Geography Education
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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Globalization and the Textile Industry

"On the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, little has changed in the global sweatshop economy. Workers are again trapped and burned to death behind locked exit gates."

Seth Dixon's insight:

One of the first industries to be impacted by what is today called globalization was the textile industry and the successive waves of globalization continue to alter the geography of the textile industry.  This video shows how historical problems in the U.S. textile industry are seen today in countries such as Bangladesh, as does this interactive feature.  The following paragraph is from a Geography News Network podcast / article that Julie Dixon and I co-authored for Maps101 about the Bangladeshi garment industry:     

Many developing countries with the majority of their laborers working in agriculture welcome outsourced labor from the West. This is seen as a way to nurture industrialization, even if it is on the terms of trans-national corporations. Countless workers seek employment in textile factories simply because low pay is still an entry into the cash economy and it is one of the few jobs rural migrants can find when they first enter the big city. In such locations, Western labor, construction, and environmental standards are not priorities because the population’s basic needs haven’t been met, so the responsibility falls to the global companies—but their aim is to cut costs as much as possible to remain competitive.  From its emergence in textiles back in the late 1970’s, Bangladesh in 2013 made $19 billion in the export-oriented, ready-made garment industry, employing 4 million workers, most of whom are women. 

Listen to more of this Geography News Network podcast or read it here. 

Tags: Bangladesh, poverty, development, economic, globalization, industry, labor.

L.Long's curator insight, April 15, 3:53 PM

A good example of dominance and dependence

Kelly Collinsworth's curator insight, April 16, 5:42 AM

For Beth Manor

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Human Development Index variation

Human Development Index variation | Geography Education |

"Here's how the United States looks when it is measured on the county level by the same standards used to rank countries by the UN, the Human Development Index.  Five variables are taken into account: life expectancy, income per capita, school enrollment, percentage of high school graduates, and percentage of college graduates." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

Often we treat countries as solid areas and miss many regional patterns; in part because we view global data sets that are at that scale. 

Questions to ponder: what regional patterns do you see?  What accounts for these patterns?  What do you think other countries would look like with data at this scale?    

Tagsmapping, regions, censusdevelopment, USA.

steve smith's curator insight, March 26, 12:53 PM

A fantastic resource for development studies.

Ms. Harrington's curator insight, March 26, 3:57 PM

Regional patterns?

Brian Altonen's curator insight, March 26, 6:18 PM

A WHO map of what life in the U.S. is like demonstrates the role of urbanization and heavily population regions for defining where U.N.'s Human Development Index scores are highest.

Three of the metrics pertain primarily to education.  The fourth is a measure of financial success for a region.  The fifth is most likely a consequence of scoring well for these first four measures.

An obvious next step in making additional use of this map is to compare its findings with the distributions of various language, culture and ethnic groups in this country, according to most recent US Census patterns.  



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Shifting post-colonial economic geographies

Shifting post-colonial economic geographies | Geography Education |

"Changes in relationships can be hard to take. The economic bond between Latin America and Spain, its biggest former colonial power, is shifting as the region’s economies mature. Despite some ruffled feathers, the evolution is positive.  After two decades in which Spain amassed assets worth €145 billion ($200 billion) in Latin America, last year was the first in which Latin American companies spent more on acquiring their Spanish counterparts than the other way around."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I am hesitant to use the term post-colonial since there are theoretical constructs that use that term to embody cultural hegemonic power structures.  I'm simply using it to mean "after colonialism" because the power paradigm is shifting to the former colonies. 

TagsLatin AmericaSouth America. economic, development, Spain, historical, colonialism.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 11, 10:37 AM

Post- Coloonial Economical Gographies- It is important to remember that in the past Latin American companies spent less on acquiring the Spanish counterparts and last year for the first time they have shifted in which Latin America spent more acquriring their Spanish counterparts. After teo decades Spain's worth would be close to $200 billion in Latin America. Latin America in relation to Spain is very different because gears have shifted in order fot the net worth to compile to where it is today. The same goes for Spain in relation to Latin America.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 28, 4:43 PM

This article describes the changing relationship between Latin America and its former colonial power, Spain. Latin America shares a cultural bond with Spain which is influencing how the Latin American economies develop. This cultural bond, along with the economies, are having an effect on migration.

As Latin American countries are becoming increasingly industrialized their economies have grown and Latin America is frequently looking at Spain for a place to invest due to their cultural similarities, like language. Latin America is investing in Spanish business while Spain, in an economic slump at home, is benefiting from Latin American markets and investments. Unsurprisingly, over the past several years trade between the Spain and Latin America has become more and more profitable for Latin America as their increasing industrial power can send manufactured products to a more deindustrialized Spain.

