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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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The Dozen Regional Powerhouses Driving the U.S. Economy

The Dozen Regional Powerhouses Driving the U.S. Economy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Boston-Washington corridor, home to 18 percent of Americans, produces more economic activity than Germany.
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Click that ’Hood!

Click that ’Hood! | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I had the shapefiles with the various neighborhoods of Providence and the good folks at "Click that 'Hood" were gracious enough to upload it and make a local quiz based on the the 25 neighborhoods of Providence (as defined by the city government officials).  In addition to city neighborhood quizzes, they also have quizzes for regions such as Africa, South America and Europe.  This is a crowd-sourced database, so if you have the right data, you can help them to create more online quizzes.

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Not All English is the Same

Not All English is the Same | Geography Education | Scoop.it
"22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other"
Seth Dixon's insight:

An isogloss is a line that divides regions based on the words that are used to describe the same item or concept.  This series of 22 maps is a delicious way to visualize some of the lingusitic differences in the United States.  Why are these distinct vocabulary terms regionally used? 


Notice that this map shows that Rhode Island and Wisconsin are distinct in using the term "bubbler" where there rest of the country would refer to the same object as a drinking fountain (West) or a water fountain (South).


Tags: language, North America, mapping, regions.

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MelissaRossman's comment, August 30, 2013 10:50 AM
Excellent
Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 12, 2013 5:05 PM

Love these maps.  Bubbler is so right in RI and I never knew it was called that anywhere else.  However I think they got the one about the subs wrong.  I still call those sandwhiches a grinder.  I went to Texas once and ask for a grinder and I still think the guy there is laughing at me to this day.  Its really is great to see the difference though even though this is one country with many different backgrounds.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 6, 4:29 PM

These 22 maps are a great representation of how linguistically different the United States truly is. Depending  where you are from I the US shows how you say something differently. For example, in the Northeast and South, people pronounce the word caramel in two words, "cara and mel" and in the west and west coast it is pronounced " car-mel". Even the word crayon is pronounced differently depending where you live. 

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How Many Rhode Islands?

How Many Rhode Islands? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How Many Rhode Islands is a simple web application that shows and tells you how many Rhode Islands would fit inside a given country.
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 10, 2013 8:38 PM

The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance is as pleased as could be to discover this marvelously fun website.  While the Ocean State is larger than countries such as Andorra, Nauru, Tuvalu and Malta, there are not many countries smaller than the smallest of the United States of America.  Russia could contain 5,445 'Rhode Islands' and the United States could contain 3,066 Rhode Islands (that's a LOT of senators!). 

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Topographic Maps

Topographic Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
USGS National Geologic Database- TopoView
Seth Dixon's insight:

The National Geologic Map Database is a simple interactive tool to find USGS topographic maps that you can dowload.  Users can search for current or historic maps.  

 

Tagsgeospatial, GIS, mapping, cartography.

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Paul Nicoara's curator insight, May 5, 2013 5:05 PM

The National Geologic Map Database is a simple interactive tool to find USGS topographic maps that you can dowload.  Users can search for current or historic maps.  

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Maple Syrup Time

Maple Syrup Time | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

March and April are key months for harvesting sap from trees, making this sugar time in New England.  New England's climate and biogeography make this the right time because the because the combination of freezing nights and warm spring days gets the sap in the native species of maple trees to flow.  The sap get boiled down to syrup, but did you know that it takes roughly 40 gallons of sap that to get 1 gallon of pure maple syrup?  

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Louis Culotta's comment, April 8, 2013 11:45 AM
this is cool. A friend of mine bought all the equipment and is making it in the woods in his backyard up in Cumberland.
Mary Burke's comment, April 12, 2013 3:53 PM
When I get pancakes at a restaurant I always ask for real maple syrup. They charge more but its worth it. I venture to say that the Canadian maple syrup subsidies might have something to do with less syrup production around here and also might be why syrup so expensive.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, December 6, 2013 11:53 AM

I actually made maple syrup about a year ago, a couple of roads away from my house.  I know a family that makes it every year, and I was invited to come join them harvesting the syrup.  I had done it there many years ago, but I had a blast.  The father of a guy I went to school with was there boiling the sap, and we had a lot of interesting discussions about the process, including the importance of the climate.  Apparently, if I remember correctly, it is vital to have the freezing temperatures, followed by warm days- which is also mentioned in the article.  He said that gets the "blood" of the tree pumping, and greatly increases the syrup production.  I got to taste the sap as it was being boiled down to concentrated levels, and it was amazing.  I think that using natural resources like that is really cool.  I had a great time, and know that it takes a LOT of sap to make very LITTLE syrup, but it can be totally worth it. I enjoyed gardening when my family had a garden, and I think that that sort of natural harvest and refinement for consumption can be immensely entertaining, as well as rewarding.  I know this family usually makes enough for themselves, and that they give a little away, and end up having enough to get through the year.  It is a really enjoyable activity, and I reccommend it to anyone that doesn't mind getting cold outside or covered in tree sap.

