Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
This screenshot is of a great article in this month's edition of NCGE's newsletter focusing on rural lands and recent changes to rural systems. Follow the link for the whole newsletter as a flipbook (PDF here) including an edition of Geography in the News on Siberia's Northern Railway.
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.
This is an old article, but a fascinating topic that cuts across many geographic issues. Uluru, the landform that that European explorers named Ayers Rock, was the key place that is at the center of a struggle between indigenous people and the government. Many feel that the government's course of action in the mid 2000's was paternalistic and racist. They banned alcohol and pornography in over 70 indigenous communities in an attempt to lower the rates of child sex abuse. Sex Abuse is high (and often hidden) in aboriginal communities where a child is 7 times more likely to be abused than in the rest of the Australian population.
Questions to Ponder: Would the government impose such measures on other populations within Australia? When crimes have a racial component, does a government have the right to limit a particular groups' actions? Why or why not?
A boom and social change are pitting young working women in the city against men from conservative villages.
The recent resurgence of this issue had me looking through the archives and stumbled upon this 2011 article. As urban expansion is booming in many Indian cities, the modern city expands into the countryside. The cultural values of these two demographic groups are quite distinct. Young, educated women are part of the modern cities' workforce but in many conservative, traditional Indian villages, women working outside the home are seen as "lacking in virtue." In many of the recent gang rape cases, the perpetrators are less educated young men from surrounding villages and the victims are well-educated young working women that are a part of the new city.
Public spaces, especially at night, are seen as masculine spaces in most traditional societies. One of the mothers of an accused rapist succinctly explained this mindset thusly: "If these girls roam around openly like this, then the boys will make mistakes." This is seen as 'Eve teasing,' where women are perceived as responsible for the violence committed against them to maintain social order. As another article hints, the outrage that this incident ignited could lead towards long-term change in Indian society.
This other NY Times article op-ed states, "India must work on changing a culture in which women are routinely devalued. Many are betrothed against their will as child brides, and many suffer cruelly, including acid attacks and burning, at the hands of husbands and family members. India, a rising economic power and the world’s largest democracy, can never reach its full potential if half its population lives in fear of unspeakable violence."
Global news with a spatial perspective: resources for educators and the inherently inquisitive. http://geographyeducation.org
This list is a combination of two types of posts. Some represent the best posts of Geography Education during 2012 as voted by you the viewers (measured by page views) and I've added a few that I feel where my 'favorite finds' of the year. For more favorites, you can see the best of 2011.
Live presentations have been a part of National Geographic since the 1800s, and today more than 140 are viewable online. See this year's best.
These talks are always quality presentations and this set of 10 videos is a part of the Explorers Journal sponsored by the National Geographic Society.
|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 stunning drop in global child mortality is proof that poor countries are not doomed to eternal misery. Here's how it happened.
Global health has substantially improved in the last two decades. This article explores the improvements in global health that have been made this year, and the attached interactive feature allows users to explore the changes in global health risks. Click here for the Guardian's version of this same data and interactive.
The idea of flash mobs has spread quickly, diffusing at a time when online video sharing can immortalize the moment in time and social media can amplify the audience beyond just one place.
I LOVE this particular flashmob (as a bonus, 'read' the cultural landscape to try to identify where this took place). While there are many types of successful flash mobs, all share one characteristic: place matters. The place where a flash mob performs is not simply a stage; place is a crucial part of the meaning of the flash mob. An incredibly prominent place with open spaces and many sight lines is a prime location for a flash mob. Beyond these tangible characteristics, if a site has some importance cultural significance, those qualities can be meshed with the meanings of the flash mob. For more of my musings on flashmobs (and extra clips) you can continue reading here.
A country-by-country analysis of data from more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers finds that 84% of adults and children around the globe are religiously affiliated.
Movie showing ground motion of four earthquakes propagating across a high density seismic array in Long Beach, California. Data was recorded by NodalSeismic,...
Seismic activity is to be expected in the Los Angeles region as the major hazard threat in the area. This area has a great number of sensors which now allows us to visualize seismic waves better than ever before. This video show 4 earthquakes (starting at 0:45, 2:20, 6:00, and 8:35). For more information on the science behind this clip, read the adptly named blog, The Trembling Earth.
