Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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The Age of Borders

The Age of Borders | Geography Education |

"The creation date of (almost) every international border.  Full-size image here."


Tags: infographic, worldwide, borders, political, historical.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, February 23, 10:04 PM
Political Unit: History of  borders
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 6:33 AM

Preliminary - Political Geography 

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Borders and the Arctic Ocean

The ice in the Arctic is disappearing. Melting Arctic ice means new economic opportunities: trade routes in the Arctic ocean, and access to natural resources. Because of this, the Arctic nations are now moving to expand their border claims. Russia has shown that it’s the most ambitious, using a potent combination of soft power and military buildup to advance its agenda. They’ve said the Arctic is rightfully theirs.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is the second video in "Vox borders" series that is shaping up to be an excellent resources for geography educators.  This focus is on Svalbard and Russia's designs within the Arctic, but this TestTube episode is a shorter version that emphasizes how receding summer ice is being seen as an economic opportunity for all maritime claims in the Arctic.  Canada, the U.S., Russia, and Denmark (Greenland) all are subtly expanding their maritime claims.


Questions to Ponder: How do borders impact the develop/preservation of the Arctic?  How should uninhabited lands and waters be administered politically?



Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 10:31 PM
Since the 1980's a significant amount of ice in Antarctic ocean has melted away. This is a big deal because this is causing the changing of borders in this part of the world. With all the ice melting in Antarctica, this opens up new shipping lanes with much faster routes. This also makes it much easier for to drill for natural resources such as gas and oil, that were once difficult to get to because they were covered in ice. This is causing countries like Russia, Canada, Finland, and others to desire for new borders to be drawn up, hopefully in favor of their nation. Russia has even started developing military bases on some of the coast line that is opening up in Antarctica. It will be interesting to see how the borders in the Arctic circle are going to change and how it will also effect world trade in that part of the world.
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 6:36 AM

Preliminary - Political Geography 

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 3:09 PM
In this video, Vox Borders looks into who owns the Arctic. Because of the significant melting ice, the water ways of the Arctic may be opening up… this video looks into the efforts that Russia has made to declare the region. For example, off the coast of Russia, near the north pole lies a mining town, that was established to make sure Russia has a spot that they can declare as their own in the Arctic.
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Gibraltar Bay

Gibraltar Bay | Geography Education |

"Gibraltar Bay, located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, is the central feature of this astronaut photograph. The famous Rock of Gibraltar that forms the northeastern border of the bay is formed of Jurassic-era seafloor sediments that solidified into limestone, a rock formed mostly of the mineral calcite, which is found in the shells of sea creatures. The limestone was subsequently lifted above the ocean surface when the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Gibraltar is an exclave of the UK on a peninsula connected to the Spanish mainland that controls access to the Mediterranean Sea; there is naturally going to be friction over this unusual political configuration. "La Linea" marked on the image is the international border


Questions to Ponder: Why are both Spain and the UK invested in this piece of territory?  What challenges are there for a small exclave when neighbors aren't friendly?  How does Spanish and British supranational connections impact this issue?


Tags: borders, political, Spain, Europe.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 1:37 PM
(Europe) Gibraltar Bay is an important economic and political region located on the very southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. The UK owns city of Gibraltar while the surrounding area is in Spain. The Strait of Gibraltar is a passage separating Spain in Europe and Morocco in Africa, allowing transport between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The area has tactical value because of the inflow of ships and its geographic position, but also houses oil processing and tourism industries.
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State Borders

State Borders | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

I imagine most geographers have wanted to tinker with state or international borders to 'fix them' in one way or another...but if any 'correction' were to be made, whose criteria would be used?  Which people in which regions would be upset by the changes?  Historical inertia is a power force in maintaining the status quo. When France was preparing to consolidate it's administrative regions, 68% recognized that consolidating regional administration would be more efficient but 77% didn't want it to impact their own local region.


Tags: XKCD, art, mapping, cartography, borders, political.

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Enclaves & Exclaves

Enclaves & Exclaves | Geography Education |
A tour of the world's engulfed and orphaned places.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This storymap is a full length article about all the intricacies about enclaves and exclaves, but the interactive format, visuals and maps really make this much more than another article on the topic.    


Tags: borders, political, mappingESRIStoryMap.

