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Southmoore AP Human Geography
Resources and current events articles relevant to the study of AP Human Geography.
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Chinese Antigraft Campaign Focuses on a Coal-Rich Province

Chinese Antigraft Campaign Focuses on a Coal-Rich Province | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
Efforts to purge corruption from the Communist Party have reached Shanxi, a province of northern China abundant in coal and opportunities for crooked deals. (In China, a corruption inquiry has reached the coal-rich province of Shanxi.
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The World's 25 Busiest Airports

The World's 25 Busiest Airports | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
More than 1.4 billion airline passengers departed, landed, or connected through these massive facilities in 2012. Viewing them from above gives a sense of their gargantuan scale and global significance.

Via Seth Dixon
Mr. David Burton's insight:

I've been through 13 of these airports (over half).

L.Long's curator insight, February 16, 2014 4:24 AM

Transport technology is a key factor that assists the operation of Global networks


Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:11 PM

I found it interesting that one of the most busiest airports was in the US, in Atlanta to be exact. A lot of the airports that are included in this list of 25 were located in the US. Also, I noticed that there are no busy airports in Africa, South America, and Australia. I'm wondering if it is because not many people wish to travel there due to the climate and environment.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:26 PM

Is really good to know the busiest Airports because you would think that the number one is John F. Kennedy International Airport but it is not. The number one busiest airport in the world is the

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


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What we can learn from Mexico

What we can learn from Mexico | Southmoore AP Human Geography |

Earlier this month, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics.

Via Seth Dixon
Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 29, 2014 2:18 PM

The facts about the "new" Mexico help in reasoning why less people are migrating.  The new Mexico looks hopeful and prosperous but when you read about the affects of the drug wars and violence, we see that there is still room for progress for the country in order to keep their citizens from leaving Mexico.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 5:17 PM

A few weeks ago, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics. That’s how you work toward the building of agreements. Unfortunately, it wasn't Barack Obama. It was Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto. One of the first things Pena Nieto did after assuming office was to announce a pact for Mexico, an ambitious set of reforms to raise taxes, increase competition and take on the teachers’ unions. While the world has gotten used to a torrent of images and news of drug-related violence from Mexico, another side of this country has been quietly developing. What we can learn from Mexico is that they are quite successful.  Mexico’s GDP is expected to grow by nearly 4 percent this year, twice as fast as Brazil or, for that matter, the United States. It is riding a manufacturing boom. Mexico is now the world’s fourth biggest producer of cars, according to the World Trade Atlas. Starting next year, new taxis in New York City will carry a “made in Mexico' label.” Mexico is also the world's top exporter of flat screen TVs. In fact, Mexico exports more manufactured products than all the other countries in Latin America combined. A major factor that comes into play is geography.  Sharing a border with the United States means heavy products are cheaper to transport across than if they were manufactured in, say, Asia. Nieto continues to inform us what we can learn from Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 8:37 PM

The title of this article was what enticed me as I was hoping to find an actual answer. However, based on this article alone, I don’t actually think there is much the United States can learn from Mexico about politics or economics.


This author failed to mention that a difference in political systems could also attribute to the new Mexican leader’s ability to obtain “endorsements from across the spectrum.”  Mexico recently had an election. The new President this article is praising is part of a party that controlled the land for 70+ years until Nieto's predecessor. His predecessor messed up with the cartels so badly that Nieto was elected back into office. Given the amount of support Nieto had going into office, it doesn't seem so challenging to negotiate with opposing parties. Plus, I doubt the opposing parts are as unreasonable as some of the United States members of congress, like the Tea Party.   


I also see little to glean from the manufacturing route that Mexico is on at the moment. I will admit that the projected GDP growth of 4% mentioned in the article is impressive. However, thinking that the key to economic growth in the United States is through a similar “manufacturing boom” is just out of touch with the times. As stated in class our wages can’t keep up with the cheaper wages of developing countries (a point the author eluded to in the section discussing “the three main factors at play,” factor number three). Thus, doing what Mexico is doing doesn’t fit the American economy. What the United States might try doing is finding a manufacturing niche that no one has a market on in order to obtain more jobs. Maybe something higher end or medically related would be of benefit to the United States. Even these jobs would end up comprising a small part of the United States economy because the United States is more of a white collar economy. As such, more should be done to protect that sector of our economy from things like outsourcing given its relevance to our modern economy.


 Overall, I think the media’s quick comparisons of other countries falls under the bad category of globalization. A fair amount of people would just use this article to say things like, if Mexico’s leader can do X Y & Z then so should Obama. Yet, many of those people wouldn’t actually think about all the differences or reasons why Obama can’t compromise or revert the economy backwards. Am I saying Obama shouldn’t try more or that I am happy with the lack of compromise by all, no. However, I think it is dangerous for journalist to gloss over the situation since many people will take them as a credible source to cite. Mind you not all journalism is bad though. The Scoop.It article I read this week regarding Walmart is a great example of how investigative journalism can have positive consequences. The major difference being one actually did their homework that cited concrete specifics, while the other made a flimsy analogy.  

