"Here's a collection of timelapses I shot during the past year. Amazing landscapes from California, Arizona, Bahamas, Florida, Japan, Taiwan to Italy."
Digital resources to strengthen the quality and quantity of geography education in classrooms the world over
Curated by Seth Dixon
"Here's a collection of timelapses I shot during the past year. Amazing landscapes from California, Arizona, Bahamas, Florida, Japan, Taiwan to Italy."
There's a place in Death Valley National Park where a mystery that has puzzled scientists and park visitors for decades finally has been solved.
The video in this article (weather.com) nicely explains how the non-aerodynamic rocks of Death Valley's Racetrack Playa move, leaving behind their trail in the hot desert. Numerous attempts using GPS receivers (NatGeo.com) and good ol' fashioned observations have been made, but observing ice in Death Valley is so rare that no one had ever seen it until now (phys.org). On very rare occasions, when it rains in the region, water will accumulate in the playa (discovermagazine.com). If the wind is powerful and consistent enough, the wind will push the panels of ice against these rocks and over time, the ice floes will push these rocks, leaving behind distinctive trails (latimes.com). This perfect combination of water, wind, ice and heat creates a remarkable signature on the landscape (livescience.com).
In this image-filled talk, Yann Arthus-Bertrand displays his three most recent projects on humanity and our habitat -- stunning aerial photographs in his series "The Earth From Above," personal interviews from around the globe featured in his web project "6 billion Others," and his soon-to-be-released movie, "Home," which documents human impact on the environment through breathtaking video.
I've linked galleries of the artistic, aerial photography of Yann Arthus-Bertrand several times before. In this Ted Talk, you can hear what motivates his artistic vision and the global perspectives that he wants to bring to the fore. You can also watch the 90-minute video 'Home' that he discusses in the talk here.
Geography explores more than just what countries control a certain territory and what landforms are there. Geography explores the spatial manifestations of power and how place is crafted to fit a particular vision. Homeless people are essentially always 'out of place.' This article from the Atlantic and this one from the Guardian share similar things: that urban planners actively design places that will discourage loitering which is undesirable to local businesses. This gallery shows various defensive architectural tactics to make certain people feel 'out of place.' Just to show that not all urban designs are anti-homeless, this bench is one that is designed to help the homeless.
Beaches are dynamic, living landscapes. The coast off of Chatham, Massachusetts, provides a prime example of beach evolution.
To quote coastal geologist Robert Oldale, "Many people view coastal erosion as a problem that needs to be addressed and, if possible, prevented. However, storm and wave erosion along the shore of Cape Cod has been going on for thousands of years and will likely continue for thousands of years more. It is a natural process that allows the Cape to adjust to rising sea level. Erosion is only a peril to property. If we build on the shore, we must accept the fact that sooner or later coastal erosion will take the property away.”
When streams emerge from mountains, they often spread out and deposit sediment in a distinctive pattern known as an alluvial fan.
In dry areas of interior drainage (such as Central Asia and the Great Basin in the U.S.), the human settlements are often clustered along the foothills of the mountains near landforms called alluvial fans. Take time to analyze this image (and this one as well); in alluvial fans and the agricultural patterns that people create on them, we can see some striking geometric and spatial configurations that show how human settlements are highly dependent of the physical environment.
"There have been calls for clearer labelling of halal products in shops, restaurants and takeaways. But what is halal food? And why are campaigners so concerned?"
I know just enough Arabic to read the word Halal (حلال) and know that it means permissible, the opposite of Haram (حَرَام) which means forbidden or illegal. In the context of meat, it means meat that has been prepared in accordance with Islamic traditions and is therefore permissible for an observant Muslim to eat (very similar to Kosher for Jewish people). Today, Halal is becoming an important issue within the European Union for two main reasons: 1) more Muslims are migrating to Europe and 2) Europeans are searching for less artificial food products. Some Europeans, however, feel that the Halal labeling and marketing is a change to the cultural landscape that they are not comfortable with, and don't want to see it become more mainstream. Other meat companies try to present their products as Halal, but don't adhere to all of the customs according to some more strict Muslims. Halal, then is a lightning rod, in either direction right now in Europe. If you want to see the inner workings of a Halal slaughterhouse in New York, this video will show you what it is like.
Two photographers set out to see what happened to small family businesses in New York City in a decade
The cultural landscapes of neighborhoods can change quickly as larger global economic forces restructure the places. This is a great gallery of photos from the Smithsonian to document these changes in New York City. Many mourn the passing of what once was as the landscape continues to be made and remade but subsequent generations.
"Photographer Christopher Herwig has covered more than 30,000 km by car, bike, bus and taxi in 13 countries discovering and documenting these unexpected treasures of modern art. From the shores of the Black Sea to the endless Kazakh steppe, the bus stops show the range of public art from the Soviet era and give a rare glimpse into the creative minds of the time."
This is a delightful glimpse into a time gone by, and what makes it even more surprising is that few would expect such creative architecture to dot the cultural landscape of the old Soviet Union. I was recently looking at a photo gallery of old Russian Orthodox churches and just like these Soviet bus stops, they are perfect subjects for classic cultural landscape studies. Geography students can analyze and interpret the cultural, political and economic material landscape as this photographer has. What do these elements of the landscape mean? How does it make us re-evaluate the society that created them?
Thirteen years after the Bamian Buddhas were blasted into rubble, opinion is split on whether to leave them as is, rebuild them, or make copies of them.
This video and article work together to show a 'behind-the-scenes' glimpse of this heritage site, or the remnants of the old memorial which is an iconic part of the cultural landscape in their own right but for very different reasons. This is a great example of sequent occupance and some of the difficulties in preserving heritage. Some argue that by restoring the Buddha it will undo some of the damage done by the Taliban and create a tourist destination; others think that the damaged Buddha is a poignant reminder of problems with 'topocide' and religious intolerance.
