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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 Border That Stole 500 Birthdays

The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The story behind the the International Date Line.

 

Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line.  American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base.  Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'    

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 5, 2013 1:42 PM

It made sense for American Samoa to ask for the move even though it is US territory.  It is more closely linked with the economies of the China, Japan, Australia, New Zeland and South Korea.  For them to all be on the same day just makes sense.  You can coordinate things better if everyone is on the same day, financial markets and be in line when the trading day starts and ends.  Seems to me to make sense that they are on the same day as their main economic partners.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 2:42 AM

This line clearly needs to be redrawn.  It just does not make sense that it could be monday in one area and tuesday 50 miles directly south of it.  While the new dateline does not necessarily have to be perfectly straight, it should at least not go directly horizontal as it does now.  Whoever lies on the line must deal with whatever place they have been placed in, and not complain.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 11, 2013 8:05 AM

My class examined this and we agree that it makes sense that American Samoa would want to be those they do business with like Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  ALthough American Samoa is a US territory, it definately does more business with the countries who are nearby and therefore they should be pushed to the other side of the dateline.

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This week, Samoa will skip Friday

This week, Samoa will skip Friday | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Just this once, Samoa is making Dec. 30 disappear."

 

I hope you enjoy your Friday, because they won't in Samoa.  It didn't even happen, since they've canceled Friday Dec. 30th and just skipped straight to Dec 31st.  This would make no sense without an understanding of the International Date Line and the regional economic networks of Oceania.  Since Samoa's economy in tightly connected to New Zealand and Australia (on the 'other' side of the IDL) it's financially beneficial to have their work weeks line up to faciliate same day communications and business interactions.   For more see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-12-29/samoa-time-zone-jump/3751254 and http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/30/world/asia/samoa-to-skip-friday-and-switch-time-zones.html?ref=sethmydans

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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 10:16 AM

Thank God It's... Saturday? December 30th was cancelled in Samoa due to the country being right on the border of the international date line. It's important for them to stay in step with New Zealand and Australia where many of their business connections lie. It's important to remember that calenders are a man made invention too, as odd as this whole situation sounds.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 26, 11:20 AM

I agree with the decision Samoa made to switch to the West side of the International Date Line. By doing this, the country completely skipped a day. Also, years ago Samoa switched from driving on the right side of the road (American style) to the left side (British style). They made these changes because their economy is connected to countries on the other side of the IDL, such as Australia and New Zealand.