Mr Mac's curator insight, July 3, 2017 12:08 PM
Unit 1 - Mapping; Unit 3/4 - Ethnic Enclaves and Exclaves 
Allison Anthony's curator insight, July 5, 2017 6:08 PM

Political geography 

Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 2017 9:01 PM

This storymap is a full length article about all the intricacies about enclaves and exclaves, but the interactive format, visuals and maps really make this much more than another article on the topic.    


Tags: borders, political, mappingESRIStoryMap.

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Why China is building islands in the South China Sea

"China is building islands in the South China sea and its causing disputes among the other nations in the region; Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia. China claims they aren't military bases, but their actions say otherwise. The US has many allies in the region and uses its massive Navy to patrol international waters, keeping shipping lanes open for trade."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Last year this was an intriguing story but now the geopolitical drama is growing as more countries are literally building islands out of reef outcroppings to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea.  For some without geographic expertise, this might some baffling.  For those that understand Exclusive Economic Zones, maritime claims, and expanding geopolitical aspirations, this makes perfect sense. 


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 11, 1:33 PM
China is being very sneaky in their attempt to control the South China Sea and have decided they don’t want to listen to any international laws or court rulings that don’t follow what they want.  In order to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea and increase their land holdings, the Chinese have decided to literally build islands in the body of water.  These islands are then used as naval bases to help them take over other islands that are held by other countries in the South China Sea.  Their strategy for taking over these islands is called the “Cabbage strategy” where they quietly surround and blockade the islands from the countries who hold control over them in order to take them over.  As much as the other countries bordering the South China Sea do not like what China is doing, they are unable to challenge them too much because China’s navy is the most powerful in the region.  This is a situation that shouldn’t be so escalated because international maritime laws have established that countries can control the water 200 miles off their coasts, which would mean China would control part of the sea, other East Asian countries would control part of the sea, and the center of the sea would be international waters.  However, the natural resources in the sea are irresistible to China, so they have started literally building islands and taking over tiny islands that would normally have no one on them.  Other countries in the South China Sea have responded by building and settling on these ridiculously small islands as well.  China has now taken their claims a step farther and claimed airspace above the South China Sea.  The recent breakthroughs in technology have changed the way that governments can claim their borders and made geography more complicated.  The reason that China has been getting away with this is that no country except the U.S. can keep China in check.  However, it would be impossible to threaten China with the American Navy without causing a much bigger military conflict.  So for now, China quietly continues taking over the South China Sea.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 10:23 AM
The vast resources in the South China Sea and the benefits of the Exclusive Economic Zone make it clear why china wants and currently is building islands in the South China Sea. By occupying these newly created islands and claiming them for their own, they can extend their area of economic control by 200 nautical miles. For a nation that is rapidly industrializing and is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, these new areas of control are monumentally important.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 11:49 AM
China is attempting to extend their EEZ by building islands in the South China Sea so they can claim the area 200 miles off the coasts of these man made islands. This is a problem because of the other countries that have EEZ claims in the South China Sea because if China claims more land it takes away the EEZ zones of some of these other countries. 
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Israeli settlements, explained

"Both sides claim the West Bank as legitimately belonging to them. Over time, and especially as Israeli politics has shifted rightward, the settler movement has become an institutionalized part of Israeli society. Support comes in the form of building permits, public investment, and even incentives for Israelis to move into the West Bank. While peace talks remain frozen, the settlements continue to grow, making any possibility of a Palestinian state in the West Bank faint."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These settlements are considered by most of the international community to be illegal, but since the U.S. has always vetoed sanctions in the UN security council, Israel had never been formally reprimanded.  Just last week, a UN resolution that passed 14-0 (with only the U.S. abstaining) says that Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.” 


Questions to Ponder: What is the two-state solution?  Who favors this plan?  What are some reasons why the two-state solution is so difficult to achieve?


Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, borders, territoriality, political, Middle East.