The economic slump in Spain is seeing Spaniards migrate away from their home country. Latin America, with its cultural similarity, is increasingly becoming a destination for these Spaniards in need of work due to the growing economies of Latin American countries. Some migrations may even be the result of Latin American investors owning a large portion of a Spanish worker's company in the first place.

This flip in economic power is unsurprisingly since it would be impossible for Spain to keep pace with its former colonies collectively. Though depleted by colonization, there are still significant resources available to Latin America, chief among them cheap agricultural labor and massive amounts of fertile land. Even with friction over their colonial past with Spain, Latin America is still investing in Spain and Spaniards still look to Latin America for work and investment opportunities.

Arya Okten's curator insight, March 27, 7:35 PM

Unit IV

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Will saving poor children lead to overpopulation?

Hans Rosling explains a very common misunderstanding about the world. CC by
Seth Dixon's insight:

Tags: population, demographic transition model, declining population, demographicsmodels, gapminderdevelopment.

Ms. Harrington's curator insight, January 28, 3:18 PM

A clear explanation of how saving the poor will slow population growth.

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Safe drinking water disappearing fast in Bangladesh

Safe drinking water disappearing fast in Bangladesh | Geography Education |
Extreme weather increases salinity of water in coastal areas while excessive demand in Dhaka leaves dwindling supply
Seth Dixon's insight:

In what ways is access to safe drinking water both a physical geography and human geography issue?  How do changes in one factor influence the others? 

Tags: Bangladesh, water, development.

Tracy Klug's curator insight, December 16, 2013 5:47 AM

How can the globe evenly distribute surplus goods?

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 11, 7:38 PM

The article describes the difficulties in obtaining safe drinking water in Bangladesh. As a result of climate change, rainfall has become sporadic and irregular resulting in sea water entering the underground aquifers which are depleted due to the immense population of the country. Similarly, the natural geography of the inland areas is contaminating the water with silt due to flooding and erosion.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 12, 8:21 PM

This article describes how drinking water is becoming difficult to find in Bangladesh. Due to climate change, this problem will only get worse. Extreme weather such as floods and cyclones has played a large role in contaminating the drinking water. Even in Dhaka, the world's fastest growing city, the people are having trouble finding safe drinking water. 

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DON’T PANIC — The Facts About Population

DON’T PANIC — The Facts About Population | Geography Education |

Don’t Panic – is a one-hour long documentary broadcasted on BBC on the 7th of November 2013.

The visualizations are based on original graphics and stories by Gapminder and the underlaying data-sources are listed here.
Hans’s — “All time favorite graph”, is an animating bubble chart linking health and wealth which you can interact with online here and download offline here.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Population growth in an important topic that is connected to economic development.  If you've seen Hans Roslings TED talks, this is an hour-long version of many of the same concepts and data visualizations.  His Gapminder data visualization tool, it is a must see for geography teachers to show the connections between population statistics and developmental patterns--let students see the data.  This is an article that looks at a different factor, arguing that overpopulation isn't the real issue.  

Tags: gapminder, population, demographic transition modeldevelopment.

Angus Henderson's curator insight, December 9, 2013 10:20 AM

Hans conveys big concepts and facts about population and development  extremely well, usingh is gapminder website and quirky humour. 

Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, January 8, 7:59 AM

Key insight:  The number of children stopped growing in 1980.  Most of the world is now having only 2 children per family.  The reason why the adult population will continue to grow is just because it takes a generation to balance out the bubble of having more children that survive to grow up and have their own children.

Crooms Human Geography's curator insight, February 4, 10:11 AM


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The Philippines' Geography Makes Aid Response Difficult

The Philippines' Geography Makes Aid Response Difficult | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

Typhoon Haiyan was enormous and hit a 400-mile swath on the Philippines.  The Philippines is a single country, but it is composed of over 7,000 islands; hundreds of islands are in need of relief aid, if not more.  The islands are in an archipelago which naturally fragments the land mass and isolates the residents making transportation, utilities and communications logistically difficult even in the best of times.  If the first few days after the typhoon, supply chains were cut off and many desperate people looted the sparse food resources available. The necessities to sustain life—food, water, shelter, medication and basic sanitation—are the all major concerns in the aftermath of the typhoon.      

While the police are saying that order is being restored, the effects of flooding pollute water resources and increase the spread of infectious diseases because of the poor sanitation.  The Philippines is gripping for an impending medical crisis from the spread of diseases in addition to the medical trauma that people suffered during the actual typhoon.  Richard Brennen of the World Health Organization (WHO) believes that these geographic difficulties make the relief efforts in the Philippines more difficult than the 2010 relief efforts to help Haiti after the massive earthquake.   

