Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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China's Water Crisis

China's Water Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For years, China claimed to hold an estimated 50000 rivers within its borders. Now, more than half of them have abruptly vanished.
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Paige Therien's curator insight, April 26, 2014 12:04 AM

China is attributing the disappearance of over 50 percent of their country's rivers to inaccurate sources; more effective technologies today give an accurate picture of China's waterways compared to the former data based off of sources from the  1950's.  While it is probably true to some extent that previous numbers were off, there still needs to be much concern for the state of China's current waterways and why waterways that once existed have disappeared.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 4:48 PM

Cutting corners in safety and cleanliness has caused pollution in the rivers. All the money they saved cutting corners now has to be invested in diverting clean water to northern areas of the country. I hope someday they realize that you cannot do things super cheaply without paying for it in another area.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:41 PM

What has happened to these rivers? Are they purposely being depleted from China? How do they expect to supply water for their residents if they are building things over these used-to-be rivers?

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A world of projections

Welcome, Metafilter visitors! How can you map a sphere unto the plane? well you can't if you want to keep size, shape and proportions. Here are the alternatives... Learn more about the different projections.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We are accustomed to spatial distortion in maps; when we see that same distortion on a picture, it gives us an alternative perspective on the level of spatial distortion that we see on maps.  The Azimuthal projections (circular) are my favorite for this photographic project.   


Tagsmapping, cartography, perspective, map.

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Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, March 24, 2013 7:55 AM

Des cartes pour comprendre le monde...une initiative photographique pour comprendre les projections. 

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Mapping Europe’s Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire

Mapping Europe’s Borderlands: Russian Cartography in the Age of Empire | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original.


"Maps are not merely distilled representations of geographic realities. Over time, they come to represent an organic bundling of history: reconstructed, imagined, and manipulated. Historically, they have been the tools with which expanding empires have legitimized their conquests, imposed identities, and created administrative order, and with which victims have constructed alternative narratives and salvaged their own national memories. Never was this truer than in the period in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when a burgeoning Romanov empire joined Austria and Prussia in wiping Poland-Lithuania from the map and absorbing it into their swelling realms. Seegel intricately analyzes the cartography of imperial Russia and Poland-Lithuania as the science evolved and historical demands were placed on it. This is a rich and fascinating angle on history enhanced by a bounty of beautiful reproductions. Rare is a book this aesthetically pleasing and intellectually original. Seegel should be congratulated for creating it, and the University of Chicago Press, for producing it."  You may also see this title on Amazon


Tags: book reviews, Russia, cartography, historical.

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A Crazy But Rational Solution To Our Electoral College Problem

A Crazy But Rational Solution To Our Electoral College Problem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
On three different occasions, the candidate with the most votes didn't become President of the United States. We call this "The Electoral College Problem." Here a solution. Simple. Mathematical. Rational.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As a disclaimer, I'm not endorsing the removal of all current state borders, but I think that this is a great thought exercise that involves some serious spatial thinking and geography knowledge to create this map (or even to critique and discuss it).  This map represents an attempt to restructure the states so that each state would have equal value in the electoral college with roughly equal populations (county borders remained firm).  What about the physical and human geography would make some of these "states" better (or worse) than the current configuration of the 50 states? How would this 'redistricting' impact your local region? 


Tags: political, gerrymandering, mapping, unit 4 political.

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Gary Pascoa's comment, March 1, 2013 9:43 PM
I know the founding fathers would be horrified as this cuts into the whole idea of the electoral college: to place a further check on the majority when electing a president. Nonetheless, I would support a redrawing of the map that would lean toward a popular vote system.
Conor McCloskey's comment, March 4, 2013 8:27 PM
Interesting idea, however I can't say this is a "rational" solution to the Electoral College. It is actually completely irrational to think that the borders could be redrawn and everyone could be redistricted every four years... They can't even manage to get a census out every year... Logistical nightmare. I agree with Ken and Gary, let the people choose with the popular vote
Alex Smiga's curator insight, September 5, 2015 5:02 PM

Far out

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Rhode Island Community Profiles

Rhode Island Community Profiles | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a simplified Census data map viewer specifically for Rhode Island.  To see a simplified U.S. Census data at the national scale, see: http://sco.lt/7G5rur


Tags: statistics, Rhode Island, census, GIS, mapping, cartography.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 24, 2013 11:50 AM

This is a simplified Census data map viewer specifically for Rhode Island.  To see a simplified U.S. Census data at the national scale, see: http://sco.lt/7G5rur


Tags: statistics, Rhode Island, census, GIS, mapping, cartography.

