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The Geography Classroom
Linking geographic concepts to human and environmental issues
Curated by Elisha Upton
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Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.

 

This article from the Atlantic is a great introduction to a mapping tool that puts the user at the virtual negotiation table.  Peace talk proposals often center around the amount of land that Palestinians want and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that the Israelis want as a part of the state of Israel.  This interactive, titled Is Peace Possible?, allows the user to propose potential land swaps, see the demographic breakdown of West Bank settlements and videos to introduce users to on 4 major issues: borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem. 

 

Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, mapping. 


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NYTimes Video: Linking Gaza to the Outside World

NYTimes Video: Linking Gaza to the Outside World | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
A look inside the controversial underground tunnels that link Egypt and the Gaza Strip, where smugglers funnel fuel, food, and potentially weapons into the isolated territory.

 

This video is a look inside the some of the hundreds of tunnels that are used to smuggle goods into Gaza that have become more intensely used since the blockade on goods that went into effect in 2007 when Hamas came to power.  Also, members of the Israeli military demonstrate the evidence they have that these tunnels are being used to bring weapons. 


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Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, December 7, 2014 9:21 PM

This is a powerful look at the existence and creation of underground tunnels connecting Egypt to Gaza.People that are employed to dig these holes face certain danger.During 2009 ,20 Palestinians died during air raids intended to eliminate the tunnels. For only $12.00 a day during a harsh economy,many people still seek this as an option for income. With unemployment in Gaza is at 50% many people are willing to face this danger. As a result of these tunneling systems much of the economy in Gaza has come to depend heavily on the act of smuggling.

 

Another reason these tunnels are under major scrutiny can be seen in their potential. Not only can food,animals and consumer goods be brought through this passage weapons could be as well. According to many people this is the governments way of justifying air raids. Smugglers state that they are not moving weapons or anything else of ill intent.The government is just upset that they were able to connect Gaza and Egypt right under their noses.

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5 Stupidest Things Ever Done With Borders

5 Stupidest Things Ever Done With Borders | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Where you find a border, you usually find somebody pissed off about it.

 

Disclaimer: This article is more glib and crude in its language than I typically post.  However there is some great insight in this article about the curiosities that can occur on the borders that merits inclusion here.  Enclaves, walls, roads, glaciers, and tables all play prominent roles in these 5 quirky borders. 


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Ms. Harrington's comment, July 24, 2012 6:48 PM
Wow, I never knew border issues like this existed! Some are strange, but they live with the issue, like Canusa and the Netherlands/Belgium. Some are high tension, like Pakistan and India. I guess some of these issues are inevitable, the border has to go somewhere, and people over hundreds of years have moved outward.
Don Brown Jr's comment, July 25, 2012 7:09 PM
Although some of these boarders were established for security reasons, many more like the one along the American boarder seem to be constructed for more symbolic purposes as a physiological rather than a physical barrier.
Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, December 4, 2013 3:24 PM

Within this article the author said it well, referencing that although these borders just seem silly and "stupid" to us, those who live within these boundaries must have an incredibly frustrating life. Having to hop three-four borders to get to the mainland of your country sounds completely crazy. I'm glad I live in Rhode Island.

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Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border

Crowdsourcing an Israeli-Palestinian Border | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

A new interactive tool allows you to decide how many Israeli settlers to annex and what constitutes a viable Palestinian state.

 

This article from the Atlantic is a great introduction to a mapping tool that puts the user at the virtual negotiation table.  Peace talk proposals often center around the amount of land that Palestinians want and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank that the Israelis want as a part of the state of Israel.  This interactive, titled Is Peace Possible?, allows the user to propose potential land swaps, see the demographic breakdown of West Bank settlements and videos to introduce users to on 4 major issues: borders, security, refugees and Jerusalem. 

 

Tags: Israel, borders, Palestine, territoriality, political, mapping. 


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Could Asia really go to war over these?

Could Asia really go to war over these? | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
THE countries of Asia do not exactly see the world in a grain of sand, but they have identified grave threats to the national interest in the tiny outcrops and...

