Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Choosing a Map Projection

"Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement. --World maps usually center on the land, with the Pacific Ocean divided as bookends. To show each ocean as a whole with the least distortion for our 'Beneath the Oceans' supplement map, we used a map projection called an interrupted Mollweide centered on the Pacific."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.  This video provides good insight into how to choose a map projection for a cartographic project. Here is National Geographic's lesson using this video.

 

Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water

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The last globemakers

Peter Bellerby is one of the last artisan globemakers on earth. But now, he's teaching an entirely new generation of artists the secrets of crafting entire worlds by hand.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Yes, these globes are precise archives filled with geospatial data and locational information–however, that pales in comparison to the artistic brilliance of the globes. These hand-crafted globes are truly works of art.  Marvel at the merger of mathematical precision and artistic design that makes a globe such as these a cartographic gem.  If anybody want to get me a Christmas present, you know that I love cartographic gifts.  FUTURE WATCHING: Here is the longer video of the Bellerby Globes being produced.     

 

Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

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M Sullivan's curator insight, September 28, 9:38 PM
Incredible hand-crafted globes and their stories.
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Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise

Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Federal maps help determine who on the coast must buy flood insurance, but many don't include the latest data. Maryland is now making its own flood maps, so homeowners can see if they're at risk.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geographic themes are overflowing (it was an unintended pun, but I'll just let that wash over you) in this podcast.  I suggest playing a game early in the year/semester called "find the geography."  What geographic theme/content areas will your students find in this podcast? 

 

Tagspodcast, mapping, cartography, climate change, environment, watercoastal,  urban, planningurban ecology.

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M Sullivan's curator insight, August 6, 9:14 PM
Useful for Geographical Processes Unit of Inquiry
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U.S.G.S. Topographical Maps

U.S.G.S. Topographical Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Think of them not as cartographic abstractions, but as incredibly affordable Pollocks.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Good cartography lies at the intersection of rigorous scientific data display and a aesthetic touch of beauty.  This article is an ode to the beauty of USGS topographic maps as affordable pieces of art.  Geography students that start their own mapping projects need to recognize that good cartographic work often needs to be both an art and a science to fit the needs of their intended audience. 

 

Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

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This computer programmer solved gerrymandering in his spare time

This computer programmer solved gerrymandering in his spare time | Geography Education | Scoop.it
We could take human error out of the redistricting process entirely. Why don't we?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This computer programmer (code word in the newspapers for geographers using GIS) has created a way to take the human element out of the redistricting process.  Dividing places into separate, formal regions is an important task, one that often times requires an intimate knowledge of the place, it's cultural, economic and physical characteristics.  That's how I would want things to been done in a perfect world, but partisan chicanery has led to so many gerrymandered districts that the human touch is what many of us fear more than a cold, impersonal division that does not take place, history, and community into account.    

 

Questions to Ponder: Do you trust the politicians that are in charge of your state to create better districts than computer-generated districts that are optimized for compactness?  What are some of the potential limitations of compact districts?  Would an independent committee/bipartisan group do a better job? How does the Voting Rights Act complicate the redistricting process?    

 

Tags: gerrymandering, politicalmapping, cartography, GIS, unit 4 political.

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Madison Murphy's curator insight, May 16, 2:34 PM
The Computer Programmer looks at gerrymandering in a different way by drawing boundary lines on his map and then comparing to show you the difference. This relates to the classroom by showing how gerrymandering draws lines of states but is illegal. This still exists and is bigger in political parties.
Mr Mac's curator insight, June 13, 10:23 AM
Unit 1 - regions, GIS, Unit 4 - districts, gerrymandering (please note, saying "solved" might be a stretch as any districting will have to work on some form of bias) 
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Making Globes

"Colored printed sections showing the map of the world are cut to shape then pasted onto the surface of the globes and a protective coat of varnish is added. Narrator recounts the fact that lots of the workers have been there for over 30 years and quips: 'While the rest of the mankind does its best to blow the world up, they like building a new one.'"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love watching globes made by hand and this vintage video shows the process of globes being made in London in 1955.  While most globe production is mechanized today, you can also watch the Bellerby company use gorgeous artistry to handcraft globes today.   

 

Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

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A More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award

A More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"To design a map of the world is no easy task. Because maps represent the spherical Earth in 2D form, they cannot help but be distorted, which is why Greenland and Antarctica usually look far more gigantic than they really are, while Africa appears vastly smaller than its true size. The AuthaGraph World Map tries to correct these issues, showing the world closer to how it actually is in all its spherical glory."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This just shows how subjective the concept of "accurate" can be. First off, this is a fabulous map that nicely minimizes distortions (distance, direction, area, and shape) of the land on our planet. Any criticism of the map just shows the impossibility of making an accurate 2D map of a 3D Earth, but I still think that there is plenty of room to discuss the flaws/distortions that were chosen instead of others. It is interesting to note that a Japanese contest awarded this map with it's top honor (I doubt a Brazilian organization would feel the same way about this map). This map does make with some traditional cartographic conventions in its representation of Earth.  

