Mr. Soto's Human Geography
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U.S. and Cuba's Rocky Relations

"President Obama announced on December 17 that the United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of antagonism. Bloomberg's Sam Grobart recaps the standoff between the two nations, and explains why the icy relationship has begun to thaw."


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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 10, 2015 12:13 PM

The causes of the issues between the two countries, most surely, can be traced to both sides.  Millions of people have been affected by the hostile relationship.  A relationship that has been at a standstill for decades.  I have always looked at this dynamic as defying logic and common sense.  Without taking sides, one could look at the last half a century from afar, and conclude that it was ultimately a big waste of time and something that probably could have either been avoided altogether or ended a long time ago if it weren't for stubbornness on both sides.  Finally, we are starting to see the construction of the "light at the end of the tunnel", per say.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 2015 10:10 PM

I'm amazed that we have had no relations with Cuba for so long.  All it took was one man-Castro-to keep the separation going for so long.  It is time to let go.  Besides, if you were really worried about another country wouldn't you want to have some sort of diplomatic relationship so you could keep a close eye?

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 24, 2015 5:54 AM

The Presidents decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba set off some controversy in the United States. Some Republicans, such as Florida senator Marco Rubio were quite critical of the Presidents new policy. Overall I was surprised at how little controversy erupted from the move. The Cuban community in the United States was divided on the issue. Older Cubans, many of whom fled Cuba after the Castro revolution in 1959 opposed the move. Younger Cubans generally feel that it is time to try a  new approach toward the communist nation. Our policy of isolating Cuba has not led to the desired regime change that many had hoped for. If anything it has hurt the innocent citizens of Cuba more than the Castro brothers. They are the ones who have suffered the effects of economic embargos. History will judge the Presidents move to normalize relations. For the sake of the Cuban people, lets hope that this new policy will finally result in a free democratic Cuba.

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The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
The territory's residents are demanding democracy in city intersections, not central squares.

 

The significance of the protests, which have brought tens of thousands into the streets, lies not only in what protesters are demanding but also in where they're demanding it—and where they're not. Consider that pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong typically happen in Victoria Park, which is about two and a half miles from Central District and which hosts the annual June 4 candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. This time around, however, few police or protesters have ventured there.

The unpredictable, spontaneous geography of the protests is important precisely because it transcends the status quo. It is a testament to how serious these demonstrations are that they refuse to be contained.

Tags: political, conflict, governance, China, East Asia.


Via Seth Dixon
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Morgan Manier's curator insight, April 24, 5:20 PM
This article relates to our class by people protesting and with our projects, people in Syria protested and were punished and this relates to political geography. My opinion is that people should be acknowledged with why they are protesting and where they are doing it, also how it affects everyone else. 
Colby Geiger's curator insight, April 28, 7:25 AM
This article relates to political geography because the protestors of Japan are protesting to shut down the cities main shopping center where the government buildings are. The people of Japan want democracy and I believe that they should have it. To me, democracy is a fair way for the people of a country to choose a ruler and have everybody heard for their opinions.
Kobie Carroll's curator insight, April 28, 11:44 AM
I believe the OCLP (Occupy Central with Love and Peace) campaign had good intentions, wanting to build a truly harmonious society. I, however, believe they made a wrong decision to shut down Hong Kong's Central District. This relates to what we are learning because it shows how individuals with conflicting views can express hate towards each other in one geographical area.
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CrisisWatch: The Monthly Conflict Situation Report

CrisisWatch: The Monthly Conflict Situation Report | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Mapping global conflict month by month.

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Giovanni Sonego's curator insight, June 19, 2014 4:15 AM

Questa mappa interattiva vi permette, muovendovi sui singoli paesi, di leggere un aggiornamento sulle situazioni di conflitto in tutto il mondo. 


L' International Crisis Group è una organizzazione indipendente, non governativa e no-profit dedicata alla prevenzione e alla risoluzione dei conflitti. Hanno creato questa mappa interattiva per rendere più semplice e immediato l'aggiornamento sui principali conflitti nel mondo. 

Claudine Provencher's curator insight, June 19, 2014 5:40 AM

This looks like an excellent tool for students of international relations.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 23, 2014 12:26 PM

unit 4 --but really a great overall course resource!

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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

 

The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.  Who is the ISIS/ISIL?

 

Tags: Syria, Iraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.