David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 22, 1:25 PM
The settlements started out has a religious spreading. However, that has dramatically changed over time due to economic reasons. Not only that the amount of government support for the people living in these lands are incredible, even in an outpost that is deemed illegal. The country occasionally goes into illegal areas and tear down houses to show a tough face on them. The government and its people theorized that more will come home and that the populations in the settlements will grow to half a million. The international community and Israeli must come up with a strategy before it gets to the point of no turning back. 
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 23, 12:55 PM
This video gives some in depth background on how Israel and Palestine are severely intermingled. It goes into the history of the creation of Israel and it talks extensively about the West Bank region and who lives there and who controls what parts. The region is very intertwined and more Israelis are moving into the region and how it would become more and more difficult to separate the region into two states. 
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 4:34 PM
This shows how important clear and distinct boarders are for different countries. In this case, that is important because Palstine feels their land is justing getting taken, while Israel argues they are returning to their homeland. Either way, the rest of the world believes what Israel is doing is illegal and Palestine should have it's own autonomy as a state, in a two-state system.
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China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands

China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands | Geography Education |
New satellite imagery indicates that China has installed weapon systems on all seven artificial islands it has built in the contested waters of the South China Sea, a move that's likely alarm the country's neighbors.


Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, remote sensing, East Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: After this news, the Pentagon says a Chinese warship has seized a US Navy underwater drone collecting unclassified data in international waters in the South China Sea.

Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, January 4, 2017 3:41 PM
With a new president on our horizon, how will this affect our relationship with China?
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Belgium and the Netherlands Swap Land, and Remain Friends

Belgium and the Netherlands Swap Land, and Remain Friends | Geography Education |
The discovery of a headless corpse in the Netherlands helped Belgium and its bigger Dutch neighbor resolve a property squabble that began in 1961.


In a region that has long known geopolitical and linguistic squabbles, and where Belgium has lived in the shadow of its neighbor, the land swap was anything but inevitable. In 1961, when the Meuse was reconfigured to aid navigation, it had the side effect of pushing three pieces of land onto the wrong side of the river. The uninhabited area subsequently gained a reputation for lawlessness, wild parties and prostitution.


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, BelgiumNetherlands, unit 4 political, Europe.

Taylor Doonan's curator insight, February 15, 7:21 PM
This shows a peaceful glimpse into the future of potentially the world. When borders don't make sense a peaceful sit-down resulting in subtle changes of borders makes sense. Though this is extremely hard to attain, Belgium and the Netherlands achieved this. When a body was found and the wrong authorities were called and the correct authorities could not reasonably get to the land the deal was made creating borders between the two nations that made sense. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 2:05 PM
(Europe) The Belgian-Dutch border on Meuse River was drawn to aid navigation but caused parts of each country to end up on the wrong side of the river. When a murder happened on Belgian land on the opposing river bank and required a tricky river landing, the countries realized the impracticality. Without fighting over land in other regions of the world, Belgium relinquished 35 acres and the Netherlands gave up 7 peacefully, strengthening their relations. Illogical borders like this exist throughout the world, including between Norway and Finland and the US and Canada.
brielle blais's curator insight, March 24, 12:37 PM
This article shows that despite small geopolitical and linguistic squabbles, Belgium and Norway still peacefully traded land to fix unreasonable boarders. This also showcases the importance of maintaining friendly relations and practical boarders between countries. A peninsula belonging to the Netherlands was cut off by a treacherous river and Belgium, through which the Dutch needed special permission to cross over. After the peninsula became a hub for lawlessness, it was agreed by both countries that the boarder needed to be fixed. This shows that these changes can be done peacefully by countries and that geographic location is very important. 
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Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire

Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire | Geography Education |
Erdogan’s aggressive nationalism is now spilling over Turkey’s borders, grabbing land in Greece and Iraq.


In the past few weeks, a conflict between Ankara and Baghdad over Turkey’s role in the liberation of Mosul has precipitated an alarming burst of Turkish irredentism. President Erdogan criticized the Treaty of Lausanne, which created the borders of modern Turkey, for leaving the country too small. Turkey won’t be annexing part of Iraq anytime soon, but this combination of irredentist cartography and rhetoric nonetheless offers some insight into Turkey’s current foreign and domestic policies and Ankara’s self-image.  The military interventions and confrontational rhetoric this nationalism inspires may worsen Turkey’s security and regional standing.


Tags: political, irredentism, culture, Turkeyhistorical, bordersempire, geopolitics.

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Country Cluster Quiz

Country Cluster Quiz | Geography Education |

"No borders. No landmarks. No context. How many countries will you be able to recognize? Here’s how this works. I give you a the outline of several countries together, without borders or any other context, and you guess which countries you’re looking at."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not the most difficult geography quiz (as advertised on Buzzfeed), but it does take some time since all the countries in a given cluster aren't all immediately obvious.  The fact that it is multiple choice certainly simplifies the this quiz.