 

Questions to Ponder: What are some elements of this map that are different from more traditional maps? This map claims to be more accurate; does that make it more useful?    

 

Tags: visualization, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

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All Maps Are Biased. Google Maps’ New Redesign Doesn’t Hide It.

All Maps Are Biased. Google Maps’ New Redesign Doesn’t Hide It. | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Google rolled out its new Maps design...from a navigational tool to a commercial interface and offers the clearest proof yet that the geographic web—despite its aspirations to universality—is a deeply subjective entity."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Google Maps was updated over the summer, and the updates don't make them more impartial, but that isn't a bad thing.  Google Maps now highlight 'Areas of interest,' which are created with algorithms designed to reveal the “highest concentration of restaurants, bars, and shops.” The algorithms aren't 'objective,' but are fine-tuned by human engineers to reflect what they consider 'Areas of Interests' should look like.  Maps are never as objective as they appear to be, and that can often be a great thing. 

 

Tags: google, mapping, geospatial, cartography, visualization.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, September 6, 2016 9:30 AM
All maps are biased because they are not the territory, but represent our subjective view of the territory; what we include and what we leave out depends on what we deem important, or not. Europe is still oversized in most current maps in relation to the "Third World." What is the new politically correct fad?
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Do You Know The Outline of These Countries?

Do You Know The Outline of These Countries? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.

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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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The dirty little secret that data journalists aren’t telling you

The dirty little secret that data journalists aren’t telling you | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How to tell two radically different stories with the same dataset.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Mapping matters, but that doesn't mean that maps convey an objective truth.  They are rhetorical devices used to convince and persuade.  So approach maps critically because while they can convey great spatial patterns, they can conceal patterns just as easily.  

 

Tagsstatisticscartography, visualization, mapping.

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Jose Sepulveda's curator insight, July 29, 2016 1:19 PM
thee precaution should be taken with environmental data published as integrated variable maps   
Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, August 4, 2016 9:12 AM
Maps, like statistics, can tell very different stories using the same information!  Read this for some examples!
Mr Mac's curator insight, August 16, 7:17 PM
Unit 1 - Thematic Maps (use of )
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VIDEO: Saving the art of mapmaking

VIDEO: Saving the art of mapmaking | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"If you're heading out on the road for your vacation this year, you'll probably get directions from a GPS or navigational system. Does that mean that the traditional map is a relic of the past? Mark Albert hits the road to find out."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is designed for a general news audience and it nicely shows the public how cartography is not rendered unimportant in the era of digital maps, but has become all the more useful.  I could see this video as useful resource to share with parents who are worried that studying geography won't lead to careers.  

 

Tags: GIS, video, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

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What's New in ArcGIS Online

Bern Szukalski shares his highlights from the latest release of ArcGIS Online.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is a great way to find out what is new in ArcGIS online this month.  Some of the capabilities highlighted in this 10 minute video are:

  • New oceans layers
  • Drag and drop route change ability
  • Living Atlas – multidirectional hillshade, USA geologic units, drag layers to basemap (make custom basemap)
  • Vector tile basemaps
  • Compare 2 3D scenes
  • 3D in Web App Builder
  • Multiple attributes for symbolization
  • Predominance Mapping
  • Auto-play for storymaps

 

Tags: GIS, ESRIvideo, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

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Rob Duke's curator insight, April 19, 2016 11:37 AM
This is one of the main programs you need to learn to be ready to work as a crime analyst....
Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, April 19, 2016 7:11 PM
I am just interested on what all these things tell us. ArcGIS is amazing new software which improves all the time. So much more we can do with Geography !!
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Analog GPS: Scrolling Wrist & Car-Mounted Maps of the Roaring 20s & 30s

Analog GPS: Scrolling Wrist & Car-Mounted Maps of the Roaring 20s & 30s | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Long before the days of celebrity voices calling out directions while you drive, paper-based attempts at mobile mapping generated an intriguing array of proto-GPS systems, including this quirky pair of manual and automated moving map displays.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I typically really enjoy the thoughtful exploration of the untold stories that make up our world found in  99 Percent Invisible.  Of course I would be especially drawn to this particular podcast--an historical glimpse at information overload in the analogy era, mapping technologies to aid navigation--this is just fascinating. 

 

Tagspodcasttransportationmapping, GPS, cartographyhistorical.

