Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
A 150-yard-long chunk of State Highway 89 collapsed about 5 a.m. roughly 25 miles south of Page
Just a reminder that the Earth beneath our feet (and roads and buildings) are a part of a dynamic system that changes.
Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide pop out over certain shipping lanes in observations made by the Aura satellite between 2005-2012. The signal was the strongest over the northeastern Indian Ocean.
Melani Smith is Director of Planning and Urban Design at downtown Los Angeles based Meléndrez, a landscape architecture, urban planning, and urban design firm. Melani’s…
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?
China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos.
Economic analyst noted in this article, “Southeast Asia is geostrategically and economically important to China, an increasingly important partner from both the trade and investment perspectives.” As China expands its influence, the benefits will probably be one-sided for rural, less developed neighbors such as Laos.
In this age of fast travel and instant digital communications, we tend to forget that not so long ago, distances were subjectively very different.
This series of maps shows the great leaps and bounds that were made during the 19th century in transportation technology in the United States. This impacted population settlement, economic interactions and functionally made the great distances seem smaller. This is what many call the time-space compression; the friction of distance is diminished as communication and transportation technologies improve.
Questions to Ponder: When someone says they live "10 minutes away," what does that say about how we think about distance, transportation infrastructure and time? How is geography still relevant in a world where distance appears to becoming less of a factor?
|Suggested by Miguel Ángel Vargas|
Mapa de localización de los trenes de Media y Larga Distancia de España...
This maps shows nicely how mapping and spatial thinking can promote lead towards better logistics and improved transportation. The real-time updates and schedules shows that social media and mobile devices are promoting greater innovation.
USA Route 66 Cross Country Road Trip Map, Data, Summary, Photos, Equipment Used: http://www.defreesproductions.com/road-trip-route-66-cross-country-usa-2012 ...
I saw this video on an Atlantic Cities article and was struck by the rural and "off-the-beaten path" feel that timelapse of the Mother Road manages to capture. Route 66 looms large in Americana, in part because it represents a bygone era, a time when the automobile was new and exciting. This empowered many to make a cross-country road trip, but during this time the car was not so ubiquitous that it was the overwhelming force that is so visually prominent in urban landscapes as it is today. The historical and cultural critique of the U.S. automobile culture in the Pixar movie Cars may be fictional and for a child audience, but it is quite accurate in noting that cities disconnected from the interstate system sharply declined and were never the same. These places represent for many people then, a classic pop culture landscape of yesteryear.
View Full Lesson on TED-ED BETA: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-pandemics-spread In our increasingly globalized world, a single infected person can board a pl...
This is a great demonstration of why spatial thinking is critical to so many fields, including medicine.
The death and life of the industrial corridor linking New York and Washington.
This article is a great example of analyzing the landscape to observe changes in any given place. This corridor is home to 8 of the 10 wealthiest counties; at the same time this transportation corridor is also home a half a dozen of the country's most broken cities. Exploring this area is way to analyze the changing economic geographies of the United States. For a visual representation of these same themes, see this 5 minute video that corresponds to this NY Times magazine article.
Jerry Dobrovolny, Vancouver’s director of transportation, has a lot of nerve trying to spin a tale that the city’s new transportation plan isn’t “focused on a war on the car.” He should walk across the street from city hall to Yuk Yuk’s comedy club...
Not everyone (especially not the author of the linked editorial) is a fan of Smart Growth and other urban planning paradigms that promote alternative forms of transportation (categorized in the editorial as anti-vehicle bullying).
Questions to Ponder: Does Vancouver's planning seem "anti-vehicle" to you? Are some places "anti-cycling" or "anti-walking?" What would these places look like? What do you see as the best transportation model for our cities?
National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service...