Tagsmapping, trivia, funborders.

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When Mexico Was Flooded By Immigrants

When Mexico Was Flooded By Immigrants | Geography Education |
In the early nineteenth-century, Mexico had a problem with American immigrants.
Seth Dixon's insight:
A century and a half ago, the immigration debate and geopolitical shifts in power on the United States-Mexico border reflected a profoundly different dynamic than it does today.  This history has enduring cultural impacts on southwestern states that had the international border jump them.


Tags: culture, demographicsmigration, North Americahistorical, colonialism, borders, political.

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 10, 2017 7:02 AM
Seth Dixon's insight: A century and a half ago, the immigration debate and geopolitical shifts in power on the United States-Mexico border reflected a profoundly different dynamic than it does today. This history has enduring cultural impacts on southwestern states that had the international border jump them.
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Point Roberts

Point Roberts | Geography Education |
An American city stranded at the tip of a Canadian peninsula where strict adherence to the "49th parallel rule" became problematic.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm sharing this because what isn't exciting about an exclave that was created by a superimposed, geometric border?  


Tags: borders, political.

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The Two Koreas

The Two Koreas | Geography Education |

"While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. What follows is a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and where the crisis could go from here. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate rulers of the peninsula. Tensions between north and south gradually mounted, until finally, in June 1950, hundreds of thousands of North Korean troops stormed across the 38th parallel. The unsuspecting South Korean defenders were outgunned and outnumbered, and beat a hasty retreat southward."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This excellent interactive was created by Esri's Story Maps team using the Story Map Cascade app--making it an great resources of the geography of the Korean Peninsula as well as a stellar example of how maps, infographics, videos, images and text can be combined using ArcGIS online.


Tags: mappingESRIStoryMapinfographic, visualizationNorth KoreaSouth Korea, East Asiaborders, political, geopolitics, historical.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 12, 1:07 PM
It’s hard to see that two groups of people who speak the same language and have the same ethnic backgrounds can live such strikingly different existences.  It seems that the only thing they still have in common is their language and ethnicities.  When I was scrolling through this story, there were a few pieces that really stood out to me.  The first was that the Korean War technically hasn’t been formally concluded, which means that attacks on each other aren’t actually that out of the realm of possibilities.  The next thing was that North Korea’s birth rate is higher than South Korea’s, yet the population of South Korea is two times larger.  This reflects that the life expectancy of South Koreans is significantly longer and that their resources are used more efficiently.  Other statistics that stood out related to GDP.  Up until 1980 both North and South Korea’s GDPs were growing at basically the same rate.  But from that point forward, South Korea’s grew dramatically and North Korea’s actually decreased.  This leads up to today where the GDP of South Korea is $1.934 trillion and North Korea’s is only $40 billion.  Seeing as they are basically working with the same resources, since they share a similar geographic location, in most situations their GDPs would be even a tiny bit similar.  However, the way the economies of both countries are operated have created such a difference in their GDPs.  The infrastructure of the two countries are also wildly different.  The map of the two countries at night show that South Korea uses a lot of electricity, so practically the entire country is lit up.  North Korea is so dark that if I didn’t know that people lived there, I would assume it was uninhabited by any humans.  The statistic regarding the percentages of roads paved vs unpaved in the two countries also shows the stark contrast between their infrastructure.  Only 3% of roads in North Korea are paved!  Whereas 92% of South Korea’s roads are paved.  The most unfortunate part of this whole situation is that there are millions of people who live in North Korea and must suffer with little hope of escaping while their South Korean neighbors generally enjoy a modernized life.  This story map shows that sharing a location does not really mean that two groups of people will live similar lives.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 20, 12:34 PM
This expertly created set of data points and maps clearly lay out the stark differences between North and South Korea. Also, it shows how both countries have resources the other needs and how cooperation or reunification can benefit everyone. However, this article shows how the dramatic differences between these two countries politically, economically, and socially make that highly unlikely. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 26, 7:53 PM
(East Asia) This article explains the relationship between the Korean War and modern tensions. After WWII, the USSR occupied territory to the north of the 38th parallel and the US occupied the south. The governments of each half both claimed to be the true government of the whole peninsula until North Korea invaded the South, starting the Korean War. Communist China's entry forced UN and US troops into a stalemate at the parallel, eventually leading to an armistice establishing the DMZ, the most defended border in the world. In subsequent decades, North Koreans have dug tunnels under the DMZ to start a new invasion.