 

BD: One Chinese newspaper has helpfully suggested skipping the pointless diplomacy and moving straight to the main course by serving up Japan with an atom bomb.  At first I was drawn to this article because the correlation made to the British Isles discussion we had in class. As in Europe, parties on both sides are seemingly prepared for militaristic interaction in the coming years. However both Japanese and Chinese governments have downplayed theses extreme positions at this time. Of course both Japan and China have historical claims to the uninhabited islands. More important than the territory, it is the climate of international relations between the two major powers that is the cause of concern. Both sides are refusing to back down for fear of “setting a precedent” meaning if a concession is made on either side, the other would take advantage of the rivals weakness and “scheme against it.


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Benjamin DeRita's comment, October 5, 2012 3:24 PM
At first I was drawn to this article because the correlation made to the British Isles discussion we had in class. As in Europe, parties on both sides are seemingly prepared for militaristic interaction in the coming years. However both Japanese and Chinese governments have downplayed theses extreme positions at this time. Of course both Japan and China have historical claims to the uninhabited islands. More important than the territory, it is the climate of international relations between the two major powers that is the cause of concern. Both sides are refusing to back down for fear of “setting a precedent” meaning if a concession is made on either side, the other would take advantage of the rivals weakness and “scheme against it.”
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A tortuous triangle

A tortuous triangle | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
SNAKING their way from Kirkuk, a city 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Baghdad, through Kurdistan and across Turkey’s eastern region of Anatolia to the...

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 20, 2012 1:01 PM

Why does the Kurdish population, despite being a territorially contiguous population, unable to control their own destiny?  They are often caught in other geopolitical struggles of the Middle East because:

  1. they are divided between 4 countries (Syria, Iraq Iran and Turkey).  
  2. The mountanous terrain also divides the Kurds
  3. Oil resources ensure that outside forces will fight to control this area 


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The No Good, Very Bad Outlook for the Working-Class American Man

The No Good, Very Bad Outlook for the Working-Class American Man | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

The U.S. economy once worked like a finely meshed machine. That is not true anymore. The U.S. economy is still a powerful engine, but workers aren’t seeing the benefits, less-educated men are struggling, and the rich have disconnected from everyone else.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 16, 2012 3:39 PM

The problems with the economy are not universally spread throughout society.  Certain segments are impacted more than others by the current struggles, especially when with look at axes of identity, such as class, gender and ethnicity.  While planning on a blue-collar job in the 1950s could have been a solid career plan for a young man in the United States, not so in the 21st century.     


Tags: labor, gender, class, industry, education.

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On Xi's to-do list: Fix China's drinking problem

On Xi's to-do list: Fix China's drinking problem | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

DE: While China's economy and standards of living are growing at unprecedented rates, a large problem looms in the country's future. Though the nation holds 20% of the world population, it has only 6% of the world's drinking water. This is largely due to lack of environmental restrictions where many companies and factories dump toxic waste directly into rivers. In fact, the Yangtze River, the nation's most important water source, now flows blood red as a result of industrial pollution. Coupled with drought in the agricultural sector, lack of food and water can prove to be disastrous in the future. China must begin implementing environmental laws to protect their nation, even if it is at the expense of economic growth.


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On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories

On Israel's system of segregated roads in the occupied Palestinian territories | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it

Tags: MiddleEast, territoriality, transportation, borders, conflict, governance, political, unit 4 political. 


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Cam E's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:32 AM

A relatively grim reminder that even things as clear-cut as road systems can be inherently political. This system forces segregation by the law of which roads can be driven on, but it's a good jumping point to remember that even the placement of roads can exclude or include communities. I'm reminded of the proposed idea for a NAFTA superhighway running through Mexico, Canada, and the US. One of the criticisms was that the highway would not provide exits for anywhere but major economics centers, effectively cutting off small towns from the rest of the area.

Zach & Wafeeq's curator insight, November 4, 2014 5:04 PM

Area/Geography: This is a diagram of what Israel is like for Palestinians and Israelis. It shows extremely restricted access for Palestinians. Whereas Israelis have all of the roads. This diagram fairly falls under the Area/Geography category because of the fact of how the Israeli government is manipulating the area/geography of the land of Israel to suit their best interest. 

