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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Cartographic Table

Cartographic Table | Geography Education | Scoop.it
I’ve always loved this 1784 map of the United States produced by Abel Buell. One of the most striking differences from the modern maps of this region is the massive about of disjointed territ...

 

This table with a gorgeous vintage map makes me so happy primarily because it's in my living room!  My incredibly talented and resourceful spouse was the mastermind. 

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Using a Smartphone and ArcGIS Online

Using a Smartphone and ArcGIS Online | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Now that it is easy to gather tracks and waypoints on a smartphone and map them in a GIS, it provides a good opportunity to remind students about the importance of being critical of and paying attention to data. I recently went on a walk around a local reservoir and used the Motion X GPS app on my iPhone to collect my track and a few waypoints. I emailed the data to myself and added the GPX file to ArcGIS Online so I could map and examine the track. I made my results public and made it visible below to feature some teachable moments......"

 

What a perfect combination!  Students more and more have these fantastic computing devices that we often underutilize (or ban outright) in their education.  This article shows how to bring GIS and a student's smartphone together.

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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 2, 2012 1:20 PM
Mapping and examining your tracks of direction on the move, you can't get any more "real time" than that! And I have been witness to a change in school settings, in regards to cell phone use in school. I can remember before students had advanced cell phones, and cell phones were not allowed to be seen out of one’s pocket in a classroom. But now I am seeing cell phones being an advantage to classroom studies.
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Maps of the Future

Maps of the Future | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A 1989 prediction about portable GPS devices was right on the money...

 

As technology continues to speed ahead, how we interact with maps will keep evolving.  This is a thoughtful blog post that spectulates about the future of mapping. 

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Kyle Kampe's curator insight, May 28, 11:20 PM

In AP Human Geo., this relates to the concepts of GIS, GPS, and mapping, because it indicates that technology will continue to play a significant role in morphing the utility and function of maps in the future.

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Wind Map

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

This interactive map is a 'nearly live' dynamic display of United States winds patterns (speed, direction and broad spatial context).  Click on the image to see the animated, large version.  Super cool!!

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Ken Morrison's comment, August 30, 2012 8:25 PM
That was cool. Thanks for sharing. I have a new fun tool for virtual storm chasing. I'm not as adventurous as I used to be. Is there any chance that there is an international version? We had a big typhoon in Asia this past week. Crazy weather.
Luis Sadeck 's comment, September 24, 2013 9:01 AM
Very crazy this map! One good application from technics of collect of data and building of map enviromental.

Thanks for sharing
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3D Grass Globe Illusion at Paris City Hall

3D Grass Globe Illusion at Paris City Hall | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Today, we want to show you another wonderful 3D illusion which is installed in front of the steps of Paris's city hall.

 

Geographically inspired public art that is also a massive optical illusion makes me happy on so many levels.  

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ArcGIS Online Overview

Create, find, use, and share maps, applications, and tools with everyone.

 

This is a quick introduction on how to use http://www.arcgis.com/

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Making a Topographic Profile

Demonstration on how to make a topographic profile for an Earth Science Lab.

 

This is an excellent way to teach elevation, landforms and cartography without high-tech tools.  Not a quick project, but very good for a class with a large physical geography component.   

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Worldmapper: The world as you've never seen it before

Worldmapper: The world as you've never seen it before | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest."


Among the many compelling cartograms on this site is this one showing the prevalance of HIV.

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Lou Salza's comment, September 26, 2012 4:04 PM
Love the visual impact of this map especially for kids with learning differences!
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The Human Head as a Mercator Projection

The Human Head as a Mercator Projection | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Such an ordinary object, yet so disturbingly presented…...

 

While we accept spatial distortion as a given in geographic projections, it is striking how much it alters reality when the same distortion in applied to the human head...worth showing when discussion mapping and projections. 

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, September 10, 2012 11:45 AM
I thought this was a good visual to demonstrate how you cannot just take a global map and just flatten it. You do not get the same scale and accurate description of the globe. While it may show multiple of the land features, the land features get distorted.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 10, 2012 11:46 AM
Seeing a human face spread out this way makes me now realize that a 2-D map is not a real interpretation of the world. But at the same time this is more of a strange picture than when a globe is flattened out. I guess we are more used to seeing a globe flattened out.
Mr Ortloff's curator insight, July 23, 2013 3:38 PM

Map distortion.......

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QGIS for Educators: Basics of QGIS

This is the second in our series of videos showing educators the main features and applications of QGIS (Quantum GIS) in the classroom. In this video we will...

 

If you need help downloading and installing there is a video tutorial. Once installed, this simple tutorial gets you started with the free, open-source GIS platform.  For more about resources on how to use QGIS, see: http://geographyeducation.org/whats-new/qgis/


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Early World Maps

Early World Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it

I typically would not link to a Wikipedia article, but this one is not only well crafted, and represents an academic collaborative work in its own right.  This a fabulous cartographic gallery that explores the history of geographical thought through the ages (as archived in the earliest maps).  Enjoy the maps, and even more, the intellectual context that this article provides for each of these images.      

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1964 Mexican postage stamp features unusual map projection

1964 Mexican postage stamp features unusual map projection | Geography Education | Scoop.it
One of the more beautiful, unusual and useful map projections ever devised was created by cartographer Bernard Cahill.

