Digital resources to strengthen the quality and quantity of geography education in classrooms the world over.
Curated by Seth Dixon
The source of migrants today has changed the cultural composition of the United States from what is was 100 years ago. Cultures are not static and migration is one of the key drivers of change. These maps are produced by the Pew Research Center and show the main country of origin of each states' foreign born population. Despite what media reports would have you believe, immigration into the United States is not on the dramatically on the rise, maps such as these can be construed to imagine that there is a massive flow of immigrants coming from south of the border. The reality is that percentage of foreign-born migrants in the United States from Mexico, and most Latin American countries, has steadily dropped since 2000.
"Using data from the USDA, Pecirno has mapped the lower 48 states by picturing just one single subject, and nothing else – no political borders or backgrounds. The project aims to show how richly detailed single-subject maps can give people a new way to understand their landscape, Pecirno says. Can you guess what Pecirno is picturing in the minimalist maps below? To make it easier, we’ve given you a few options to choose from."
"The New England Journal of Medicine looks at death reports in 200 years of back issues. The first thing to notice here is how much our mortality rate has dropped over the course of a century, largely due to big reductions in infectious diseases like tuberculosis and influenza."
This infographic shows the main causes of death in 1900 in the United States and compares that with the 2010 figures. The United States, during that time underwent what many call the epidemiological transition (in essence, in developed societies we now die for different reason and generally live longer).
Questions to Ponder: What geographic factors shape mortality rates and shifts in the mortality rates? What is better about society today then before? Has anything worsened? How come?
"As Americans enjoy an extra day away from the office over the long Labor Day weekend, many will reflect on the end of a summer when, once again, they took far fewer days of vacation than workers in other countries. 40% of Americans do not take all of their vacation days."
Small business can develop a business culture, and the from place to place, diverse norms govern how business operate at the a variety of scales. There isn't one answer as to why so many Americans leave vacation days on the table, but cultural norms can shape collective behaviors.
Why is the US the only industrialized nation with a rising rate of maternal mortality? Supermodel-turned-maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns talks about her latest mission to raise awareness about maternal deaths.
99% of deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth occur in the developing world. The good news is that in most countries the rate of maternal mortality has been going down. The bad news is that in eight countries the rate is going up. The shocking news is that the United States is among them. It is the only industrialized country to have that dubious distinction. The rate has in fact been doubling in recent years.
"The Supreme Court's decision means marriage equality is now the law of the land in the US. But whether states allow same-sex couples to marry immediately or days or weeks from now will depend on the actions of local and state officials, who could delay the final effect of the decision for a few days or weeks."
"Approximately 7.1 million Americans moved to another state in 2012. That’s over 2.2% of the U.S. population. The United States has a long history of people picking up and moving their families to other parts of the country, in search of better livelihoods. That same spirit of mobility, a willingness to uproot oneself, seems alive and well today based on the visualization of migration patterns above.
The visualization is a circle cut up into arcs, the light-colored pieces along the edge of the circle, each one representing a state. The arcs are connected to each other by links, and each link represents the flow of people between two states."
This is a great way to visualize migration patterns within the United States. What states are people migrating from and where are they going to? Which states are more linked through these migratory bonds? Here are the answers to these types of questions for every state of the union.
"For most states, you’re safe adding an –n, and maybe a few other letters, to the state’s name – a la Coloradans, Nebraskans and Californians. For three states, Wyoming, Wisconsin and New Hampshire, the correct method is to add an –ite. For a handful of states in the northeast, the style is to add an 'r' – New Yorker, Vermonter, Mainer, Marylander, Connecticuter and Rhode Islander."
Having lived in New England for 6 years now, I still haven't found a polite term to refer to people from Massachusetts.
There are more religiously unaffiliated Americans than Catholic Americans or mainline Protestant Americans.
Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
An interactive map showing nationwide migration patterns in the United States since 1900.
An oldie, but goodie. This incredible series of interactive charts from the New York Times show where the residents of every U.S. state were born and how that data has changed over time (update: now available as an interactive map). This graph of Florida shows that around 1900, most people living in Florida were from the South. Around the middle of the 20th century more people from other parts of the U.S. and from outside the U.S. started moving in. What changes in U.S. society led to these demographic shifts? How has demographics of your state changes over the last 114 years?
On the flip side, many people have been leaving California and this article charts the demographic impact of Californians on other states.
Get students thinking about patterns and the 'why's' of history with a focus on the geography and movement behind the historical story. This is the link to some of the digital maps that can help you put history in it's place. For more lesson plans, click here.
Eleven years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, the Supreme Court on April 28 will hear arguments about whether to extend that right nationwide. The case comes amid a wave of gay marriage legalization: 28 states since 2013, and 36 overall. Such widespread acceptance in a short amount of time isn't a phenomenon unique to gay marriage. Social change in the U.S. appears to follow a pattern: A few pioneer states get out front before the others, and then a key event—often a court decision or a grassroots campaign reaching maturity—triggers a rush of state activity that ultimately leads to a change in federal law.