Shanelle Zaino's curator insight, December 7, 2014 9:03 PM

What a powerful image and message that is being represented.As a geography student and someone who is newly learning of this area this segregation was a surprise to me.

 

Israelis are able to access all roads while Palestinians are forbade from doing the same. Palestinians are restricted to only roadways and passages that are outlined in white.I was also interested to know that the officials that enforce these rules are able to tell if someone is of Palestinian decent by the color of a your license plate. This seems to be such an unfair practice. It does not seem that Palestinians are treated as equals in this area.

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Climate Change + Oil, Fracking, Earthquakes, Tsunami's, & Alternative Energy Solutions. | explorer9360 on Xanga

Climate Change + Oil, Fracking, Earthquakes, Tsunami's, & Alternative Energy Solutions. | explorer9360 on Xanga | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
@PaulaAbdul Explained:"ClimateChange+ Oil, Fracking, Earthquakes, Tsunami's, & Alternative Energy" http://t.co/6PsnX68x @PearlJam @keshasuxx...
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Climate change & coffee productivity

Probably due to my frequent visits to coffee producing communities, many people ask me about climate change and its effect on the production of coffee. So I ...
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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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History of the India-Pakistan Border

History of the India-Pakistan Border | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.

 

Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history.  This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region.  This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity.  As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.     


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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 15, 2013 9:07 PM

This article chonicles the history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, focusing on the disputed Kashmir region. The violence over the border is spurred by religion and political issues. But with India increasingly becoming bigger in a global scale what does that mean for this conflict with Pakistani? 

Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 12, 2013 7:41 PM

Colonialism rears its ugly head again, this time not in Africa but in India/Pakistan..but with the same result.  Borders drawn arbitrarily did not work in Africa, nor did it work in India.  It just casues the people there to try and work out and fix problems that the former colonial rulers casued.  They tried here to do it so that there was a land for the Muslim population to have a nation on the subcontinent and not subject to Hindu majority rule.  However Britain never looked at what would happen with a area that had a Hindu leader with a Muslim population.  He wanted to be independant, but the Muslim population wanted to go to Pakistan, so he went to India for help...sound confusing..it is..much like the Northern Ireland/UK/Republic of Ireland debate..there is no easy answer and it looks like we have to try to fix colonialism's problems again.

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The Disputed Spratly Islands

link to part 2 http://youtu.be/I5t9wpEzKRc or http://youtu.be/myNxTaW5z3w link to part 3 http://youtu.be/7mJK4Sgxrbw...

 

This video clip shows the historical background of the political and economic factors that have lead to competing claims in the South China Sea.  The Exclusive conomic Zone (EEZ) with projected oil fields is the main prize and China has been flexing it's regional muscles. 

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Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided

Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

 

Ethnic and political conflict led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  This NPR podcast is a good recap that shows the devolutionary forces of ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences that led to tragic violence and ethnic cleansing. 


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Derek Ethier's comment, October 11, 2012 1:59 AM
It's unbelievable that ethnic crimes continue to be committed in the world today, even after the atrocities performed by Hitler. When Yugoslavia collapsed, the power vacuum left behind caused hundreds of thousands to lose their lives. In Africa even in the present day, these kinds of things continue. It makes you wonder what kind of a world we are really living in.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:54 PM

These stories are never pleasant.  It seems Europe after World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union were left in a strange middle ground.  With so many cultures, religions, languages all on one continent, its not hard to believe that Europe has been the stage of so much conflict all throughout history.  People are and always have been intermingling between countries.  Many of the countries in Europe are easy to travel throughout, such as a car or bus ride which may only take a few hours in some cases.  This gives easy access for immigration in which history shows that people try to flock to opportunity or to where there are people similar to them.  These patterns can sometimes be unwelcoming to current citizens and lead to violence and cleansing in extreme cases, all because of disagreements based on beliefs and traditions.

