Watch Mike Wallace's 60 Minutes report from 1972 to see the Florida that existed before Mickey and millions of tourists descended on Orlando.
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Watch Mike Wallace's 60 Minutes report from 1972 to see the Florida that existed before Mickey and millions of tourists descended on Orlando.
This 11 minute video from the archives is a great profile of a community in flux. Orange County, Florida was transitioning from an agricultural region off the grid to a largest tourist destination in the United States. Obviously, the community's economic geography completely transformed, but the cultural shift to the region was equally drastic. Since Disney today is such a well-known brand and so many students have been to Disney World, they will enjoy seeing what the community was like before it became an entertainment mecca.
Air conditioners have made architects lazy, and we've forgotten how to design houses that might work without it.
A hundred years ago, a house in Florida looked different than a house in New England. The northern house might be boxy, have relatively small windows, almost always two stories with low ceilings, and a big fireplace in the middle.
In Florida, the house might have high ceilings, tall double-hung windows, and deep porches. Trees would be planted around the house to block the sun.
Today, houses pretty much look the same wherever you go in North America, and one thing made this possible: central air conditioning. Now, the United States uses more energy for air conditioning than 1 billion people in Africa use for everything.
The recent demographic shift to the "Sun Belt" in the U.S. coincides with the mass availability of air conditioning (among other factors). Our homes are less regionally distinct and in terms of the human/environmental interactions, our answer is greater modifications as opposed to regional adaptations...this article is a call for more architectural improvements instead of more energy consumption to beat the heat. In Europe however, they see the United States as "over air-conditioned" in the summer.
This is a great juxtaposition of communal identities. Before becoming a part of Canada, this was the Cathedral of St. James. As a part of the British Empire, places such as Victoria Square became a part of the Montreal landscape. In what appears to me as a symbolic strike back against the British Monarchy's supremacy, this Cathedral is renamed Marie-Reine-du-Monde (Mary, Queen of the World). The fact that the Hotel Queen Elizabeth is looming overhead only heightens the tensions regarding whose queen reigns supreme; this isn't the real issue. The dueling queens served as a proxy for tensions between British political control and French cultural identity in Quebec several generations ago.
I was recently in Montreal; my last few Instagram posts aren't the prettiest pictures of my time in Canada. I tried to select images that represented geographic concepts and would be the things I'd mention if we were on a walking tour of the city.
I understand placeness to mean everything that has to do with place, so this website is intended to be a sort of place encyclopedia. I hope that it will in due course provide an overview of the myriad ideas and experiences of place and places. Places are directly experienced aspects of the world and are full with diverse meanings, objects, and ongoing activities.
"The city of Paris will start removing padlocks from the Pont des Arts on Monday, effectively ending the tourist tradition of attaching 'love locks' to the bridge. For years, visitors have been attaching locks with sentimental messages to the bridge in symbolic acts of affection. Some further seal the deal by throwing keys into the Seine River below. It was considered charming at first, but the thrill wore off as sections of fencing on the Pont des Arts crumbled under the locks' weight. The bridge carries more than 700,000 locks with an estimated combined weight roughly the same as 20 elephants."
Graffiti, tombstones, love locks, monuments...each of these are manifestations of people's desire to have some tangible impact on the landscape. Something that manifests a connection to place in a profoundly personal way.
Questions to Ponder: Why do people want leave a mark on places that are meaningful to them? When do you think that they that these markers are appropriate or inappropriate? Do we have more of a 'right' to mark some places than others? Why do many oppose these personal marks on the landscape?
"Nowhere else in Cincinnati is contrast more evident than this one block of Republic Street. Rich and poor. Black and white. Dark past and vibrant future."
The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood is very close to the APHG reading site, and the urban renewal here is quite controversial. Many point to the economic positives and infusion of investments, while other see social displacement of the poor. No matter your perspective, it is a place where there are very visible social boundaries.
"More than 60 percent of Utah’s residents are Mormons, who typically abstain from alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. With those vices frowned upon, candy is an acceptable treat. Hispanics like Hershey’s Cookies ’n Creme bars in disproportionate numbers, and Minnesotan buy six-packs of Hershey bars at higher rates than any other Americans, particularly in the summer (think s’mores)."
This report brings up three interesting tidbits about candy consumption in the United States, but this is also a good article to discuss how businesses should take geography and demographic statistics seriously when crafting their marketing strategies.
