Digital resources to strengthen the quality and quantity of geography education in classrooms the world over
Curated by Seth Dixon
I was glad to present in Washington D.C., and for any who could not attend, it was designed as a "first foray" into using ArcGIS online and chance to discover great web maps for every unit of APHG.
"Explore ten 'big ideas' that encapsulate the technological and social trends that have pushed geographic information systems (GIS) onto the Internet in a significant way. See how to apply these ideas to your own world. Open your eyes to what is now possible with Web GIS, and put the technology and deep data resources in your hands via the Quickstarts and Learn ArcGIS lessons that are included in each chapter."
I haven't fully previewed this online textbook yet but I am VERY optimistic about this one from the ESRI library. You can also download the textbook as a PDF here. There are several other online textbooks that would interest geography teachers
"This video is from the BBC documentary film Earth: The Power Of The Planet. The clip is also embedded in this story map that tells the tale of Earth’s tectonic plates, their secret conspiracies, awe-inspiring exhibitions and subtle impacts on the maps and geospatial information we so often take for granted as unambiguous."
Stratfor explains Romania's geographic challenge of remaining united while limiting the influence of larger surrounding powers. For more of these videos, visit http://arcg.is/1IeK3dT
Stratfor produced a new video in their "Geographic Challenge" series. I've updated my map which spatially indexes 70+ of their videos that are especially relevant to geography teachers. These videos are great starting points for students that are researching a particular country.
Get students thinking about patterns and the 'why's' of history with a focus on the geography and movement behind the historical story. This is the link to some of the digital maps that can help you put history in it's place. For more lesson plans, click here.
"The magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday morning destroyed parts of Kathmandu, trapped many people under rubble and killed more than 2,500 people. It was the worst to hit the country since a massive 1934 temblor killed more than 8,000."
Even though we know that with the plate tectonic boundaries where these disasters are more likely to occur, it never fully is expected. These before and after pictures are heart-rending and full the extent of the damage is hard to comprehend (explore in ArcGIS online or view the USGS data). IRIS provides powerpoint slides for teachers to use this earthquake as a 'teachable moment.'
Geographer Jon Kedrowski has a blog about his mountaineering and expeditions. He is up on Everest now, and his blog has a description of the earthquake and the resulting avalanche. The pictures and descriptions are both sobering and fascinating. If you want to help, you can donate money or your geospatial abilities (open-source mapping).
"Stratfor provides geopolitical analysis that is relevant for world regional geography classes, especially their 'Geographic Challenge' series. Videos in the 'Geographic Challenge' series are symbolized on this map as RED numbered pushpins, and other regional Stratfor videos are BLUE." http://arcg.is/1IeK3dT Also see my map of my favorite geography videos to share in the classroom http://bit.ly/KDY6C2
I produced this interactive on ArcGIS online to spatially index over 70+ videos from Stratfor, a leader in providing geopolitical intelligence. This is a great starting point for a student researching a country and some of the issues and challenges that it confronts.
"Business graduates, students, and professionals can sign up today for a free online course to get the Location Advantage."
The Location Advantage is a free MOOC that will be offered by Esri in May 2015. It will last six weeks (2-3 hours of study per week). Registered students will learn how to collect, analyze, and visualize business datasets. You can register online for The Location Advantage.
I’ve organized some of more ‘evergreen’ posts by the AP Human Geography curriculum unit headings as well as ‘shortlist’ for each unit.
Earth is changing rapidly, and an increasing number of scientists say that humans have become the dominant force driving these changes. While the term has no formal definition, many agree that we are now living in an age shaped by human activity: the Anthropocene.
Evidence for the Anthropocene ranges from worldwide population booms to the expansive transformation of the landscape. But solutions are cropping up at the local level that could help create a more resilient global community."
"By 2025, the developing world, as we understand it now, will be home to 29 megacities. We explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of these 'cities on steroids', and take a look at the challenges and opportunities megacities present for the tens of millions living in Lagos, Mexico City and Dhaka."
Through this BBC interactive mapping feature with rich call-out boxes, the reader can explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of megacities (urban areas with over 10 million residents). These 'cities on steroids' have been growing tremendously since the 1950s and present a unique set of geographic challenges and opportunities for their residents. Also, this Smithsonian Magazine interactive (also on the rise of Megacities), argues that dealing with megacities is one of the traits of the Anthropocene.
"Spatial analysis has always been a hallmark of GIS, the 'numerical recipes' which set GIS apart from other forms of computerized visualization and information management. With GIS we pose questions and derive results using a wide array of analytical tools to help us understand and compare places, determine how places are related, find the best locations and paths, detect and quantify patterns, and even to make spatial predictions."
