The Geography Classroom
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The Geography Classroom
Linking geographic concepts to human and environmental issues
Curated by Elisha Upton
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The Italians who want to be Austrian

The Italians who want to be Austrian | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.

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Scarpaci Human Geography's curator insight, December 14, 2012 11:13 AM

Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line?  What elements are a part of a regions heritage?  Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages?  How does devolution impact the whole country?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, December 14, 2012 1:46 PM

Take note Kate and Johnny!!

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 30, 2014 8:14 PM

Being an eighth Tyrolean, I remember my great uncles and other family members complaining about this at every family reunion. Newer generations in my family would refer to themselves as Italian, and the arguments would ensue. That being said, it is no surprise that those living in what was once Tyrol have faced conflict. Historically, peoples with languages, cultural heritages, or religions that differ from the rest of a country usually hold grievances. During the time of Mussolini, Italians were encouraged to move to the northern reaches and Italian was forcibly taught in the school systems. Italy's past of forcing the Austrian speaking Tyroleans to assimilate into a more Italian culture may remain, but fortunately, they have worked to preserve their culture. The bilingual nature of this region allows for the people to thrive in business and tourism. Unfortunately, this autonomous state is facing dark times as Italy's financial crisis puts pressure on South Tyrol by increasing taxes. Many see this as a continuation of Italian oppression on a not so Italian demographic. 

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Younger Africa

Younger Africa | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Across Africa, a continent where the average age is about 19, protests have flared against leaders who may have outstayed their welcome.

 

This interactive mapping feature compares two distinct data sets in an attempt to show that the two are correlated on the continent of Africa.  The base layer of this thematic map is demographic, noting how much of the overall population in a given country is under the age of 16.  The interactive feature with point data describes the political unrest or instability in that particular country. 

 

Questions to ponder: Does the cartographer 'convince' you that Africa's having a very young (globally speaking) demographic cohort led towards greater political instability?  Are there other factors worth considering?  What does this map and it's embedded data tell us?    

 

Tags: Africa, political, conflict, unit 4 political, states, governance, population, demographics, unit 2 population. 


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The United Nations at a Glance

The United Nations at a Glance | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
This is the site for the United Nations at a Glance. Here you will find information and links on history, members, visitis, employement and other details.

 

While some critize the ineffectiveness of the organization, the United Nations remains a key organization to get understanding modern geopolitics.  Through their UN voting patterns, we can assess the geopolitical motivations, interests and alliances of member states.  Also, initiatives (whether successful or not) and highlight the important issues of the day that globally aware students should understand.  


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The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 7, 2013 12:10 AM

A great and entertaining way to explain this part of Europe.  I know I have in the past used the terms England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom to all refer to the same thing. It was also amazing to see that people are the same everywhere in that the people in Wales do not consider themselves British, much the same way the people in Sicily consider themselves Sicilain and not Italian. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 12:09 PM

As an outsider looking in the concept of the United Kingdom is a little confusing. We are taught to view Scotland as its own country, but they are countries within a larger structure. This video makes what would confuse many Americans and condenses it into a clear video that is just about 5 mins.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:38 PM

Many people often interchange the UK, Great Britain, and England, but in reality, they all describe different different things. The UK is a country of four countries, each with equal power, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, and Wales but they are all considered British citizens.UK is a political term, describing a country. Great Britain is a physical geographical term describing the land mass containing Scotland, Wales, and England.  The British Isles refers to both Great Britain and the Island of Ireland. All of these terms describe different things, being characterized by either political affiliation or geographic characteristics. 

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Exclusive Economic Zones

Exclusive Economic Zones | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

Today, a country’s marine economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line (hi-res image). This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example).

 

Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth's land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies?  Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions? 

 

Tags:  economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, states, conflict, unit 4 political.  


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Mapping Population Density

Mapping Population Density | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
I found these cartograms from an article in the Telegraph and was immediately impressed. The cartograms originated here and use data from the Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project as to create the int...

 

This series of cartograms shows some imbalanced populations (such as the pictured Australia) by highlighting countries that have established forward capitals.  Question to ponder: Do forward capitals change the demographic regions of a country significantly enough to justify moving the capital? 


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Joe Andrade's curator insight, August 5, 2013 10:21 PM

Interseting way to visualy map population density.

Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 28, 2014 7:28 PM

It's a creative and vial way to map population density. 

MissPatel's curator insight, December 16, 2014 3:24 AM

This is from 'worldmapper' - it is a great sight to help you understand using technology the most densely populated areas of various countries. What do you think they are? 

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The 2011 Failed States Index

The 2011 Failed States Index | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions.  For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:

•Demographic Pressures 

•Refugees/IDPs

•Illegitimate Govts.

•Brain Drain

•Public Services

•Inequality

•Group Grievances

•Human Rights

•Economic Decline

•Security Forces

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention


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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 16, 2012 9:57 PM
The global fallout of the Arab revolutions may be largely determined by demographics and political stability. Unlike Somalia for example which is in total anarchy, the Arab Spring uprisings occurred in more stable but oppressive governments. So this brings up the question, can a failed state rescue itself?
Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
Althought sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the 10 most quickly developing countries, they still lag very far behind the rest of the world in quality of living. Somalia, Chad and Suda are the most failed states on Earth, in order. The governments are unable to protect/provide for their people, brain drains suck the great minds to more developed countries, income inequalities ravage the nations, basic human rights are denied and the economies are pathetic. Overall, it is a sad story as many of these African nations also suffer from drought, famine and massive food shortages.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:11 PM

 I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.

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Defining an Independent Nation

Defining an Independent Nation | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
While the terms country, state, and nation are often used interchangeably, there is a difference.

 

A straightforward explanation of important vocabulary terms for a political geography unit. 

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James Hobson's curator insight, October 9, 2014 10:54 PM

(Europe topic 6)

The contrast between these 3 terms (and combinations of them) has always been confusing to me, and I'd assume many others as well. Though this video explains fairly well the differences in definitions, I don't think that they have been consistently used as accurately as possible. Though terms like United Nations and the Navajo Nation seem to make sense to me, "one nation under God," as taken from the  Allegiance, might arguably be a technicality. Though the American spirit can be considered to have formed its own nation, there is undoubtedly a multitude of nations within (or at least partially in) the United States. (I'm not disagreeing with the phrase, but just thought it was worth mentioning during this time when the world has changed so much since its inception) Also, what is considered a nation by one group is not necessarily acknowledged by another, and this is what can lead to miscommunications, loss in translation, and arguably tensions, with the Middle East serving as a good example.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 8:04 PM

This short video does a great job of explaining the differences between these terms. Often they are wrongly used interchangeably while in reality they have distinct meanings and cannot simply be swapped out for another.