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Finding and Using Spatial Data Sources

Finding and Using Spatial Data Sources | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"Data is great, but working with numbers can be intimidating. We have more data than ever before that is available to us, and graphs, charts, and spreadsheets are ways that data can be shared. If that data has a spatial element to it, the best way to visualize a large dataset might just be a map."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 25, 3:51 PM

I hope you enjoy this article I wrote about GeoFRED, a way to visualize economic statistics.  All of my future articles for National Geographic Education will be archived here at this link


Tags: National Geographicdevelopment, statistics,  economic, mapping.

Bharat Employment's curator insight, January 28, 12:05 AM

www.bharatemployment.com

Rich Schultz's curator insight, February 11, 4:54 PM

Data, data...its all about data!

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Enabling Globalization: The Container

Enabling Globalization: The Container | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"The ships, railroads, and trucks that transport containers worldwide form the backbone of the global economy. The pace of globalization over the last sixty years has accelerated due to containers; just like canals and railroads defined earlier phases in the development of a global economy. While distance used to be the largest obstacle to regional integration, these successive waves of transportation improvements have functionally made the world a smaller place. Geographers refer to this as the Space-Time Convergence."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 14, 5:32 PM

I've posted here several resources about the global economy and the crucial role that containers play in enabling globalization.  In this article for National Geographic Education, I draw on many of these to to put it all in one nice container.  


Tags: transportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, January 31, 9:31 PM

By standardizing the containers, world wide exports and imports can flow much more freely and with less interruption. The same type of crane that loads a container full of vodka in Russia can unload that container in Abu Dhabi. Shared information about what works best and what need improving can be shared down the supply chain to make vast improvements across the network creating efficiencies as they go. The same technicians, the same mechanics and the same crane operators become interchangeable parts in this global system. What initially sounds like something Einstein would say, the Space-Time Convergence, is just a large Lego set with all of the parts ready made and fitted for universal use. Sometimes simpler is better...

 

Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 2, 5:19 PM

Containers are part of globalization. It saves time and allows for extra space to store more products. Also, it is easier to handle using ships, railroad, and trucks while also facilitating more quality in terms of safety. However, on the other hand, with the creation of these containers employ mainly the use of technology which, unfortunately, downsizes the workforce. This, as a result, increases the unemployment rate for citizens. Although, when it comes to recycling, the idea of making houses with these containers helps families in diverse ways such as decreased costs, energy efficiency, and very short construction time. Containers have shaped the concept of shipping and living for many years, impacting regions with more business and expansion trades around the world.

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Visualizing Urban Change

Visualizing Urban Change | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"60 years has made a big difference in the urban form of American cities. The most rapid change occurred during the mid-century urban renewal period that cleared large tracts of urban land for new highways, parking, and public facilities or housing projects. Fine-grained networks of streets and buildings on small lots were replaced with superblocks and megastructures. While the period did make way for impressive new projects in many cities, many of the scars are still unhealed.  We put together these sliders to show how cities have changed over half a century. In this post, we look at Midwestern cities such as [pictured above] Cincinnati, Ohio."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:33 AM

It's ironic that I feel more accustomed to exploring Cincinnati, OH on foot than I do Providence, RI.  Although I drive in downtown Providence regularly, I seldom have a reason to walk and explore it.  In my yearly visits to Cincinnati to score the AP Human Geography exams, I'm outside my hometown and away from my typical routine. That helps me feel more like a flâneur, to stroll the streets and explore the urban landscape.  This set of 7 before and after images shows Midwestern cities (Cincinnati, Detroit, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Columbus) lets you digitally analyze the last 70 years of urban morphology.  Click here for a gallery 7 of cities in Texas and Oklahoma


Questions to Ponder: What are the biggest changes you see for the 1950 to today?  How are the land uses difference?  Has the density changed?  Do any of urban models help us understand these cities?


Tags: urban, planning, industry, economichistorical, geospatial, urban models, APHG.

Rich Schultz's curator insight, January 2, 5:52 PM

Very useful!

