Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Israel to create a new egalitarian prayer plaza at Western Wall

Israel to create a new egalitarian prayer plaza at Western Wall | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The government approved a plan to allow pluralistic, and mixed-gender prayer, at Judaism’s holy site.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the past, Israeli policewomen have detained members of the religious group Women of the Wall for breaching orthodox rules governing prayers at the site. This is Judaism's most holy site and orthodox traditions have legally prevailed here, defining who could be there and who could perform which religious rites (often on gender lines).  This fight represents a struggle to redefine the meaning and usage of public space in Jerusalem (among other complex issues).  The article states that "this marks an unprecedented move by the Israeli government to officially recognize the rights of Conservative, Reform and other Jewish denominations to hold organized prayer at the site."

 

Tags: Israel, culture, genderspace, religion, Judaism,
Middle East.

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Mexican culture...Beyond Sombreros and Tequila

Promotional Video Campaign of "Viva Mexico"
http://vivamexico.aiesec.org.mx
Seth Dixon's insight:

I love Mexico and love celebrating Mexican culture...this video is a reminder to not solely focus on the past, but to see a vibrant modern Mexican culture as well. 

 

TagsMexico, folk cultures, culture, tourism.

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Jose leon's curator insight, February 7, 2:25 AM

Watching this video really made me happy since I am Latino. When people think of Mexico they think of a poor country with corrupt politicians. It's funny because the country of Mexico isn't poor it's just the politicians keep it all to themselves. Many of there children take a private plane to Europe just to eat dinner and come back the very same day. This video shows that it is so much more than that. I had no idea that Mexico was number one automotive industry, and the country is extremely beautiful which is no real surprise to anybody. It has 9 out of the 11 ecosystems. Many of the avocadoes that people eat most likely came from Mexico since it’s number 1 exporter, along with tomatoes, mangoes, and guayabas. The Mexican people also have strong family values along with 1134 traditional festivals. 

Alex Smiga's curator insight, February 7, 7:40 PM

Watch the video guay

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Language Reflects Culture

Language Reflects Culture | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Being a fluent speaker of English and Saulteaux, I have to say that I view the world in two different ways. I have two different attitudes and even two different personalities, depending on which language I use...English offers me one way to order information and cope with reality, one set of attitudes and behavioral styles, and Saulteaux offers me a different way. When I switch languages, I also move from one constellation of attitudes and thought patterns to another.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

This passage was written by Margaret Cote, a  member of the Saulteaux people, who are part of the larger Ojibwa or Chippewa Native American tribe. 

 

Questions to Ponder: How does language shape cultural attitudes, traits, and customs? How does language shape a speakers world view and personality?  How does language influence how a speaker may feel about place?

 

TagsCanadalanguage, placeculture

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Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, January 21, 11:35 AM
Seth Dixon's insight:

This passage was written by Margaret Cote, a  member of the Saulteaux people, who are part of the larger Ojibwa or Chippewa Native American tribe. 

 

Questions to Ponder: How does language shape cultural attitudes, traits, and customs? How does language shape a speakers world view and personality?  How does language influence how a speaker may feel about place?

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How Do Sunni and Shia Islam Differ?

How Do Sunni and Shia Islam Differ? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shiite cleric inflaming tensions in the Middle East, here is a primer on the differences between the two branches of Islam.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Knowing the geography of the Sunni-Shiite division is incredibly important for a good understanding of world regional geography as well as modern geopolitics (see a detailed map of the spatial distribution here). This 5 minute video (as well as this NPR podcast) examine the historical and religious aspects of this split to then analyze the political and cultural implications in the Middle East today.  Additionally this Pew Research article highlights the 5 countries where the the majority of Muslims are Shiite, with some good demographic data to add to the analysis.  Take this quiz to test your knowledge on the differences between the two major branches of Islam.   

 

TagsMiddleEastIslamreligionhistorical, culture.

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How To Travel While Black During Jim Crow

How To Travel While Black During Jim Crow | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A postal worker created a guide for black travelers that was published almost every year from 1936 to 1966."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The effects of globalization and technologies are uneven; this is a very clear example of how mobility and access to other places can be limited based on various segments of the population. It is repugnant to think that such a book was ever necessary in this country, but it is heartening to see the evidence of an organized network that worked to lessen the pain of those oppressed by it (podcast on the Green Book and an additional article).     

