Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Inside a halal slaughterhouse in Queens

"This is the story of a halal slaughterhouse in Queens. It is a bit graphic at times, but the culture, history and passion behind the business is fascinating."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While a bit gruesome in moments, this video is an excellent view into the inner workings of an ethnic neighborhood.  Why are the cultural connections to a 'homeland' so important to immigrants?  Why is halal meat more expensive than what you would find in a grocery store?  Why is food such an important part of culture?  For more about this NY company and what halah is, click here.     

elsa hunziker's comment, January 30, 2012 2:24 PM
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Asians in the U.S. labor force, 2008–2010

Asians in the U.S. labor force, 2008–2010 | Geography Education |
The Editor's Desk: U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics...


Ethnic geography, migration and economic geography intersect in this compelling infographic. 

Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 9:56 AM

This chart shows the labor force from 2008 to 2010. It what kind of races were active in the labor force and the percentage the race made up of the labor force. It also shows what kind of work they did and how much of the percentage of that race was involved in a specific line of work.

Daniel Lindahl's curator insight, March 21, 2015 10:57 PM

Migration refers to the movement of people across borders. This graph/article illustrates the large amount of Asians migrating to the United States, and joining the work force. The graph further breaks down the "Asians" by specific origin and ethnicity, showing that Chinese Asians are the most prominent in the US workforce. 

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Blueseed: Business' New "Spatial Fix"

Blueseed: Business' New "Spatial Fix" | Geography Education |

Many site outsourcing as a way in which global corporatations are seeking to avoid the typical economic limitations that have been imposed on job production based on geography.  Some refer to it as a 'spatial fix,' a way to get around the high cost of workers in the developed world being reworking how business gets done.  


This takes that to an entirely different level.  The benefits of agglomeration and collaboration help to explain the importance of Silicon Valley.  Entrepreneurs from other countries do not all have access to a comparable location with a high concentration of intellectually driven enterprises that amplify their impacts.  The Blueseed Project intents to, in essence create a floating city in international waters (just off the coast of California) that is outside of U.S. governmental jurisdiction, but easily accessible for Silicon Valley executives.   


More questions than answers arise from this project.  How are economic restructurings altering governance?  Are borders becoming less or more important with increased technological advances?  Would this be a benefit to developing world economies or strengthen the Silicon Valley's economic importance in research and development?     

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Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Agriculture

Top 10 Reasons Alabama’s New Immigration Law Is a Disaster for Agriculture | Geography Education |

"Alabama’s new immigration law, H.B. 56, is already devastating the state’s agricultural sector."


Does teaching agriculture have to be boring?  This particular issue is an excellent current topic that combines politics, culture and demographics within agriculture.   


Mac steel's comment, March 8, 2013 10:09 AM
Valorie Morgan's curator insight, November 7, 2013 10:13 AM

The new immigration laws have caused farmers to cut back on crops due to low empolyment rate. The immgrants that were currently working for farmers, ran off in fear of being captured. I'm against this law, I see exactly where the farmers are coming from. I believe these laws are pointless, it's just people trying to make an honest buck in the hot sun. Alabama is losing a great deal of agriculture due to this new law. Even though, they say its againast the law. I don't see the point. Why be so hard on these farmer??

Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 12:08 AM

This article shows how important it is to follow the natural way of agriculture. With the new laws in Alabama being passed it now allows people to grow crops in an unnatural way which is devastating predicament to the agricultural world. 

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Mapping migration-China and India

Mapping migration-China and India | Geography Education |
Where are the world's biggest Chinese and Indian immigrant communities? MORE Chinese people live outside mainland China than French people live in France, with some to be found in almost every country.


The two most populous countries in the world, India and China, are mentioned frequently when teaching population geography.  However, it is typical in the United States to pass over these countries when discussing migration; this graphic shows the diasporas are quite extensive and highly influential. 

Elle Reagan's curator insight, October 17, 2014 1:59 PM

When I first came across this article I thought it was intriguing but not surprising. Most people fleeing from India and China go somewhere nearby versus somewhere far away. Places like Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia have a high rate of Chinese and Indian migrants, which proves one of Ravenstein's laws.

Clayton and Annie's curator insight, February 12, 2015 10:07 AM

This is showing indias geography. This article is telling you where the most populated parts of India are. Which are most of them live out side of China. The two most populated countrys are India and China. India has a higher people per square mile than China. 