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Aboard a Cargo Colossus

Aboard a Cargo Colossus | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
The world’s biggest container ships, longer than the Eiffel Tower is high, are a symbol of an increasingly global marketplace. But they also face strong economic headwinds.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 7, 2014 2:37 PM

This article and video from the NY Times is a great way to show the magnitude of the largest vessels that drive the global economy. These containers are symbols of global commerce that enable economies of scale to be profitable and the outsourcing of so many manufacturing jobs to developing countries.  The invention of these containers have changed the geography of global shipping and today the vast majority of the world's largest ports are now in East Asia.  Today though, the biggest container ships are too big to go through the Panama Canal, encouraging China to build a larger canal through Nicaragua.      

Matt Davidson's curator insight, October 23, 2014 7:23 AM

This fascinating article also includes a nice trade route map and raises the quest for new trade routes. Great for year 9 Geography course in Australia - global interconnections

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'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"One-third of the seafood Americans catch is sold abroad, but most of the seafood we eat here is imported and often of lower quality. Why? Author Paul Greenberg says it has to do with American tastes."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 9, 2014 8:00 PM

The United States exports the best-quality seafood that Americans catch, but import primarily low-grade aquacultural products.  This is just one of the counter-intuitive issues withe U.S. fish consumption and production.  This bizarre dynamic has cultural and economic explanations and this NPR podcast nicely explains these spatial patterns that are bound to frustrate those that advocate for locally sourced food productions. 


Tagsfood production, industry, food, agriculture, agribusinessconsumptioneconomic, sustainability.

HazelAnne Prescott's curator insight, July 31, 2014 10:56 AM

Seems like a messed up system.  We do not have "taste"

Abigail Mack's curator insight, July 31, 2014 11:27 AM

What would make Americans opt for the lower quality, imported fish?

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Gallery: What inequality looks like

Gallery: What inequality looks like | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
Artists, designers, photographers and activists share one image that encapsulates what inequality means to them.

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Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, June 16, 2014 9:28 AM

Galería de Imágenes acerca de la desigualdad como consecuencia de la pobreza.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 17, 2014 9:32 AM

powerful images that define unit 6!

Rianne Tolsma's curator insight, June 18, 2014 7:07 AM

add your insight...

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The Ship-Breakers

The Ship-Breakers | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
In Bangladesh men desperate for work perform one of the world’s most dangerous jobs.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 20, 2014 1:32 PM

I'm not even really sure what to say about this besides the fact that is very unfortunate.  Well off countries send their old cargo, tanker and other large ships to poorer countries to be broken down for a lot cheaper than it costs them to have it done in their home country.  Since safety doesn't take priority in countries such as Bangladesh the cost to have a ship pulled apart is a lot cheaper.  These people have an extremely dangerous job, the falling steel, the gas buildup causing fires and other general unsafe working conditions lead these workers to have the potential to die every day.  There job is basically to take apart a ship that was meant to be indestructible.  Doing this is extremely dangerous.  The problem seems to be that these people in Bangladesh need the jobs so bad that they can't so much worry about the possibility of death, as long as they get their check at the end of the week.  Not only are there unsafe working conditions for these workers but the toxic chemicals that are used in the construction of these vessels are getting into the environment and creating more problems for Bangladeshi's down the road. 

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 13, 2014 6:18 PM

Ship scrapping is a very symbolic business. Desperate countries pick at the leftovers of an incredibly lucrative globalized business, scavenging what money that they can from an industry that would otherwise have nothing to do with them. Bangladesh's ship scrapping business is incredibly dangerous and the workers make an incredibly small portion of the profits. Some of the poorest people in the country take part in ship-breaking and they risk catching on fire, falling, getting crushed, or suffering in the long run from the different pollutants involved with the industry. These large ships are unable to be processed in an efficient manner, which is another reason why the hard work is left to those that absolutely have no other option. 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:17 PM

Little government oversight into working conditions in Bangladesh attracts many companies who use the country to perform dangerous jobs for a low price. The local workers are exposed to dangerous work environments for little pay, and safety concerns are ignored and downplayed to avoid attracting attention to the situation. This lack of concern for workers also led to the collapse of a garment factory last year.

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Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations

Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
With the country also known as Burma taking steps toward democracy and respect for human rights, Coke is returning after a 60-year absence. What are the two nations where it still won't be doing business?

 

Globalization has made many companies and products ubiquitious throughout the world.  We take their presence as a matter of course, a sign that the largest brands are in essentially every country in the world--but not all.  Until recently Coca Cola was not in three markets, all for political reasons.  Now that Burma is becoming more democratic, Coca-Cola will bring their product to all countries of South East Asia.  Any guesses on the 2 countries that still don't have Coke?

