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"Where liberty is, there is my country." - Benjamin Franklin
Curated by Michael Miller
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The United States' Geographic Situation

The Greater Mississippi Basin is the United States' core and serves as the underpinning of its role as a global superpower. For more analysis, visit: http://...

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 23, 4:36 PM

I wouldn't use the word "core" to describe America's breadbasket, simply because of the economic core/periphery connotations.  Other than that, this video highlights some aspects of U.S. regional geography that I cover every semester.  1) The United States is bi-coastal on the two most important oceans for global trade.  2) Between those coasts is a large agricultural region overlayed on the most navigable river network.  These two basic facts go a long way in explaining the United States' position in global affairs.


Tags: USA. regions.

Adrian Bahan (MNPS)'s curator insight, April 20, 8:51 PM

Think about the units and topics  we've covered this year. Migration, urbanization, development, and geo-political theories. Use examples from all of the above to justify the statement that the geography of the United States is responsible for its role as a global superpower.

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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | HMHS History | Scoop.it
How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

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Danielle Lip's curator insight, March 15, 2:21 PM

Today these are still people who are racist in a way towards people of color, a sentence in this article states "people of color — were inherently less intelligent than northern Europeans with light-colored skin." Thinking that someone is less intelligent because of the skin color is very rude and unintelligent in a way. 

This article is describing how Africa is believed to be dirty, so that is how the Ebola virus was brought to the United States. A group of scientists proved that this is invalid. Ebola is caused by bushmeat and there is no chance of bush meat smuggling could bring Ebola to America. The whole Ebola case goes to show that Africa is still seen as dirty and unsanitary. This article is not focused primarily on Ebola but how the case showed how Africa is viewed in others eyes.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 28, 9:12 AM

It's time to change our views on the "Dark Continent" known as Africa. Time to slow down the knee jerk reaction to newsworthy stories emanating from this geographical area. This is overt racism at its core. Africa as we learned in class last week has five of the top ten growing economies in the world. How can we help this continent thrive economically if we have so many preconceived notions of what this place is all about? 

"Bushmeat" is just another acronym that is contextually manipulated to give inaccurate information and to sell print. As the author states, just call it game as most of the free world acknowledges it. Africa is a rich country with multiple heritages albeit with a long history of repression and fractured civilizations. It's time we pay them back with financial support via The World Bank, and start to change our distorted views of this area. It's abundant natural resources are just waiting to be harvested, which when allocated morally correctly will bring this impoverished continent out of the Third World and into sustainability for its peoples.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2:21 PM

Before I even read the article, my first thought went to the Linneaus classification.  That really damaged history with this one chart.  I think people still think of Africans and blacks(very dark blacks) as dirty or unintelligent.  Which is horrible and couldn't be further from the truth.  Misinforming the public is criminal.  News media and social media need to be careful and educate properly.  I've been asked from a customs offical, "Have you been to Africa in the past 6 months?"  Which is a very blanket question because Africa is a continent.  There were areas that were not hit with Ebola.  

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The 11 American nations, in one map

The 11 American nations, in one map | HMHS History | Scoop.it

Red states and blue states? Flyover country and the coasts? How simplistic. Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.

“The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of maps — including maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history,” Woodard writes in the Fall 2013 issue of Tufts University’s alumni magazine. “Our continent’s famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities.”

Take a look at his map.

 


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Alec Castagno's curator insight, September 23, 2014 12:54 PM

The first thing I noticed about this map, and really liked, was that the nations extend past the borders of the United States. That allows these nations to reflect the similarities shared among large regions. These cultural, economic, and political regions reflect something that extends beyond the political borders of any one country. Southern Arizona is very similar to Mexico just like Northern Idaho is similar to Canada. The region labeled the Far West lumps together many different areas, likely because of the similar geography. However, there is more diversity in these areas than the map shows, for example there is a fairly big difference between the culture and political beliefs of Nevada and Utah, and western New Mexico is very different from Montana.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 13, 2014 12:31 PM

The way this map has been broken up is rather accurate. With the Greater Appalachia, stretching through West Virginia and into northwest Texas. Also, El Norte being separated due to the linguistic differences that have always been around that area.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, January 27, 6:47 PM

This article was very interesting because it gave you a different way to look at not only the Unites States but the North American continent as well. I never realized that this continent can be broken into 11 separate nation-states. These 11 different divisions all represent and explain the different cultures or view points of the people living in them. The divisions can be a result anywhere from voting choices, social issues, religious beliefs, or just that particular type of community. I live in the Yankeedom. Northeastern states value education and are more comfortable with government regulation versus other areas. I was unaware that within the El Norte region, southwest Texas and the border region is the oldest and most different in America. Areas where independence was valued more had higher levels of violent deaths rather than the areas that had more government interventions.