Tags: water, disasters, Philippines, medical, development, diffusion.

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 26, 2013 6:13 AM

Whenever there is a natural disater there is always trouble to get enough resources and aid to help the particular place who was hit with the disaster. Typically places who are hit with such disasters get immediate aid to try and help the victims as well as restore the area effected. However you never think about the geography of a place in means of getting aid there. We think of geography in the sense of it is not surprising such a distaster occured there, but not in a sense of can we get aid there. That is exactly what is being thought of about the Phillipeans. There is a lot of thought going into how aid can get there. People need water, sanitary conditions, food, and medical assistance. Not only do they need it, but they need it fast because the situation is getting worse. However there is no real way of getting it there. There location is making things extremely difficult to get that. Airports a such down, no way to get things there by sea on a good day, and their communication systems are down. The location of where these people live can potential kill them. You tend to think about location as a cultural sense, but location can also effect a person's well being. It is amazing how much location of where you live effects a person. Hopefully there will be things done soon to try and help the people in the phillipeans before things get even worse than they already are. 

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 29, 2013 6:26 PM

Access to this area is inhibited due to massive devastation, and there was a LOT of damage done.  These people have needs, and it seems that due to the large geographic spread, it would be near impossible to get these people what they need.  I think if our world revolved less around mandated activity- school, work (specifically the low level jobs that we don't NEED in our society), etc.- that more people could be freed up to help proactively come up with solutions to potential devastation, and groups could be formed, equipped, and trained to deal with whatever Nature could throw at people.  If people didn't work at McDonalds, and they DID work at some sort of international rescue agency, doing all the research on all areas of the world ahead of time, the solutions to these problems (and even prevention) could be at hand within a month of a global task force's initiation into the activity.  I know some Americans think that they need workers at McDonalds, but really... They could be working for something larger than the government- the entire human race.  I'm sure people would be willing to fund such an agency (not just some limited range minimal UN task force, but rather a world-wide formally designated occupation), and I'm equally sure that people would rather work there than flipping burgers and changing french fry oil.  I don't think that the current relief programs are enough to help people in such situations of tragedy as those that were relied on to take care of the issue in the Phillipines, and I think a simple restructuring of society (our society) would yield a greater level of concern and involvement in the welfare of others, as well as greater aid to the species.  Who knows, perhaps one of the people that we could save in the Phillipines is a person who goes on to change the world- an inventor of something new, a holy or political leader, or the scientist that cures cancer?  All this could be made to matter to us more if society were tweaked, even slightly, just to allow people to want to help others.

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 30, 2013 7:59 PM

This is a devastating time for the people of the Philippines. All they have to worry about is staying alive and being close to there family members. Help is on the way. Everyone in the world should pitch in and try to help them in anyway they can. But what I would like to find out is why this has happen when it has not before in this country. This country I have not seen in the news before this big devastation had happened. I am also curious to find out how come the help aid is taking so long to arrive when people are dying because they have no food available for them because it has been destroyed or it is trapped under all the debris from all the buildings that have collapsed because they were not structured properly. this situation is a repeat of hurricane Katrina in the united states were all the house were not hurricane proof and were built in places known for disaster.

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Gender Gap Index

Gender Gap Index | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Scandinavia is the place to be.  This interactive map uses data that was compiled from an index to measure gender equality in health, access to education, economic participation and political engagement.  The four highest ranked countries in the world, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden) are all in Scandinavia.  Thanks to the Guardian Datablog, you can download all of the data in a spreadsheet to map on your own.  This interactive map is excellent, but a more expanded series of maps concerning gender (in)equality in the world regarding the status of women can be found on the WomanStats project page. 

Tags: gender, mapping, statistics, development.


Linda Denty's curator insight, October 28, 2013 3:06 PM

Interesting data!

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 10:35 AM

No surprise here that the countries that are more well off generally have less of a gender gap. One thing that i like to point out about this article is that the united states came in 23rd which i think is pretty humerous since we pride outselfs on our rights and equality but were not even in the top 20 countries in the world when it comes down to equality between genders. The biggest surprise of this article though has to be nicaragua coming in 10th even though every country around it scored poorly. hopefully the nicaraguans can teach their fellow costa ricans and houndurans how to close the gap.

xavia's comment, April 9, 9:38 PM
gender gap chloropleth
Suggested by Deanna Metz!

AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa

AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa | Geography Education |
Despite the gains, more Africans still die from Malaria even as the spotlight remains firmly fixed on HIV/AIDS.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is just the map portion of a very detailed infographic on the medical geographic situation in Africa. Click here to see the full infographic.

Tags: Africa, medical, development, infographic, diffusion.