 

UPDATED CORRECTION: Thanks to the great people at About.com 's geography page, I was informed that there are more than just the initially listed two countries (North Korea and Cuba) not within the Coke universe (such as Somalia and East Timor to name a few).  For more on this see: http://geography.about.com/b/2012/06/15/coca-cola-in-every-country-but-three-no.htm


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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:42 PM

This was an interesting but short article.  It is interesting to realize that Coke is sold almost universally worldwide with just a few exceptions.  It is truly the poster boy for globalization.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 11:03 AM

Coke is another product that is a worldwide phenomenon. People love their soda (even if its terrible for you). People that migrate from country to country bring with them unique items such as Coke, that the foreigners don't know about. This is how different countries come to pick up on other countries foods and customs.

Cyrena & Chloe's curator insight, October 27, 2014 7:43 PM

GEOGRAPHY: North Korea, although one of the smallest nations in the world, is still arguably the most defiant. They're completely cut-off from the outside world, and they've displayed this once again by not selling Coke in their borders. Being a classic American drink, Coca-Cola is likely viewed as an enemy to North Korea, judging by their hatred of America and its citizens. They're one of only two countries in the world not to sell Coke, and this just goes to show that even though they're physically connected to us, they are isolated from the world.

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Immigration to U.S. From Mexico in Decline Amid Tough Economy

Immigration to U.S. From Mexico in Decline Amid Tough Economy | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
The number of Mexicans leaving for the United States is just about cancelled out by the number returning, according to statistics provided by the Mexican government.

 

Besides being an important (underreported) political fact, this new migratory pattern can lead to a good discussion of push and pull factors that lead to the geography of migration. 


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Globalization

The world is becoming more and more interconnected. Globalization changes how people consume, work and live almost everywhere on the world. Today, many economic, political, cultural or ecological relationships are not explainable from a national perspective. At the same time, a controversial debate about the consequences of globalization has begun.

 

Questions to ponder: What are the driving forces behind globalization? What areas are most impacted by globalization?  How does globalization benefit some, and adversely impact others? Why?

 

Tags: Globalization, economic, industry, NGOs, political, scale, unit 6 industry.


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Kyle Toner's comment, September 10, 2012 12:31 PM
Globalization is an overall positive drive. In time globalization needs to mold developing countries who are in need of a better political and economical system
Sheyna Vargas's comment, September 10, 2012 1:16 PM
After watching this video, it is becoming clear that Globalization isn't just one-sided. While making it easier to connect with people all around the world and lowering costs for businesses, it is also causing harm to less developed countries. The question that pops into my head is, "Does the ends justify the means?" One could argue either point.
First, Globalization has made the world a "smaller" place. Not only is it easier to communicate with one another on different sides of the world but it’s also easier and cheaper to transport goods across nations and bodies of water. These are obviously benefits to both the developed countries and lesser developed countries in getting goods in timely fashions and producing jobs in both areas. Globalization also creates competition amongst developing nations to learn or advance in new skills to bring and/or keep jobs in their country/area.
On the other hand, Globalization is also wreaking havoc on cultural diversity around the global with Western music, food, and products becoming more available. Western culture is basically looked upon as the “money making” culture. Globalization, by creating competition is also harming local business in newly developing countries. This drives the prices down for the local businesses and makes them work for less.
Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, May 3, 2013 11:39 AM

Globalización Globalization

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How American Agriculture Works

How American Agriculture Works | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
There really are two different Americas: the heartland, and the coasts....

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 27, 4:46 PM

My uncles in Iowa grow corn for ethanol.  They have a small crop where they grow corn they consume.  It is literally the best corn I've ever had.  I'm actually surprised Rhode Island produces almost $4mil in sweet corn.  I'm amazed that Mass produces $100 mil in cranberries.  I've seen a few cranberry bogs close down.  We produce so much why can't we actually feed everyone?  

Diane Johnson's curator insight, January 28, 8:47 PM

Useful data for sustainability discussions

Bob Beaven's curator insight, January 29, 2:38 PM

These maps are interesting, in the fact that the heartland of the United States differs so much from either coast.  Both the coasts, as seen in the first map grow fruits and vegetables.  The center of the country grows wheat, and wheat is the dominant  crop of the country.  This might account for the reason why fruits and vegetables are more expensive than grain based products.  The second map helps to drive home this point even further, of how different the coasts are from the heartland.  What I also thought was funny, however, was the author's comment that it looks like an electoral map.  Perhaps, the reason heartland states tend to side with each other and republicans is because of shared interests in the political arena.