Play the Global development game: identify the world's countries and territories, rank them according to GDP then fingers at the ready for the picture round
This game is not as simple as it may appear. The first round challenges you to be able to recall basic facts, the second has you comparing countries while the third asks you about global current events. Hopefully geography education around the world can get past that '1st round' and into deeper content. Good luck (Hint: use a computer with a mouse since locating the countries on the map is a timed activity).
Resources from National Geographic Education to support teachers and learners of the Advanced Placement Human Geography course.
The National Geographic Education Foundation works to assist teachers to promote the status and quality of geography education. In keeping with that mission they have recently revamped their AP Human Geography page, dividing all their resources according to the 7 major units of the course (in the "tags" section below, I have attempted to do the same):
"See Rome as it looked in 320 AD and fly down to see famous buildings and monuments in 3D. Select the 'Ancient Rome 3D' layer under Gallery in Google Earth."
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.
Wal-Mart officials worked hard to ensure that zoning regulations were changed so that they could bring a store to a coveted location. They built a Wal-Mart in the shadows of arguably Mexico's most important world heritage site--the pyramids of Teotihuacán. This investigative report uncovers the illegal steps that Wal-Mart took to force through their agenda.
Questions to Ponder: Why would Wal-Mart be so keen on this particular location? Why would some in Mexico oppose this project so fiercely? Would Wal-Mart behave in such a manner in the United States?
As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit
Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds have been caught in other people's plans for what the states of the Middle East should look like and are the largest 'stateless nation' in the world. Divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, the Kurds have not been able to politically mobilize support for Kurdistan as they have been violently oppressed in these countries. The Kurds in Iraq have been able to gain political autonomy with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the Syrian Kurds are hoping to do the same if and when the Assad regime crumbles at the end of the civil war. This make Turkey concerned that the Kurds in the southeastern part of Turkey will make renewed efforts to push for sovereignty.
UPDATE: This PBS feature explains the historic timeline of the important political events for the Kurds in Iraq.This article from the Economist focuses on the key reason that outside forces won't leave the Kurds alone: oil.
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?
I know that many are thinking about mental illness and gun violence after the tragic incident in Connecticut. I do not wish to use this as a platform to suggest any particular political course of action. I do think, however, that this is an appropriate time to share more data that may help others to frame the discussion.
During the holiday season, online sales shoot up as distant relatives seek to ship gifts in time for Christmas. Some have noted that online shoppers can stay at home and completely render the tradition physical storefront redundant. Online shoppers, whether they think about it or not, hoping that the physical logistics behind the scenes will work efficiently and quickly. This collection of images is a reminder that while it might appear that geography and location are eliminated with online communications, these virtual interactions in cyberspace are dependent on actual physical locations.
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.
This article and the selected gallery is based on the free e-book "Earth as Art" which I've mentioned here before earlier. This particular image is fantastic for teaching about geomorphology and river systems. Students can 'see' the historical layers of a meandering stream winding it's way across the landscape. Connecting the physical geography to human geography, analyzing the flood plains can help explain the land use and settlement patterns in this Mississippi Delta image.
UPDATE: Here's another meandering stream image (Willamette River, Oregon) that shows the dynamism of fluvial processes quite nicely.
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?
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.
While the idea of everyone of the same nationality belonging to the same country might be considered an ideal situation, the world's ethnic geography is too jumbled to create perfect nation-states. South Tyrol is a part of Italy that is one of those places with mixed a ethnic, linguistic and political heritage. By different criteria, many of the residents could be considered German, Austrian or Italian or a combination of the them. Since the Euro Zone fiscal crisis, the push for political autonomy in South Tyrol has intensified, in part because this region has avoided the crisis and is economically fairing better than the rest of Italy.
Questions to Ponder: How do political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line? What elements are a part of a regions heritage? Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages? How does devolution impact the whole country?
This video shows that the human spirit of beauty and joy can come shining through from the poorest of places. Slums are not new, but rapid population growth coupled with rural-to-urban migration patterns have led to an increasing amount of slums. Despite all the stereotypical images of destitute poverty, slums can also be places with a strong vibrant communities with residents filled with innovation, hope and ambition. For more on this organization, see their Facebook page.
"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."
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.”