"China's mind-boggling size, economy and history, visualized.""
Digital resources to strengthen the quality and quantity of geography education in classrooms the world over.
Curated by Seth Dixon
"China's mind-boggling size, economy and history, visualized.""
Mexico’s cities are ballooning in population while rural and indigenous communities, where there are still over 60 indigenous languages other than Spanish spoken, are disappearing. For many indigenous families, illiteracy and the powerful forces of racism and discrimination can often offset the lures that brought them to migrate to urban centers.
The northern border with the United States is not the only destination for Mexican migrants. For millions, the bustling cities, which offer hopes of better jobs and education lure many from their traditional rural, and often indigenous communities. What they find in the cities is a mix of hope and hardship.
This interactive with over 20 video vignettes paints a powerful personal narrative of the lives of indigenous Mexicans who migrate to the larger cities of Mexico.
"In which John examines the progress of the UN's Millennium Development Goals over the last 15 years and looks ahead to the Global Goals. Can we live in a world where extreme poverty and undernourishment are rare? Are we closer to gender equality? How have infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates changed in the last 25 years? And how will we ensure that the astonishing progress since 1990 continues?"
The world isn't perfect, but it is getting better. The UN Millennium Goals were ambitious and overall have been a huge success (click here to see more from the Bill Gates videos the were referenced in the video above). Today, world leaders are setting a new batch of developmental goals to work on for the next 15 years. These Global Goals are even more ambitious and can give the global community direction and purpose.
"With its combination of modernity and poverty, Mexico provides lessons for all emerging markets."
This article from the Economist highlights the struggles in emerging economies to 'bridge the gap between a globalized minority and an impoverished majority.' The four lessons of Mexico in that article are:
"Over one million people in sub-Saharan Africa will contract malaria this year because they live near a large dam, according to a new study which, for the first time, has correlated the location of large dams with the incidence of malaria and quantified impacts across the region. The study finds that construction of an expected 78 major new dams in sub-Saharan Africa over the next few years will lead to an additional 56,000 malaria cases annually."
Medical geography explores the patterns and impacts of diseases; physical geography (temperature and precipitation) and human geography (development, standard of living, etc) both shape these patterns. This article is a good example of how both play key roles since the distribution of mosquitoes is a critical component in the geography of development.
How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.
Our preconceived notions of places, as well as some of the dominant narratives about regions, can cloud our understanding about the world today. This video is a good introduction to the Ignorance Project which shows how personal bias, outdated world views and news bias collectively make combating global ignorance difficult. However, the end of the video shows some good rules of thumb to have a more fact-based world view.
"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?
This map points out the highly uneven spatial distribution of (geotagged) Wikipedia articles in 44 language versions of the encyclopaedia. Slightly more than half of the global total of 3,336,473 articles are about places, events and people inside the red circle on the map, occupying only about 2.5% of the world’s land area.
Crowdsourcing is a powerful way to leverage modern digital sharing capabilities, but it inherently going to lead to inequities in the reporting coverage. Why are there so many geo-tagged Wikipedia articles in Europe and not as many elsewhere? What factors account for these discrepancies?
Based on the Gini coefficient, a measure that captures the level of income distribution in a given area, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 20 metropolitan areas with the most uneven income distribution, or the highest Gini coefficients. A Gini coefficient of 1 means all income belongs to a single individual, while a coefficient of 0 reflects a perfectly even distribution. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut, metro area leads the nation with the worst income distribution.With only a few exceptions, the metro areas with the widest gaps between rich and poor residents tend to have lower median household incomes. The majority of the 20 metro areas with the highest Gini coefficients have median household incomes more than $10,000 below the national median of $52,250.Average incomes, however, tell a different story. Because of the uneven income distribution, the average income is much higher in most of these metro areas.
The Gini index which measures the degree of economic inequality (the Gini coefficient was added to the APHG course content for the Industrialization and Economic Development unit in 2013). This article explains the value of the Gini coefficient without delving much into the statistics.
My 10 year-old daughter was looking in our atlas a while back (yes, she is my daughter) and in the encyclopedic entry of each country she started noticing that literacy rates were included. She started asking about which regions had higher and lower literacy rates. This became a teaching moment about the power of the map--I explained that all this data can be more easily accessed and seen on a map and this interactive map is what we discovered. We need to help student find the maps and data to answer their questions (and we need to make sure that they are curious enough to ask questions about the way the world works).