Via Seth Dixon
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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:06 PM

ISIS has demonstrated how geographies are ever changing and how disputes over borders are constantly occurring. ISIS is looking to reshape the political geography of the land from the Mediterranean to Iran's Zagros mountains into a caliphate. The movement of ISIS has been influenced by geography. The group is contained to transportation corridors because reaching into the countryside is difficult. Furthermore, the physical geography of Iraq and Syria has made ISIS an extremely powerful force. They have taken control of many of Iraq and Syria's oil fields. ISIS has also shifted population geographies causing mass displacement as they advance. In Syria 2.8 million people have fled, 200,000 have come to Iraq. ISIS is causing major shifts in the political, demographic, and economic geographies of Iraq and Syria.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:25 PM

ISIS has shown both in the past and more recently that it is far from a group of disorganized rebels and in reality is a competent and dangerous organization. Recent land grabs show that ISIS not only seeks to gain land mass but an economic base. This map shows the the strategic land ownership corresponds with oil fields throughout the area. ISIS' leadership is competent enough to know that in order to run a large Caliphate and support it's troops a viable source of income is needed.

 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:29 PM

With the help of maps one can see how much of an impact ISIS has had on Syria and Iraq.  We can see where ISIS has taken over, where they have attacked and what areas they have their people around.  This gives people an idea of where they have been and where they may be going.  Another map shows what cities have been overtaken by ISIS.  This gives exact points where ISIS has terrorized the people to gain control.  Another map shows just Syria and the control that ISIS has in that country.  The fourth map is important to a larger portion of the world.  It has Iraq and the where ISIS has taken over and where the area of control is in reference to where oil fields are.  The last map refers to the people in Syria and where they have taken refuge to stay safe from ISIS.

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Disputed Isles

Disputed Isles | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.

 

This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands.  This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.   

 

Tags: EastAsia, SouthEastAsia, political, unit 4 political, territoriality, autonomy, conflict, economic. 


Via Seth Dixon, FCHSAPGEO
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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:40 PM

This interactive page gives relevant information about islands that are disputed over in southeast Asia.  I liked it because you could see the information in context with the map.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:47 PM

This is like a game of Monopoly when people try and get all the houses or businesses. Except this is real life and real isles. Whose is whose? How does Asia decide where and how the EEZ's should be divided.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:05 PM

considering that half of the nations involved are island nations, this is hardly surprising. every nation has issues with their neighbors. even the us and Canada dispute some territory. but these disputes can hardly end as well, when half of these nations have fought wars with each other for most of their histories.

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Asian Border Disputes

Asian Border Disputes | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

Tags: borders, political, conflict, infographic, map.


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Asie(s)'s curator insight, November 23, 2014 10:23 PM

A good overview on the matter!

Kevin Barker's curator insight, November 25, 2014 8:20 AM

A great primer for discussions over border disputes.  In this modern geopolitical climate, some of these claims can seem aggressive to say the least.  The strategies/responses can also be very interesting when military options are put aside.

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 25, 2014 12:36 PM

I was looking at the disputes between the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, and the Scarborough Shoal. What I notices with all oft he disputes, the land being fought over is all claimed by China but the land location itself is all closer to the country china is disputing it over. For the Paracel Islands, China and Vietnam are in dispute especially after China put 2 oil rigs by their land. The other dispute between the Spratly Islands, China and the Philippines each claim entire ownership of the lands but Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei all claim some part of the islands as well. For the Scarborough Shoal, it is a lot closer to the Philippines than it is to China but China claims it as their own since they discovered the land. Now china has restricted access to the island following a standoff.    

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40 Maps That Explain The Middle East

40 Maps That Explain The Middle East | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
These maps are crucial for understanding the region's history, its present, and some of the most important stories there today.