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Thinking Geographically About International Issues

Thinking Geographically About International Issues | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Brown University's Choices Program invites secondary level geography teachers to apply for a 2013 Summer Institute that focuses on using the Choices approach and materials to ask What is Where, Why, and So What?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Applications for this tremendous Summer Institute are due April 8th and I am very pleased to announce that I'll be one of the presenters there at Brown University.  I hope that many of seriously consider applying.  I look forward to collaborating with all the participants in person (the only cost is travel to and from Providence, RI).  


TagsRhode Island, APHG, training.

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Peter Phillips's comment, March 15, 2013 4:31 PM
I like the title "what is where, why and so what?"
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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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Thanksgiving Student Activities

Thanksgiving Student Activities | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Find out how the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans celebrated the first Thanksgiving together at Plymouth Plantation.


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this is a great resource with videos, primary documents, virtual field trips and lesson plans for all grades, K-12.  Students can see aspects of lifestyles, housing types and economic activies of both the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags.  For more resources about the Mayflower and the historically re-enacted village, see the Plimoth Plantation website.  


Tags: K12, seasonal, historical, colonialism, virtual tours.

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Preparations for the Storm

This is a link from the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance which is now on Twitter.   UPDATE: This shows the number of power outages in the state

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Hurricane Sandy may be unprecedented in East Coast storm history

Hurricane Sandy may be unprecedented in East Coast storm history | Geography Education | Scoop.it
WEATHER GANG | With computer models locked in on the eventuality of a punishing blow for East Coast from Hurricane Sandy, analyses suggest this storm may be unlike anything the region has ever experienced.


This weekend's storm for the East coast is especially interesting.  I won't pretend to be a meteorologist, so I'll quote one: "The upper-air steering pattern that is part of the puzzle is not all that unheard of. It happens when the atmosphere gets blocked over the Atlantic and the flow over the U.S. doubles back on itself. Sometimes big winter storms are involved.  The freak part is that a hurricane happens to be in the right place in the world to get sucked into this doubled-back channel of air and pulled inland from the coast."  Stay safe everyone on the east coast.   


Tagsweather and climate, physical, disasters

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Spatial Thinking Key to Solving Crime

Spatial Thinking Key to Solving Crime | Geography Education | Scoop.it

What are all these news reporters and school administrators doing in my classroom?  Monday, September 24, 2012 was most certainly an interesting day in my Mapping Our Changing World (GEOG 201) class...


One of my students applied some mapping skills and spatial analysis to a string of unsolved bank robberies in Rhode Island.  After 7 months of eluding capture with at least 8 robberies under his belt, the "bearded bandit" was apprehended less than 48 hours after my student handed over his analysis to a contact in the police department.  Coincidence?  I think not!  Great work Nic, showing that spatial thinking and geographic skills can be applied to a wide range of disciplines and activities. 


Tags: RhodeIsland, GIS, mapping, GeographyEducation, edtech.   

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, September 25, 2012 8:07 PM
Wow! Awesome story. Professor Dixon thanks for sharing this. Nic must be thrilled and you must be proud!
Matt Mallinson's comment, September 26, 2012 10:11 AM
Awesome presentation of it all, it was very interesting.
Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 27, 2012 8:58 AM
This is a great development! Today, there are so many unsolved crimes because of lack of investigative skills of our investigating authorities. So, if this new way of solving crimes can really help victims to attain justice, then we have to support it, by all means....
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The Geography of Charitable Giving

Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your area? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people, according to a new study.

 

Questions to ponder: What are some reasons that Providence RI is the 'least charitable' metropolitan area in the United States according to this data?  Why is the state of Utah ranked as the 'most charitable state?'  Why are the bottom 3 states all in the New England region? 