Geographer Derek Alderman complied these resources for teachers wanting to use the example of the Green Book in their classrooms.   

 

Tagsmobilitytransportationrace, classculture, historical, USA, ethnicity.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, December 22, 2015 7:56 AM

Back in the day when one travelled while being black there were restrictions in many places. There also were places where one could not stay , and places where you would not be safe.

The confederate flag was a marker , most of the time to let you know that you were not welcome. Of course there were restrictions on busses, trains, and in some cities you had to take a black cab.

 

Lots of people belonged to social clubs , sororities, fraternities and those memberships encouraged people to invite guests into their homes. Many of us did the relatives map. ie. traveled to where family lived. It was magic to be able to go to places in New York, Philadelphia and Boston.,Still you needed to know little things.

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Americans Try Norwegian Christmas Food

See staff at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo try traditional Norwegian Christmas dishes. Se ansatte på den amerikanske ambassaden i Oslo smake på norsk julemat.

 

Tags: Norway, food, culture, seasonal, perspective.

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Why Are There So Many Different Names for Germany?

"Germany, Deutschland, Allemagne, Tyskland, Vacija, Saksa, Niemcy..."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Not only are their so many names for Germany, they are also from very distinct linguistic and historic origins.  Being at the center of Europe has put Germans is connect with many ethnic groups, part of why there are so names for Germany. 

 

TagsGermanylanguage, toponyms, culturediffusion.

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Can You Guess Where You Are in 60 Seconds?

Can You Guess Where You Are in 60 Seconds? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Can you guess where we are taking you today? Here's a clue: This city's name translates to "where the river narrows."
Seth Dixon's insight:

There is a delightfully simple premise to National Geographic video's newest series: after seeing scenes from the cultural and physical landscapes of a place can you guess where in the world it is?  You can find more resources about this unnamed country (no cheating) here.   


Tags: images, placeculture, landscape, tourism

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Ghanaian coffins

Ghanaian coffins | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Amid calls for a three-day weekend in Ghana to allow residents to attend more funeral parties (with the emphasis on party), here's a look at some of the country's famous customized coffins."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Cultural practices surrounding death are designed to honor the departed and are deeply situated in the local customs.  Some people from a different cultural setting might find the cultural practices of Mexico's Day of the Dead startling.  A Google Image search of "Ghana coffin" is a fascinating display of vibrancy and life surrounding death in Ghana. 


Questions to Ponder: Do you this as having elements of popular culture or folk culture?  Would these coffins 'work' in other places?  Why or why not?  What other cultural traits and attitudes need to be in places for this to be cultural acceptable?       

 

Tagscultural norms, folk culture, cultureGhana, Africa.

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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:18 PM

the idea that funerals should be festive is an idea with a large history. it is also, i think, a very good idea. many people already get together after a funeral and drink and talk about the good times they had with the dead person, and it helps with a sort of closure.

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 16, 2015 5:24 PM

I've never heard of this type of burial traditions. The typical burial that I hear about and experience are the old, wake and funeral the day after the wake.  I've also heard of funerals that are held in New Orleans, when someone died the people of New Orleans paraded down the street singing and playing happy music. This was a celebration of there life. Wakes and funerals that I'm used to are always sad and depressing and held at a church and funeral home then the deceased are to be buried at a cemetery. In this article, caskets are designed differently, as you can see in the photo above. Some caskets are in the shape of a shoe, fish, car, or even a camera. Interesting way to celebrate the deceased.

Patty B's curator insight, February 11, 4:22 PM

The Ghanaian coffins exemplify the unique differences still found within cultures around the world despite a highly globalized society. In particular, this webpage reveals how cultures still vary by showing how one way in which Ghanaians honor their deceased, which is by having elaborate, fun, and symbolic coffins made. The coffins seem representative of the deceased’s personality, interests, occupation, and overall who they were in society, what they were known for, and what they loved most. Many societies or religions honor their loved ones by remembering the same things that Ghanaians remember, but do say in a different manner. I think a custom such as the coffin making of the Ghanaians would be something our society and similar societies would accept. Themed weddings are becoming a big hit, I don’t see why Western culture would be so against adopting themed funerals as well in some sense. 

