Take a look at the first day of school celebrations around the world!
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
Take a look at the first day of school celebrations around the world!
Access to education is one of the great indicators of development and political stability--educators wish nothing but the best education possible for the next generation, but the experience is quite variable across the globe. As many places have recently started school again, this article is a reminder that this practice is experienced differently around the world.
"Weak and failing states pose a challenge to the international community. In today’s world, with its highly globalized economy, information systems and interlaced security, pressures on one fragile state can have serious repercussions not only for that state and its people, but also for its neighbors and other states halfway across the globe. The Fragile States Index (FSI), produced by The Fund for Peace, is a critical tool in highlighting not only the normal pressures that all states experience, but also in identifying when those pressures are pushing a state towards the brink of failure."
How can political stability and security be measured? What constitutes effective governance? The Fragile States Index (formerly known as the Failed States Index) is a statistical ranking designed to measure the effective political institutions across the globe. There are 12 social, economic, and political/military categories that are a part of the overall rankings and various indicators are parts of the metrics that are a part of this index are:
•Human Flight and Brain Drain
•Uneven Economic Development
•Poverty and Economic Decline
•Human Rights and Rule of Law
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
"Amsterdam City Dashboard presents the city of Amsterdam through the lens of data, including demographic statistics, traffic reports, noise readings or political messages.
The small collection of information graphics are divided in distinct domains, such as transport, environment, statistics, economy, social, cultural and security. All data is shown in near real-time, based on blocks of 24 hours. Larger dots and darker colors symbolize higher values, whereas an interactive map provides a geographic reference."
"The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the severe deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards."
The MPI was developed out of a desire to fill some of the gaps in the HDI's applicability and utility. Allow me to quote the editor of one the NCGE's journals, the Geography Teacher, on the usefulness of the MPI website for classroom use: "With the infographics, maps, graphs, country briefings, and case studies, you have a ready-made lesson activities to demonstrate patterns of fertility, mortality, and health for a population unit, and access to health care, education, utilities, and sanitation for an Industrialization and Economic Development Unit. Connections can also be made to malnutrition and water, as well as to key concepts such as pattern and scale, to key geographical skills such as how to use and think about maps and geospatial data, and to the use of online maps and online data." Also, this article from the World Bank also give a run-down on the key findings of the MPI in 2014.
|Suggested by Top 10 Lists|
"Fans may not list which team they favor on the census, but millions of them do make their preferences public on Facebook. Using aggregated data provided by the company, we were able to create an unprecedented look at the geography of baseball fandom, going down not only to the county level, as Facebook did in a nationwide map it released a few weeks ago, but also to ZIP codes."
This isn't just a fun sports map--there are some good geographic concepts that can be used here. When discussing cultural regions, many use the core-domain-sphere model. This map uses the brightest color intensities to represent the core regions and the lightest hues to show waning strength, but to still signify that the area is a part of a team's sphere of influence. Essentially, this map is begging you to explore the borderlands, the liminal "in-between" spaces that aren't as easy to explain. What other phenomena can be used to demonstrate the core-domain-sphere model of cultural regions? What other geographic concepts can you teach using this map?
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.
"Infographics to explain global statistics."
Understanding global statistics is nearly impossible if you can't grasp just how large of a quantity 7 billion is. This set of infographics are a great resource for teaching some of basic global demographics.
Apparently the latest internet craze is a 40 maps mix-tape. See the Washington Post's 40 Maps that explain the World for an interesting, eclectic compilation of maps as well as 40 maps they didn't teach you in school from Bored Panda and 40 maps that help you make sense of the world from Twisted Sifter.
"David Greene talks to writer Jeremy Miller about the American Centroid. That's the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if all 300 million of us weighed the exact same."
Every 10 years the centroid (the center of U.S. population) is calculated using the latest census data. As the map above shows, the centroid has continued moved west throughout history, but in the last 60 years has moved to the south and west. The recent shift to the south coincides with the mass availability of air conditioning (among other factors) which opened up the Sun Belt. In this article in Orion Magazine, Jeremy Miller discusses the historical shifts in the spatial patterns of the U.S. population and the history of the centroid. you can listen to podcast versions of this article as well, one by NPR and a much more detailed one by Orion Magazine.