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Time to scrap “Eastern Europe”

Time to scrap “Eastern Europe” | HMHS History | Scoop.it
Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging 

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:00 PM

Even though the Iron Curtain has long fallen, the practice of still describing the ex-Soviet countries as "Eastern Europe" still remains, and those same countries wish to change it. No longer are these countries part of the Soviet Block, and they feel that this characterization still defines them in this way. "Eastern Europe" denotes struggling economies, unhappy populations, marginalized lands, and an overall lack of development. While some countries are still recovering from Soviet rule, others have become important world powers with powerful economies. They no longer wish to be associated with Russia.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:58 PM

The old way of lumping all Countries east of Germany as simply "Eastern European" is not only wrong but can lead to negativity and conflict. These are nations which differ greatly in terms of language, ethnicity, and political affiliation should definitely not be lumped together within one identity. The fact is the Cold War has ended and instead of holding on to these out dated terms we should instead look forward and embrace these countries for what they are, unique countries with unique things to offer.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 15, 7:37 PM

I don’t really see the big deal of the map categorization based on the author’s argument. I agree the Cold War labeling is “outdated,” but saying the grouping is “damaging” because people just think of those countries as “poor” is an incredibly weak argument. Anyone who wants to do business with the area will know who is fiscally sound and any country that believes this is an obstacle can easily show the notion false given the facts of the video in regards to wealth and EU membership. However, just because a country is in the EU doesn’t mean they are completely well off. Much of that area is still politically unstable, which is a whole economic value of its own. Furthermore, that wasn’t my connotation of those countries. When I think Cold War, I think of an area that is repressive and still under Russian influence. If anything, I think that is a bigger deal because Russia shouldn’t speak for a whole area.

 

I also don’t think many of the groupings really help the authors cause. If the author wants there to be less negative connotations related to the Cold War, then the area probably should make mentioned of “countries scared of Russia” as it was the major Cold War player. Nor should there be a mention of “free” economies, since the economic divide of each country played a major hand in the tension between each ideology.  So one really needs to be careful about the terms used when re-labeling an area.

 

I don’t see a huge push for renaming the area. We still live in an outdated cold war society given how the United States still looks at Russia. So I doubt, renaming will happen anytime soon. Guess the author will have to wait for the next big political crisis or war. 

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The United Countries of Baseball Map

The United Countries of Baseball Map | HMHS History | Scoop.it

This is the new and improved version of the familiar map can teach regions (formal, functional, vernacular) as well as the importance on TV markets as a diffusion mechanism for culture.  As mentioned by Andy Baker, "This map is also useful for showcasing 'threshold' and 'range' from 'Central Place Theory.' For instance, I ask my students, 'Why are the Mid-Atlantic & California coasts boundaries (range) so small compared to Great Plains teams?'"  Great idea Andy!


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ASeagrave's comment, January 30, 2012 2:14 PM
It's crazy how obsessed the eastern side of the country is with baseball, but how oblivious and uninterested the western side is.
LMullen's comment, February 2, 2012 5:17 PM
I'd like to see a sales map with this because even thoug the Yankees and Redsox regions are much smaller than the Atlanta Braves or Texas Rangers, they pobably sell MUCH more.
Flo Cuadra Scrofft's curator insight, March 24, 7:57 PM

Although short, I had to dive into the set of webpages that the article presented. it did not give a whole lot of information about the map, but the previous scooper of this article gave a very interesting hindsight on the map. This Baseball map shows the importance of TV markets as a diffusion mechanism for culture. Each of the regions of this map have been classified according to the national Baseball team people from the regions support.

Reflection- not only geographers define regions, but also popular trends and statistics. As well as the last scooper said, it is interesting to note that the Mid-Atlantic and California coasts boundaries between each region is very small compared to Great Plains regions. It is also interesting the fact that the regions include, sometimes, more than just one state, and in other cases, two or more teams exist within one state, such as Texas.

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The Daily Show–Spot the Africa

Between rampant racial inequality and Ebola outbreaks, South African comedian Trevor Noah admits he hesitated to visit a country as underdeveloped as America.

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Mrs. B's curator insight, March 30, 8:40 PM

SO GLAD He is going to be the new host of the Daily Show when Jon retires. Such a bright young man.

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 12:54 PM

Television today is full of commercials from various relief organizations tell everyone that Africa is full of children that, as the video points out, you can help for just pennies a day. Most Americans think in terms of things to which they can relate, and as a result, everywhere is the size of the United States; most modern maps misleadingly affirm this illusion. South Africa is, in reality, vastly different from Egypt or Lebanon. When people hear "Africa", they immediately relate to Lion King. Lion King takes place in Africa, therefore all of Africa is like the Lion King. Before making assumptions like that, it is important to have a basic understanding of scale and how widely cultures can vary within such a large space. 