Flo Cuadra Scrofft's curator insight, May 27, 2015 12:58 AM

Summary- More Chinese people live outside mainland China than French people live in France. Some 22m ethnic Indians are scattered across every continent. Diasporas have been a part of the world for millennia; they are quite extensive and highly influential.The map highlights the world's top 20 destinations for Chinese and Indian migrants


Insight- since China and India are the most populous countries of the world, it makes sense that we ask ourselves "well, do people there ever go to other places to find a little bit more of personal space that is so scarce in their home countries?" They actually do. Maybe it is not because they need personal space. Working opportunities and better living conditions might be what drives these people to migrate from their countries.

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Immigration to U.S. From Mexico in Decline Amid Tough Economy

Immigration to U.S. From Mexico in Decline Amid Tough Economy | Geography Education |
The number of Mexicans leaving for the United States is just about cancelled out by the number returning, according to statistics provided by the Mexican government.

Besides being an important (underreported) political fact, this new migratory pattern can lead to a good discussion of push and pull factors that lead to the geography of migration. 

Max Minard's curator insight, March 23, 2015 8:57 PM

Back in 2012, the number of Mexican immigrants coming to America had declined due to several push factors, mainly involving the rough economy "north of the border". Despite the fact that many Mexican immigrants are still migrating to America, many have decided against this decision based off factors such as the risk of the making the trek and the more evident reason being that America's economy is going through a rough time. They don't want to show up in America unable to find employment which is the reason they had left their previous country. I personally think this is an accurate outlook considering 2012 experienced many rough patches in the economy which can further result in the decrease in incoming immigrants. Overall, this tough and amid economy in America along with the long, risky trek can both be classified as push factors, pushing away Mexican immigrants from wanting to settle in The United States.

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BBC: Urbanization

BBC: Urbanization | Geography Education |

A fantastic interactive map with population charts that show the massive explosion in urbanization since 1950 until the present.

Seth Dixon's comment, November 4, 2011 11:22 AM
Thanks to my mentor teacher (when I was a student teaching myself in Utah with 9th graders) for finding this link. He's STILL helping me out all these years's to all you mentoring the next generation of educators!
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Latinization of Southern Space and Place

Latinization of Southern Space and Place | Geography Education |
The Latinization of Southern Space and Place project investigates how the myriad discourses of migration and globalization have become manifest graphically across social spaces and street graphics in the contemporary American South.


As local demographics change, so does the cultural landscape and--as evidenced by Alabama writing the toughest anti-immigration law in the U.S.--the political landscape.   

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7 Billion: Are You Typical? -- National Geographic Video

7 Billion: Are You Typical? -- National Geographic Video | Geography Education |

This video is a powerful way to show global patterns of development, culture and economic as well as population.  For more produced my National Geographic about population, visit: This was created to coincide with the arrival of the world's 7 billionth person on October 31, 2011.

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NationMaster - World Statistics, Country Comparisons

NationMaster - World Statistics, Country Comparisons | Geography Education |
Country comparisons using graphs, maps. Huge database of world statistics. Reference site contains country statistics, maps, flags, graphs and pie charts.


This is excellent for national side-by-side comparisons with a whole host of thematic datasets to choose from.  This easy portal can demystify the idea of producing a data-driven paper or project. 

Brandon Murphy's comment, July 9, 2012 7:00 PM
I find this tool to be very useful and interesting as well. However, I am not surprised as to how low the United States ranks on most statistics, especially Education. The United States has the potential and the resources to be in the top 3 in terms of education, but due to policy differences within the states an as a country at large we fall short of that. We know what needs to be done, but the right methods/policy are considered too "socialist" therefore they can't be done. It obviously works, just take a look at where Finland ranks in terms of Education.
Don Brown Jr's comment, July 9, 2012 10:10 PM
I agree that this website is very interesting and it will surely not be the last time a visit it. I am also not surprised either on our educational ranking, but at least America is ranked 1st when it comes to incarcerating our own citizens. Makes you wonder how great the negative correlation between education and crime really is?
Ms. Harrington's comment, July 10, 2012 10:05 PM
This is a dense resource, I will have to come back time and time again to continue to compare nations and view all available statistics. I particularly liked the breakdown of American government demographics, such as being 80th in number of women in government.
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WPost: Amid population boom, India hopes for ‘demographic dividend’ but fears disaster

WPost: Amid population boom, India hopes for ‘demographic dividend’ but fears disaster | Geography Education |
With the world’s population nearing 7 billion, India warns of a “demographic disaster” if it cannot provide jobs and services for its young people.