After all the wars fought, looking at Europe as a whole is tricky.  Though the countries all have political boundaries and jurisdictions, the lifestyle and what goes on within the borders can be very segregated.  Even in the 21st century, the divisions of people in the same country, holding the same citizenship, shows that things aren't always as good as they seem.

Devon marzo's curator insight, February 6, 2014 12:37 PM

This article show political because the population is protesting against the government 

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The corruption map of the world

The corruption map of the world | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Transparency International's transparency index measures each country in the world on corruption.

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The Middle East’s Surprising Appetite for Oil

The Middle East’s Surprising Appetite for Oil | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
CFR experts examine the science and foreign policy surrounding climate change, energy, and nuclear security.

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Seth Dixon's comment, December 12, 2012 3:07 PM
In essence, this is measuring "how many miles per gallon" your economy is getting.
geofoodgraz's curator insight, December 15, 2012 4:37 AM
Seth Dixon, Ph.D.'s insight:

"Most everyone knows about the importance of Middle Eastern oil to the global economy and how that impacts geopolitics.  What isn't well-known is that the Middle East's own demand for oil has been increasing as their wealth and standard of living has been rising.  This chart does not show the amount of oil consumption, but the "energy intensity."  This is the amount of energy (often oil) used to produce a unit of GDP for a country's economy.  

 

Questions to Ponder: How will this change oil-producing countries economic development in the future?  How does this make us re-assess these economies?  Does this impact how we think about climate change issues?"

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 14, 2014 1:49 PM

Many people are well-aware of the Middle East's important part in the world oil market, but many fail to realize that this region consumes more oil than any other. Government subsidized oil prices combined with a rising economy spurring increased population growth and development makes parts of this region thirsty for petroleum. Cars are becoming more popular and as areas develop, electricity is being produced by the direct burning of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, countries like Saudi Arabia continue producing massive amounts of oil. This natural resource is what is going to shape this region in the upcoming years, providing major economic development that may trickle down to the people. 

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Geography game: how well do you know the world?

Geography game: how well do you know the world? | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Play the Global development game: identify the world's countries and territories, rank them according to GDP then fingers at the ready for the picture round

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Matt Evan Dobbie's curator insight, December 22, 2012 3:42 AM

Geography game

Eliana Oliveira Burian's curator insight, December 26, 2012 6:46 AM

Are you ready?

 

Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, March 12, 2013 12:07 AM

Ughhhhhh, this is addicting. Must stop playing. Must keep playing so I can beat JC.

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A tortuous triangle

A tortuous triangle | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
SNAKING their way from Kirkuk, a city 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Baghdad, through Kurdistan and across Turkey’s eastern region of Anatolia to the...

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 20, 2012 1:01 PM

Why does the Kurdish population, despite being a territorially contiguous population, unable to control their own destiny?  They are often caught in other geopolitical struggles of the Middle East because:

  1. they are divided between 4 countries (Syria, Iraq Iran and Turkey).  
  2. The mountanous terrain also divides the Kurds
  3. Oil resources ensure that outside forces will fight to control this area 


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Countries with the Most Migrants

ption>List of the countries with the most migrants in the world as measured by net migration rate.
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The Authoritative Map

In the Winnie the Pooh Movie "Pooh's Grand Adventure," the character Rabbit has absolute confidence in the printed word and especially the map. 

Questions to ponder:  How much do we trust any given map?  How much should we trust a map (or the printed word)?  What makes a document reliable or unreliable?  

 

Tags: mapping, perspective, K12, video. 

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Understanding what noctilucent clouds are - by Jose Juan Gutierrez - Helium

Understanding what noctilucent clouds are - by Jose Juan Gutierrez - Helium | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Noctilucent clouds (NLCs), also known as night shining clouds, are tenuous high altitude clouds.  NLCs are the highest clouds in the Earth&ac..., Jose Juan Gutierrez (What are #Noctilucent #Clouds?
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Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded

Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded | The Geography Classroom | Scoop.it
Rate of summer ice melt smashes two previous record lows and prompts warnings of accelerated climate change (RT @guardian: Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded http://t.co/rJwzD49e...
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