Connor Howe's comment, September 16, 2013 12:31 PM
It is interesting to see how the different virus treatments are being funded. Africa is a good example because it is a breeding ground for viruses. Its warm moist climate is what all viruses need. Since Africa is mainly less developed countries there are less medical treatments for these viruses
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 1:52 PM

As funding in Africa benefits its health system, Africans are still dying every day from Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS. Hopefully as this funding continues Africans will see a change in their health and lifestyles.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 7:41 AM

This infographic shows how pervasive disease is in Africa. Though HIV gets a lot of attention, malaria and tuberculosis are just as prevalent as HIV/AIDS. The attention given to HIV/AIDS is reflected in the amount of aid sent to Africa, with a significant amount more being spent to halt the spread of HIV. These efforts are not entirely in vain as there have been decreases for all three diseases, but the funding necessary to make serious progress not on its way.


Though there is an even greater need to fight malaria, more international aid for HIV/AIDS is likely because most of the countries sending aid are not as familiar with malaria and HIV/AIDS has become sensationalized.

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Beijing's Pollution

Beijing's Pollution | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

We've all heard stories about the horrible air quality in Beijing (especially during the 2008 Olympics).  Here's a picture of Beijing by Tom Anderson that I find riveting.  The skies are obviously polluted but this image shows two competing cities that are vying for control of China's future. In the foreground we see a cosmopolitan capital that is sophisticated and technologically advanced, engaged in the great connections that come from industrial growth.  On the other side we see the industrial city that is recklessly producing copious amounts of consumer products with little regard for the environment or worker safety that can be seen as the dirty side of globalization.  Both images are true reflections of China in the 21st century and the tension between the two will be one of China's great issues in the foreseeable future.       

Tags: pollutionChina, development, economic, megacities, East Asia, industry.

Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 6:21 AM
this picture is crazy with the amount of smog in the air. it shows two completely different areas of the city of Beijing. in the distance you have the gigantic industrial region pumping gas and smog into the air at an alarming rate. with what looks to be simple a couple miles away the heart of the city and where millions and millions of people make their homes and jobs. unsafe and not up to human health codes is an understatement.
Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 9:38 PM

Beijing has one of the worst pollution issues in the world. The pollution is from the factories and burning coal and not filtering factories so the pollution goes out in the air. In the image you can see the city of Beijing and the factories located in the back and they are both in competition with each other. 

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 15, 10:27 AM

This picture displays two sides of China. One side that shows it has modern and advanced metropolitan cities, which have the capability to host Olympic games. On the other side are industrial cities that shows little concern for their workers and the environment, as they produce many cheap products for countries such as the United States. Unfortunately, this is reality, many people want cheap products, but do not want to live near the areas that produce them. 

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Water and Development

Australia's engagement with Asia: Water - a case study on Flores
Seth Dixon's insight:

For a the full lesson on how access to clean drinking water and human well-being are connected on the Indonesian island of Flores, visit World Vision Australia.  On a related note, this article from the Guardian discusses the trouble of securing clean drinking water in Bangladesh.   

Tags: Indonesiawater, development.

Jye Watson's curator insight, June 23, 2013 7:29 PM

year 7 water

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 2:23 PM

In Indonesia, many areas lack clean water. This makes it hard to keep residents healthy. World Vision Australia works with Indonesian towns to set up pipelines to the clean water sources to transport it to the areas of dirty water. This helps the villages work together and benefit off having clean water to drink and uncontaminated food. This improves life in Indonesia and they are very thankful for it.

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Is It Crazy to Think We Can Eradicate Poverty?

Is It Crazy to Think We Can Eradicate Poverty? | Geography Education |
The end to extreme poverty might very well be within reach. But is the bar too low?

The World Bank aims to raise just about everyone on Earth above the $1.25-a-day income threshold. In Zambia, an average person living in such dire poverty might be able to afford, on a given day, two or three plates of cornmeal porridge, a tomato, a mango, a spoonful each of oil and sugar, a bit of chicken or fish, maybe a handful of nuts. But he would have just pocket change to spend on transportation, housing, education and everything else.

Jacquie Rintoul's comment, June 20, 2013 7:08 PM
I agree with Sarah. While many people think that poverty can be eradicated, the world's economy simply cannot hold up every single country. Even if it was able to, countries would probably get into debt and end up poorer than before.
Hannah Campbell's curator insight, July 20, 2013 7:29 PM

I do not think it is crazy to think we can eridacte poverty, but the world's richest and most developed countries need to support the developing countries. 

JH Tan's curator insight, January 19, 4:52 AM

It is extremely hard to eradicate poverty in the world as most people in the world is still living below the $1.25 a day income.However, if  gorverments from developed countries are willing to support the developing countries,I believe we will be able to hit the target set by the world bank to raise just about everyone on earth above the $1.25 a day income.

