Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
A animation showing edits to http://OpenStreetMap.org over the period 2007-2012.
OpenStreetMap recently had it's "State of the Map" conference (Oct. 13-14) in Portland, Oregon. This video was embedded in a great article entitled "The New Cartographers" that summarizes some of the current issues discussed at the conference as well as concerns that confont the project. The project has experienced exponential growth and is a major player in the world of online mapping (think Wikipedia for maps).
Questions to Ponder: What are some advantages (and disadvantages) to an open source mapping data set? What do you imagine is the future for the world largest open-source mapping data?
TED Talks In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archeology" -- using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.
The uses of geospatial technologies is NOT limited to studying geography, but it is the bedrock of many research projects that involve spatial thinking (as demonstrated in this TED talk). Geographic principles and geographers can be very important members of interdisciplinary teams.
This interactive map documents where 443 million people around the world get there water (although the United States data is by far the most extensive). Most people can't answer this question. A recent poll by The Nature Conservancy discoverd that 77% of Americans (not on private well water) don't know where their water comes from, they just drink it. This link has videos, infographics and suggestions to promote cleaner water. This is also a fabulous example of an embedded map using ArcGIS Online to share geospatial data with a wider audience.
Video. Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement.
There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.
The last paper editions of USGS topographic maps came out in 1973 and 1992. If you are waiting for the next print edition, you'll be waiting a long time. Like so many other agencies with information distribution, the USGS topo maps have gone digital. In 2001 the USGS announced the production of a current, seamless digital National Map. You can still quadrangle chunks of the National map and download them for free as PDFs (with geospatial extensions for measuring). You can search for aerial imagery here.
By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.
This interactive feature includes 12 places that have experienced significant change since 1990. This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time. Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era's (mis)management policies.
Learn about the high-tech treasure hunting game being played around the world by adventure seekers! Learn more at http://www.geocaching.com Subscribe to this...
Geocaching is great way to get people outdoors, use geospatial technologies and have fun with the whole family.
"We are extremely sorry," Apple CEO Tim Cook says in an open letter.
Producing a poor map can have disastrous consequences, especially if that map is widely disseminated. Given that people rely on maps to be accurate and base decisions on spatial information, it is the mapmaker's responsibility to not go live with a map (or mapping platform) until it does meet the standards of expectation.
|Suggested by Mary Rack|
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.
In collecting cartographic materials relating to the events of 9/11, the Library's Geography and Map Division is concentrating on documenting the role maps played in managing the recovery effort.
This page from the Library of Congress, hosted by the Geography and Map Division is a visually rich resources of geospatial images (aerial photography, thermal imagery, LiDAR, etc.) that show the extent of the damage and the physical change to the region that the terrorist attacks brought.
The natural landscapes shown as captured by satellite imagery is as beautiful as anything artists have ever created. Some of the colors shown in the video may seem otherworldy. Most of those color anomalies are due to the fact that remotely sensed images have more information in them than just what we see in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Some of these images are processed to show different bands so we can visually interpret data such as what is in the near infra-red band, skewing the color palette.
With the help of satellite images fifth and sixth grade students at Mr. Tim Blum’s geography class at the University of Wyoming Lab School got a birds-eye view of how humans have impacted or modified their environments. Images acquired by satellites decades apart showed cleared forests, irrigated crop fields in the middle of the deserts, altered landscapes (new roads and water bodies), and urban growth.
SD: Geospatial technologies can sound daunting for teachers that don't feel that they are specialists. Yet there are simple ways to make sophisticated technologies very relevant to just about any grade level as this article demonstrates.
On myHistro you can create advanced geolocated timelines that you can play as presentations. Pin your events, videos and photos to the map and share them with friends and family.
This new resource, myHistro, combines interactive maps with timelines to organize stories, journeys or historical events as the move over time and place. By embedding photos, videos and links this creates an incredibly dynamic platform for telling historical and geographic stories. By combining these features, this is a powerful tool to create customized resources for you students. Pictured above is a sample timeline that shows the spatial and temporal journey of the Olympic torch for the 2012 Games.
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.
This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time. You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict. This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting. This site is brimming with potential.
Amazing things about Google Earth - news, features, tips, technology, and applications...
If you've never seen the Google Earth Blog, this post is a good primer to the educational possibilities that this technology opens up to teachers. It is not just for geography teachers; it can be a visualization tool for any subject that has real-world applications that take place somewhere.
The artistic collection entitled 'Landscapes' compiled "the bizarre instances of cartographic dissonance inflicted by the Dutch government over their virtual lands. As Henner notes, the number of censored sites within the small country of the Netherlands is surprising, as is the technique used by officials to disguise them. Tracts of land deemed vulnerable to attack or misappropriation are transformed into large tapestries of multi-colored polygons, archipelagos of abstraction floating in swaths of open fields, dense forests, and clusters of urban development." For additional context, see the original gallery.
J-Track 3D Satellite Tracking is an online educational tool that maps hundreds of satellites as they orbit Earth. One of the ironies of the space program is that it's greatest scientific advances from the space program is in observing our own planet instead of deep space. J-Track 3-D should appear in its own window and plot the satellites in an interactive panel. This is a great way to learn more about the remote sensing platforms that give us all the beautiful imagery of our planet.
|Suggested by Elpidio I F Filho|
If geospatial technology helped us understand the costs, would we make different decisions about the value of electric reliability?
This is an excellent article that shows this as an important moment for geography. Geospatial technologies have been official listed as a growth sector in the economy: where will the workforce gain these skills? This is the perfect time to put geographic analysis together more firmly into the curriculum with the STEM disciplines so that spatial thinking throughout the curriculum. Geospatial technologies such as GIS are a are a common space where geography and STEM discipline can meet.
The National Atlas that is available online has an extensive database for simple online mapping. This is "GIS-light," an easy way to explore the spatial patterns within U.S. census data and other data sets. The lists all contain a wide variety of variables, making this a good way to get students to explore potential research topics. Thanks to the Connecticut Geographic Alliance coordinator for suggesting this link.
For all of its awesome applications, GPS has two fundamental flaws: It doesn't work indoors, and it can't really detect altitude. An Indoor Positioning System would fix that -- and introduce some seriously awesome applications.
Geolocation was listed as one of the important growth industries for the future (it also is a way to reassure students that the their are jobs for geography majors). The IPS isn't quite here, but it's hard to imagine that is too far away.
What if you could use GPS technology to find your misplaced keys? How about if you could use that same technology to lie about where you were in the world or...
We know the common usages of GPS technologies. As the accuracy of GPS data improves, how does this expand the potenial uses? What are the ethnics and legalities of GPS tracking devices? Just like hackers online alter the information with rely on, this video is an introduction to the analogous GPS spoofing technology. This TED talk is a great exploration of the future of GPS technology and privacy issues.