Meg Conheeny's comment, April 26, 2013 7:12 PM
This data really gives you a sense of the community in Rhode Island. You can find statistics on education, economic factors, health, housing and the environment. There are slightly more females than males in Rhode Island. The population pyramid shows spikes in both males and females from the ages of 15-24 and 45-54. There could be a higher population of 15-24 year olds because that age group is enrolled in school so many kids go through the public school system in Rhode Island then stay in state to go to college, trying to save some money. There’s a higher amount of 45-54 year olds because they have established themselves in this state with a job, house, family and roots so they are less likely to leave.
There is a high number of families with children under 18 in Cranston, Pawtucket, Warwick and Providence. This could be because those areas are the major cities and towns in the state so there are more families having kids in those places. There also is a high number of people in the city of Providence that speak English “not well” or “not at all”. Migrants tend to move to the cities to try to find work and cheap housing and Providence is the biggest city in Rhode Island so it is populated with many migrates who are new to English. Rhode Island has some of the highest unemployment numbers. The highest places of unemployment in Rhode Island according to this graph are East Providence, Cranston, Pawtucket, Warwick and Providence. Again this could be because those areas are some of the largest cities and towns in the state.
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Google releases detailed map of North Korea, gulags and all

Google releases detailed map of North Korea, gulags and all | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Google Maps rolls out a detailed may of the secretive state.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Citizen cartographers have edited Google's North Korea map, putting information on what was previously an absence of data concerning one of the most secretive countries in the world.  In essence, as explained in this video, Google is crowd-sourcing the map.  How might this geographic knowledge change our perception of North Korea?  How might the dissemination of this information affect North Korea?  

 

Tags: North Korea, mapping, cartography.

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Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, January 30, 2013 9:41 AM

Des cartes pour comprendre le monde: la géographie participative de Google. 

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Census Data Mapper

Census Data Mapper | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This web mapping application provides users with a simple interface to view, customize, save and print thematic maps of the United States, using data from the 2010 Census.  The beta version contains a set of 2010 Census data relating to age and sex, population and race, and family and housing in the United States by county or equivalent entity." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This month the U.S. Census Bureau has released the beta version of a very nice online mapping tool to display the 2010 data.  The mapper will create PDF versions of any map produced online (file sizes from 20-55KB) and the user can export the raw data to Excel.  While the user is more limited in how to display the data than they would using a GIS, this is a simple way to explore some of the basic census information.


Tags: statistics, census, GIS, mapping, cartography.


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Jen-ai's curator insight, January 24, 2013 2:11 PM

mmm data. This tool is really useful for anyone planning on servicing an area with grown food. You can see the demographics of your chosen geographical area quickly.

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Interactive Earth at Night

Interactive Earth at Night | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

You've seen the this image as a static map, as a video and as an adjusted cartogram here before.  This link is especially intriguing because this same data has been added to Google Maps so a user can interactively explore this layer and compare it to daytime satellite imagery or a standard map (it can also be seen on an interactive globe on http://www.geteach.com/ ). 


The first impulse of most students is to note when analyzing this image is to note that the map will show us where people live, where the cities are or some other comment that speaks to the magnitude of the population in the white areas.  Let them analyze this for more time, and they'll notice that population isn't the whole story of this image.  A place like India shines, but less brightly than the eastern part of the United States.  I like to point out that South Korea appears to be an island (because North Korea is literally blacked out).  Politics, development, affluence and population information are all embedded in this image.  As with all maps, the more information you have about the place in question (in this case, Earth), the more meaningful information you can extract out of the map.


Tags: remote sensing, images, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, geography education, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

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Giovanni Della Peruta's curator insight, January 14, 2013 11:54 AM

Thanks to Nic Hardisty

Giovanni Della Peruta's comment, January 14, 2013 12:02 PM
Very good comment, Seth
سعيد محمد's comment, January 15, 2013 11:03 AM
ok
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Essays on Geography and GIS

Seth Dixon's insight:

This set of 19 short essays (around 3-4 pages each) is a great supplemental text.  I am eager to read them and other resources in the ESRI library.  


Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, geography education, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

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Socket map of the world

Socket map of the world | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Tags: cartography, technology, globalization, historical, regions, mapping, colonialism.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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?

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Mr Ortloff's curator insight, July 23, 2013 4:01 PM

You can map ANYTHING!!!