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Economics behind Gangnam Style

The viral hit isn't a fluke. South Korea has been cultivating a global music business for decades. You may already know that I've been fascinating watching the cultural diffusion of Gangnam Style throughout the world as mentioned previously. This NPR podcast looks at the economic infrastructure of the South Korean music industry that explains in greater detail how this video went viral. The distribution of this video is dependent in part on the technological sophistication and economic strategies of South Korea to associate their brands with cultural cachet.
Via Seth Dixon
Sierra_Mcswagger's curator insight, March 10, 7:39 PM

This NPR podcast explains the rapid diffusion of the song we all had stuck in our heads previously "Gangnam Style".  South Korea invests as much as they do in there music industry as they do with their vehicle industry.  Because their a small country and their music industry wants to be big, they have to get noticed outside there country. To make this work, music moguls in the country created hit factories, turning young singers into pop stars and sending them on tour around Asia. K Pop is now noticed all over the globe with songs like "Gangnam Style" which music video is one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.                                                                              


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The Geography of Charitable Giving

Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your area? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people, according to a new study.


Questions to ponder: What are some reasons that Providence RI is the 'least charitable' metropolitan area in the United States according to this data?  Why is the state of Utah ranked as the 'most charitable state?'   Why are the bottom 3 states all in the New England region? 

Via Seth Dixon
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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 | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
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?

Via Seth Dixon
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.

Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Geography Education!

USA National Gas Price Map

USA National Gas Price Map | Southmoore AP Human Geography |

This visualization of gas prices by county in the United States is timely as high gas prices are not only impacting pocketbooks, but are also becoming political taking points for presidential candidates and this issue may drive policy.  This shows the regional variations in prices (so sorry to my California friends), but it is a great launching point for asking the questions: why are the prices for a certain commodity higher in one region than another?  What factors lead to the spatial differences in the relative economic value in one region over another?  Supply and demand works beautifully on a two-axis graph, but supply and demand happen somewhere, giving a simple chart added complexity since it's spatially contingent and we must make the assumption and caveat explicit.  

Via Seth Dixon
Dale Fraza's comment, February 27, 2012 3:22 PM
In an ideal world, gas prices would be $5 a gallon nationwide-with that extra $1.50 going to finding a reasonably priced alternative to oil-run vehicles.
Brittany Ortiz's curator insight, September 29, 2014 4:32 PM

This map is so interested to see! It's interesting to see how the gas prices differ from one region to the other. In the mid-west the gas sees to be awfully lower than the west. Why? Maybe because in the mid-west most families still grow there own crops and don't need to take as many trips to a grocery store than most people in the world. As California, there is obviously a big difference than other states. There also is splash of red in New York, which then we could all say both California and New York are the most popular; with there cities and fame, it is clear why then maybe the gas prices are higher there.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh = World Traffic Capital. 650 intersections, only 60 traffic lights

Dhaka, Bangladesh = World Traffic Capital. 650 intersections, only 60 traffic lights | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
There are only 650 major intersections here—but somehow only 60 traffic lights.

Via Seth Dixon
Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 6:46 PM

The fact that traffic accounts for $3.8 billion in costs is a simply a staggering figure.  I can't stand being in traffic for 5 minutes never mind multiple hours every day just to get a mile or two down the street.  With population so high in these megacities, its astonishing to see that the governments of these cities are not focusing more on the infrastructure to stabilize the traffic.  Im sure this in turn effects the economy and the lives of all individuals involved.

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 4:05 PM

Anyone who has driven through Boston or New York City has shouted inordinate amounts of profanity and expletives at traffic and traffic lights, or wished that they would just get rid of them. In Dhaka, there are over 600 intersections without traffic lights, and with it comes delays, pollution, and in all likelihood, astronomical blood pressure levels. The lack of traffic signals is not the true culprit here, but dense population in the area and, according to locals, rickshaws. Rickshaws move too slowly and block buses and cars from moving. The obvious solution is to build car-only lanes and widen roads, but that cost time and money they country is not willing to invest. In the mean time, Bangladesh is stuck with toxic fumes and road rage. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 7, 8:52 AM

Driving during rush hour in places like Boston, New York, or Los Angeles can be enough to make any American driver impatient and anxious. Multiply that congestion, anger, impatience, and frustration by ten and you'll have some idea of what the traffic situation is like in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As one of the world's megacities, Dhaka has an enormous population that grows more and more every year. Like in every major city, there are millions of people who must get to work, school, the market, and home everyday. Dhaka, however, lacks not only the physical infrastructure to support these commuters, but the political and economic infrastructure as well. Attempts by the government to fix the traffic problem would inevitably alienate everyone from rickshaw drivers to car owners to bus companies to policemen. All of these entities are important components in the everyday commute for citizens of Dhaka. 