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Diwali: Festival of Lights

Diwali: Festival of Lights | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In India, one of the most significant festivals is Diwali, or the Festival of Lights. It's a five-day celebration that includes good food, fireworks, colored sand, and special candles and lamps.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 3 minute video from National Geographic is a nice introduction to the cultural practices of Diwali, the fall festival which symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness.  With some analogies to Christmas for Christians, Diwali is also perceived by some to be overly commercialized in recent years and the fireworks cause air pollution problems.  


Tags: religionSouth Asia, culture, Hinduism.

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Anneliese Sjogren's curator insight, December 10, 2015 10:40 PM

This is really beautiful, and looks like a fun celebration. It's sad however that it causes pollution.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:46 AM

this is an amazing example of another culture reflecting a constant theme. every culture has some form of this celebration, but this is a truly wondrous display that everyone should at least know about, if not be inspired by.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:35 PM

this is a great example of cultural diffusion. you can see events like this all over the U.S including here in providence with the waterfires, very cool.

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Empire, Republic, Democracy: A History of Turkey

"The curriculum 'Empire, Republic, Democracy: A History of Turkey' traces the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the birth of the Turkish Republic, and contemporary issues in Turkey. Learn more at www.choices.edu/turkey "

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is a great introduction to the Choices Program's new unit on Turkey...a country that is truly a bridge between the Middle East and Europe, without being fully in either.   This unique global position makes Turkey a very important country to understand both culturally and politically.


Tags: politicalculture, Turkeyhistorical.

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Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 23, 2015 2:24 PM

Turkey has always been a country that I find interesting. So many amazing architectural structures and landscapes. I have two friends from high school who work there in the peace corps. I asked them what it's like and they couldn't really describe it. They said it isn't really Arabic but it certainly isn't western either. This was a good introductory video on the area.

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Dropping water levels reveal hidden church

Dropping water levels reveal hidden church | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A 16th century church has emerged from the receding waters of the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. This is the second time water levels have dropped low enough to reveal the church since the reservoir was completed in 1966.


Tags: drought, Mexico, water, environment, religion, culture, Christianity,  colonialism, architecture, landscape.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:59 AM

water Chiapas

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How being surrounded by water made the Dutch different

How being surrounded by water made the Dutch different | Geography Education | Scoop.it
While researching a book on ‘Why the Dutch are Different’, Ben Coates realised that an amazingly large number of the things which an outsider might think of as ‘typically Dutch’ could be explained at least in part by a single factor: water.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Cultural, political and economic patterns of a region are heavily influenced by the environmental settings.  Occasionally though, geographers can get overly-cautious when discussing how the environment can shape culture, worried about straying into realm of environmental determinism.  However, environmental factors can profoundly influence cultural attributes.  This article shows how Dutch cultural attributes such as diet, history, politics and landscape are influenced by their maritime physical setting. 

 

TagsNetherlands, culture, place, water, environment.

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asli telli's curator insight, October 15, 2015 1:37 AM

What is "typically" #Dutch? #sea #saltwater #sailing #trade #ancient #heritage

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 9:50 AM

unit 3

Sarah Nobles's curator insight, November 27, 2015 7:55 AM

Environmental Determinalism....Unit 3

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There’s a Philly Sign Language Accent

There’s a Philly Sign Language Accent | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Speech with a drawl, twang, clipped consonants, broad vowels, slurred words or extra diphthongs might give away that the speaker is from the American South, Boston, the Midwest or elsewhere. The spice that a certain region may lend to spoken language can even be strong enough to flavor non-audible language as well. Indeed, American Sign Language (ASL) has its own accents. And like its audible counterpart, one of the strongest regional accents in ASL is that of Philadelphia residents, reports Nina Porzucki for PRI."

 

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In Russia, Epiphany Comes With A Shockingly Cold Swim

In Russia, Epiphany Comes With A Shockingly Cold Swim | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Thousands of members of the Russian Orthodox Church marked Epiphany in January with a dip in freezing waters blessed by a cleric. Epiphany is a celebration of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the revelation of God as a human being in his form. Much like a baptism, the icy plunge is considered a purifying act of faith."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of the photography and photo galleries of this cultural event are breathtaking--literally for those taking the plunge.  Russians cut the ice in the shape of a cross and bath in water that is blessed and considered holy as explained in this NPR podcast.  This religious tradition is particularly well-suited to the environmental conditions of the religious adherents (since the extreme climate plays a critical role in the activity).  Part of the practice involves sacrifice; the colder the swim, the greater the manifestation of religious devotion.    