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How a Buddhist shrine transformed a neighborhood

How a Buddhist shrine transformed a neighborhood | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"Sometimes, rehabilitating a rough neighborhood is a tough process. But in one West Coast American city, it was as simple as adding a Buddha statue.  Since the statue's installation, a street corner has been transformed from a notorious eyesore to a daily prayer spot for local Vietnamese Buddhists.  For this Geo Quiz, we're looking for the city where this shrine is located — can you name it?"


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 9, 2014 7:51 AM

This podcast is a great glimpse into an urban transformation that took place without any central planning nor can the changes be classified as gentrification. 


Tags: neighborhood, place, culture, economic, urban.

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Product of Mexico - Harsh Harvest

"Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers.
American consumers get all the salsa, squash and melons they can eat at affordable prices. And top U.S. brands — Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Subway and Safeway, among many others — profit from produce they have come to depend on.These corporations say their Mexican suppliers have committed to decent treatment and living conditions for workers.  But a Los Angeles Times investigation found that for thousands of farm laborers south of the border, the export boom is a story of exploitation and extreme hardship."


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Michael Mazo's curator insight, December 13, 2014 3:17 PM

Taking into account the export boom from the US to Mexico its easy to see there were loopholes that were taken to achieve this success. With an increase of almost 3 fold, it is safe to say that much of our product comes from Mexico but at what cost? Farmers and workers in Mexico get paid little to none for the hardships they have to go through just to put some food on the table for their family. Big corporations want to make as much profit as possible, even if that means taking away from those that already have nothing to give. This video exposes all the farmers that are at the crossroads of being forced to do their job and actually having a job

Todd Scalia's curator insight, December 14, 2014 1:12 AM

we work the fields for our families. 

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:36 AM

It’s crazy to see how desperate some of these people are to get working and how much they do for such a little reward. These people are working longer and harder than probably all Americans and they are barely surviving. They work for survival. It’s hard for some of these people to stay healthy, especially in the harsh conditions and tight living spaces that these people have to deal with on an everyday basis. 

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Changes in the U.S. Economic Geography

Changes in the U.S. Economic Geography | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
In 1990, the manufacturing industry was the leading employer in most U.S. states, followed by retail trade. In 2003, retail trade was the leading employer in a majority of states. By 2013, health care and social assistance was the dominant industry in 34 states. This animated map shows the top industry in each state and the District of Columbia from 1990 to 2013.

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Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:42 PM

According to the map, in 1990, manufacturing had the highest employment rates. By the early 2000's, it appears that retail trade has then taken the top spot for employment rates. Finally in 2013, most of the US is covering in orange, which represents employment in the health care and social assistance work field. When I opened the article, all these facts were written above the map. However, I did not even notice the written facts because I was too busy playing with the map. This article tells us the facts but does not really elaborate on why things have changed. For one thing, I think  the manufacturing job market decreased because once the products were being made to be sold, retail took it from there. Of course manufacturers were still needed to supply items, but then retail takes it over. Health care and social assistance services were both in the top by 2013. This is probably because more people who were certified in medical fields were needed. Thus they were hired, which lead this job market to the top.

Danielle Lip's curator insight, January 26, 4:19 PM

I found it quite interesting to see that most of the world in 1990 had manufacturing jobs because working at factories was the only job that was accessible with not many health care service oppurtunities. While in 2013 health care takes up most of North America, when you might expect the majority of North America to be made up of retail trade because so many malls and building are being constructed throughout the world. One positive part of this map is that job opportunities were even there in the first place, without working the economy will go downhill.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, February 2, 6:49 PM

It's amazing to see how priorities have shifted over time.  Also, this is a great display of how technology has taken over what once was human labor.  

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Why caste still matters in India

Why caste still matters in India | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

INDIA’S general election will take place before May. The front-runner to be the next prime minister is Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, currently chief  minister of Gujarat. A former tea-seller, he has previously attacked leaders of the ruling Congress party as elitist, corrupt and out of touch. Now he is emphasising his humble caste origins. In a speech in January he said 'high caste' Congress leaders were scared of taking on a rival from 'a backward caste'. If Mr Modi does win, he would be the first prime minister drawn from the 'other backward classes', or OBC, group. He is not the only politician to see electoral advantage in bringing up the subject: caste still matters enormously to most Indians."