Brandon Chesney's curator insight, May 28, 12:15 AM

This video was very interesting and amusing because while we all think the terrible pictures are from Africa they are actually in the U.S. It is funny to hear him talk about how he would rather visit places there than here.

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The Geography of Language

"Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past."


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Woodstock School's curator insight, June 4, 2014 6:05 AM

A good teaching tool for explaining the diversity of languages.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 12, 2014 9:38 PM

Geografia Cultural

Chris Plummer's curator insight, January 11, 11:46 PM

Summary- This video explains how so many languages came to be and why. By the early existence of human there was a such smaller variety of languages. Tribes that spoke one language would often split in search of new recourses. Searching tribe would develop in many new different ways than the original tribe. new foods, land, and other elements created a radically different language than the original. 

 

Insight- In unit 3 we study language as a big element of out chapter. One key question in chapter 6 was why are languages distributed the way they are. It is obvious from the video that languages are distributed they way they are is because of the breaking up from people which forced people to develop differently thus creating a different language. As this process continues, there become more and more branches of a language family.  

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Not All English is the Same

Not All English is the Same | HMHS History | Scoop.it

"22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other"


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Lena Minassian's curator insight, January 27, 5:58 PM

This article was actually funny and interesting. You do not really pay attention to the pronunciation of words just because we are surrounded by the same people who say a particular word the same way. Many individuals in the US are in for a culture shock if they leave their respected homes. One word that you have grown up with may be a completely different word in another area. We tend to not focus a lot of attention on the smaller details like this type of grammar and pronunciation so this caught my eye because it was interesting to think about and realize how you say words compared to the rest of the United States.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 11:53 AM

to me this is not so shocking but definitely entertaining. i mean between my family their is pronunciation differences. some say tomato others say toma`to right? not all English is the same is a concept that makes perfect sense to me. in other countries such as Italy, a person from the north cannot understand a person from the south because they speak in different dialects. perhaps it has to their with their location, or job types. but it holds true that different parts of a country can speak the same language in different ways. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, April 8, 3:04 PM

I've seen this collection of maps a number of times before, but they are just as interesting and informative every time I look at them. It's really a fun exercise in seeing what phrases you use or how you pronounce certain words as opposed to the rest of the country. As a Rhode Islander, the bubbler/water fountain divide was of particular interest to me. I also found it funny that I have the vaguely Western/Midwestern tendency of calling "rotaries" (or what are traditionally called rotaries in my area), "roundabouts". This is especially curious to me, because I generally tend to think of that term as a British one. Could this possibly mean that a lot of British immigrants settled in the Western/Midwestern United States? Or am I just mistaken and buying into a poorly informed stereotype about British people?

 

Whatever the case, these maps are very informative and say a lot about the linguistic differences that occur even within one country. Now granted, the United States is a large country, so there is bound to be a good amount of variation. But it's still fascinating to me just how much variety there can be. The fact that when traveling, your use or pronunciation of a certain word or phrase can immediately identify you as an out-of-towner is very interesting. This is yet another example of the importance of doing your own research in order to avoid making incorrect assumptions. Just because all of the people within a geographic border may live in the same country, it does not mean that their dialects or colloquialisms are all the same. It does not even necessarily mean that they speak the same language. Different immigrant groups (because almost no country is impervious to immigration) settle in different areas and this ends up contributing (in part) to the different dialects and expressions that one finds within geographic borders. 

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2012 Election Cartograms

2012 Election Cartograms | HMHS History | Scoop.it

I'm sure most of you have seen the 2008 version of these fantastic maps and cartograms and they've been a go-to reference for me since the last election.  The typical red state/blue state map conceals much concerning the spatial voting patterns in the United States and fails to account for the population densities of these distributions.  That's what makes this county level voting maps and cartograms so valuable.  

 

Questions to Ponder: What new patterns can you see in the county map that you couldn't see in the state map?  What do the cartograms tell you about the United States population?  

 

Tags: cartography, mapping, rural, zbestofzbest.


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Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, November 1, 2014 11:16 PM

I'm really glad at how the cartographer of this map was able to properly demonstrate the way the American population voted during the 2012 presidential  election. Unlike the map that we are accustomed to seeing on television during political elections. What I appreciate about this map is how it tries to represent the way in which Americans caste their votes. While you'd be led to believe that certain states voted a particular way, this map proves otherwise. Another thing that this map does is represent the states that are widely considered to be Republican, and Democratic. States that tend to be in favor of GDP are conservative states, such as that of the south with the exception of FL, and the rest of the country being fairly liberal. Nonetheless, this is definitely and interesting and telling map of our patterns as voters.