With Soviet help, Kim Il-sung created a military communist dictatorship in the north while the UN created a democracy in South Korea.

Despite common cultural heritage, there is a stark contrast between the two countries. The north has half the population, a higher birth rate, and a life expectancy 12 years lower, displaying the country's mismanagement. While the South has free press, free travel, and is the strongest economy in Asia, North Korea subjugates through punishment and is almost completely isolated. North Koreans have little access to food, electricity, and roads.

North Korea has developed a more aggressive policy in the last decade. Many successful missile tests have been made, including one fired over Japan into the Pacific Ocean last year. Even China, North Korea's one ally, has imposed sanctions on the country. Some think a peaceful solution is still available, while others watch the USA-NK Twitter war in anticipation.
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Capital Jerusalem

Capital Jerusalem | Geography Education |

"Because Israel refused to recognize the U.N. plan for an internationalized Jerusalem and because of its annexation of occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, no country in the world has offered legal and diplomatic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Most states, however, have unofficially acknowledged Israel's sovereignty and actual possession, without recognition of lawful title."

Seth Dixon's insight:

That is, until now.  The United States is planning to move it's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a move that will have far more reaching implications than the relocation of just about any other embassy on Earth could have, given the geopolitical significance of Jerusalem to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader international ties.  Below are some resources to contextualize this shift: 


Questions to Ponder: How does this change the status quo at the local, national and international scales?  What might be some of the consequences of this move?  What would you recommend and why?  


Tags: Israel, Palestine, borders, political, Middle East, geopolitics, historical.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 9:12 AM
It was a major move by the Trump administration with far reaching complications.  Now it if you take out all of the past history in the area and all of the future political/military problems in the area does it make sense to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, well yes. However, in this world that we live in it surely is not that simple. With the past, current, and future arguments in the area between Israel and the Palestine's this further creates a rift between both and probably takes us further away from a resolution. From a geography and economic perspective Jerusalem would be a great central location in which to work from, however since there is so much contested space there it simply does not work. It isn't always the best place from a geographical standpoint (although in an ideal world that be perfect), but the one in our current political climate that makes the most sense for ones own country. This is a decision that we will have to look back at for the next decade or so and see eventually the impact that it will have on the current situation. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, March 22, 12:36 PM
The decision by the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the capital of Israel totally and absolutely undermines almost any chance at a two state solution. With this declaration, the US has taken sides and the idea that a two state solution with a Jerusalem under international government has essentially vanished. Even if the US were to reverse their decision in the future, the damage has already been done. 
Christina Caruso's curator insight, March 31, 6:03 PM
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Most states, however have unofficially acknowledged Israel's sovereignty and actual possession, without recognition of the lawful title that Jerusalem was the capital.  
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Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds

Haiti and the Dominican Republic share a border, and an island. But the two countries are very different today: the Dominican Republic enjoys higher quality of life for many factors than Haiti. I went to this island and visited both countries, to try and understand when and how their paths diverged.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is an exciting debut for the new series "Vox borders."  By just about every development metric available, the Dominican Republic is doing better than Haiti, the only bordering country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the DR.   


Questions to Ponder: How does the border impact both countries?  How has sharing one island with different colonial legacies shaped migrational push and pull factors?


Tags: Haiti, Dominican Republic, video, poverty, development, economic, labor, migration, political, borders.

