; excerpted from “Maps for an emerging nation”.
Maps don't just convey information--they can also shape the way that we think about the world that is being represented by that map. Maps are texts and sometimes they have very strong perspectives that the cartographer put into that map. This persausive map shows one way of interpreting American history after the end of reconstruction. Notice that in addition to the very overt religious, moral tone condemning the South for slavery, the ideas of Manifest Destiny are also woven into the fabric of this map.
I'm pleased to announce that for GIS Day, I created a map that has hyperlinks to regionally specific posts that I put on 'Geography Education.' This map was created using ArcGIS Online (here's a free tutorial on how to to use ArcGIS Online tailored for K-12 educators). This is just another way to search for materials on this site. Feel free to embed this map on your webpage or share the link. I'll add more tags in the future as well (just click on the icon to get a pop-up, then click on the image to see the posts). Happy GIS Day!
I'm sure most of you have seen the 2008 version of these fantastic maps and cartograms and they've been a go-to reference for me since the last election. The typical red state/blue state map conceals much concerning the spatial voting patterns in the United States and fails to account for the population densities of these distributions. That's what makes this county level voting maps and cartograms so valuable.
Questions to Ponder: What new patterns can you see in the county map that you couldn't see in the state map? What do the cartograms tell you about the United States population?
This map is a fantastic geovisualization that maps the spatial patterns of languages used on the social media platform Twitter. This map was in part inspired by a Twitter map of Europe. While most cities would be expected to be linguistically homogenous, but London's cosmopolitan nature and large pockets of immigrants influence the distribution greatly.
This map of Cuba, National Geographic's first map of Cuba in over 100 years, has an incredible backstory.
While touring the National Geographic headquarters, the cartographer Juan Valdés (pictured here with me) told me the story of his early days living in Cuba before Castro, Pictured is one of his 36 meticulous drafts produced to create this cartographic masterpiece of his home country. To hear it in his own words, embedded in this link is a 18 minute video of his talk at National Geographic on Cuba and the production of the map. The last 7 minutes are especially helpful for mapping students to see all the decisions and stages involved in creating a professional reference map.
A animation showing edits to http://OpenStreetMap.org over the period 2007-2012.
OpenStreetMap recently had it's "State of the Map" conference (Oct. 13-14) in Portland, Oregon. This video was embedded in a great article entitled "The New Cartographers" that summarizes some of the current issues discussed at the conference as well as concerns that confont the project. The project has experienced exponential growth and is a major player in the world of online mapping (think Wikipedia for maps).
Questions to Ponder: What are some advantages (and disadvantages) to an open source mapping data set? What do you imagine is the future for the world largest open-source mapping data?
MapMaker Kit. Download, print, and assemble maps of the United States in a variety of sizes. The mega map occupies a large wall, or can be used on the floor.
Have you every wanted to create a giant map but aren't sure if you can logistically pull it off? The National Geographic's MapMaker kit is just that, a kit for you to create wall maps from a standard printer and tile them together. The assembly itself is a great spatial thinking and fun exercise for students (and there are large world maps as well).