 

Tags: Russia, religionChristianity, culture

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Tibetans Fight to Salvage Fading Culture in China

Tibetans Fight to Salvage Fading Culture in China | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"When officials forced an informal school run by monks near here to stop offering language classes for laypeople, Tashi Wangchuk looked for a place where his two teenage nieces could continue studying Tibetan.  To his surprise, he could not find one, even though nearly everyone living in this market town on the Tibetan plateau here is Tibetan. Officials had also ordered other monasteries and a private school in the area not to teach the language to laypeople. And public schools had dropped true bilingual education in Chinese and Tibetan, teaching Tibetan only in a single class, like a foreign language, if they taught it at all."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video and article from the NY Times show how many Tibetans are upset by the cultural status of Tibetans within the People's Republic of China. 

 

TagsCentral Asia, culture, China, East Asia.

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Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown

Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Chinese government has introduced unprecedented measures aimed at shaping the behavior and beliefs of China’s 10 million Uighurs." http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-60y

Seth Dixon's insight:

This NY Times article is a good update on the situation of Xianjiang.  I wish this was available when I wrote this article (with links for more teaching resources) for the National Geographic Education Blog on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  

 

TagsCentral Asia, culturepoliticalconflictgovernance,ChinaEast AsiareligionIslamlandscape.

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Where's Me a Dog? Here's You a Dog: The South's Most Unusual Regionalism

Where's Me a Dog? Here's You a Dog: The South's Most Unusual Regionalism | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Regions of America have their own grammar, just like they have their own vocabulary.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Here's you a post on regionalized grammatical differences.  And if you want a link of Southern vocabulary terms, (personal favorite: I'm fixin' to...) click on this.

 

Tags: language, the South, culture, unit 3 culture.

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How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages

How to say Merry Christmas in different European Languages | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This map by Jakub Marian shows you how to say Merry Christmas in European languages.
Seth Dixon's insight:

To those that celebrate Christmas I was going to wish them a Merry Christmas in English, but this gives us so many other options...Feliz Navidad!   For any interested in exploring the setting of the Christmas story from a geographic perspective, read on. 

 

Tags: religion, Europeculture, historicallanguage, seasonal.

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Jean-Simon Venne's curator insight, December 19, 2015 12:45 PM

Working on the pronunciation....

John Peterson's comment, December 19, 2015 1:32 PM
I learned something new. Thanks.
Marianne Naughton's curator insight, December 24, 2015 8:54 AM

Merry Christmas To All !!!

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Why Shanghai's first American Chinese restaurant is taking off

Why Shanghai's first American Chinese restaurant is taking off | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The BBC's Celia Hatton finds out why one restaurant in Shanghai is serving up American-style Chinese food
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article covers the same topic as this NPR podcast, the success of an American-style Chinese restaurant in China.  Some joked that it was akin to selling snow to Eskimos, but there is a local appetite among the youth that want to experiment with the 'foreign,' but also with American ex-pats that crave a taste of home. This is just one more delicious example of how globalization impacts cultural products and how globalization flows in many unexpected directions.  For more, see this TED talk on the search for the origins of General Tso's chicken, and this podcast of the historical geographies of the fortune cookie.    

 

Tags: foodglobalization, culture, China, East Asia, podcast.

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The Origin of Krampus, Europe's Evil Twist on Santa

The Origin of Krampus, Europe's Evil Twist on Santa | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The mythical holiday beast is once again on the prowl, but beware, he's making his way across the Atlantic
Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: So what kind of cultural diffusion is this?  Expansion diffusion, contagious diffusion, stimulus diffusion or hierarchical diffusion?  Why so?

 

Is this more as a pop culture phenomenon or a revitalization of a folk cultural tradition?  How come?

 

Tags: religion, Europeculture, historical.

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Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 11:35 AM

Very interesting opposite of Saint Nick that came from a lore displaying Satan figure. I've never heard of this Krampus character but from the origins of it, the character makes it feel very mysterious and give a little spookiness to the holidays. In addition, it gives refugees the chance to explore European culture as a way to adapt to different culture. 

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 16, 2015 4:29 PM

With new movies always coming out, its nice to hear films that are based on true stories or myths come to the theaters. Krampus is a movie that came out recently and is based on a myth that originated in Austria. This is scary tail of a beastly creature coming out Christmas and deals with the bad kids. Krampus is known to beat bad kids with birch branches or to be taken to his lair to be eaten or tortured. An interesting myth, people always look at Christmas as a good time with family.

