Put away that old Rand McNally map — it's time for a new way to see what America really looks like.
Digital resources to strengthen the quality and quantity of geography education in classrooms the world over
Curated by Seth Dixon
Put away that old Rand McNally map — it's time for a new way to see what America really looks like.
There is a great series of maps in this NPR article that show that internal political divisions do not always line up with actual regional interactions. The map of the United States shows the what money flows within regions that do not always follow state borders (see Wisconsin, Idaho and Pennsylvania). The map of Great Britain shows the connections based on telephone calls.
|Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks|
Terror in the United States have evolved since 1970: once the tool of left-wing radicals, then right-wing radicals, terrorist attacks are now uncommon, often unsuccessful, and not nearly as deadly.
While terrorism is being discussed in the media as a rising trend in the United States after the Boston Marathon, the statistics don't show that analysis to be true. This resources compiles maps, charts and graphs so you can evaluate the historical terrorist patterns for yourself.
Provo, Utah, and Burlington, Vermont, represent opposite ends of the U.S. religiosity spectrum.
The majority of the most religious metros are concentrated in the South or Utah. This particular weekend, many of the rythmns of urban life in Utah cities are remarkably visible as the LDS church holds it's semi-annual General Conference. On the opposite side of spectrum, 5 of the 10 least religious metros are in New England; the west coast is the other center of diminished religiosity (with a mini-center in Colorado).
Questions to ponder: What cultural patterns help to partially explain the levels of religiosity in the United States? What other factors explain the patterns of religiosity in your in your local area?
|Suggested by Luke Walker|
For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.
Try the Population Bracketology game from @uscensusbureau! Weekly data visualization from the U.S. Census Bureau compares populations for US states and metro areas.
Get into the spirit of March Madness by challenging your knowledge on the sizes of Metropolitan Statistic Areas and state population (just think electoral college). I got a 56 on my first stab (59 for the states)...what did you get?
|Suggested by Heather Ramsey|
WASHINGTON -- With their economies and housing markets gaining strength, some of the nation's biggest boom-to-bust cities in the Sun Belt are starting to become magnets again, attracting a growing number of people primarily from the northern part...
|Suggested by Duane Hanstein, GISP|
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.
Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actua...
This video does have a political bent that may or may not reflect your views, but it nicely lays out data that graphically represents the economic differences that we see in the United States today. Our perception is as skewed as what is and what we think it should be.
The Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Study religion map diagrams which religions have the highest populations in each state.
The geography of religion, even in an era of secularization, is still a powerful indicator of many patterns of human geography. What is the religious profile of your state? What is the spatial distribution of the religious tradition with which you identify? What explains those spatial patterns?
"The nation's fertility rate has slipped below replacement levels partly because of the recession and a decline in immigration. That's raising concern about the nation's future."
During this recent recession, fertility rates in the United States have dropped with many speculating that the financial investment in child-rearing caused this shift. The big question is this: will birth rates bounce back when the economy fully recovers or is the United States population going to follow the example of Western Europe? What would the impact be for both of these scenarios?
|Suggested by Tara Cohen|
Readers Nick and Riela have both written to ask how and when English colonists in America lost their British accents and how American accents came
30-second animation of the changes in U.S. historical county boundaries, 1629 - 2000. Historical state and territorial boundaries are also displayed from 178...
I love this time-lapse animation of all the county and state-level boundary changes in United States history. Would you like to see this in greater detail? Would you want to download the data and create your own visualization of this? The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries has all of this data as GIS shapefiles, Google Earth KMZ files and PDFs for the whole country as well as for each individual state. This project sponsored by The Newberry and the National Endowment for the Humanities has tremendous potential for use in the classroom for history and geography teachers alike.
I Have a Dream Speech Martin Luther King's Address at March on Washington August 28, 1963. Washington, D.C. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring fro...
There is much to glean from Martin Luther King's famous I Have a Dream speech as a fantastic rhetorical device. This speech has a profound impact on the the psyche of the America culture and it has endured as a pivotal moment in history. As we celebrate his life and legacy this Monday, it is an appropriate time to contemplate that the ending of segregation (a spatial division of races) has reshaped the United States.
Many streets in the United States bear the name "Martin Luther King Jr." to memorialize both the man and the Civil Rights movement. This streets, as this YouTube video suggests, are often in poor, crime-ridden and violent neighborhoods. This video highlights the irony between the historical memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and places of memorialization that bear his name. This video echoes much of what the authors of the fantastic book "Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory" say (in fact one of the authors is shown in this video).
Questions to ponder: If Martin Luther King Jr. represents non-violence, then why are streets bearing his name often in 'violent' neighborhoods? Where should Martin Luther King be memorialized in the United States? Only in the South? Only in predominantly African-American communities? What does the geography of the spaces where he is memorialized say something about the United States?
|Suggested by Tara Cohen|
Amazon.com: How The States Got Their Shapes: Season 1, Episode 10 "Mouthing Off": Amazon Instant Video
Many have raved about the TV show airing on the History Channel "How the States got their Shapes." For Amazon Prime users, season 1 is now free to stream. I'm looking forward to watching this.
Many teachers use Billy Joel's classic song and music video Allentown as a teaching tool to introduce the topic of deindustrialization in the Rust Belt of the United States. This alternative music video version adds some useful teaching images to help students contextualize the lyrics. Another song to consider using is Telegraph Road by Dire Straits; the song follows a town as it industrialized and as it later deindustrialized.
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.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
The National Rifle Association gives members of Congress a grade ranging from A to F.
Since the Newtown CT tragedy, gun control and second amendment rights have been prominent in the minds on many Americans. Your ideological position on what should be done in th future might be in part a product of geography. How do most people feel about the second amendment where you live? What about your local geography might influence those opinions?
The problems with the economy are not universally spread throughout society. Certain segments are impacted more than others by the current struggles, especially when with look at axes of identity, such as class, gender and ethnicity. While planning on a blue-collar job in the 1950s could have been a solid career plan for a young man in the United States, not so in the 21st century.
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?
Probability of a white Christmas in U.S.
This is not a weather report; we are still too far out to start predicting that with any accuracy. What this map does show is the statistical probabilities of snow cover thoughout the United States for December 25th based on past climatological data.
Washington state has become the first in America to allow the recreational use of cannabis, setting up a potential showdown with the US federal government.
The states that have legalized recreational marijuana use reflect regional differences in cultural and communal values within the United States. This is quite a quandry with fascinating ramifications as popular cultural values clash with political tradition.
Questions to Ponder: What will the Federal government do considering that a state law is contradicting a federal law? Will other states follow? Would a California employee fail a drug test is the drugs were legally consumed in a different state? Will Washington and Colorado receive more weekend tourism?
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.