Global population analysis and local impacts complete with population pyramids.

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NYTimes: Fewer Babies, for Better or Worse - Room for Debate

NYTimes: Fewer Babies, for Better or Worse - Room for Debate | Geography Education |
As European, Chinese and American women have fewer children, is the global economy endangered? Or is this easing the burden on a crowded planet?


This links you to articles by 7 different scholars about the economic, environmental, cultural and demographic impacts that lowering birth rates and fertility rates are having on more developed countries.  This is an excellent way to get students to evaluate diverse academic positions and start forming their own (more informed) opinions.  

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Population Pyramids--U.S. Census Bureau

International Data Base (IDB) Information Gateway Search form for locating data on Countries and Regions from 1950 to 2050...


Tired of looking for pre-made population pyramids and need a specific country?  This site will allow you to simply select the country and the year to generate your own custom population pyramids. 

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UN warns land degraded, farm production must rise

UN warns land degraded, farm production must rise | Geography Education |
ROME — The United Nations has completed the first-ever global assessment of the state of the planet’s land resources, finding in a report Monday that a quarter of all land is highly degraded and warning the trend must be reversed if the world’s...


Seth Dixon's insight:

Population growth and food production are obviously linked.  Thanks to folks at ESRI, this theoretical issue can be made much more concrete for our students using geospatial technologies.  You can examine 4 crops of the world using GIS with this ArcLesson on the ESRI Ed Community site.

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Latin@s are contributing most to the declining U.S. birth rate

Latin@s are contributing most to the declining U.S. birth rate | Geography Education |

The U.S. birth rate has dropped over the last two years, and each ethnic group within the United States has seen a decline in birth rates. What may surprise some is that the Latino population has seen the greatest drop in birth rates, declining by 5%. Fertility rates in the country are also at their lowest since the 1990s. What will this mean for the future of the U.S.? How does this fit in with what we know about the Demographic Transition? What factors account for the largest drop in birth rates coming from the Latino population?

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The Geography of Stuck

The Geography of Stuck | Geography Education |
America can be divided into two distinct classes, the stuck and the mobile...


Migration as a simply a function of push factors and pull factors needs to be more fully fleshed out.  Not everyone is equally able to move freely (as those of you with mortgages can attest to) and that has a strong spatial relationship within the United States. 

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World Large Urban Areas 1905-2050

World Large Urban Areas 1905-2050 | Geography Education |
In 1950, the world population was 2.5 billion and according to United Nations estimates, the world population reached seven billion sometime around October 31st this year.

Want some global population data sets to map for a GIS project?  Historical GIS? Here it is.

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Migration in America - Forbes

Migration in America - Forbes | Geography Education |

"More people left Phoenix in 2009 than came. The map above visualizes moves to and from Phoenix; counties that took more migrants than they sent are linked with red lines. Counties that sent more migrants than they took are linked with blue lines."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've sent this link out before, but Forbes now has four articles attached to interactive mapping tool that analyze the data (including one by geographer Michael Conzen).  Also the new data has been added and the visualization has also been improved...very cool features with tremendous amounts of teaching applications.

Rachael Johns's curator insight, September 10, 2014 9:21 AM

In this day and age we see more people migrating then staying. People move for numerous things, a trend that causes a lot of migration is when people retire they move to southern Florida. They get tons of sun rays and meet a lot of people their age there. Another reason people migrate is for jobs. If their job tells them they have to move across state they do which causes more migration. ~R.J~

AmandaWilhiteee's curator insight, September 10, 2014 9:25 AM

The map is what originally attracted me to this article, but I must admit that the actual article was very interesting. Lots of the moves were from Phoenix, Arizona. Why people moved from Phoenix was not information that was disclosed in the article, but because of that, it made me wonder and want to learn more about this topic. AW :)

Nolan Walters's curator insight, September 10, 2014 9:30 AM

I've seen something like this before.  More people leaving a location than entering it.  Something may have caused them to move, Push and Pull factors are both in this.  Job opportunities or the extreme heat of Phoenix may have caused them to leave.  It shows that most people went to the Northeast, where it is cooler and has more people.

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What Will Be Left Then?