 

As a collector of Mexican stamps, researcher in Mexican heritage and enthusiast of all things geography, these cartographically themed stamp is a treasure.  

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Mercator’s 500th birthday: ArcGIS Resource Center

Mercator’s 500th birthday: ArcGIS Resource Center | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

While the web mapping world still relies too much on the Mercator projection for my preference, it is a testament to the enduring impact that his ideas have had in literally shaping our World.  When discussing map projections, this article has some valuable materials.

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, September 10, 2012 11:37 AM
This projection allows us to view maps at a more accurate scale. Around the world cartographers, pilots, navigators, map readers, and web mappers are using this type of projection. These professionals are invested in this projection because it is so accurate.
Paige T's comment, September 10, 2012 11:37 AM
This map may have some major distortion problems but Mercator found ways to "fix" this. Although the regions closer to the poles may be distorted, he spaced his lines accordingly in order to indicate to the viewer that there is distortion. Navigators have found this map very useful throughout the centuries because a straight line drawn on this map are lines of constant compass bearing.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 10, 2012 9:36 PM
This is another example of why people viewing a flat map, matted on a wall, are not getting exposure to an accurate model of measuring the world. I know when I was in public school, we were used to looking at mostly flat, wall maps. The curvature gives a person viewing this a great representation of the degrees in which these land masses are situated on the globe.
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Map orientation: When true north is NOT at the top

Map orientation: When true north is NOT at the top | Geography Education | Scoop.it
We got an excellent comment from a reader this week about maps that are not drawn with true north at the top.

 

We've all be 'turned around' when navigating in semi-familiar or unfamiliar territory.  How to we reorient ourselves?  When the map is NOT facing north, there typically better be a compelling reason that will help the map users to orient themselves to their particular spatial circumstances (oftentime they are reference maps for tourists).  Do you prefer maps to always face north?  Why or why not?  What does this say about our mental maps and spatial thinking patterns? 

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Sketch-A-Map

Sketch-A-Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Shown above is my 10 minute "Cap'n Crunch Map" of my neighborhood, showing my favorite running paths, libraries, schools, etc.  My particular cartographic rendering is not a mapping marvel, but this ESRI tool is. For a base map you can select a topographic map, street map of satellite image and it is "scale-able" at a neighborhood, national or global extent.  You can draw shapes or annotate right on top of any given map and then print or save as a PNG file. This would be a great resource to get students to literally map out their neighborhood, or have them map out regions of the United States or the World.  Also, for teaching in front of the class, if you've ever wanted to make your own annotations on a map and draw right on it, this would perfectly fit those needs. 

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xkcd: Map Projections

xkcd: Map Projections | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Geo-geek humor -- A cartoon strip on the projector in the 3 minutes before class can be a good thing.  I'm a Robinson. 

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, September 10, 2012 11:04 AM
Out of all these maps I found the Robinson, Van Der Grinten, and A globe to be my favorites. Out of the three I found the Robinson to be the best because is it almost similar to the cylindrical equal area projection. The middle areas are preserved but only the angles get distorted for a better view. I chose the globe projection too because if your trying to demonstrate the globe it doesn't just display all its continents, oceans, etc on one side. Therefore the globe gives the accurate idea of how certain features and land are represented on the actual globe.
Paige T's comment, September 10, 2012 11:05 AM
The Waterman Butterfly LOOKS really cool but seems like it is an over-complicated version of the Pierce Quincuncial (with Antartica shoved up into the "Atlantic Ocean"). Basically some of these just don't make sense. I would also have to go with the Goode Homolosine. It is the most accurate and even though it cuts through the oceans, you can still get a sense of the size and shape of the ocean. If you want to go for a boat ride, you'd be dumb to use this map anyways. The simile about the orange peel allows some perspective on this map projections also.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 10, 2012 11:06 AM
I feel the Robinson map is a closest representation of the world that is translated onto a 2-D map. All of the land masses and oceans look to be accurate without flattening the map completely and still having a curvature to it; which is more of a representation of the globe.
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BatchGeo: geocoding to create custom maps

BatchGeo: geocoding to create custom maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Make maps from a list of multiple addresses, create a mobile optimized map or locator. Free hosting for your custom interactive map or locator." 

Super easy to use, you can paste addresses from a spreadsheet to produce maps with your own data.   For a video about how to use BatchGeo see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiGSw9VccOo&feature=player_embedded

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Kim Vignale's comment, November 15, 2011 11:14 PM
Geocoding can give anybody the power to create their own maps of locations they encounter on a daily basis. It can help organize different groups and locations that are visited often. This is a great tool to create a visually appealing and organized map. If this program can be integrated with your gps device, it would make it easier to find a location with a click of one button.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 16, 2011 7:09 PM
Considering how easy this is to use, I think that many are scared away from making their own maps since it sounds harder than it really is. This brings mapping power to the people.
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MapMaker-National Geographic Education

MapMaker-National Geographic Education | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Customize one-page maps and download, email, print, or share!

 

Want to make a custom map don't have a cartographic background or access to GIS software?  This online program will give you what you need. 

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