"We have a myth today that the ghettos in metropolitan areas around the country are what the Supreme Court calls 'de-facto' — just the accident of the fact that people have not enough income to move into middle class neighborhoods or because real estate agents steered black and white families to different neighborhoods or because there was white flight. It was not the unintended effect of benign policies, it was an explicit, racially purposeful policy that was pursued at all levels of government, and that's the reason we have these ghettos today and we are reaping the fruits of those policies."
"A decades-old effort found that moving poor families to better neighborhoods did little to help them. A large new study is about to overturn the findings of Moving to Opportunity. Based on the earnings records of millions of families that moved with children, it finds that poor children who grow up in some cities and towns have sharply better odds of escaping poverty than similar poor children elsewhere."
"When a terrible earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, our correspondents quickly began to report from the battered capital, Katmandu. By the beginning of this week, we were still reporting on the quake’s aftermath, but under a slightly different dateline: Kathmandu. Why the switch?
There are many examples of foreign place names with more than one English rendering, especially if the local language uses a different alphabet, requiring the name to be transliterated for English. For Nepal’s capital, the 'Katmandu' spelling has long been widely used in English-language publications, and may still be more familiar to some American readers. But 'Kathmandu,' with an 'h' in the middle, has become more widespread in recent years, reflecting the preferred local usage."
How vacant houses trace the boundaries of Baltimore's black neighborhoods.
The map on the left shows one very tiny dot for each person living in Baltimore. White people are blue dots, blacks are green, Asians are red and Hispanics yellow.The map on the right shows the locations of Baltimore City's 15,928 vacant buildings. Slide between the two maps and you'll immediately notice that the wedge of white Baltimore, jutting down from the Northwest to the city center, is largely free of vacant buildings. But in the black neighborhoods on either side, empty buildings are endemic.
A Bangkok bike tour of Bang Krachao (บางกระเจ้า) in Phra Pradaeng (พระประแดง) makes an excellent day trip. Read more of my Bangkok travel tips here: http://m...
Earlier I shared a fantastic satellite image of Bang Krachao, called the green lung of Bangkok. This lush oasis of green on a bend in the river is a vivid contrast to the surrounding, sprawling metropolitan area. For an "on the ground" perspective, the video above is a good visual introduction to Bang Karchao and the Phra Pradaeng neighborhood of Bangkok from a nice travelers guide to the city. These two different vantage points on an urban park are both very helpful in understanding place.
Untrammeled oases beckon, once-avoided destinations become must-sees, and familiar cities offer new reasons to visit.
Most geographers have more than a little bit of wanderlust. Maybe we don't all have the pocketbook for it, but so many people have the desire to explore, travel and see parts of the world that feel as if they are mythical. For students that have the curiosity, it our mission as educators to cultivate that and help them frame the world into a geographic perspective. I've always felt that window-seat flyers are have the seed of a geographer embedded within them...let's make sure those seeds can grow.
"The state transportation authority relies on federal guidelines that outline what it can put on signs, and these rules say signs must use only 'standard English characters, so when we replaced the sign, we didn’t put the umlaut in.' On Wednesday, the state’s governor put his foot down: The dots were coming back."
The cultural landscape isn't just passively 'there.' It is purposefully created, defended, protected and resisted by national, regional and local actors. This example might seem laughable to the national media, but this was a serious matter to those locally that pride themselves on the town's Swedish heritage. Many want to preserve it's distinctively Swedish characteristics as a part of it's sense of place, but also it's economic strategy to appeal to tourists.
"OTR A.D.O.P.T. transfers abandoned buildings to qualified new owners at reduced cost. The catch? You must commit to rehabilitating the property and returning it to productive use. You must also demonstrate an ability to successfully complete such a project. A.D.O.P.T.-Advancing Derelict and Obsolete Properties Through Transfer."
This banner was spotted by Laura Spess, an urban geographer in Cincinnati in during the 2014 APHG reading. The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood is very close to the reading, and the urban renewal here is quite controversial. Many point to the economic positives and infusion of investments, while other see social displacement of the poor. After the reading we were discussing the messages embedded the sign (and the urban landscape). The OTR ADOPT organization conceptually thought of poorer neighborhoods as orphans and that the gentrification process should be likened to adoption. While the merits and problems of gentrification can be debated, I find that particular analogy painfully tone deaf and wasn't surprised to find the organizations website, well, derelict and obsolete.
Questions to Ponder: Why might this analogy be problematic? How might current residents of the community feel about the message?