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 13, 8:41 PM
This video is extremely interesting seeing as it points out the differences between two very different worlds that are only separated by a single border. The video shows how racist the Dominicans are to their neighbors and shows us how the Haitians live under such scrutiny. On each end of the border, there are two markets that are supposed to allow both the Haitians and the Dominicans to trade their goods, however, the strict border patrol officers keep the Haitians from entering until their neighbors have set up their shops at the best spots. The director of the video also notes that he believes the reason Haiti is much poorer than the Dominican Republic stems all the way back to when they were colonies of France and Spain. 
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 12:47 PM
I found this video to be very insightful into the relationship Haiti has with the Dominican Republic and how the Haitian government has formed into what it is today. It was especially informative for myself because I didn't know very much about these countries before watching this video. I knew Haiti was the first slave colony to have a successful revolt against their slave holders, but I didn't know or realize all the consequences of that slave uprising. It seems like Haiti wasn't given a proper chance right off the bat to succeed as a nation. The French overworked their land and destroyed the soil which is still a problem today. Once Haiti declared independence, many nations enforced embargoes on Haiti because it was considered a threat due to it being a black republic, which strangled their potential for a strong economy. Adding to that France demanded a large sum of money from Haiti after they declared independence because France was upset about losing profits from the colony, which hindered the Haitian economy even more. It's too bad that Haiti got a bad hand of cards right from the beginning, I hope that one day they can rise above adversity, and truly flourish as a nation.
tyrone perry's curator insight, March 14, 10:43 PM
watching this showed many disturbing facts about the island shared by the D.R. and Haiti.  because of both of their previous owners the island went in two different directions.  Haiti owned by the French brought over many slaves to pillage and exploit their side of the Island.  Haiti could not flourish because of racism and debt.  D.R. had a different history the Spaniards integrated with the locals and worked together to help the country grow.  they took care of their land and their was no racism playing any role in destroying the people of that country.  driving up and down the you can see the difference on both sides.  Haiti has a bare and eroded land while the D.R. has lush jungles.  according to the narrator there is strong racism towards the Haitians by the Dominicans.  Even thou they both share the island the Dominicans look down on the Haitians and refuse to help them even thou D.R. is a so to speak rich nation they could really help improve and grow both nations as a whole.  Its sad to see that the reason people cant grow is because of systemic and blatant racism. 
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With only one left, iconic yellow road sign showing running immigrants now borders on the extinct

With only one left, iconic yellow road sign showing running immigrants now borders on the extinct | Geography Education |
Only one of the 10 iconic Caltrans caution signs emblazoned with the image of an immigrant father, mother and daughter running for their lives remains. They once dotted Interstate 5.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As a child of the border (I grew up 8 miles from the U.S.-Mexican border with family on both sides of the line), the cultural, political and economic impacts of this line were very tangible in my life, but to mention family.  This sign was a symbol of mass migration and cultural change in Southern California and I would pass one on the way to my grandmother’s house.  As a fixture of the cultural landscape, it also became a visual talking point that served as a lightning rod in the political landscape.  During the 80’s and 90’s, immigrants from Mexico were coming in to the United States is large numbers, but since the 2000, that dominant stream has dried up, rendering this sign no longer necessary near freeways crossings.  Mexican migration to and from the United States is a contentious topic where political ideology can be louder than the actual statistics.  Since 2009, more Mexicans have been leaving the United States than entering it (PEW Research Center).  Economic and demographic shifts in both countries have led to this reversal.    


Tags: Mexico, migration, political, landscape, California, borders.   

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How the 1967 war changed the shape of Israel

How the 1967 war changed the shape of Israel | Geography Education |
THE SIX-DAY WAR increased Israel’s territory threefold. The “borders of Auschwitz” were gone; the vulnerable nine-mile narrow waist acquired a thick cuirass with the mountains of the West Bank. Israel soon annexed East Jerusalem with some surrounding land; it did the same with the Golan Heights in 1981.


Tags: Israel, Palestine, borders, political, Middle East.

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, July 4, 2017 2:22 AM
How the 1967 war changed the shape of Israel
Allison Anthony's curator insight, July 5, 2017 6:12 PM

Middle East/Southwest Asia

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 27, 11:53 AM
Anyone who thinks they have a solution to dividing up Israel into a land for both Palestinians and Israelis should read this article, because it is basically impossible.  It seems that both Palestinians and Israelis tried to claim as much land as they could for their own during the second half of the twentieth century.  However, they didn’t seem to have a long term plan because basically none of the territories are autonomously Palestinian or Israeli.  There would be no way to divide the country without displacing millions of people.  Jerusalem itself is even more of a mess because it is divided between Jews, Muslims, Christians and Armenians.  There would be no way to grant full control of Jerusalem to one group without causing major conflict.  The very last part of this article describes what both Israelis and Palestinians believe qualify them for greater power in the territory.  Both believe that whoever has a higher population should be entitled to more control.  The problem is that Palestians calculate that their population is about to be equal to the Israelis, but the Israelis believe the birth rate of the Orthodox Jews is high enough to keep their population larger.  It’s pretty hard to tell which group is correct because they are both very biased on the matter.  The settlement patterns and the stubbornness of both the Israelis and the Palestinians leave little hope that this conflict will be solved anytime soon.
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Minnesota becomes a gateway to Canada for rejected African migrants

More than 430 African migrants have arrived in Winnipeg since April, up from 70 three years ago. Most come by way of Minneapolis, sometimes after grueling treks across Latin America and stints in U.S. immigration detention.