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Digitalent's curator insight, March 23, 2016 4:18 PM

I typically really enjoy the thoughtful exploration of the untold stories that make up our world found in  99 Percent Invisible.  Of course I would be especially drawn to this particular podcast--an historical glimpse at information overload in the analogy era, mapping technologies to aid navigation--this is just fascinating. 

 

Tags:  podcast, transportation, mapping, GPS, cartography,  historical.

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State Borders

State Borders | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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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Disaster Mapping: Hurricane Irma, Mexico Earthquake and Bangladesh Floods

Disaster Mapping: Hurricane Irma, Mexico Earthquake and Bangladesh Floods | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This week has seen disasters and destruction on an unprecedented scale, and the HOT Community has activated to respond. Hurricane Irma is the largest Hurricane ever recorded, and has torn death and destruction through the Caribbean. Destruction on some islands is estimated at 95%, affecting the lives of 1.2 million so far, and on track to cause severe destruction across the entire Florida State, where mass evacuation is currently underway. Barbuda’s prime minister, Gaston Browne, described the damage as absolutely heart-wrenching. 'The island is literally under water and barely habitable,' Browne said. 'About 95% of properties are damaged, there is a serious threat of disease. Additionally, those already affected by Irma fear a second brutal battering by Hurricane Jose.'"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action?  Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency.  Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets.  My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need...it's a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. The projects that are marked urgent by the Red Cross are all in Haiti right now.  Here are is a video playlist that explains the project and how you can help if you are new to OpenStreetMap (OSM).

 

Tags: disasters, mapping, edtechSTEM, weather and climate.

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Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 8:55 PM

Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action?  Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency.  Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets.  My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need...it's a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. The projects that are marked urgent by the Red Cross are all in Haiti right now.  Here are is a video playlist that explains the project and how you can help if you are new to OpenStreetMap (OSM).

 

Tags: disasters, mapping, edtechSTEM, weather and climate.

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Boston schools ditch conventional world maps in favor of this one

Boston schools ditch conventional world maps in favor of this one | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Social studies classrooms throughout the Boston public school system are getting an upgrade some 448 years in the making.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Personally, I'm not a fan of this decision, but it's as if they watched the classic West Wing clip and decided to roll with it. I think that the Peters projection map is better than the Mercator for most educational applications, but it isn't the "right, best, or true" map projection.  Many viral videos comparing the two love to exaggerate and say things like "The maps you use are lying to you" or "the world is nothing like you've ever seen."  Yes, Mercator maps distorts relative size, but it isn't a "wrong" map anymore than the Peters projection.  All maps have distortion and map readers need to under that all maps are a mathematical representation of the Earth.  

 

Tags: mapping, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspectiveeducation, geography, geography educationBoston.

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Prescott Kermit's comment, June 15, 5:27 AM
http://www.free-tech-support.com/samsung-technical-support-number
Victor Ventura's curator insight, June 24, 9:00 AM
A new but correct way at looking at the real world. 448 years overdue.
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The Geography Teacher's Introduction to OpenStreetMap

The Geography Teacher's Introduction to OpenStreetMap | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Wed, Mar 15, 2017 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT, the NCGE will be offering a free webinar for educators on the OpenStreetMap project and how you can incorporate it into your class."

Seth Dixon's insight:

My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need...it's a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. If you are interested learning more about OSM projects for the classroom, sign up for this NCGE webinar seminar as soon as possible, since this event is right around the corner (the webinar program is one of the many great reasons to become a member of NCGE). 

 

TagsNCGE, mappingedtech, cartography, geospatial, disasters, STEM.

 

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Sally Egan's curator insight, March 14, 7:24 PM

Anyone interested in learning more about Open Street Map might like to enrol for this Webinar. Check the local time for this by clicking on the link about this webinar.


Boulagnon's curator insight, March 15, 3:45 PM

My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need...it's a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. If you are interested learning more about OSM projects for the classroom, sign up for this NCGE webinar seminar as soon as possible, since this event is right around the corner (the webinar program is one of the many great reasons to become a member of NCGE). 

 

TagsNCGE, mappingedtech, cartography, geospatial, disasters, STEM.

 

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How the U.S. Air Force Mapped the World at the Dawn of the Cold War

How the U.S. Air Force Mapped the World at the Dawn of the Cold War | Geography Education | Scoop.it
One specialized unit gathered data that could guide a missile to a target thousands of miles away.

 

The work of the 1370th bridged a crucial gap in the history of military technology. By the late 1950s, both the United States and the Soviet Union had developed intercontinental ballistic missiles, but satellite navigation systems like GPS weren’t yet up and running. That left military planners with a huge challenge: how to program a missile to hit a target on the other side of the world. Even a tiny mistake could be disastrous.

 

Tags: mapping, cartography, technology, historical.