We asked a range of people, from writers and chefs to musicians and photographers, to share one experience from the last year that truly inspired them – something that, in no uncertain terms, reminded them why they love the world. Madly. Here's what they told us.
Most geographers have more than a little bit of wanderlust. This BBC article is filled with images, quotes and insights into places all around the globe that fill me will a sense of awe and wonder. For students that have the curiosity, it our mission as educators to cultivate that and help them frame information about the world into a geographic perspective. I've always felt that window-seat flyers are have the seed of a geographer embedded within them...let's make sure those seeds can grow.
In the small town of Nagoro, population 35, one woman is trying to save her village from extinction by creating life-sized dolls for every inhabitant who either dies or moves away.
Japan has experienced rural to urban migration for decades now; simultaneously, Japan's fertility rates have dropped far below replacement level. While Tokyo is still bustling, small villages are shrinking to the point of disappearing. This is a haunting and yet touching tribute to these emerging ghost towns. It seems like a memorial to enshrine a sense of place before the memory of this place is forever eradicated--like a an earthen dam .
"Defensive architecture is revealing on a number of levels, because it is not the product of accident or thoughtlessness, but a thought process. It is a sort of unkindness that is considered, designed, approved, funded and made real with the explicit motive to exclude and harass. It reveals how corporate hygiene has overridden human considerations…"
Geography explores more than just what countries control a certain territory and what landforms are there. Geography explores the spatial manifestations of power and how place is crafted to fit a particular vision. Homeless people are essentially always 'out of place.' These articles from the Society Pages, the Atlantic and this one from the Guardian share similar things: that urban planners actively design places that will discourage loitering which is undesirable to local businesses. This gallery shows various defensive architectural tactics to make certain people feel 'out of place.' Just to show that not all urban designs are anti-homeless, this bench is one that is designed to help the homeless (and here is an ingenious plan to curb public urination).
"In Highland Park, as in other Latino barrios of Los Angeles, gentrification has produced an undeniable but little appreciated side effect: the end of decades of de facto racial segregation. It's possible to imagine a future in which 'the hood' passes into memory. Racial integration is on the upswing. For all the fortitude and pride you'll find in Latino barrios, no one wants to live in a racially segregated community or attend a racially segregated school."
"Nicknames are important branding strategies used by civic boosters, and Chicago’s namesakes are frequently employed to market the city and its surrounding region as 'The Jewel of the Midwest' and 'Heart of America.' At the same time, urban monikers can arise from the wider public and they have sometimes been used to draw attention to negative qualities of Chicago life."
Is it Londonderry or just Derry? Xinjiang or Eastern Turkestan? The Sea of Japan or the East Sea? Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf? Names and nicknames have political and cultural overtones that can be very important. As the author of this AAG article on the Chicago's nickname, Chiraq says, "city nicknames are more than a gimmick; they can define geographies of violence, marginalization, and resistance."
"The research shows that kids who have tough childhoods — because of poverty, abuse, neglect, or witnessing domestic violence, for instance — are actually more likely to be sick when they grow up. They're more likely to get diseases like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. And they tend to have shorter lives than people who haven't experienced those difficult events as kids."
The hotspot maps of crime and poverty are correlated (not a big surprise), but this is another example of using spatial data to drive public policy. After making these initially correlations, they noticed a total lack of services, including medical care in the area that needed it most. This podcast is the story on how geographic analysis gave birth to a "clinic on wheels."
One urban planning professor has defined this as a process that occurs in discrete stages.
Much has been made of the wave of millennials moving to cities. In intriguing new work, geographer and urban planner Markus Moos of the University of Waterloo gives the phenomenon a name: “youthification.” Moos defines youthfication as the “influx of young adults into higher density” cities and neighborhoods. And in some ways these neighborhoods are “forever young,” where new cohorts of young people continue to move in as families and children cycle out in search of more space.
"The battle between the Alamo garrison and Mexican President Santa Anna’s forces reads like a Shakespearian tragedy: greatly outnumbered, all the Texan defenders died. Even the men who surrendered were killed, fueling the outrage and critical mass required to swell the Texan army, become an independent republic, and in time choose to be annexed by the United States."
When we talk about sacred space we often think about religious sites first. Places like the Alamo or Ground Zero can be seen as critical parts of a national identity and as secular sacred spaces. Powerful social groups carefully construct memorials at places to strengthen a communal identity. What makes them tricky is they don’t mean the same thing to everyone—even within a cultural group.