Justin McCullough's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:36 PM

This map is interesting because it shows where the former British Empire had its influences , especially in British-Africa territories. The only four countries that use the light blue are all in the southern hemisphere as the article points out, and the American model can be largely seen in the western hemisphere, However, there is the American model in Saudi Arabia. It seems that the rest of the world uses the light green or the dark green models. 

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Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border | Geography Education | Scoop.it

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. 


Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, mapping

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Market Segmentation

Market Segmentation | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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). 


Tags: socioeconomic, neighborhood, place, economic, consumption, spatial, mapping

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CIM Academy's curator insight, July 17, 2015 5:13 AM

Segmentation is a key element in strategic planning. This article discusses the importance of market segmentation and provides some key insights. 

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Generate Simple World Maps

Generate Simple World Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Free travel tip and photos from all over the world...

Seth Dixon's insight:

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).

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John Snow's cholera map of London recreated

John Snow's cholera map of London recreated | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What would John Snow's famous cholera map look like on a modern map of London, using modern mapping tools?
Seth Dixon's insight:

John Snow's cholera map is often noted as a prime example of using spatial thinking to solve a scientific problem.  Here are a variety of resources to explore this classic example.  Here is an article that highlights the spatial thinking that produced this map, with KML files and in Google Fusion Tables.  See also these online GIS layers of Dr. Snow's famous map. 


Tagsmedical, models, spatial, mapping.   

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, October 25, 2013 11:00 PM

THere is a map of this in your textbook HUGGERS

 

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Africa Map Collection

Africa Map Collection | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This fabulous collection of African maps from 1535-1897 represents an historical geographic vision of both Africa and colonial visions of an imagined Africa.  I chose this particular map to display because it beautifully highlights the Mountains of KongFor generations, European cartographers erroneously believed that this long mountain range extended north of the West African coast and across the continent.  Currently this map collection is at Plymouth State, NH, but much of it is archive online here. 


Tags: Africa, cartography, colonialism, map.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 11:58 PM

This is a fun collection of maps because you can see how the European view of Africa has changed over time. These maps contain nonexistent land marks such as the Mountains of Kong, these are here because cartographers made their maps based off incorrect information and then passed this information on to others who repeated their mistakes. African was known as the dark continent not only because of European racism but because of the lack of knowledge on behalf of the Europeans. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 11:19 AM

While most people perceive Africa as a country rather than a continent, European cartographers were even more oblivious to the make up of the continent. How is it possible that a mountain can directly across the continent. This also raises the question, how was conquering the continent possible if this mountain sat at the frontier of the continent? Wouldn't the natives know where to escape when European settlers came to conquer their land?

Luis Cabral's curator insight, March 8, 2016 12:02 AM

This fabulous collection of African maps from 1535-1897 represents an historical geographic vision of both Africa and colonial visions of an imagined Africa.  I chose this particular map to display because it beautifully highlights the Mountains of Kong.  For generations, European cartographers erroneously believed that this long mountain range extended north of the West African coast and across the continent.  Currently this map collection is at Plymouth State, NH, but much of it is archive online here. 


Tags: Africa, cartography, colonialism, map.

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Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Learn how advances in geospatial technology and analytical methods have changed how we do everything, and discover how to make maps and analyze geographic patterns using the latest tools."

Seth Dixon's insight:

When I was a graduate student at Penn State, I was introduced to some great people and programs and I'm glad to see that the institution has continued to excel and be a leader.  You have probably heard of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and been interested in seeing how this might change higher education in the future.  This MOOC is a free 5-week course designed to be an introduction to mapping, GIS and geospatial technologies so you don't need to be a specialists with a mapping background: it's for beginners.  I know that many geography teachers tell their students about GIS, but are afraid to teach with GIS because they are worried that it will be too hard.  This is an easy on-ramp to 21st century geospatial tools and any geography teacher hoping to modernize their skillset would do well to take this summer course fromthe Program of Online Geospatial Education at Penn State, taught by Dr. Anthony Robinson.  For more information on this, see this annoucement from Directions Magazine and from Penn State News.    


Tags: GIS, teacher training, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, geography education, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

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Leigha Tew's comment, November 6, 2013 9:41 PM
GIS is redefining mapping skills. In 21st Century education, it is crucial that we communicate GIS literacy in our geography curriculums and classrooms. As a geography teacher it is, therefore, also crucial that I have a thorough and sound knowledge of this field. This course could strongly assist such an understanding as professional development throughout my teaching career.
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Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Income maps of every neighborhood in the U.S. See wealth and poverty in places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami, and more.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is the most user-friendly website I've seen to map economic census data.  This maps the average household income data on top of a Google Maps basemap that can be centered on any place in the United States.  This is a great resource to share with students of just about any age. 


Tags: statistics, census, GIS, mapping, K12.

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Alejandro Restrepo's curator insight, February 13, 2013 6:22 PM

Very interesting aspect of our demographics here in Central Falls. Any one with an interest in demographics and the make up our city should take a look a this and compare it to other neighborhoods in Rhode Island. Knowledge is power. Empower yourself!

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, February 14, 2013 2:16 PM

Can you find your neighborhood HUGGERS?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, February 16, 2013 10:25 AM

Compare the neighborhoods in and around your area.  What trends do you see?  Any surprises?

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Mercator Puzzle

Mercator Puzzle | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This online game where you return the "misplaced" country on the map is more than just an exercise in locating places (there are many online map quizzes for that sort of activity).  What makes this one unique is that as you move the country north or south the country expands or contracts according to how that country would be projected if that were its actual location on a Mercator map.  This is a great way to introduce projections.

 

Tags: map projections, mapping, cartography.

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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, February 11, 2013 12:03 PM

Great site to show projection and changes in perception on maps.  

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:45 PM

This mercator puzzle was especially interesting. It illustrated how various countries look on a mercator map compared to other maps.

Alex Smiga's curator insight, September 7, 2015 4:45 PM

Cool activity / puzzle that plays with projection and shows you a comparative view of the "true" size of countries compared to others 

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Historical Interactive Topographic Map of Switzerland

Historical Interactive Topographic Map of Switzerland | Geography Education | Scoop.it


 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an excellent interactive topographic map of Switzerland with great detail at a variety of scales with historical layers from 1938 to the present. 


Tags: Switzerland, historical, mapping.

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Inverted Earth

Seth Dixon's insight:

These maps were purposefully designed to break all the cartographic conventions and consequently conceal as much as they reveal.  When land is colored blue, what happens in the mind of the map viewer?  Why is psychology important in how we design maps?     


Tags: images, mapping, cartography.

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Dewayne Lawson's comment, January 19, 2013 9:19 PM
very cool!
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Mapping A History Of The World, And Our Place In It

Mapping A History Of The World, And Our Place In It | Geography Education | Scoop.it
On the Map author Simon Garfield speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about the history of maps, how they can be used as political tools, and how GPS and modern mapping applications are changing the way we see ourselves and our place in the world.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This NPR podcast is a review of the book On the Map that explores how our minds perceive maps and how maps influence or perception of the world we live in.  Here is the NY Times review of the same book. 

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Dean Haakenson's comment, January 8, 2013 2:12 PM
Love this. It shows how maps can shape our ideas of the world--Reagan usin the Mercator Projection to convey the idea that the USSR was a very large threat. Great for APHG students.
Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, January 8, 2013 10:09 PM

This NPR podcast is a review of the book On the Map that explores how our minds perceive maps and how maps influence or perception of the world we live in.  Here is the NY Times review of the same book. 

g tonge's curator insight, January 9, 2013 4:36 AM

This NPR podcast is a review of the book On the Map that explores how our minds perceive maps and how maps influence or perception of the world we live in.  Here is the NY Times review of the same book. 

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Census Dotmap

Census Dotmap | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.


Tags: cartography, technology, mapping, visualization, population, density.

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Charlie Koppelson's curator insight, February 7, 2013 2:40 PM

This map is very useful in examining the distribution of people and geography in North America. It's easy to see that our once rural based country is completely dominated by cities, most of which are near the coast. It's fun to play around with as you can see where mountain ranges are as well as other topographic changes just by the concentrations of people, or lack there of.

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Middle-Earth gets a Geological Makeover

Middle-Earth gets a Geological Makeover | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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."

Seth Dixon's insight:

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.” 

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geofoodgraz's curator insight, December 15, 2012 4:36 AM

 

 Seth Dixon, Ph.D.'s insight:

"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.” 

Danielle Boucher's curator insight, January 24, 2013 5:51 PM

Brilliant!

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Apple Promises To Fix Glitches In Map Software By Rearranging Earth's Geography

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.

Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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TODALSIGS

TODALSIGS | Geography Education | Scoop.it


 

Seth Dixon's insight:

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).

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