Via Seth Dixon, FCHSAPGEO
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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:47 PM

It is interesting to see the same trends over and over again.  These maps are a great tool to show the history of the area, as well as the history of religion and political views.  I appreciate the information provided since the Middle East has undergone the most transitions (going all the way back to Mesopotamia) and its history can be confusing. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 23, 2015 3:17 PM

Maps like the ones posted in this article, really helps people to understand and break down deeply of understanding the entire region as a whole. Visualization is very important in geography when trying to understand the region people are talking about. this region as goes down to the Mesopotamia Era. It is important to know, how the culture was in this area to how it differentiated during the Ottoman Empire. During the first couple of maps, we can begin to see the division of the entire region. As you go on, we begin to notice the divisions between people, religion, language between states and in-states. There is so much information to know about the Middle East region and it may be even harder to understand due to the tons of changes and separations, but it is important to understand these divisions like the Sunni's and the Shi'ites in order to fully explain the development and the current situations that are occurring in this region as we speak. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 5:18 PM

These 40 maps are a very interesting way of showing how people have traveled around and moved about the Earth from the time of the fertile crescent era to the people of today. It shows us the paths that people have taken to move to a new location. How they used the Meditteranean Sea to move from one side to the other. It also shows how the Tigris and Euphrates came together to form a smaller area of the Persian gulf. This led to smalled economic growth because now there is less land for imports and exports.

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Where Will The World's Water Conflicts Erupt?

Where Will The World's Water Conflicts Erupt? | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

As the climate shifts, rivers will both flood and dry up more often, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Shortages are especially likely in parts of the world already strapped for water, so political scientists expect feuds will become even more intense. To track disputes worldwide, researchers at Oregon State University spent a decade building a comprehensive database of international exchanges—-both conflicts and alliances—over shared water resources. They found that countries often begin disputes belligerently but ultimately reach peaceful agreements. Says Aaron Wolf, the geographer who leads the project, “For me the really interesting part is how even Arabs and Israelis, Indians and Pakistanis, are able to resolve their differences and find a solution.”


Via Seth Dixon
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Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 20, 2014 2:50 PM

Questões políticas... 

J. Mark Schwanz's curator insight, June 21, 2014 11:01 AM

Add water to geography education curriculum? You better believe it. The crisis of the 21st century is and will be water.  

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 21, 2015 11:36 AM

summer reading KQ2: How have humans altered the Earth's environment?  Water Security

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The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS

The Beginning of a Caliphate: The Spread of ISIS | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
With Tuesday's seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria notched a major victory in its campaign to create a new country containing parts of what had part of both Syria and Iraq. On Wednesday, the insurgents continued their march south, taking control of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.

 

The story of ISIS's spread -- and its influence -- is one that begins in Syria, where the group has been waging a brutal insurgency against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and, increasingly, other more moderate and secular rebel groups. The map above depicts the areas of Syria under its control. The group's influence is bounded by the Free Syrian Army in the west, the Kurds in the north, and pockets of government influence.  Who is the ISIS/ISIL?

 

Tags: Syria, Iraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopolitics.


Via Seth Dixon
more...
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:06 PM

ISIS has demonstrated how geographies are ever changing and how disputes over borders are constantly occurring. ISIS is looking to reshape the political geography of the land from the Mediterranean to Iran's Zagros mountains into a caliphate. The movement of ISIS has been influenced by geography. The group is contained to transportation corridors because reaching into the countryside is difficult. Furthermore, the physical geography of Iraq and Syria has made ISIS an extremely powerful force. They have taken control of many of Iraq and Syria's oil fields. ISIS has also shifted population geographies causing mass displacement as they advance. In Syria 2.8 million people have fled, 200,000 have come to Iraq. ISIS is causing major shifts in the political, demographic, and economic geographies of Iraq and Syria.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:25 PM

ISIS has shown both in the past and more recently that it is far from a group of disorganized rebels and in reality is a competent and dangerous organization. Recent land grabs show that ISIS not only seeks to gain land mass but an economic base. This map shows the the strategic land ownership corresponds with oil fields throughout the area. ISIS' leadership is competent enough to know that in order to run a large Caliphate and support it's troops a viable source of income is needed.

 

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:29 PM

With the help of maps one can see how much of an impact ISIS has had on Syria and Iraq.  We can see where ISIS has taken over, where they have attacked and what areas they have their people around.  This gives people an idea of where they have been and where they may be going.  Another map shows what cities have been overtaken by ISIS.  This gives exact points where ISIS has terrorized the people to gain control.  Another map shows just Syria and the control that ISIS has in that country.  The fourth map is important to a larger portion of the world.  It has Iraq and the where ISIS has taken over and where the area of control is in reference to where oil fields are.  The last map refers to the people in Syria and where they have taken refuge to stay safe from ISIS.

Rescooped by Jose Soto from AP Human Geography Resources
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Younger Africa

Younger Africa | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | 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. 


Via Seth Dixon, Marc Crawford , Mankato East High School
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