When the Pawtuxet River flooded in Rhode Island, I was watching this site to get a sense of how bad the flooding was and to put it in historic context (the National Weather Service has links to live data at many locations). This particular station in NYC at the Battery is important to keep an eye on with Hurricane Sandy because if the strom surge is over 10 feet, the subway system could flood and the issues confronting New York would be devastating. As meterologist Andy Lesage noted, "During Irene it got to 9.5ft, 8-12 inches shy of flooding the subway system so if the Battery gets to something like 10.25+ ft, it will indicate massive damage to the cities' infrastructure." For more see, the Weather Underground and Jeff Masters' analysis.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — South American engineers are trying to tackle one of the continent's greatest natural challenges: the towering Andes mountain chain that creates a costly physical barrier for...
At the NCGE conference, noted author Harm De Blij mentioned a daring project that would link Eastern South America with the Pacific as engineers were planning to tunnel under the Andes mountains. Here is a link to an article on this intermodal transportation project that would lower the shipping costs from East Asia to the Southern Atlantic. Government officials in both Argentina and Brazil have described the project as a matter of "national interest."
Every spring, China's cities are plunged into chaos as 130 million migrant workers journey to their home villages for the New Year in the world's largest human migration.
I've posted in the past about this documentary which portrays the The cultural importance of New Year's in China and the massive corresponding migratory shifts that take place. What is new is that the 85 minute documentary is now available online. "Last Train Home takes viewers on a heart-stopping journey with the Zhangs, a couple who left infant children behind for factory jobs 16 years ago, hoping their wages would lift their children to a better life. They return to a family growing distant and a daughter longing to leave school for unskilled work. As the Zhangs navigate their new world, Last Train Home paints a rich, human portrait of China's rush to economic development."
TED Talks Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places.
This video touches on numerous themes that are crucial to geographers including: 1) how our minds arrange spatial information, 2) how to best graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your audience and 3) how mapping a place can be the impetus for changing outdated systems. This is the story of how a cartographer working to improve a local transportation system map, which in turn, started city projects to improve the infrastructure and public utilities in Dublin, Ireland. This cartographer argues that the best map design for a transport system needs to conform to how on cognitive mental mapping works more so than geographic accuracy (like so many subway maps do).
Our modern society depends on greater connectivity between places. Regionalized economies, politics and transportation networks are increasingly integrated with far-flung places now more than ever before. Our biosphere and natural environments are exceptions to this pattern. Wilderness areas are 'islands' in an ocean of human controlled environments. We create transportation linkages that unite people economies and cities, but separate herds from there extended habitat.
We've all seen road kill on major highways. Species like deer, elk, and grizzly bears and other large-bodied animals need a wide range for numerous ecological reasons. These bridges are an attempt to ameliorate some of the problems that our roads pose for the non-human species that still call Earth home. From a purely economic standpoint, many argue that these bridges save society money given the accidents and property damage that can be avoided.
UPDATE: This is a hilarious/painful video of a woman who clearly doesn't understand these principles.
"Schools used to be the heart of a neighborhood or community. Children and not a few teachers could walk to class, or to the playground or ball field on the weekend. This was relatively easy to do, because the schools were placed within, not separated from, their neighborhoods. They were human-scaled and their architecture was not just utilitarian, but signaled their importance in the community. Now it has become hard to tell one from a Walmart or Target."
What better way to demonstrate the concepts of urban sprawl, automobile-dependent city planning and economies of scale than by analyzing the very geographic context of our schools themselves? This is a very nicely arranged photo essay that most could spark conversation and would foster some discussion on how best to plan neighborhoods and spatially arrange the city.
Flightradar24 is the best live flight tracker that shows air traffic in real time. Best coverage and cool features!
Ever wanted to find out where that plane overhead came from? Where is it going? Here it is. The flight that was over Rhode Island 5 minutes ago that left the JFK airport? It's officially on it way to Geneva Switerland and now over the Atlantic.
Bikers are everywhere in Copenhagen. And now the city is building new, high-speed routes into the city that will make it easier to commute, even from the distant suburbs.
The transportation urban planning paradigm in Copenhagen is not exclusively structured around automobiles and the logistics needed for drivers. Copenhagen has heavily invested in cycling and they are reaping the rewards based on there efforst. As the Earth-Operators Manual Facebook Page stated, cyclists in Copenhagen daily travel 750,000 miles; enough to go to the moon and back.
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.