While this article deals with the traffic problem in Dhaka and Dhaka alone, to think that it is only a problem there would be a grave misjudgment. In a world that is growing faster than it ever has before, new megacities are cropping up all the time. In many cases, these cities can be found in developing countries that are becoming the new centers of industry and trade. As a result, the physical, political, and economic infrastructure to support these enormous population booms just does not exist. Problems that these enormous daily traffic jams produce concern huge losses of money and sharp decreases in quality of life. Poverty and an increase in the number of slums is also a concern, as many workers are forced to live wherever they can so they can walk to work everyday. The traffic problem in Dhaka, therefore, is representative of the problems facing many emerging megacities. Many local and national governments are unable to implement solutions that would have significant impacts on the issues that face their cities. So though Dhaka's traffic problem may seem unique, its causes and potential solutions should be watched closely by other emerging megacities around the world. 

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Can You Name These Cities by Their Starbucks Locations?

Can You Name These Cities by Their Starbucks Locations? | Southmoore AP Human Geography |

"Can you recognize it by its Starbucks locations?  Let’s find out. This quiz shows all of the Starbucks locations within the city boundaries of 20 domestic or foreign cities, and for each you must name the city depicted from four choices."

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 24, 2013 1:19 PM

This is my favorite place-based guessing game since GeoGuessr (5 locations in GoogleMaps "StreetView" and you have to guess where).  This isn't about knowing Starbucks locations, but understanding spatial urban economic patterns (just as this article showing the locations where McDonald's and Burger King will place stores also relies of understanding urban economic patterns).  In this Starbucks game you have to recognized the shape of the city, major street patterns and the economic patterns just to name a few.  This is one way to make the urban model more relevant.       

Tags: urbanmodels, economic, trivia.

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 24, 2013 6:53 PM

Unfortuntaley I wasn't very good at this game. I believe I ended up getting 5 answers correct. However what was intersting about this article was to see how each starbucks was placed in certain areas. There were so much more starbucks locations in city areas. The starbucks' also typically were off of main highways or corners. This is for similiar reasons to what we dicussed about dunkin donuts in class. People are only going to travel so far for coffee. If it is not convienent then people will go else where. It is not like car dealership where people will drive out of their way to look. For a coffee people on average may drive 5 minutes. Anything too out of the way people will avoid. That is why there are so many starbucks and dunkins so close to eachother. They are set up equdistant from each other in locations that are convient for people around the area to try and get them to choose their coffee. It is typical to put a coffee shop on the main roads like we see in the maps, as well as in numerous locations to convience the whole area. The more convient the shop the more money they will make. That is why there are some many locations so close to each other. It is interesting to see it visually on a map just how many locations there actually are. 

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Market Segmentation

Market Segmentation | Southmoore AP Human Geography |
Nielsen Prizm is a tool used by companies to analyze their customers spending habits, lifestyle choices and spatial patterns.  Using their Zip Code Look Up feature, you can search any zip code to g...


This is an interesting glimpse into how market research analysts view neighborhoods, geography and spatial analysis.  This economic and cultural data has a wide range of uses (albeit with some serious limitations). 


Tags: socioeconomic, neighborhood, place, economic, consumption, spatial, mapping. 

Via Seth Dixon, Dennis V Thomas
CIM Academy's curator insight, July 17, 5:13 AM

Segmentation is a key element in strategic planning. This article discusses the importance of market segmentation and provides some key insights. 

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Interactive World Statistics

Interactive World Statistics | Southmoore AP Human Geography |

Thank you @ APHumanGeog


The Brazilian government's geographic department (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística-roughly equivalent to the U.S. Census Bureau) has compiled an fantastic interactive world factbook (available in English and Spanish as well as Portuguese).  The ease of navigation allows the user to conduct a specific search of simply explore demographic, economic, environmental and development data on any country in the world.    


Tags: population, worldwide, statistics, mapping, zbestofzbest.

Via Seth Dixon
Leonardo Martins's comment, October 20, 2012 11:08 AM
So cool…thank you very much!
Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 24, 2012 10:23 AM
The world, here, is literally at your fingertips. It is a simple way for anyone to locate a multitude of data about any given place around the world. It is another way that brings the whole world that much closer in this technological era.
Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Geography Education!

Currency Map

Currency Map | Southmoore AP Human Geography |

We've seen a world map made of each country's coins before. Here's another currency map that uses images of each country's bills...And of course I'm going to enjoy this. 

Via Seth Dixon
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Rescooped by Mr. David Burton from Geography Education!

Downtowns: How Did We Get Here?

Kennedy Smith is considered one of the nation's leading experts on downtowns, downtown economics, independent business development and the economic impact of urban sprawl, with a long career in downtown revitalization.


This video discusses the decline of the American Central Business District, the rise of shopping malls, the importance of the automobile and spatial organization of particular economic sectors.


Parts Two ; and Three ; continue the discussion with an emphasis on practical urban planning policies for small cities to revitalize the downtown region with some domestic and foreign examples. 

Via Seth Dixon
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:38 AM

I have wondered about that where these downtowns came from. I have thought of it because I am very curious to learn about downtown providence and how it became a downtown. Where did the word downtown come from? It is amazing how things are being called in this world.