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The Islands of Rhode Island

The Islands of Rhode Island | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"How many islands are in Rhode Island?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I recently received this question and immediately thought that this is a great geographic question, but one that geographic tools can be used to find the answer.  I downloaded all the Rhode Island toponymns (place names) listed by the United States Board on Geographic Names and filtered out all the listed Islands (108 is the answer!!).  A spreadsheet of the data didn't help to visualize this data so I created this interactive mapOnly 1 of the locations didn't have coordinates, some are scarcely more than rocks, and this is only according to the the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, but this is the most complete map of islands in the state of Rhode Island that I could produce.  Additionally, here is an article about some sailors who sought to explore every island of the Narragansett Bay.  

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Tony Aguilar's curator insight, December 8, 2013 4:17 AM

It is interesting that RI as a small state has alot of areas to discover with a map and a good drive. There are many islands near jamestown and Newport and also near Westerly that resemble the Jettey rock like formations that  also have lighthouses. There is so much to see and discover for its natural beauty. I am still amazed at the areas yet to discover in Rhode island. There are about thirty islands in Rhode Island Aquidneck is the largest, Conanicut is the second largest and Prudence ranks third

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Finding the True Border Between Yankee and Red Sox Nation Using Facebook Data

Finding the True Border Between Yankee and Red Sox Nation Using Facebook Data | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By using Facebook data from the 2.5 million people in New York or New England that ‘like’ either the Red Sox or Yankees I was able to create a more accurate rivalry map than ever before."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Sports maps with team logos on them are often hand-drawn works of art without much data to back them up--not so with this map.  Read the article to find the actual data which is much messier than these bold color proclaim.  These regions aren't homogenous (are they ever?) but this is the best fit line between the major groups of fans, showing that Connecticut is the true 'battle ground' for this regional rivalry. 


Tags: sport, statistics, mapping, regions, Rhode Island, Boston, NYC.

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John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 1:12 PM

A fun map i can relate to a lot being a New Yorker living in RI. I also believe theres more Yankee fans in Red Sox territory then Red Sox fans in Yankee territory.

trampolinecalf's comment, September 27, 2013 2:55 AM
nice
Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:26 AM

Pretty neat use of mapping and facebook to create this. This map is around the idea of what i expected it to look like with a few exceptions. As a yankee fan i expected a little bit more out of fellow Rhode Islanders when it came to the distribution but i guess i was wrong. i would also like to point out that cultural diversity probably has a role to play in this, with western connecticut being more ethnically diverse than eastern.

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States With Most and Least Stress

States With Most and Least Stress | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For the past five years, Hawaii has consistently ranked as the least stressed state, while West Virginia, Kentucky, and Utah have been among the most stressed states. Despite this, Utah residents join Hawaii residents in reporting among the highest levels of enjoyment in the U.S., while West Virginia and Kentucky residents report some of the lowest levels of enjoyment.  While the relationship between stress and enjoyment is not clear, states with the highest stress levels tend to report less daily enjoyment."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In addition to being the state with the least joy, Rhode Island is ranked as the 2nd most stressed out state.  I think that means it's time to to get out of the Ocean State for a while. 


Questions to Ponder: what are some factors that may account for this regional variation?  What explains your states relative levels of stress and enjoyment?   

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Amber Nicole Bogie's curator insight, May 29, 2013 12:00 PM

I can guess what Hawaii is the least stressed. Where does your state rank and why? 

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 4:12 PM

Woohoo!! Most stressful state. This is no surprise with Rhode Island only being behind Neveda for highest unemploment. Also the poor quality can easily make up that .9% which put us in the lead. This article also goes to show that if you live in a beautiful place your more likely to have a higher enjoyment the concrete jungles.

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Social Studies Praxis Exam: Geographic Content

"Preparing to Teach Social Studies: Geographic Content for the Praxis Exam."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I know that most of my readers are in-service teachers as opposed to pre-service teachers, but I thought it was still worth sharing.  Several schools have noticed that without geography classes, social studies teachers have difficulty becoming certified without some core geographic content.  As a part of job at the Alliance coordinator for the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance, I'm giving a workshop tonight at Salve Regina University designed to strengthen pre-service teachers geographic content as outlined on the Praxis Exam.  I have  prepared these materials with that audience in mind, but if there is anything you find useful, please use it or share it with those that could use it (local School of Education, Alliance, etc).  Most of the images in the presentation are hyperlinked to articles, videos and infographics that I have posted here in the past.   Here is the link to the other parts of the test.


TagsRhode Island, training, geography education.

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Dean Haakenson's comment, April 19, 2013 2:22 PM
Too bad that many school districts do not teach pure geography courses as well.
Louis Culotta's curator insight, April 27, 2013 11:26 AM

This will be abig help when i have to take that exam...Thanks for the info on it.