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, November 19, 2014 12:21 PM

This article highlights a few key points about the political and cultural geography of India. Culturally, the caste system still has ripple effects throughout the country. Especially in rural areas where caste system norms still are very much observed. For example in on rural section of the North, people are murdered for marrying outside of the caste. Politically, the caste system is now being used as a tool by politicians to solicit votes. By promising what is essentially affirmative action measures for lower caste populations politicians are able to cater to large amounts of voters playing of the fact that caste still means a lot in India's political and cultural geography. 

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 2014 12:11 PM

Caste will take more than a few generations to lose its social privilege/oppression. The verbal history passed from parent to child enforces the idea of caste, even when it has been done away with by law. This social hierarchy effects business, marriage, and politics.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM

While in some ways India has been quick to adapt to the 21st century such as in the technical industry and even in the loosening of ridged marriage practices this caste system has remained. This system of societal stratification has persisted and as this article explains plays a large role in the politics of India today. The castes also play a role in employment and marriage in determining who can do what work and who it is socially acceptable to marry.

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Portraits of people living on a dollar a day

Portraits of people living on a dollar a day | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it

"More than a billion people around the world subsist on a dollar a day, or less. The reasons differ but the day-to-day hardship of their lives are very similar. A book by Thomas A Nazario, founder of the International Organisation, documents the circumstances of those living in extreme poverty across the globe, accompanied by photographs from Pulitzer prizewinner Renée C Byer. Living On A Dollar a Day is published by Quantuck Lane."


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MsPerry's curator insight, August 25, 2014 4:47 PM

APHG-Unit 2 & Unit 6

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 11, 2014 8:26 PM

\I guess it's true what they say; a picture is worth a thousand words. Before even opening this article, you could get a sense from the picture that it wasn't going to be a good one. You can tell by their facial expressions and the environment that surrounds them. Even the colors that are portrayed in the picture send off meaning. The picture is not very bright. It sends off a sad image with all the brown everywhere. However, we do see a little peek of sunlight shining through. Before reading this, one might see this as a good sign from God, or someone watching over these people. Once I opened the article, there were many more pictures describing their lifestyles. You can tell that they don't make much money by the way they live. There was another picture in the article with a dark tint to it, representing a negative atmosphere, including one girl folding her arms and one girl with tears running down her face . There are no pictures were everyone in the images have smiles on their faces.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 7:18 PM

These picture paint a very sad and very real truth. Many of the people in the pictures are caring for children and barely have enough to make it through the day. One woman works long hours for about 50 cents a day and that is horrible, another woman is 40 years old and works at a construction site, which is obviously not the norm. These people, mainly the children, have hope of going to school, but for most of them that is just a dream that will never come true.

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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. 


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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 2014 6:20 PM

This interactive map discusses the current disputes between the islands and why the land is being disputed. 

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.

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Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations

Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
With the country also known as Burma taking steps toward democracy and respect for human rights, Coke is returning after a 60-year absence. What are the two nations where it still won't be doing business?

 

Globalization has made many companies and products ubiquitious throughout the world.  We take their presence as a matter of course, a sign that the largest brands are in essentially every country in the world--but not all.  Until recently Coca Cola was not in three markets, all for political reasons.  Now that Burma is becoming more democratic, Coca-Cola will bring their product to all countries of South East Asia.  Any guesses on the 2 countries that still don't have Coke?

 

UPDATED CORRECTION: Thanks to the great people at About.com 's geography page, I was informed that there are more than just the initially listed two countries (North Korea and Cuba) not within the Coke universe (such as Somalia and East Timor to name a few).  For more on this see: http://geography.about.com/b/2012/06/15/coca-cola-in-every-country-but-three-no.htm


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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:42 PM

This was an interesting but short article.  It is interesting to realize that Coke is sold almost universally worldwide with just a few exceptions.  It is truly the poster boy for globalization.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 11:03 AM

Coke is another product that is a worldwide phenomenon. People love their soda (even if its terrible for you). People that migrate from country to country bring with them unique items such as Coke, that the foreigners don't know about. This is how different countries come to pick up on other countries foods and customs.