"It’s a good time to reflect on what truly inspires us. What gives us, as individuals, our own sense of independence? And how can we apply that sense of joyful independence to help us engage more actively and participate more readily in the world—to make it a better place, even? Cultivating a better geographical and cultural appreciation for the world, in the next generation as well as in our own, is a pretty good place to start."
With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling uses an amazing new presentation tool, Gapminder, to present data that debunks several myths about world development. Rosling is professor of international health at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, and founder of Gapminder, a nonprofit that brings vital global data to life.
Here are 10 facts about poverty in Africa that demonstrate the widespread consequences of poverty that affect education, health, food consumption and more.
Poverty happens all over the world, in the United States, in Africa, South America, you name a region and there is poverty in that area. There are many myths about poverty though, and myths about regions where poverty defines the region in many people's eyes. African economies are on the rise, but there is still many struggles ahead.
I can't say I agree with all the arguments put forward in this video, it can still be a nice starting point to get students to critically analyze the ideas put forth and assess the merits of the claims being made.
One exercise that I do in many of my classes is based on this data and and outline map. I have the students map out the Human Development Index data for Central America (full global dataset here) on an outline map of the region.
Questions to Ponder: How might we be able to infer about migration within the region? Foreign investment? Political stability?
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." --Maragret Mead
I share this video as a part of my final lecture in world regional geography as I attempt to tie up loose ends and help my students see the global linkages and connections. Occasionally in the course of a semester where we examine global problems, it is easy to become pessimistic about the world. In spite of all our problems, the world is becoming a better place, and I share this video to emphasize that individuals still have the power to act, and are not simply things to be acted upon by larger forces. I can't change everything everywhere, but I can do something, somewhere...so do something.
Ethiopia is due to launch a light rail transit system later this year, the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Social Progress Imperative creates a shared language and common goals to align different organizations and achieve greater social impact.
I think we all know that we shouldn't judge a country just by it's GDP. Economic development might be correlated with development and social progress, but the outliers are so telling. In this TED talk, we learn about a new metric designed to measure how well a society provides opportunities for communal and individual success. Having lived in Costa Rica for two years, I'm not surprised to find that Costa Rica does much better on this index than it would if we were to use GDP or HDI as a way to measure social progress and quality of life. For a more detailed look at the United States, see Geographies of Opportunity: Ranking well-being by Congressional Districts.
Questions to Ponder: How is the Social Progress Index similar to and different from the Human Development Index? What assumptions are built into the system?
China's President Xi Jinping has signed a deal with Pakistan promising $46bn (£30.7bn) of investment.
China plans to inject some $46bn - almost three times the entire foreign direct investment Pakistan has received since 2008. Many say Mr Sharif's penchant for "thinking big" and China's increasing need to control maritime trade routes may well combine to pull off an economic miracle in Pakistan.
But there are questions over Pakistan's ability to absorb this investment given its chronic problems with militancy, separatism, political volatility and official corruption.
China is worried about violence from ethnic Uighurs in its mostly Muslim north-western Xinjiang region and fears hard-line separatists could team up with Uighur militants fighting alongside members of Pakistan's Taliban.
There are many videos online showing the Maeklong Railway Market, but I'll share just a few. Clearly the 8 times a day runs like clockwork for the vendors, but as this other video shows, the 8 times a day that the trains go through the market an it becomes a tourist attraction. Locally it's called "Ta-Lad-Rom-Hoob," which means The Furled Umbrella Market. My students are usually quite shocked to see how this city market in Thailand operates and this video is a usefully 'hook' for lesson on population growth, urbanization, economic development, sustainability, megacities and city planning.
Questions to Ponder: Why does this system work in Thailand, but is inconceivable for the United States? How many spaces are single use spaces that remain empty most of the day? How does the both the train line and the market need to accommodate the other?
Three African leaders sign an initial deal to end a long-running dispute over the sharing of Nile waters and the building of Africa's biggest hydroelectric dam.
85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011. The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps). Prior to this trilateral agreement, Egypt and Sudan received the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states. This explains why in the past, Egypt was so adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan fearing that their water supply with be threatened. Today though, the Egyptian President said, "We have chosen cooperation, and to trust one another for the sake of development."
Do you know how the internet gets across the ocean? This amazing map shows every cable that makes it possible.