Questions to Ponder: Would the centroids of other countries be as mobile or predictable? Why or why not? What does the centroid tell us?
"By using Facebook data from the 2.5 million people in New York or New England that ‘like’ either the Red Sox or Yankees I was able to create a more accurate rivalry map than ever before."
Sports maps with team logos on them are often hand-drawn works of art without much data to back them up--not so with this map. Read the article to find the actual data which is much messier than these bold color proclaim. These regions aren't homogenous (are they ever?) but this is the best fit line between the major groups of fans, showing that Connecticut is the true 'battle ground' for this regional rivalry.
WeatherSpark: beautiful weather graphs and maps making in-depth weather information easily accessible.
Weather Spark is a platform with interactive maps, weather forecasting and climatological history for the last five years for many different weather stations. This is the data for the TF Green airport, and is an incredible set of information to teach physical geography.
|Suggested by Kristen McDaniel|
" Unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view."
The World Policy Analysis Center aims to improve the quantity and quality of comparative data available to policymakers, citizens, civil society, and researchers around the world on policies affecting human health, development, well-being, and equity.
Following seven years of data collection, the World Policy Analysis Center recently launched a series of over 100 easy-to-understand maps of current laws, policies, and constitutional rights in 193 countries. They are eager to share this information and the maps that we have created and believe it will help engage geography students. The maps address questions such as:
This data could provide exciting teaching tools to help students think about the implications of laws and policies around the world, particularly as they affect teenagers.
Transportation planner plots pattern of airline travel across the globe.
|Suggested by Thomas Schmeling|
"This week's Boston Marathon bombing fit with the norm of U.S. terrorist events and threats in one important way: it occurred in a major city. American concerns about terrorism, however, seem to ignore that pattern...There’s a divide on people’s thoughts about terrorism. People that live in places most likely to be hit by terrorism seem the most sunny about the country’s anti-terror prospects and efforts. And those in rural places, are more concerned and pessimistic."
This article cites data from the PEW Reseach Center that implies that city dwellers seem to feel less dread about terror threats than their suburban and rural counterparts, despite the fact they live in the primary target zone (see full size infographic here--note that the data was assembled before the Boston Marathon attack).
Question to Ponder: Why are the Americans most vulnerable to terrorist attacks the least concerned with terrorism?
|Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Textbooks|
Terror in the United States have evolved since 1970: once the tool of left-wing radicals, then right-wing radicals, terrorist attacks are now uncommon, often unsuccessful, and not nearly as deadly.
While terrorism is being discussed in the media as a rising trend in the United States after the Boston Marathon, the statistics don't show that analysis to be true. This resources compiles maps, charts and graphs so you can evaluate the historical terrorist patterns for yourself.
Climographs chart the monthly temperature and rainfall data and are a useful tool is studying climatology. Here are links to dozens of selected United States and International cities that come from the National Drought Mitigation Center. The image above is a climograph of Providence, RI.
"The WomanStats Project is the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world. The Project facilitates understanding the linkage between the situation of women and the security of nation-states. We comb the extant literature and conduct expert interviews to find qualitative and quantitative information on over 310 indicators of women's status in 174 countries. Our Database expands daily, and access to it is free of charge. Click here if you are a new to the project."
"Every year, as a result of prenatal sex selection, 1.5 million girls around the world are missing at birth. How do we know these girls are missing if they were never born? Under normal circumstances, about 102 to 107 male babies are born for every 100 female babies born. This is called the sex ratio at birth, or SRB."
Blue countries are more welcoming, red countries less. Where does yours rank?
The World Economic Forum compiled a report on global tourism and part of that was an estimation of the attitude of each countries' population toward foreign visitors--this map is a visualization of that data. Why would some particular countries be more or less welcoming? What surprises you about this map?
Disclaimer: according to this article, there is much that is methodologically wrong with this map.
|Suggested by Giovanni Della Peruta|
International Women's Day: political rights around the world mapped
This is late for International Women's Day, but it is never a wrong time to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of the expansion of women's political rights. This interactive map is excellent for seeing these few metrics, but a more expanded dataset with maps concerning gender (in)equality in the world and the status of women is WomanStats.
"This video shows the basic concept of HDI (Human Development Index), by using four different examples (Japan, Mexico, India and Angola)."