Cyrena & Chloe's curator insight, October 27, 2014 7:43 PM

GEOGRAPHY: North Korea, although one of the smallest nations in the world, is still arguably the most defiant. They're completely cut-off from the outside world, and they've displayed this once again by not selling Coke in their borders. Being a classic American drink, Coca-Cola is likely viewed as an enemy to North Korea, judging by their hatred of America and its citizens. They're one of only two countries in the world not to sell Coke, and this just goes to show that even though they're physically connected to us, they are isolated from the world.

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After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work

After Alabama Immigration Law, Few Americans Taking Immigrants' Work | Mr. Soto's Human Geography | Scoop.it
ONEONTA, Ala. -- Potato farmer Keith Smith saw most of his immigrant workers leave after Alabama's tough immigration law took effect, so he hired Americans.

 

Geography is all about the interconnected of themes and places.  This issue in Alabama is displaying these interconnections quite vividly.  Economics, immigration, culture, politics and agriculture are intensely intertwined in this issue.   


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Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 9:57 AM

This is another article that highlights the skill deficit in this country.  People seem to be afraid of doing hard work and would rather do nothing then work hard to learn this skill.  If it were a choice between no job and this type of job people would take the jobs but the third choice of unemployment payments makes people who might do these jobs decide not to.  As long as they are paid more to not work then work, they will not do the jobs that need workers.  The farmer made a good point that a skilled picker can make $200-$300 a day but an unskilled worker doing the job makes only $24 a day.  The work ethic of this country needs to be changed, young people today do not want to work hard or put in the effort.  When farmers can no longer get workers how long will it be before there is a food problem as well as a worker problem in this country.  It is possible to make a good living doing these types of jobs but not as long as people feel the work is beneath them or they are unwilling to do the hard manual labor required to do the job well.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, January 28, 12:26 PM

i see this as a very good law. America is on the verge of recovering from an economic recession and the United States can benefit from every job given to a natural born american citizen. i do see the problems that a  farmer can have such as receiving a decline in profits if they must pay more for the product. in the article the farmers also say that Americans just do not work like seasoned Hispanics and production is way down. another looming problem that the Americans have is that they are slow, and want to call it a day after lunch, and expect to get paid more. 

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 5:36 PM

As the title implies, this is about how Americans are not cut out for doing intensive farming jobs because the workers just quit quickly. A few politicians mentioned in the story, Governor Robert Bentley and Senator Scott Beason, said they received thank you messages from constituents who found work. This was supposed to be evidence of Americans benefitting from jobs that immigrants took, but I would love to know how many of those people actually stayed with the job. Furthermore, I find it a bit too suspicious that none of the people wanted to speak with the press as the author mentioned or that the names just weren’t given. I am more inclined to believe the owners of the famers mentioned in the article, who said they can’t keep Americans on their site happy due to lack of pay and benefits. Mind you now it wasn’t just one owner who said this either. I think this is telling as well because the owners are the individuals who best know the industry as they work it every day.

 

From the farmers perspective the new law is now a huge problem that could also affected consumers. They lost steady “Hispanics with experience,” who they knew could handle the work. For some farmers, according to the article, has made it so the produce is left on the vine rotting because it isn’t picked. So in essence, what the Arizona law just did was harm agriculture and the buyers too because if enough of that food perishes the price will go up. Now I can understand a state being aggravated over illegal immigration (it is a serious problem that is nowhere close to being solved), but to pass a law with these kinds of economic ramifications isn’t really helping the situation much either. As much as people hate to admit it, our economy needs immigrants from Mexico for our agriculture sector to work. It is just a little known fact.

 

The new law isn’t the only law at issue in this article. Connie Horner of Georgia tried to legally hire workers through the government’s visa program. She soon found it is too costly for her to do and too time consuming, so instead Ms. Horner is turning to machines. The fact that visas are that hard to attain for workers is also part of the reason the immigrants come illegally. Rather than spending more money to watch the boarder how about the government figure out a way for the bureaucracy of the immigration process to move quicker. This isn’t an issue of 2011 either when the article was written. Listening to the news, I have heard farmers complain about the visa program for years. No wonder immigrants come over illegally and then citizens get angry at these people. Really, American’s should be more annoyed with their government’s ineffective stance on boarder control.