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Alexander peters's curator insight, February 7, 9:05 AM
my opinion on this article it that it really cool and boring but mostly cool i thought that it would be better than that and it wasn't. It sucked.

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This Sheep Is Mapping The Faroe Islands By Wandering Around With A Camera

This Sheep Is Mapping The Faroe Islands By Wandering Around With A Camera | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"How do you get Google to visit your small, remote island group with its Street View vehicles, and digitize your roads for the benefit of locals and tourists alike? If you are the Faroe Islands, then you exploit your local resources to roll your own Street View, in the hopes of attracting Google's attention. Behold: Sheep View 360, a solar-powered 360-degree camera, mounted on a sheep's back. Sheep View takes advantage of one great Street View feature: You can upload your own images to Google's service. So Durita Dahl Andreassen, working for the tourist site Visit Faroe Islands, decided to kick-start the Faroe Islands' entry by putting the camera on a sheep and letting it wander free, then uploading the photos."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I think this is my favorite mapping story of the year...I'm sharing this just because I can.  Google wouldn't originally bring its Street View-recording cars to the islands (part of Denmark), so a solar-powered, ovine-mounted camera was put to work.  Fact can be stranger than fiction.

 

Tags: google, mapping, cartography, technology, Denmark.

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Susan Haskell's curator insight, December 9, 2016 8:32 AM
Excellent career choice for sheep...
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xkcd: Map Age Guide

xkcd: Map Age Guide | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I was riding my bike during Labor Day weekend and chanced upon a yard sale with an old globe going for $4 (of course I bought it and rode home one-handed).  There were some clues that it wasn't a recent globe (The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia still existed and Burkina Faso was labeled Upper Volta and Zimbabwe was listed as Rhodesia). I knew that if I wanted to know what year this globe was produced, I would need this XKCD guide. XKCD is a comic strip that deals with many intellectual issues, but it can also be a wealth of quality scientific information.  This infographic (hi-res) is amazingly useful if you are trying to find the map of an undated map, but the flow chart also is a wealth of global history and moments that 'changed the map.'

 

Tags: XKCD, artinfographic, mapping, trivia, cartography.

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Interactive Climate Map

Interactive Climate Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Obsessed as we are with cartography we in Staridas Geography perceive any aspect of the actual 3D World as a constant opportunity for another pretty map creation!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great interactive map of the world's climate zones. 

 

Tags: ESRIStoryMapedtech, GIS, mapping, cartographyphysical.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 19, 2016 7:47 PM

Great map to discuss global distribution of biomes and links to climate 

Sally Egan's curator insight, August 21, 2016 6:24 PM
Fun way for students to learn about the diverse climates around the world, by selecting a location on the map students are shown the climatic data of the selected place.
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Cartograms of the Olympic Games

Cartograms of the Olympic Games | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The distribution of medals shows the existing Olympic inequalities: The overall patterns are a reflection of wealth distribution in the world, raising the question whether money can buy sporting success. Besides investment in sports by those countries who can afford it, the medal tables also reflect a battle for global supremacy in political terms.

 

Tags: sport, popular culture, mapping, historical, cartography.

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, August 15, 2016 8:32 PM
Another very interesting way to present geographic data.
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Coast Lines

Coast Lines | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In the next century, sea levels are predicted to rise at unprecedented rates, causing flooding around the world, from the islands of Malaysia and the canals of Venice to the coasts of Florida and California. These rising water levels pose serious challenges to all aspects of coastal existence—chiefly economic, residential, and environmental—as well as to the cartographic definition and mapping of coasts. It is this facet of coastal life that Mark Monmonier tackles in Coast Lines. Setting sail on a journey across shifting landscapes, cartographic technology, and climate change, Monmonier reveals that coastlines are as much a set of ideas, assumptions, and societal beliefs as they are solid black lines on maps.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I haven't yet had the chance to look at this book, but it is currently being offered as a free e-book; I'm very excited to look it over.   

 

Tagsmappingcoastal, cartography, textbook.

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Points, lines and polygons - the art of making maps

Points, lines and polygons - the art of making maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
“Aerial photography has always been a key component in map production,” says Chris. “It’s the medium you use to extract the information that ultimately finds its way to a map.”

 

Tags: mapping, cartography, geospatial, New Zealand.

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"The Father of GIS"

"Esri Canada pays tribute to Dr. Roger Tomlinson, known as the 'Father of GIS'. Dr. Tomlinson passed away on Feb. 7, 2014, leaving a remarkable legacy that laid the foundation for modern digital mapping and transformed the field of geography."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Two resources on pioneers in GIS. 

  • Here is a video about Roger Tomlinson, 'father of GIS.'
  • This is a nice article on the beginnings of ESRI and Jack Dangermond's impact on digital mapping.  

 

Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

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