"Every so often, if you ride Moscow's crowded subways, you may notice that the commuters around you include a dog - a stray dog, on its own, just using the handy underground Metro to beat the traffic and get from A to B. Yes, some of Moscow's stray dogs have figured out how to use the city's immense and complex subway system, getting on and off at their regular stops."
The Kauffman Foundation's Samuel Arbesman on his new book, The Half-Life of Facts.
This is an interview, Samuel Arbesman,the author of The Half-Life of Facts explains how population density and place matter in forming a creative economic workforce. Urban centers act as drivers of innovation and advancements and attract the more ambitious and daring workers. Additionally, this map on the expansion of the printing press (discussed in the interview) is also a great map to show how technological innovations can spur cultural diffusion.
Tags: technology, diffusion, urban, labor, migration, book review.
A refugee is a person who has been pushed away from their homeland and seeks refuge in another place. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) provides a more narrow definition of a refugee as someone who flees their home country due to a “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”
As Neal Lineback notes in this Geography in the News post, not all refugees are covered by this definition. Environmental refugees have been forced to leave their homes beause of soil degradation, deserticfication, flooding, drought, climate change and other environmental factors.
Tags: environment, environment depend, migration, unit 2 population.
Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School, warns that a backlash against immigration would wreak havoc on everything from hospitals to the high-tech industry. The interview is part of the Risk Response Network’s “What if?
This is article can be an intriguing introduction to a thought exercise geared towards understanding the economic impact of migration and the social processes that create our world.
Questions to ponder: Which points of the interviewee do you agree with? Are there some that you think his analysis is off-base? What do you think the impacts on a given location would be if there was no migration allowed?
Tags: migration, economic, unit 2 population, immigration, unit 6 industry, labor.
By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.
This interactive feature includes 12 places that have experienced significant change since 1990. This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time. Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era's (mis)management policies.
Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, esri, unit 1 Geoprinciples, zbestofzbest.
TED Talks Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places.
This video touches on numerous themes that are crucial to geographers including: 1) how our minds arrange spatial information, 2) how to best graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your audience and 3) how mapping a place can be the impetus for changing outdated systems. This is the story of how a cartographer working to improve a local transportation system map, which in turn, started city projects to improve the infrastructure and public utilities in Dublin, Ireland. This cartographer argues that the best map design for a transport system needs to conform to how on cognitive mental mapping works more so than geographic accuracy (like so many subway maps do).
It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion — in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population, especially in the West.
This is an excellent video for population and demographic units, but also for showing regional and spatial patterns within the global dataset (since terms like 'overpopulation' and 'carrying capacity' inherently have different meanings in distinct places and when analyzed at various scales). It is also a fantastic way to visualize population data and explain the ideas that are foundational for the Demographic Transition Model.
The shape of a state can greatly impact the political cohesion of a country as well as it's economic viability. While this is obviously a fictitious map, it draws our attention to the logistic difficulties that confront Palestine with the Israelis controlling crucial transportation access points and corridors.
Questions to Ponder: How is this a 'persuasive map?' What are some of the geographic impacts of this fragmentation on Palestine? For Israel?
Tags: cartography, MiddleEast, political, states, territoriality, unit 4 political.
This is a succinct (but not perfect) summary of Malthusian ideas on population. What do you think of his ideas? Any specific parts of his theory that you agree with? Do you disagree with some of his ideas? What did history have to say about it?
Tags: Demographics, population, models, APHG, unit 2 population.
TED Talks Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing. Tristram Stuart delves into the shocking data of wasted food, calling for a more responsible use of global resources.
No one should be surprised that more developed societies are more wasteful societies. It is not just personal wasting of food at the house and restaurants that are the problem. Perfectly edible food is thrown out due to size (smaller than standards but perfectly normal), cosmetics (Bananas that are shaped 'funny') and costumer preference (discarded bread crust). This is an intriguing perpective on our consumptive culture, but it also is helpful in framing issues such as sustainability and human and environmental interactions in a technologically advanced societies that are often removed form the land where the food they eat originates.
Tags: food, agriculture, consumption, sustainability, TED, video, unit 5 agriculture.
This lesson plan was specifically designed with Arizona examples and aligned to the Arizona state standards, but it be easily adapted. I saw a presentation based on this lesson at the NCGE conference as was incredibly impressed. Also, you'll note that like this one, there are many other lesson plans freely available on the Arizona Geographic Alliance website.
Tags: K12, borders, political, landscape, migration, unit 4 political.
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?
Afghan troops are told that insulting behavior by Americans is an oversight, not a slight.
Cross-cultural interactions can be beautiful when immersed into a new cultural setting and the visitor learns to appreciate it. Unfortunately, it can often lead to clumsy missteps that are born out of ignorance of a new guiding set of cultural norms. Some missteps can lead to great laughter while others can be gravely insulting. The United States military seeks to train U.S. soldiers about Afghan customs, but they are trying a new tactic as well to minimize these issues. The U.S. military has prepared a cultural guide to teach the Afghan soldier that they work with about the curious customs that are part of social interaction in the United States but not considered offensive.
A teaser trailer for the MLK Streets Project, a documentary film examining the state of the many avenues, boulevards and thoroughfares named after the slain ...
This video echoes much of what the authors of the fantastic book "Civil Rights Memorials and the Geography of Memory" say (in fact one of the authors is shown in this video). Throughout America, streets that are named after Martin Luther King Jr. frequently are in poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods. This video highlights the irony between the historical memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and places of memorialization that bear his name.
Questions to ponder: If Matin Luther King Jr. represents non-violence, then why are streets bearing his name often in 'violent' neighborhoods? Where should Martin Luther King be memorialized in the United States? Only in the South? Only in predominantly African-American communities? Do the geography of the spaces where he is memorialized say something about the United States?
Tags: historical, culture, landscape, place, race, unit 3 culture, USA, urban, poverty, unit 7 cities, book review.
The green dots on this map representing Starbucks locations which are obviously clustered in major metropolitan centers. Cross-referencing this Starbucks address location with population data, Davenport explains his mapping technique: "By counting the number of people who live within a given distance to each Starbucks, we can measure how well centered Frappuccinos are to the US citizenry. In other words: draw a 1-mile circle around every store, then add up the % of the population living within the circles. Repeat for 2, 3, 4....100 miles." The result of this data is a fabulous logrithmic S-curve which explains much about the American population distribution.
The 2012 NCGE conference has been tremendous; I plan on sharing many of the resources that I’ve discovered with you over the next few weeks. October 6th is the day of my presentation and I’ve uploaded my slides (with hyperlinks included) here: Empowering Students: The Digitally Curated Textbook.
Not every state is equally impacted by migration, and the demographic profile of migrants is different for every state. This is an online mapping tool to search a large database that can give the user state specific information about the impact of economics and politics based on migration from Latin America and Asia on any given state.
Tags: Immigration, unit 2 population, migration, economic, statistics, mapping, political.
For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study.
Interestingly, this is not due to the rise of a new religious group, but the rise of secularism in the United States. The fastest growing group in the United States is the religiously unaffliliated. Click here for a simplified AP news story on the report.
Questions to ponder: What are some causal factors that might explain why there is an increase in the non-religious population in the United States today? How does this impact American culture and politics?
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