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Climographs

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

Climographs chart the monthly temperature and rainfall data and are a useful tool is studying climatology.  Here are links to dozens of selected United States and International cities that come from the National Drought Mitigation Center.  The image above is a climograph of Providence, RI.


Tags: physical, weather and climate, Rhode Island, statistics, visualization.

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Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 9:15 AM

Climographs are used to show the temperature and precipitation within an area monthly. This collection of data allows us to see the climate changes that occur monthly with in an area to better understand its weather patterns.

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Food stamps put RI town on monthly boom-and-bust cycle

Food stamps put RI town on monthly boom-and-bust cycle | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Rhode Island is one of five states in which the number of people getting  help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly known as 'food stamps') has more than doubled since 2008. In 2012, 16 percent of its residents received aid from the program. Read the related article.  The article details how Woonsocket's economy is impacted by these monthly fluctuations is disposable income.  Why is Rhode Island one of that states with a doubling participation in this program?  What other spatial patterns to you see? 


Tags: Rhode Islandeconomic, mapping, poverty, community.

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Powerful Nor'easter Coming Together

Powerful Nor'easter Coming Together | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A massive winter storm is coming together as two low pressure systems are merging over the U.S. East Coast. A satellite image from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite on Feb. 8 shows a western frontal system approaching the coastal low pressure area.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This NASA "image of the day" of the Nor'eastern shows the scope and impact of the storm quite vividly. 

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megan b clement's curator insight, December 16, 2013 12:34 PM

the picture shows the storm surge coming through to the North East and how the pressure builds.

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GITN: Pilgrims' Progress

This classic Geography in the News by Neal Lineback has been re-released on his Lineback World View site.  This is an excellent lesson for K-12 educators to prepare their students to understand the historic and geographic context of Thanksgiving.

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The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
After cutting a destructive path through the Caribbean, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage along the East Coast this week.


While the damage wasn't as bad as many feared it could have been, place and spatial context are especially important in assessing the impacts of a natural disaster.  This is a excellent collection of the many devastating images as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  To see some more local images, Rhode Island Department of Transportation put this collection together.   

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, November 6, 2012 10:18 PM
I am speechless, these images have just torn my heart. Here in Providence, Rhode Island listened to multiple people say "oh this storm was nothing" they apparently need to view these photos, to understand Sandy was a monster of a storm. Mother nature is powerful and she can do just about anything. I am so mind boggled by the images, roads completely torn apart I never knew this could happen from a hurricane. It really made me appreciate how safe I was but now seeing these images really makes me want to get out there and tell more people to look at what happened in NJ,CT,NYC, and other places around the coast. My next step now is to get a donation bin started to send over to those states in major need. This is sure another natural disaster to go down in history.
Jordan Zemanek's comment, October 3, 2013 11:11 PM
Just with the information given, I can see how much damage the storm actually caused. Flooding and high winds obviously don't go together well. Although some communities weren't hit as bad as previously anticipated, some areas were largely damaged and the money needed to rebuild will be tremendous.
Alaina Rahn's comment, October 4, 2013 10:14 AM
I think it is very sad. I didn't know it was that bad. Now that I see those pictures it makes me feel very bad for those people.
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Coastal Hazard Threat Map

Coastal Hazard Threat Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This interactive map of coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island shows some basic flooding data including: 1) where are the flood warnings (essential the entire coastline), 2) how high the storm surge is, and 3) how high the waves are.


Tags: Rhode Island, water, disasters, geospatial.

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Geo-Literacy

Geo-Literacy | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance seeks to promote geo-literacy here in the Ocean State.  So what is geo-literacy? The National Geographic Society’s Educational team...


As the Alliance Coordinator for the state of Rhode Island, I organized  these three videos (two from National Geographic) and some pictures to provide a basis for understanding what geo-literacy is and why it is important for society and within the workforce.  In the spirit of sharing, I thought I'd share these links beyond the borders of Rhode Island. 

 

Tags: GeographyEducation, NationalGeographic, geo-inspiration, RhodeIsland.

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Ocean Opportunity

Ocean Opportunity | Geography Education | Scoop.it
the undersea work & world of Michael Lombardi...


Michael Lombardi is a both a scientific and commercial diver; as an author and environmentalist and an Explorer in Residence with the National Geographic Society.  This Saturday he will be the guest speaker for the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance meeting and I am incredibly excited to hear from him.  

 

Tags: water, National Geographic, RhodeIsland, physical, biogeography, environment.

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