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Facebook connections map the world

Facebook connections map the world | Geography Education |
Facebook intern Paul Butler has created a detailed map of the world by mapping connections between people using the social network living in different cities.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The disconnected portions of the this map tell us as much about the world we live in as the highly illuminated ones. Might this be a version of the "Black Marble" image that would reasonate more with today's teenagers?  For the methods behind the creation of this map as well as a high resolution version of the map, see this post.

Tags: social media, map, visualization.

Thomas C. Thompson's curator insight, April 27, 2013 5:25 PM

This is a picture of our world and the real way that we are connected in real time from Facebook. It's amazing! Share this everywhere!

Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 9:23 AM

This map amazes me because of just how big Facebook has become after starting as a small site for college kids in the U.S. to connect on.  Now it is one of the largest contributing factors to globalization as it allows people from various continents to connect to others with a simple Internet connection.  It has helped people of different cultures come together and as we saw in class, it helps spread word of different political happenings that regular news media tries to hide from us.  

It's also really interesting to see how China is completely off the grid and so is central and Saharan Africa because in terms of modern day globalization, they are not areas that participate in many global affairs and with the prominence Facebook holds in today's world, the parts of the world that are missing are much stranger to us in cultural terms.

L.Long's curator insight, February 16, 1:26 AM

Global networks


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Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile?

Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile? | Geography Education |

"Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete.  Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa's largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps), Ethiopia plans to dam the Blue Nile before the water heads to Sudan and eventually into Egypt.  As stated in this BBC article (with a nice 1-minute video clip), Egypt and Sudan currently get the majority of the Nile's waters because of colonial-era treaties and Egypt is opposed to Ethiopia's plan, fearing their water supply with be threatened. 

Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development. environment, water, environment modify, energy, borders, political.

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, April 1, 9:02 AM

How will people who have survived for eons living of the abundance of the river waters survive and adjust to a loss of the source of life? They are being forced to become agrarian. The introduction of GMO growing is part of that process. This is not a solution. We need to find healthy solutions.

Those who benefit from the dams and resulting hydroelectric power should be accountable (directly or indirectly) to the people who are displaced by these project. Putting them in confined areas away from their natural habitats is NOT the answer.

Just look what happened to the American Indians. Their livelihoods, their homes, their ancestry, their heritage, their health, their souls, their pride and their sense of community were destroyed. It may take a revolution to avoid that happening here, a Food rEvolution.

Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 1, 12:06 PM

In an area fraught with political instability, non state actors, and rebel groups all too willing to fight for power and the wealth that comes from it - it will be interesting to see how the conflicts shift over time as this dam gets closer to completion. Will Egypt attempt to sabotage it or will they take a more diplomatic approach and try to work with the Ethiopian government diplomatically again?  Perhaps Egypt will whisper in to the ear of Sudan or the various "rebel" groups in the region, considering diplomatic means have apparently failed so far. With Sudan's use of the Blue River also going to be affected by Ethiopia's damming, it will be interesting to see if a cooperation between Egypt and Sudan occurs. Perhaps Ethiopia would like to see a deeper conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, keeping their affected neighbor off balance.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 16, 3:47 PM

It is extremely difficult to divide a river. The Ethiopians will benefit immensely from this project but the Egyptians could lose everything if the Nile dries up. This is going to be a difficult problem to solve.

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The End of the ‘Developing World’

The End of the ‘Developing World’ | Geography Education |
The old labels no longer apply. Rich countries need to learn from poor ones.

BILL GATES, in his foundation’s annual letter, declared that “the terms ‘developing countries’ and ‘developed countries’ have outlived their usefulness.” He’s right. If we want to understand the modern global economy, we need a better vocabulary.

Mr. Gates was making a point about improvements in income and gross domestic product; unfortunately, these formal measures generate categories that tend to obscure obvious distinctions. Only when employing a crude “development” binary could anyone lump Mozambique and Mexico together.

It’s tough to pick a satisfying replacement. Talk of first, second and third worlds is passé, and it’s hard to bear the Dickensian awkwardness of “industrialized nations.” Forget, too, the more recent jargon about the “global south” and “global north.” It makes little sense to counterpose poor countries with “the West” when many of the biggest economic success stories in the past few decades have come from the East.

All of these antiquated terms imply that any given country is “developing” toward something, and that there is only one way to get there.

It’s time that we start describing the world as “fat” or “lean.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: this article (from the Atlantic) on the exact same concept would supplement the NY Times article nicely.  

Steven McGreevy's curator insight, March 7, 1:49 AM

Fat and Lean nations...  let's see if it sticks...