A tangle of factors is fueling the surge: brisker traffic along an immigrant smuggling route out of East Africa, stepped-up deportations under the Obama administration and the lure of Canada’s gentler welcome. Advocates expect the Trump administration’s harder line on immigration will spur even more illegal crossings into Canada, where some nonprofits serving asylum seekers are already overwhelmed. Now Canadians worry smugglers are making fresh profits from asylum seekers and migrants take more risks to make the crossing.


Tags: migration, USACanada, borders, political.

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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016 | Geography Education |

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that powerfully divides the international community.  Of those living within the state of Israel, Pew Research data shows that they are often deeply divided based on religious affiliation. Not surprisingly, those divisions extend into how they view the peace process, West Bank settlements and U.S. support.  Although the conflict is portrayed as a battle between religious groups, it can be more fairly assessed as two nationalistic groups competing for land.  Broadly speaking, the Muslim world has sided with the Palestinians, and the U.S. and its NATO allies have defended Israel.   In the United Nation’s Security Council, the United States’ veto power has been use to strike down resolutions that would condemn Israeli settlement in the militarily occupied lands of the West Bank.  The 2016 UN resolution that passed 14-0 (with only the U.S. abstaining) says that Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activities,” saying this “is essential for salvaging the two-state solution.”


These settlements are considered by most of the international community to be illegal, and the UN has condemned them, but since the U.S. has always vetoed this, Israel has never been formally reprimanded.  Earlier this week, the U.S. abstained from the vote, and the many see the U.S. position as hypocritical, (Secretary of State John Kerry strongly defended the position).


Some highly partisan supporters of Israel do not see Israel’s actions as the problem, primarily because Israel’s neighbors have traditionally not recognized its right to exist, and attacked it many times.  Therefore, they see Israel’s actions as necessary for the security of Israel, and do not see Israel’s settlements in the West Bank as illegal since Palestine isn’t a state that was ever legally accepted. 


Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, borders, political, Middle East.

Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, January 9, 2017 2:14 AM
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict updates, 2016
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The unbearable sadness of being Taiwan, a liberal island other democracies refuse to talk to

The unbearable sadness of being Taiwan, a liberal island other democracies refuse to talk to | Geography Education |

"An island, a territory, a self-governing entity, a renegade province, a breakaway part of China, the place formerly known as Formosa—call Taiwan any of those things, but never a country, a state, or a nation. The simple fact that it took a phone call between US president-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen to draw attention to one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies highlights the humiliating plight of Taiwan in the international arena. The irony that the US and other democratic countries cannot openly recognize Taiwan’s achievements for fear of incurring Beijing’s wrath has not been lost on many observers, who nevertheless fear that a cavalier move by Trump to upend diplomatic protocol in such a way could ultimately end badly for little Taiwan."


Tags: Taiwan, political, states, borders, geopoliticsEast Asia.

Loreto Vargas's curator insight, December 12, 2016 10:01 AM
This behaviour towards Taiwan of the so-called “democratic” countries is unfair and their submission to China is unacceptable. But that’s the way things go and Chile is benefiting from this cowardice. Let’s put a stop to the made in China!
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 10:13 PM
(East Asia) The countries of the world cannot identify Taiwan's sovereignty because of China's indignation. Although Taiwan claims to be the true China, most countries recognize the hugely powerful PRC instead. China has prevented Taiwan from entering the United Nations and has pressured countries to perceive Taiwanese citizens as Chinese. However, Taiwan has followed the UN's regulations on issues such as climate change and may soon be the first Asian area to legalize same-sex marriage. While a strong democracy, China strong-arms other nations to exclude Taiwan.
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Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong

Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong | Geography Education |

"While 75 percent of Germans who live in the east said that they considered their country's reunification a success, only half of western Germans agreed. With eastern and western Germans blaming each other for past mistakes over the past two years, that frustration has likely increased. Younger citizens, especially — who do not usually identify themselves with their area of origin as strongly anymore — have grown worried about the persistent skepticism on both sides. But where do those divisions come from? And how different are eastern and western Germany today?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This series of 10 maps (and 1 satellite image) highlights many of the cultural and economic divisions between East and West, despite efforts to in the last 26 years to smooth out these discrepancies. The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 


Tags: Germany, industry, laboreconomichistorical, politicalborders.

Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, November 1, 2016 11:25 AM
Seth Dixon's insight: This series of 10 maps (and 1 satellite image) highlights many of the cultural and economic divisions between East and West, despite efforts to in the last 26 years to smooth out these discrepancies. The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, February 9, 3:00 PM
The social, political, and economic impacts of reunification are still being flt today. The old policies of both East and West Germany still impact the cultural and social habits of Germans. Despite the borders between the two former nations being eliminated almost 30 years ago, the differences between the two halves of Germany will be felt for decades to come. Issues from vaccines to child care to trash production all feel the effects of the policies of the former division.
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 20, 11:48 AM
From when this article was written it has been 26 years since Germany was completely unified.  But over the last two years there has been a rift between east and west Germany.  Economically the east feels left behind by the west with their rise of wealth.  The west is mad that the east doesn’t taken in as many refugees as they do.  These rifts between the two are not making things easy to work out between the two.  All they are doing are pointing fingers and not coming up with solutions.  Many people of the younger generations don’t feel as divided as the older generations do.  They feel they are Germans and not east or west.  Maybe they can find a way to bring people together as one. 
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‘The Wall Is a Fantasy’

‘The Wall Is a Fantasy’ | Geography Education |
A week in the borderlands with migrants and guards.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not a political statement but a reiteration of the geographic realities of borders; they are inherently permeable and unite people just as much as they divide. 


Tags: Mexico, borders, political.   

Alexander peters's curator insight, October 17, 2016 12:41 PM
The Wall Is a Fantasy
This article talks about an american high jumper that want a wall torn down so he goes to Donald j .Trump and he said no. I liked this article because it talks about the political side of things.
tyrone perry's curator insight, February 9, 7:31 PM
According to the people in the article, Mexicans as well as the drug lords will always find ways to get into the US regardless if a way goes up.  Many of them have tried several times to come in and have been caught, detained, brought back to Mexico and then tried again.  I have assisted the border agents in 2007 for five months on active duty orders.  Watching many of them trying to come here to better their lives and the struggles they have to endure is both impressive and sad.  It is the smugglers that are more of the problem and the will stop at nothing to get their product here.  Also according to some ranchers thou they want a closed border and land security they feel as if the wall is a waste because of the resiliency of the Mexicans. 
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Do You Know The Outline of These Countries?

Do You Know The Outline of These Countries? | Geography Education |
Can you spot the real outline from the fake?..
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is just for fun...The borders/coastlines of these 14 countries are slightly photoshopped in one of the two images, and you have to remember from your mental maps which one is correct.  And yes, of course I got a 14. 


Tagsmapping, trivia, funborders, cartography.

Jamie Strickland's comment, August 19, 2016 10:37 AM
Love this --- will try with my classes when I talk about cognitive images and our mental maps!
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Old Mexico lives on

Old Mexico lives on | Geography Education |
On February 2nd 1848, following a short and one-sided war, Mexico agreed to cede more than half its territory to the United States. An area covering most of present-day Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, plus parts of several other states, was handed over to gringolandia. The rebellious state of Tejas, which had declared its independence from Mexico in 1836, was recognised as American soil too. But a century and a half later, communities have proved more durable than borders. The counties with the highest concentration of Mexicans (as defined by ethnicity, rather than citizenship) overlap closely with the area that belonged to Mexico before the great gringo land-grab of 1848. Some are recent arrivals; others trace their roots to long before the map was redrawn. They didn’t jump the border—it jumped them.


Tags: culture, demographics, North Americahistorical, colonialism, borders, political.

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 10, 2017 6:51 AM
I say it all the time, culture does not respect boarders. 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, February 9, 8:15 PM
Up until 170 years ago, a large portion of what is now the United States was actually controlled by Mexico.  Remarkably, this is still reflected in the ethnic makeup of the population of that area, which covers all or part of 8 states (all of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and part of Colorado and Wyoming).  Political borders may determine citizenship, but they are by no means a hard division of ethnicity or culture.