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Catalonia independence: Parliament votes to start secession from Spain

Catalonia independence: Parliament votes to start secession from Spain | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Spanish region of Catalonia adopts a resolution supporting independence from Spain, but Spain's PM says his government will challenge it.


Tags: Catalonia, Spain, political, devolution, autonomyEurope, culture.

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Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 11:45 AM

I've never heard of this country until recently when I came across a video on youtube about it. In my opinion, Catalonia has the right to secede from Spain because there are many ethnic group wanting their own dependence around the world and it doesn't feel like it's a part of another country. However, it all comes down to politics and Spain wants as much territory as it can get. Plus Catalonia is doing pretty for itself and the Spanish definitely want a part of that.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 1:25 PM

the Catalonia independence movement is just a small part of a large number of regions which were once autonomous and wish to be again. with so many of these areas in Europe the independence movements are finding hard to get support from other nations.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:29 AM

Challenging succession is a difficult task. First of all, there has to be a vote by the people and there has to be a strong driving force to get a positive outcome on the vote. The Prime Minister of Spain claims he will try to block it by filing a suit with the Constitutional Court. Succession of a country faces many hurdles especially if it does not have a strong vote to succeed and the opposition vote is strong.

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Jim Crow-Era Travel Guides

Jim Crow-Era Travel Guides | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"From 1936 to 1966, the 'Green Book' was a travel guide that provided black motorists with peace of mind while they drove through a country where racial segregation was the norm and sundown towns — where African-Americans had to leave after dark — were not uncommon."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The effects of globalization and technologies are uneven; this is a very clear example of how mobility and access to other places can be limited based on various segments of the population. It is repugnant to think that such a book was ever necessary in this country, but it is heartening to see the evidence of an organized network that worked to lessen the pain of those oppressed by it.    


This year's Geography Awareness Week's theme is "Explore! The Power of Maps."  Geographer Derek Alderman complied these resources for teachers wanting to use the example of the Green Book in their classrooms.  


Tags: mobility, transportation, race, class, culture, historical, USA, ethnicity.

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John Puchein's curator insight, November 12, 2015 8:08 AM

All I have to say is....wow. 

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World Religion Map

World Religion Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The incredibly detailed map of the world's religions shows what the biggest religion is by census area in each country, along with its level of support.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Mapping religion can be incredibly problematic, but this map (hi-res here) uses the best data available for each country.  Examine some of the regional maps (Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania); what patterns are interesting/surprising to you? 

 

Tags: culturereligion.

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Ignacio Garrido's curator insight, October 26, 2015 3:08 PM

Exercise :

 

a.What are the most important religions in the World?

b.Can you identify each territory and their main religion?

c.Write 10 lines about the relation between culture and religion in your society

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:53 AM

Religion is one of the toughest topics to map. It can be tough because some countries may have an official religion, but may have non-official religions within their country that some people do in fact believe in. It's also hard to map because there are subdivisions to many religions and those divisions could be big or small or non existent.

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Mariana Trench Once Again Named Worst Place To Raise Child

Mariana Trench Once Again Named Worst Place To Raise Child | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Parenting magazine released its annual list of the best and worst places to raise a child this week, once again naming the Mariana Trench—an undersea chasm located 36,000 feet beneath the western Pacific Ocean—as the least desirable location for rearing children. The periodical’s staff reportedly selected amongst thousands of locations, weighing a diverse range of criteria such living costs, air quality, and local amenities, categories for which the pitch-black, silt-covered abyss unanimously received an 'F' rating."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Now this is funny.  True to form, the Onion is mocking how obsessed our society is about ranking neighborhoods and valuing social prestige.  Underlying this satirical humor are some real, social and spatial issues.  Buying a house or renting a place is in part an analysis of the structure itself, but value is ascribed to the geographic context of the home (as real estate agents say the three most import factors are: location, location, location).  Many parents are especially concerned about choosing the ‘right’ neighborhood and that drives the housing market.  Local amenities, schools, shopping, demographic profiles, income, crime rates, land use mix…a play a role in shaping the context in how people perceive the neighborhood’s desirability.   


Tags: housingneighborhood, cultural norms, culture.


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Scott Langston's curator insight, October 21, 2015 8:49 PM

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