Joanne Wegener's curator insight, March 7, 2:03 AM

Fat or Lean - what sort of world do we live in

An interesting discussion on the way we perceive and label the world.

Ma. Caridad Benitez's curator insight, March 11, 7:15 AM

Hoy en día poca claridad de dónde exactamente queda y quiénes son? 

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Infant Mortality Rates

Infant Mortality Rates | Geography Education |
Are All Mothers Created Equal? From the State of the World's Mothers 2012 report see how mothers locations have an impact on the life and death of their children.
No comment yet.
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Improving Mortality Rates In Ethiopia

Improving Mortality Rates In Ethiopia | Geography Education |

"A baby born today in Ethiopia is three times more likely to survive to age 5 than one born in 1990.  This progress isn't a result of expensive international aid or the recruitment of foreign doctors into Ethiopia. Instead, the country has invested in simple, bare-bone clinics scattered around the country, which are run by minimally-educated community health workers."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This NPR podcast shows how local programs that target rural health can have a massive impact on key demographic and development statistics.  This is great news-- infant mortality rates around the world have dropped from 46 deaths/1000 to 35 deaths/1000 in the last 8 years and local programs such as this one have been a major reason why.   

Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, medical, development.

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, February 9, 2:23 PM

This topic goes with our study of HDI HUGGERS

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 6:25 PM

It is good to see Ethiopians are taking small steps to becoming a better and healthier country, such as opening simple clinics in more areas. When a child has a greater chance to survive it can only put a smile on your face. More countries in Africa should follow this simple step in order to have a healthier population. 

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Missing Girls...

"In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called 'gendercide' or femicide."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Part of me hates to bring up this issue since it is so disturbing, but silence itself is a part of the problem.  Just know that I don't bring this up lightly and I wouldn't share this with students of all ages.  Read more on in the this topic in the accompanying article here.  The filmmaker has explained why he was motivated to produce this, but not everyone thinks the message of the full documentary is fair and balanced.

Questions to Ponder (with a heavy heart): what cultural, political and demographic factors create the conditions where a situation like this can occur?  What should and can be done?

Tags: gender, development, India, China,

Rachel Cho's comment, January 13, 9:17 PM
I definitely agree with @Isela Lopez because they didn't have a chance to even see the world, and of course that we should all be equal.
Evelyn's curator insight, January 14, 5:37 AM

Girls should not be gone just because they're girls. Boys and girls are equal, girls shouldnt be treated different than boys because we are both equal. if girls were gone completly then they wont be able to have kids and family. imagine if your mom was abandoned just because she is a girl. how would that make you feel? 

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 7, 7:30 PM

The way the people of China and India treat baby girls is upsetting. India and China eliminate more girls than the number of girls born every year in America; that is disturbing to think about. When a couple decides to have a child they should own up to the responsibility and take care of the baby despite the gender. I know of several people who adopted Chinese female children, luckily they had a chance at life, unfortunately, not many baby girls in China or India have that chance.  


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AID Data: Open data for international development

AID Data: Open data for international development | Geography Education |

"The AidData Center for Development Policy creates geospatial data and tools enabling development stakeholders to more effectively target, coordinate and evaluate aid. Funded through a five-year, $25 million cooperative agreement with USAID, the Center is a partnership between the College of William and Mary, Development Gateway, Brigham Young University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Esri."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article in the Washington Post asks if foreign aid can make elections more competitive (spoiler alert: mapping the data at the sub-national level helps answer research questions like this).  What intrigued me even more than the article was the mapping platform that it was introducing. AidData is a fabulous new mapping platform to access information about international aid, it's effectiveness and where it is needed and what current projects are being funded by U.S. AID. 

PIRatE Lab's curator insight, November 25, 2013 11:12 PM

Interesting database/viewer for exploring international development/metrics.

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Yardstick of Wealth

"In the last of a series of programmes exploring global population for the award-winning This World strand, Rosling presents an 'as live' studio event featuring cutting-edge 3D infographics painting a vivid picture of a world that has changed in ways we barely understand – often for the better."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a glimpse into the BBC's "Don't Panic-The Truth about Population" which will be airing November 7th.  If you have never seen his TED talks or his Gapminder data visualization tool, it is a must see for geography teachers to show the connections between population statistics and developmental patterns--let students see the data. 

Tags: gapminder, population, poverty, development.

Kibet Koskei's curator insight, November 2, 2013 1:19 AM

Get Paid To Enlighten African Youth On How To Use The Internet To Grow Rich ! Re: Ref:Jobs Are Moving Online, Lets Us Help You Acquire The Skills Of 21st Century and Help You To Be A head Of the Masses in Getting Online Jobs!