GIS is a key tool in spatial analysis, but it can also be a driving force in using math, science, technology and (yes) geography as interdisciplinary ways of teaching the curriculum. StoryMaps can be rich with images and videos, but also filled with data at a variety of scales. What stories can you tell in this rich, visual format? What visual template shown might lend itself best for that sort of project?
"This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is for people who know something about data analysis and want to learn about the special capabilities of spatial data analysis. Spatial analysis focuses on location to gain a deeper understanding of data. Spatial analysis skills are in high demand by organizations around the world. You'll get free access to the full analytical capabilities of ArcGIS Online, Esri's cloud-based GIS platform. Previous experience with GIS software is helpful, but not necessary for tech-savvy problem solvers. Could you and your career go places with spatial analysis?"
This course starts tomorrow...if you've wanted to learn about GIS with a no-risk on-ramp, this looks to be a safe bet from the worldwide leader in geospatial software. While a grad student at Penn State, I was a TA for a course designed by David DiBiase (the instructor of the MOOC), and I still refer back to that class as one of the best courses to teach geographic skills for the non-geography major.
|Suggested by Kristen McDaniel|
Join our FREE GIS Day World Record mapping event taking place during Geography Awareness week (Nov 17th -21nd 2014, video with more details). With a local to global perspective, we want students to map their thoughts and feeling about their local area.
They can add their data to a global map that is shared with the world. Help us achieve our goal of having 100,000 students take part globally. The event will provide great opportunities for:
|Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks|
"This cool new historic mapping app from the folks at esri and the U.S. Geological Survey is worth exploring. What it does is take 100 years of USGS maps and lets you overlay them for just about any location in the nation. That allows users to see how a city – say Harrisburg – developed between 1895 and today. The library behind the project includes more than 178,000 maps dating from 1884 to 2006."
For more ESRI maps that let you explore urban environmental change, the 'spyglass' feature gives these gorgeous vintage maps a modern facelift (but not available for as many places). The cities that are in this set of interactive maps are:
"NASA goes to the World Cup! Satellite imagery from each country playing."
Not that we need any extra incentive to view NASA's gorgeous satellite imagery, but now that the World Cup has entered the knockout rounds, it is the perfect opportunity to view selected images from the participating countries. This gallery of a dozen World Cup StoryMaps are but a few of the thousands of Esri StoryMaps that can serve as motivation to get your K-12 U.S. school an organizational account for ArcGIS online (then your students can make cool maps like these).
ESRI CEO Jack Dangermond discusses strengthening and investing in stem education with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television's “Street Smart”. (Source: Bloomberg)
As announced earlier this week, ESRI will be donating ArcGIS organizational accounts to all K-12 schools in the United States, and here is a video of ESRI's CEO Jack Dangermond explaining the importance of spatial thinking in STEM education. President Obama referenced this donation during his speech at the White House's Science Fair. Currently many geography educators are planning new ways to use this to their advantage. Explore what ArcGIS can do, and consider how this might be a part of what you can do with your students (this article is a primer if you don't know what ArcGIS is yet). Click here to request an organizational account for your school.
In recent decades the state allowed logging — with restrictions — on the plateau above the Snohomish County hillside that collapsed in last weekend’s deadly mudslide.
There are several reasons for mudslides--some are purely a result of physical geography and others are related to land use patterns. This last week's mudslide in Washington state was a combination of the two and although this impacts one place (see on map), it is a good teaching moment to discuss the environmental impacts of land use patterns and resource extraction projects. As seen in this interactive, the river was cutting at the base of the hill, while loggers were clear-cutting at the top of the mountain. Trees help prevent erosion as the roots hold the soil in place--a critical piece to the puzzle in a very rainy climate. With $1 million worth of timber on the slope, logging companies persisted despite objections from the Department of Natural Resources and some restrictions (but in hindsight, those restrictions clearly were not enough).
Questions to Consider: Other than economic worth, what other ways are there to value and evaluate the environment? How could this landscape have been protected and managed better or was this mudslide inevitable?
This atlas shows how the population is changing - growing in some parts of the country, while shrinking in others. The maps show the entire United States by county, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 Census and Esri. How do things look in your neighborhood?
This StoryMap from ESRI is a nice way to explore the current events in Crimea and this set of maps from National Geographic shows the historical geography of the region. This issue has many inter-regional connections as well. Many residents of former Soviet Republics are nervous seeing Russia's aggressive political strategy; Moscow's previously similar foreign policy that aligned with Beijing's interests are now diverging.
"One of the people I regard most highly here at Esri has created an online atlas of Mexico. The maps can be accessed in many different ways, such as an ArcGIS Online presentation with a description here, as an iPad iBook, but I think most importantly, as a series of story maps. Each of these separate story maps contains 1 to 6 thematically related maps on the following topics: