"By enticing thousands and thousands of people to plan commercial, industrial, and residential districts for their virtual towns, the creators of SimCity have probably done more than anyone in the history of the world to introduce basic principles of zoning to the public. Even though it’s just a computer game, Cities: Skylines has a lot to teach us about the unstated premises of our urban-planning conversations, and demonstrates how those premises profoundly shape what our cities can look like. When we assume the necessity of a given way of regulating cities, assume away the messiness of people and their relationships, assume away politics, and ignore major costs, we miss an awful lot of what urban-planning debates should be."
"New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.
This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."
"In some ways, all 2D maps of Earth are interrupted at some point, even if it’s just along the antimeridian at 180°. Interruptions are often in areas of less interest e.g. oceans for a land-focused map."
Too many times after a natural hazard strikes, public outcries follow once the level of devastation becomes clear. People wonder – and often rightly so – if the disaster could have been prevented.
Via Lorraine Chaffer
Piktochart is an excellent online website (also available on the App Store) which makes it really easy to create an infographic. An infographic is a way of displaying data in a visual way.
Via Lorraine Chaffer
"Ships carry 11 billion tons of goods each year. This interactive map shows where they all go. About 11 billion tons of stuff gets carried around the world every year by large ships. Clothes, flat-screen TVs, grain, cars, oil — transporting these goods from port to port is what makes the global economy go 'round. And now there's a great way to visualize this entire process, through this stunning interactive map from the UCL Energy Institute."
Scenario: A town announces ambitious plans for expansion and development, but a new dam will be required to ensure a safe, secure water supply. Where should the new dam go? How can the water company balance the needs of different interest groups and the environment?Detailed lesson plans, student materials and presentation slides allow you to use the lessons ‘off the shelf’ with minimal preparation."
Reminicent of the picture book, "If the World were a Village" by David Smith, this video attempts to make large statistics more meaningful to to a broader audience. The concept is simple, but the impact is profound.
"Yes, globalization. For many people, that word conjures up, at best, images of container ships moving manufactured goods from far-flung factories. At worst, it harkens back to acrid debates about trade deficits, currency wars and jobs moving to China. In fact, since the Great Recession of 2008, the global flow of goods and services has flattened, and cross-border capital flows have declined sharply. But globalization overall isn't on the wane. Like so much in our world today, it has reinvented itself by going digital."
"Each module consists of a conceptual framework and case studies. The conceptual framework introduces students to some of the key concepts, theories, and analytical approaches in geography. The conceptual framework provides students with the background they need to think geographically about global issues. The case studies illustrate how geographic concepts, methods, and technologies can be used to investigate and solve problems in different places and countries."
The graphic above (Voronoi diagram) represents the relative size of each country’s economy in terms of nominal GDP: the larger the area, the larger the size of the economy. The areas are further divided into three sectors: services, industrial, and agricultural. The US economy is mostly composed of companies engaged in providing services (79.7% compared to the global average of 63.6%), while agriculture and industry make up smaller-than-average of portions of the economy (1.12% and 19.1% compared to averages of 5.9% and 30.5%).
"GeoInquiries are designed to be fast and easy-to-use instructional resources that incorporate advanced web mapping technology. Each 15-minute activity in a collection is intended to be presented by the instructor from a single computer/projector classroom arrangement. No installation, fees, or logins are necessary to use these materials and software."
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