Sue Bicknell's curator insight, November 4, 2013 4:37 AM

Another fantastic presentation by Rosling

Rola Fahs's curator insight, November 13, 2013 7:27 AM

Rosling does a great job speaking of poverty and population. This would be an awesome text to use in a unit about poverty. This can be incorporated in a history class, economics class, sociology class, even an anthropology class if it is offered in highschools. 

It is a perfect length video that can be used to introduce a writing assignment, a research project, or an in class group assignment. But it also shows the extremety of poor vs. rich. From what I have seen students like to state their opinions about issues like this. Teachers may have to watch out how they introduce this into their topic or discussion, but it is a worthwhile source to use. 

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What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline

What Pollution? Hong Kong Tourists Pose With Fake Skyline | Geography Education |
Picture this: Tourists visiting one of your city's most prominent attractions are unable to see it because of smog, haze and a bevy of other airborne pollutants. What's the solution?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Pollution is becoming ubiquitous in our urban environments.  If your primary concern is the environment, it is clear that this situation in Hong Kong must be changed.  But what if the environment is not the concern of policy makers?  What economic and planning arguments could you make in favor of a more sustainable course?

Tags: pollutionChina, development, economic, megacities, East Asia, industrysustainability, urban ecology.

Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:52 PM

While this is a kind of comical fascade for tourists, it draws attention to the insane amounts of pollution present in Hong Kong.  The ships that dock in one of the world's largest ports are a great contributor to the thick smog that hovers over the city in addition to the normal urban pollutants like traffic, smoking and industry.  Pollution is a major problem in all urban cities and government regulation needs to crack down on the subject because the dense smog that citizens are inhaling all day is slowly killing them. 

Pollution leads to various cancers and other health problems which in China may help decrease the population but it will cause many more problems than it will solve.  Hong Kong is an urban megacity center where thousands of corporations have their headquarters and important offices and pollution may get bad enough to drive certain companies out.  Pollution can also destroy the value of any raw goods that come from the areas or perhaps even poison certain factory made products. With smog this thick, the pollutants are everywhere and can do serious damage to the environement and those who inhabit it.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 7:46 AM

Well this is certainly one way of ‘solving’ their pollution problem.  Tourists upset, no problem, give them a backdrop to pose in front of.  I find this just crazy; rather than trying to clean up the air the government is instead covering over the problem.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 2:45 PM

That is sick! Pollution is a major problem in Hong Kong due to its busy urban environment. However, setting up a fake skyline for tourists to pose in front of is not the solution. The solution is taking precautions and finding ways to cut back on the pollution so that the haze and pollution does not escalate.

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In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map | Geography Education |
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most slums are systematically ignored by politicians and public utilities; squatter settlements are not built legally and they are treated as though they did not exist.  Mapping these communities makes them visible, literally putting them on the map can be an important step to legitimize the needs and requests of these poor residents and grant them greater access to public, municipal resources. 

Tagsmapping, GPS, podcast, GIS, poverty, squatter settlements, developmentAfricaKenya.

John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 10:11 AM

Great how tech and globalization can help represed people in other countries.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 2:07 PM

The slum-mapping movement began in India almost a decade ago and migrated to africa, the idea of this is to make slums a reality to people who have never set foot in one before. The maps can be used in court to stop evictions or simply to raise awarance. I think this idea is on the right track of what needs to be done. These people need help and so many people incuding the governement pretend they arent their but with these maps as proof they can no longer do that.    

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 7:24 AM

Slums and squatter settlements are a problem that a lot of the developing world has to deal with.  The unsafe and unsanitary buildings cause headaches and problems for the leaders of the cities they surround.  This story is hopeful in that the city did manage to bring a water line out to get clean water to the people living in this area.  Perhaps this will lead to a better quality of life of the inhabitants of this particular slum.  Also the project of mapping such areas can be a useful tool for city planners to better regulate these areas and help the people that live there.,

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Urbanization and Megacities: Jakarta

"This case study examines the challenges of human well-being and urbanization, especially in the megacity of Jakarta."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Megacities are growing, especially in the developing world.  This rapid population growth leads to serious strains on many resources and the infrastructural capacities which leads to some dismal living conditions among the urban poor.  World Vision Australia works to assist and empower many of those without access to these important amenities.  Download the lesson as a PDF here

Tags: Indonesia, urban, megacities, sustainability, development.

Peter Steffan's curator insight, October 9, 2013 2:01 PM


Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 7:40 AM

Just seems to be a pattern with any mega city.  People move to the city for a better life.  Even though there is overcrowding and lack of infrastructure in these growing cities they feel it is a better life than the rural areas.  They still need the infrastructure from the government but this group has been training the people there to go and make the changes for themselves oh what they can control.  They are giving them the skills they need to make changes.  They now need to use those skills to get the government to make the necessary infrastructure changes that the government knows are needed.  They know the people are flooding to the cities and they see the promblem, but nothing wil be done until the people demand the changes that are necessary.  It can happen, might take time but it can happen..just ask the Romanov family of Russia..oh wait..they are not there...