What Will Be Left Then? | Geography Education |

A fun thought exercise touching on the themes of energy, resources, consumption and sustainability.  We all know that we are consuming resources quickly; if we (globally) continue at the same rate of consumption, how long with certain resources last?  If a is child born now, what resources would be gone when s/he is a middle aged?  A senior citizen? See the animated version here:  

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After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work | Geography Education |
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.


Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places.  This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly.  Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.   

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:57 AM

This is another article that highlights the skill deficit in this country.  People seem to be afraid of doing hard work and would rather do nothing then work hard to learn this skill.  If it were a choice between no job and this type of job people would take the jobs but the third choice of unemployment payments makes people who might do these jobs decide not to.  As long as they are paid more to not work then work, they will not do the jobs that need workers.  The farmer made a good point that a skilled picker can make $200-$300 a day but an unskilled worker doing the job makes only $24 a day.  The work ethic of this country needs to be changed, young people today do not want to work hard or put in the effort.  When farmers can no longer get workers how long will it be before there is a food problem as well as a worker problem in this country.  It is possible to make a good living doing these types of jobs but not as long as people feel the work is beneath them or they are unwilling to do the hard manual labor required to do the job well.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 2015 12:26 PM

i see this as a very good law. America is on the verge of recovering from an economic recession and the United States can benefit from every job given to a natural born american citizen. i do see the problems that a  farmer can have such as receiving a decline in profits if they must pay more for the product. in the article the farmers also say that Americans just do not work like seasoned Hispanics and production is way down. another looming problem that the Americans have is that they are slow, and want to call it a day after lunch, and expect to get paid more. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 5:36 PM

As the title implies, this is about how Americans are not cut out for doing intensive farming jobs because the workers just quit quickly. A few politicians mentioned in the story, Governor Robert Bentley and Senator Scott Beason, said they received thank you messages from constituents who found work. This was supposed to be evidence of Americans benefitting from jobs that immigrants took, but I would love to know how many of those people actually stayed with the job. Furthermore, I find it a bit too suspicious that none of the people wanted to speak with the press as the author mentioned or that the names just weren’t given. I am more inclined to believe the owners of the famers mentioned in the article, who said they can’t keep Americans on their site happy due to lack of pay and benefits. Mind you now it wasn’t just one owner who said this either. I think this is telling as well because the owners are the individuals who best know the industry as they work it every day.


From the farmers perspective the new law is now a huge problem that could also affected consumers. They lost steady “Hispanics with experience,” who they knew could handle the work. For some farmers, according to the article, has made it so the produce is left on the vine rotting because it isn’t picked. So in essence, what the Arizona law just did was harm agriculture and the buyers too because if enough of that food perishes the price will go up. Now I can understand a state being aggravated over illegal immigration (it is a serious problem that is nowhere close to being solved), but to pass a law with these kinds of economic ramifications isn’t really helping the situation much either. As much as people hate to admit it, our economy needs immigrants from Mexico for our agriculture sector to work. It is just a little known fact.


The new law isn’t the only law at issue in this article. Connie Horner of Georgia tried to legally hire workers through the government’s visa program. She soon found it is too costly for her to do and too time consuming, so instead Ms. Horner is turning to machines. The fact that visas are that hard to attain for workers is also part of the reason the immigrants come illegally. Rather than spending more money to watch the boarder how about the government figure out a way for the bureaucracy of the immigration process to move quicker. This isn’t an issue of 2011 either when the article was written. Listening to the news, I have heard farmers complain about the visa program for years. No wonder immigrants come over illegally and then citizens get angry at these people. Really, American’s should be more annoyed with their government’s ineffective stance on boarder control. 

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NPR Video: Visualizing How A Population Hits 7 Billion

NPR Video: Visualizing How A Population Hits 7 Billion | Geography Education |
The United Nations says today symbolically marks the moment when the world's population reaches 7 billion. A little more than two centuries ago, the global population was 1 billion. How did it grow so big so fast?


This is an excellent way to visualize population data and explain the ideas that are foundational for the Demographic Transition Model. 

Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 17, 2014 7:56 PM

Unit 2

Isabella El-Hage's curator insight, March 18, 2015 12:45 PM
This article and video links to Unit Two through "population predictions for the future". This video gives a good representation of how the world's population grew so fast. It's hard to visualize the massive number of 7 billion, and how the number of people born and passed flow into that number, but the cup with the liquid filling in and out made it easier to comprehend. In the past two hundred years the world's population has grown from 1 to 7 billion! Due to advanced technology, and better health care, and agriculture and medicines, people are able to live longer. The UN predicts that the population with hit 10 billion by 2100, but then start to decrease or steady out. I think money needs to be invested in educating women in countries like India about contraceptives and birth control.
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StateMaster - US Statistics, State Comparisons

StateMaster - US Statistics, State Comparisons | Geography Education |
State comparisons using graphs, maps. Huge database of US statistics. Reference site contains states statistics, maps, flags, graphs and pie charts.


Here is some great comparative data at the state level for the United States.  There are numerous thematic categories from which to choose. 


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How big was the world's population when you were born?

How big was the world's population when you were born? | Geography Education |
The world's population is due to hit 7bn this October.

If today the world's population is (almost!) 7 billion, what was the population when you were born?  How much has the world's population changed in your lifetime?  This interactive link shows the acceleration of growth powerfully (disclaimer: the dataset only works on dates after 1951--hint: if it was before 1952, world population was smaller than 2.5 billion).

Lisa Fonseca's comment, October 25, 2011 9:22 PM
During the year I was born the global population was about 5,053,230,502. Dijbouti, was the fastest growing country in the world and, Grenada was the slowest growing country. During my lifetime i feel as though the population had increased drastically. It makes me think if our population is going to continue to increase drastically or if it will slow down and stay at a steady population. There are only so many resources in the world and if we continue to grow they will eventually run out.
Seth Dixon's comment, October 28, 2011 2:21 PM
I'm 4.0 billion. The growth isn't a shocking as the acceleration rate.
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World population nears 7 billion: Can we handle it?

World population nears 7 billion: Can we handle it? | Geography Education |
She's a 40-year-old mother of eight, with a ninth child due soon. The family homestead in a Burundi village is too small to provide enough food, and three of the children have quit school for lack of money to pay required fees.


Here are some more perspectives on demographics, climbing population totals and the consequences and realities of these numbers. 

Lisa Fonseca's comment, October 19, 2011 5:46 PM
I do not believe we can continue to increase drastically in population and handle it. Natural resources eventually end. Agriculturally we may be able to grow crops and food but eventually that too will come to a shortage. With an increase in population we increase in levels of pollution in the air, soil, and water. Inadequate water supply for drinking and sewage is another problem we could face. Just overall we would increase in higher levels of poverty because the shortage of jobs would continue to increase. This would lead to an abundance of things such an malnutrition, starvation, increase in homeless population and so much more.
Seth Dixon's comment, October 21, 2011 1:01 PM
Back the Nepal forest video, sustainability of resource consumption is the key. There are complications with population growth no doubt...but which are the CULTURAL issues surrounding population growth?
Samantha Johns's curator insight, September 10, 2014 9:14 AM

I believe if the world keeps producing offspring like this that we will soon be overpopulated.  There is only a limited  amount of resources and with the high birth rate and lower death rate we will soon have nothing at all.  The soon to be 7 billion people on this earth will only produce more, and with more means less food and natural resources.

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NYTimes video: Sweden's Immigrant Identity

NYTimes video: Sweden's Immigrant Identity | Geography Education |
One out of four Swedes are immigrants or have a parent with an immigrant background.


Demographic shifts leading to political and cultural tensions.   Europe, which historically has been a source of migrants, is relatively new to be a destination for migrants and that has heightened some of the conflicts. 

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 17, 2014 6:29 PM

This video is shows the changing demographics of Sweden. Sweden and several other wealthier countries of Europe are now destinations for immigrants where they were once the origin of them. The change is difficult for these nations as they are somewhat unprepared economically and politically for significant immigration.


The immigrants end up feeling unwanted in their new country and their old. This feeling of being unwanted is possibly worse than it would be in the United States, a country more accustomed to immigration.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, March 29, 2014 8:07 PM

This growingly intense immigration situation parallels that of our own here in the U.S. and in many other countries throughout the world. World citizens, refugees, don't feel at home in their birth country nor do they feel welcomed in their current home or host country. This puts a lot of stress and pressure on these already punished populations. That's not to say that the host countries concerned citizens don't have a reason to be worried, but are their responses appropriate or productive?  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:29 AM

Europe is a place that makes traveling to different countries relatively easy. This makes sense that their would be migration that is inter-european.