Questions to Ponder: What do you think should become of this place? How come?
Wow. I guess it's true when they say not everything is as it appears...
A new perspective can change our perception of reality, as demonstrated by this delightful photo gallery.
"A slice of rock removed from the mainland near the island of Utoeya is the winning design for a memorial to commemorate the victims of Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik."
Monuments are not just in a place...they can create place and place can infuse added meaning to a memorial. This is a great example of the interplay between memorials, place, artistic and cultural meanings.
Ukraine's Independence Square, and the revolutionary dimensions of public spaces.
This article gives some background on the political purposes behind urban planning and public squares that carry cultural meaning. While Ukraine is the reason for delving into the topic, the article explores the politicization of public squares in various regional and historical contexts. The image above shows how monuments, despite their 'official' meaning, can be rearticulated and reinterpreted as other audiences inscribe meaning into the landscape.
"A fisherman's cottage is described by real estate agents as a 'property not to be missed' but it is also just yards away from two nuclear power stations."
A photograph (or landscape, map, etc.) is not an innocent reflection of reality. They can be carefully crafted to tell a story which might reflect the bigger picture and your ideological framework--but it just as easily might obscure some important contexts and truths. I use these images at the beginning of the semester to discuss the bias inherent in our own perspectives as I try to infuse my classroom with a variety of lenses with which to view different regions (images found here).
|Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks|
"New England's woody hills and dales hide a secret—they weren't always forested. Instead, many were once covered with colonial roads and farmsteads."
I love living in New England and finding stone walls from old farmsteads; an archaeology professor at UConn is using geospatial technologies to map out the remants of that historical landscape. This is a great example of using spatial thinking across the disciplines.
|Suggested by PIRatE Lab|
Nice visual on differences in income, with associated paper. No stats needed here; a simple exploratory/observational curiosity is all you need. A great starter for classroom discussions/lab activities. Start with this primer where you can see the distinct difference.
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 (see a scholarly reference from the Journal, Landscape and Urban Planning). 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? Click here for more Google images that show the correlation between income and trees.
I found this image on social media from a great geography teacher (link to his site--looking for APHG group activities? Try this). This picture taken at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Memphis, TN shows an intrguing linguistic combination that I had never imagined before. This is referred to as cultural syncretism, where two or more cultures or cultural traits combine together to make something new. Globalization and migration are making more cultural combinations than we've ever seen before in this human mosaic we call home.
With five satellites scanning the globe, DigitalGlobe has collected impressive imagery of planet Earth this year. Check out their top 20 images here.
"Later this week, there will be a memorial service on the Penn State campus (Oct 26th-see details here)."
This summer I unexpectedly found myself at the estate sale of the great cultural geographer, Wilbur Zelinsky. I heard earlier through the Penn State geography department that he had passed away, but was startled to find myself discussing his legacy with his children. This picture (that was being held up by the most amazing magnet ever) on his filing cabinet seems like a perfect tribute to his intellectual legacy. Read the full article with additional pictures here.
From grains to grapes to cabbage and many other crops the harvest season has been in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere.
So few of my students have actual experience working on a farm and being part of the food producing process. This gallery of 38 photos around the world is a great visual to reinforce how important the harvest is for sustaining life on this planet. The picture above shows the a Hmong hill tribe woman harvesting a rice terrace field at Mu Cang Chai district, northern Vietnamese province of Yen Bai. The World Bank on Oct. 7 lowered its 2013 growth forecast for East Asian developing countries to 7.1 percent and warned that a prolonged US fiscal crisis could be damaging to the region.
Over half of Australia lies above the Tropic of Capricorn, but it is home to only five percent of the population. It is a frontier land with little infrastructure, populated by cattle barons, crocodile hunters and aboriginal tribes.
Australia's Northern Territory(NT) is region that is climatically inhospitable to large human settlements and is the least population region of the lightly population country. Uluru (Ayer's Rock) is the Northern Territory's iconic landscape, and the territory is home to approximately 212,000 people according to the 2011 Australian census. Most of the economic activity centers on resources extraction (mining); aboriginal groups control 1/5th of the NT which many hope to discourage. This photo gallery provides a excellent glimpse into these remote places. See also this list of the best places to visit in Australia.
Some city skylines are so iconic they are instantly recognisable.
This video that I originally found on Upworthy shows that even classic songs of Americana that might seem jingoistic may have had a subversive beginning. I never knew there was a final verse to this Great Depression era song that references iconic cultural landscapes; know that I've heard it I see why it isn't taught to school kids, but I wish it was.
"In the end of 2012 I travelled to USA to experience something new. And it was something I didn't expect: emptiness and density. 'Merge' is the last part of a project series 'Empty, Dense, Merge' which explores two opposite feelings through the photos of places located in USA. In this project two opposite places are merged into one: New York City, where, it seems like everyone wants to live there, and Grand Canyon / Death Valley, which are unlivable."
This is geographically inspired art at it's finest. It goes beyond making beautiul jewelry with maps or showing majestic vistas of natural landscapes; the artistic concept that motivated the photographer was geographic in nature. Population density is highly clustered leaving great spaces of open, empty, unpopulated land and some major cities that are jam-packed with human activity and settlements. Merging both of these concepts into the same image produced this series of 6 images (as seen in this Atlantic Cities article).
"I first learned to appreciate this anthem as a child watching the movie Chariots of Fire with my father. My father was an avid runner in the early 80's and still continues to run to this day; he also is a devout Christian who seeks to earnestly honor the Sabbath Day. Clearly the movie Chariots of Fire would resonate deeply with him and become a Dixon family classic to be watched over and over."