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 2:16 PM

In megacities, such as Jakarta, urbanization brings about many problems for local residents. The areas are crowded and residents get little to no income. An Australian organization works to help the people of Jakarta by giving them advice,food and helping where necessary. With this help, families are able to keep their spirits higher and hope that their children will live better lives than the ways that they were brought up.

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Breakfasts Around the World

Seth Dixon's insight:

Previously I shared a gallery portraying 20 families from around world together with a full week of groceries (from the book Hungry Planet or in this abbreviated online version).  Today it's the breakfast table which shows differences in agricultural, development and cultural patterns around the world. 

Tags: food, agriculture, worldwide, culture, development.

Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 8:03 AM

These pictures are very interesting and makes you think about the kinds of breakfast you saw when growing up. These pictures allow us to see the kinds of food cultivated in these areas of the world and how they interprete the use of each one. The pictures also show us how each place is related. For example, some of the dishes looked alike in that most of the plate was breads. It makes you wonder where that tradition came from. These pictures also let the viewer in on the development or wealth of the country. Some countries only have a piece of bread and a coffee for breakfast, where other places have huge platefuls of all different kinds of food. Does the amount of food you eat for breakfast have to do with how developed your country is? Food seems so simple, but it can lead to many different interpretations for people. 

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 21, 2013 6:17 AM

Typically when I think about different cultural foods I think about lunch or dinner rather than breakfast. When I think about Italy I think about meatballs, pasta, pizza, and gelato. When I think about Germany I think about a lot of meats. However what never really comes to mind is breakfast. Breakfast is one of my absolute favorite meals on the day. I love going out to breakfast and getting some eggs, homefries, sausage, and maybe even a grilled blueberry muffin. This summer I traveled to Italy and that was the first time I realized that breakfast is just as different in their Culture as their lunch and dinner. It was interesting how different things were. They had toast and yogurt, but the yogurt didn't taste the same as it does in America.  It is amazing how different each countries breakfast is in comparison to what we are used to. Some things we consider lunch might be served in another countries breakfast meal. For example Deli meats. It is interesting to see how different each culture really is. 

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 9:10 PM

Countries each have their own foods that are unique and freshly made by families everyday. They use foods that are frequently grown and found in the area to make their meals. For example china eats a lot of fish because it is part of their culture. Also people of spanish and mexican cultures are known for cooking spicy delcious foods. Food is apart of what creates cultures.

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The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism

The Rights and Wrongs of Slum Tourism | Geography Education |
Researchers are heading to Dharavi, Mumbai, to study the impact of slum tours on the residents.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The article leaves me with more questions than answers.  What do the residents think about the tons of tourists wondering through their winding streets?  The very idea of tourism to see poverty in situ in an authentic slum is riddled with power and cultural imbalances.  Why would wealthy tourists from the developed world want to more fully explore the slums in the developing world?  What do you see as the 'wrong' and the 'right' within this situation?   Is slum tourism ethical?

Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, November 6, 2013 5:36 PM

I don’t find nothing right about tourist visiting the slum, I feel that the tourist are violating there privacy. They are human being not some historical landmark. If the tourist are not helping this people why are they going? If you are going to visit this places do it because you want to help them, not because you think is interesting their way of living.

Cam E's curator insight, April 1, 8:57 AM

Moral questions are always fun. Personally I don't think going to see slums is all that exploitative in itself, but I would make a distinction between guided tours that cost money, and self-directed tours though. In a guided tour you are paying money to walk through a community and view what life is like for those people, but in a self-directed tour you are just another person walking down the streets and viewing whatever you stumble upon. There are plenty of tours within neighborhoods of different economic value the world over, but these tours are scrutinized because the people touring are as wealthy, or less wealthy, than the people living there. I don't think that a poor community changes this dynamic in an immoral way, as the perceptions of which group is superior come from the own minds of those who feel uncomfortable with it.


Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 6:41 AM

This article rises in interesting question.  Are tours of slums exploitive or beneficial to the slum dwellers?  On the one hand the tours could feel like exploitation and the tourist is viewing attractions at a “zoo”, on the other hand it brings people far removed from slum life in contact with it and can change people’s point of view on the slums.  It can be beneficial if the tour guides donate money to the slums or jobs are sought by slum dwellers to become tour guides.  The question is should slums be hidden away from view or opened up to tourists so that they can see the hardships first hand.  I think that this is an issue that is not clearly black or white; there are many shades of gray involved in this issue.