Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Mapping Rocky's Run

Mapping Rocky's Run | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"As a kid, I grew up watching the Rocky movies, shadow boxing with my brothers and doing push-ups during the workout montages.  One on my favorite scenes was in Rocky II when Rocky runs through the whole city of Philadelphia, thronged by adoring fans as he runs to the top of the stairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and yes, of course I re-enacted that scene when I was there)."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I was thrilled to read an article in the Philly Post by Dan McQuade entitled “How Far did Rocky Go is His Training run in Rocky II?“  This article identifies the locations in movie that were used to capture such a strong sense of place; earlier versions of this article did not have a map, and I wanted to see the images and a map together.  That was enough reason to make both an online map on arcgis.com and an interactive web mapping application with an ESRI storymap template. 


Tags: cartography, mapping, visualization, urban, place.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, September 23, 2013 10:45 AM

My family and I have watched the Rocky series a handful of times, and a month or two ago, my grandmother called our house all frantically to let us know that "Rocky" was on TV, in case we wanted to watch it.  I used to be big into going for long walks across a few towns every night, and this article reminded me of some of the walks that I had been on, and have actually mapped out.  The expression "walking around in circles" does not fully apply to many places, because they have semi-straight roads and often have 90 degree intersections with other roads, which would make it walking in rectangular patterns.  I have walked well over 20 miles in a single night, and found myself exploring side roads and looking them up later on an online map of the area.  In this article, Rocky runs in a "circular" pattern, but from his house to the final steps that he runs up at a museum, rather than returning to his house.  In this map with the article, Rocky is shown as covering a large area on his run, without overlapping the same areas all that often.  "Rocky" is a series about achieving dreams and defying odds- actions that are different with different characters and different outcomes in every movie.  It makes sense that Rocky covers a little bit of the same ground twice, metaphorically in the movies, and literally on the map, but also that he achieves his destination after going the long and difficult distance rather than a bee-line to the destination, that would defeat the depth of the story.  Rocky's run is symbolic as a journey mentally, physically, and spiritually, and is enforced by the route that he was found to have run, as analyzed by this article and its links.  While I found myself walking 15 miles to a place, and back in the same night, I was merely part of a cycle.  Rocky is a hero because he went the distance.

Expert's comment, September 25, 2013 10:08 PM
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Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 24, 2013 8:14 PM

I too loved this movie growing up. Everytime Rocky was brought up you always remebered the part when Rocky ran up the stairs to the statue after his long training run. Just from his run you see the type of community they lived in. His town was very rundown, but you still got a sense of community by the way people yelled and cheered for Rocky as he ran by. They may not have had much as a community, but they supported each other and took pride in their city. You were able to get all of this just from the different landmarks you saw Rocky pass by on his run. You may not think about it at the time, but the location and scenary really paints a picture of the type of lifestlye and culture Rocky grew up in, and what makes him the man that he is. That is all just from simply paying attention to the landmarks that he runs by. Location really effects a person and you can see that in this movie. Rocky was a fighter who never gave up. His community was the same way. And looking at the map I don't think I was would ever want to run that far. It appeared a lot shorter in the movie than it actually is!

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Redlining in 1936 Philadelphia

Redlining in 1936 Philadelphia | Geography Education | Scoop.it

 These are great images that shows the can build historical and geographical empathy for those that were discriminated against during the era of redlining.  These maps from the Home Owners' Loan Corporation mapped and shaped regions of urban disinvestment (but the maps were NOT widely circulated).  This example of redlining in 1936 Philadelphia, links you to primary source documents if you click on the map.  The documents are reports on the property values, resident demographics and descriptions of the residential zones.  For more on the Philadelphia redlining research project, visit: http://cml.upenn.edu/redlining/intro.html

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Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Income maps of every neighborhood in the U.S. See wealth and poverty in places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Miami, and more.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is the most user-friendly website I've seen to map economic census data.  This maps the average household income data on top of a Google Maps basemap that can be centered on any place in the United States.  This is a great resource to share with students of just about any age. 


Tags: statistics, census, GIS, mapping, K12.

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Alejandro Restrepo's curator insight, February 13, 2013 6:22 PM

Very interesting aspect of our demographics here in Central Falls. Any one with an interest in demographics and the make up our city should take a look a this and compare it to other neighborhoods in Rhode Island. Knowledge is power. Empower yourself!

Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, February 14, 2013 2:16 PM

Can you find your neighborhood HUGGERS?

Allison Anthony's curator insight, February 16, 2013 10:25 AM

Compare the neighborhoods in and around your area.  What trends do you see?  Any surprises?