We live in a world steeped in graphic information. From Google Maps and GIS to the proliferation of infographics and animated maps, visual data surrounds us.
While we may think of infographics as a relatively recent development to make sense of the immense amount of data available on the Web, they actually are rooted in the 19th century.
Two major developments led to a breakthrough in infographics: advances in lithography and chromolithography, which made it possible to experiment with different types of visual representations, and the availability of vast amounts of data, including from the American Census as well as natural scientists, who faced heaps of information about the natural world, such as daily readings of wind, rainfall, and temperature spanning decades.
But such data was really only useful to the extent that it could be rendered in visual form. And this is why innovation in cartography and graphic visualization mattered so greatly...
HOW MUCH DATA IS CREATED EVERY MINUTE? Data never sleeps. Every minute massive amounts of it are being generated from every phone, website and application across the Internet. Just how much data is being created and where does it come from? For that, check out this infographic...
For the first time in generations, more investment than foreign aid is pouring into Africa. But is that growth enough to change its future?
This is the first article in six-part series designed to investigate the changing economic and developmental possibilities that are facing the African continent. As more foreign investors are exploring potential windfalls in Africa, it is making places that were on the margins of a global economy more directly tied to the process of globalization.
Tags: Africa, development, globalization, economic, NGOs, unit 6 industry.
It’s so often stated that geography education is so much more than just learning states and capitals. I wholeheartedly endorse that sentiment, but there is still some rudimentary importance to learning about where places are. I see it as analogous for English majors needing to learn basic grammar. You can’t write a masterpiece if you are still fumbling around with the alphabet. In geography, we can't have a nuanced discussion of place and interconnectedness if we have no sense of where any place actually is.
Our modern society depends on greater connectivity between places. Regionalized economies, politics and transportation networks are increasingly integrated with far-flung places now more than ever before. Our biosphere and natural environments are exceptions to this pattern. Wilderness areas are 'islands' in an ocean of human controlled environments. We create transportation linkages that unite people economies and cities, but separate herds from there extended habitat.
We've all seen road kill on major highways. Species like deer, elk, and grizzly bears and other large-bodied animals need a wide range for numerous ecological reasons. These bridges are an attempt to ameliorate some of the problems that our roads pose for the non-human species that still call Earth home. From a purely economic standpoint, many argue that these bridges save society money given the accidents and property damage that can be avoided.
Tags: biogeography, transportation, environment, land use, sustainability, environment adapt.
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.
I'm a huge fan of Yann Arthus-Bertrand's artistic aerial photography. This image of Rio de Janeiro and the favela is a striking one. I am also posting this to show the how easy the website justpaste.it is to use. Students with no website creation training can produce sharable materials online. Now this isn't the most professional outlet, but I envision some middle school or high school students producing a class project that can be transformed into something that reaches a bigger audience as it is shared with a broader community.
Katia Savchuk: The first global fund to give poor people direct control over urban development spending is having more than just a local impact...
The innovative fund lets poor communities define development strategies and manage capital from neighbourhood to global level.
The cost-effectiveness and broad impact of this financing model points to the need for placing urban poor communities at the helm of development spending in cities.
"All successful urban initiatives have been ones that have placed people's knowledge and people's action at the centre of the process," says Diana Mitlin, a researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development who has worked with SDI for more than a decade.
( Get the whole article by clicking on the headline linked to the original... )
Below street level in Mexico City, archaeologists have found a jumble of bones dating to the 1480s.
In the 1970s, construction workers unearthed numerous archaeological finds as the subway was being constructed. The Mexican government decided to clear the several block of old colonial buildings to reveal the Templo Mayor, the ancient Aztec religious center. Not coincidentally, the Spaniards built their religious center in the same place. During the colonial era, the indigenous residents who spoke Spanish in Mexico City still referred to this portion of the city as la pirámide. Today more finds such as this one are continuing to help us piece together the past of this immensely rich, multi-layered place filled with symbolic value.
Tags: Mexico, LatinAmerica, historical, images, National Geographic, colonialism, place and culture.
When African states gained independence, the continent's new leaders agreed to respect the old colonial borders to avoid endless wars.
This interactive map shows the major conflicts on the African continent where the combatants have geopolitical aspirations to separate from the state and create a new, autonomous state. Click on the red arrows and you can read about the warring factions and the current situation in that region.
Tags: political, governance, Africa, unit 4 political, war, conflict, states, colonialism.
This is another old classic image that I might have shared earlier but it merits repeating. As Salvatore Natoli (a leader in geography education) once said, "In our society we unconsciously equate size with importance and even power." This is one reason why many people have underestimated the true size of Africa relative to places that they view as more important or more powerful.
An interactive series of maps show possible new additions to the world’s list of independent nations.
This is great way to show examples of devolution and political instability. Included are 11 potential scenarios where further fragmentation/disintegration might occur or even greater regional integration that would redraw the map. These case studies include: Somalia, Korea, Azerbaijan, Belgium and the Arabian Gulf Union.
Tags: political, devolution, supranationalism, war, autonomy, unit 4 political.
Urban Agriculture Sprouts in Brazil’s Favelas - Organic agriculture is a growing trend in big cities around the world, including Latin America, and no...
This article nicely ties two commonly taught issues in human geography that aren't the the typical combination: 1) the growth of organic farming and 2) the spread of squatter settlements and slums in the developing world.
Tags: agriculture, food, urban, unit 5 agriculture, unit 7 cities.
The Gangnam Style! sensation is all over the internet, complete with parodies that both honor and mock the original. This first video is the original, which in a few short months received well ove...
The following link has the video, parodies and infographics to help student explore the meaning behind the cultural phenomenon.
Questions to Ponder: Considering the concept of cultural diffusion, what do we make of this phenomenon? What cultural combinations are seen in this? How has the technological innovations changed how cultures interact, spread and are replicated?
Tags: popular culture, video, diffusion, globalization, culture, place, technology, unit 3 culture.
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.
A musical video that serves as investigation into the causes and effects of global climate change and our opportunities to use science to offset it. Featuring Bill Nye, David Attenborough, Richard Alley and Isaac Asimov. "Our Biggest Challenge" is the 16th episode of the Symphony of Science series. Visit http://symphonyofscience.com for more science remixes!