We looked at six big issues—interracial marriage, prohibition, women’s suffrage, abortion, same-sex marriage, and recreational marijuana — to show how this has happened in the past, and may again in the very near future.
The Greater Mississippi Basin is the United States' core and serves as the underpinning of its role as a global superpower. For more analysis, visit: http://...
I wouldn't use the word "core" to describe America's breadbasket, simply because of the economic core/periphery connotations. Other than that, this video highlights some aspects of U.S. regional geography that I cover every semester. 1) The United States is bi-coastal on the two most important oceans for global trade. 2) Between those coasts is a large agricultural region overlayed on the most navigable river network. These two basic facts go a long way in explaining the United States' position in global affairs.
"49 Maps That Explain The U.S. For Dumb Foreigners--The United States is mind-boggling. Right?!"
Some of these maps are goofy and intellectually uninspiring (granted, it is from Buzzfeed so that comes with the territory). However, some of these maps are absolutely fantastic and I think that it's worth searching through this list to find some maps that are solid teaching resources. Which ones are your favorites?
Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in recent history. And these trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life.
A decade ago, the public was less ideologically consistent than it is today. In 2004, only about one-in-ten Americans were uniformly liberal or conservative across most values. Today, the share who are ideologically consistent has doubled: 21% express either consistently liberal or conservative opinions across a range of issues – the size and scope of government, the environment, foreign policy and many others.
"Where have immigrants to the U.S. come from? Natalia Bronshtein, a professor and consultant who runs the blog Insightful Interaction, created this fascinating visualization of the number of immigrants to the U.S. since 1829 by country of origin. The graph hints at tragic events in world history. The first influx of Irish occurred during the potato famine in 1845, while the massive influx of Russians in the first decade of the 20th Century was driven by anti-Semitic violence of the Russian pogroms (riots). Meanwhile in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, army conscription and the forced assimilation of minority groups drove people to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Since WWII, Central and South America and Asia have replaced Europe as the largest source of immigrants to the U.S. Immigration shrunk to almost nothing as restrictions tightened during WWII, and then gradually expanded to reach its largest extent ever in the first decade of the 21st Century."
"Glance at the map above, Second Largest Religious Tradition in Each State 2010, and you will see that Buddhism (orange), Judaism (pink) and Islam (blue) are the runner-up religions across the country.
No surprises there. But can you believe that Hindu (dark orange) is the No. 2 tradition in Arizona and Delaware, and that Baha'i (green) ranks second in South Carolina? These numbers, although they look impressive when laid out in the map, represent a very tiny fraction of the population in any of the states listed."
Questions to Ponder: What are the most interesting stories and patterns visible in the spatial, mapped data? What is the main second religion that is not as visually dominant on the map? Why are both data sources valuable in understanding religions in the United States?
"Imagine you are a slave. You belong to a farmer who owns a tobacco plantation on the eastern shore of Maryland. Six long days a week you tend his field. But not for much longer . . .What will you do? Make your choices well as you embark on your journey to freedom.
To play The Underground Railroad: Journey to Freedom, you must download and install the free Sandstone Player Software on your computer. Sandstone is required to support the 3-D style interaction in the game. Click here to find instructions for downloading Sandstone on a Mac or PC. The game is also available as both an iOS and an android app."
"In the United States, there is a long tradition of trying to draw sharp lines between ethnic groups, but our ancestry is a fluid and complex matter. In recent years geneticists have been uncovering new evidence about our shared heritage, and last week a team of scientists published the biggest genetic profile of the United States to date, based on a study of 160,000 people."
Race is a cultural construct; even though it is incredibly problematic, it is a powerful way in which we think of who we are and how others think of who we are.
Questions to Ponder: What are some problems with putting too much stock in race? Why does the idea of race still matter so much in the United States?
"There’s no denying that the Amish are fascinating to the rest of us ("the English," in Amish terms). We buy their furniture and jam, and may occasionally spot their buggies when driving on country roads through America’s heartland. Many may not realize, however, that though the Amish make up only a tiny percentage of Americans (less than 0.1 percent), the Amish population has grown enormously since the early 1960s, with much of the increase occurring in the last two decades."
Many urban neighborhoods are places of concentrated poverty, and it's killing opportunity in the US.
American cities are growing, and as they grow, they're adding lots of high-poverty neighborhoods. Nearly three times as many "high-poverty" census tracts existed in 2010 as in 1970. That's unsettling on its face but even more so when you see the havoc a poor neighborhood can wreak on a resident's chances at a good life. Forget gentrification — this is a bigger problem.
The chart above tallies up the people living in these neighborhoods in 1970 and 2010. What it shows is that the number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more — has roughly doubled since 1970. That's because these neighborhoods of concentrated poverty have a tendency to stay that way, even while new ones sprout up.