Geography Education
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# Geography Education

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## How Eratosthenes calculated the Earth's circumference

"In the mid-20th century we began launching satellites into space that would help us determine the exact circumference of the Earth: 40,030 km. But over 2000 years earlier, a man in Ancient Greece came up with nearly the exact same figure using just a stick and his brain."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Eratosthenes is often referred to as the "father of geography" for creating meridians and parallels on his maps to organize global information, classifying climatic zones, and as shown in the video, calculating the circumference of the Earth. Plus, he coined the terms so he gets the credit. If you have never pondered the meaning of the word "geometry," the accomplishments of Eratosthenes will certainly show that the mathematical prowess was at the heart of expanding our collective geographic knowledge (additionally, here is a retro Carl Sagan in a video clip from Cosmos that inspired this clip).

Tagsmapping, math, locationSTEM, historical.

ROCAFORT's curator insight,
How Eratosthenes calculated the Earth's circumference
 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Ptolemy's Map and Geographia

Seth Dixon's insight:

Who was Ptolemy and what were some important contributions to geography?  This student-produced video does a nice of introducing him to a modern audience.

No comment yet.
 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Analyzing Maps to Better Understand Global Current Events and History

In this lesson, we provide strategies to help students accurately interpret maps, and we suggest ways for using current event maps as a tool to better understand both history and what’s going on in the world today.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Many of the more fortunate students (access to portable electronic devices, multi-car families with parents who drive them around, etc.) are actually worse off in map reading skills in part because they have never needed to develop a mental map and are not adept at navigating their neighborhoods (in the last few generations most and the range that part).  When these children become drivers, they are unable to navigate without GPS devices, but they still need to learn map reading skills. They are convinced that their apps can do all the work and that an old fashioned paper map is outdated technology, but their spatial thinking skills become atrophied. Spatial skills are crucial for understanding the world as a global citizen, to understand your local environs and for making scientific discoveries.  So teach a kid how to read a map...the sooner the better.

Tagsmapping, K12, scale, location.

Kristen McDaniel's curator insight,

The NY Times learning blog really has some interesting, insightful lessons.  This one looks at using maps to understand culture and history, and how it affects today.

Jamie Mitchell's curator insight,

Many of the more fortunate students (access to portable electronic devices, multi-car families with parents who drive them around, etc.) are actually worse off in map reading skills in part because they have never needed to develop a mental map and are not adept at navigating their neighborhoods (in the last few generations most and the range that part).  When these children become drivers, they are unable to navigate without GPS devices, but they still need to learn map reading skills. They are convinced that their apps can do all the work and that an old fashioned paper map is outdated technology, but their spatial thinking skills become atrophied. Spatial skills are crucial for understanding the world as a global citizen, to understand your local environs and for making scientific discoveries.  So teach a kid how to read a map...the sooner the better.

Tagsmapping, K12, scale, location.

Nora Morton's curator insight,
A fantastic source on how to use maps in the classrooms and questions to help guide students into further exploration.  Provides numerous links to help understand the background and various types of maps, samples linking history with current events, and tools to create your own maps.
 Scooped by Seth Dixon

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Location Advantage is a free MOOC that will be offered by Esri in May 2015. It will last six weeks (2-3 hours of study per week).  Registered students will learn how to collect, analyze, and visualize business datasets.  You can register online for The Location Advantage.

Tagsmappingspatial, training,

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## Giant Concrete Arrows Across America

Every so often, a hiker or a backpacker will run across something puzzling: a ginormous concrete arrow, as much as seventy feet in length, just sitting in the middle of scrub-covered America. What are these giant arrows? Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings solves the mystery.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is fascinating...just because a technology is old and outdated in modern society doesn't mean it wasn't ingenious.  The original mathematicians who calculated angles and distances study geometry so they could navigate and 'measure the Earth.' Before GPS, these giant arrows helped pilots navigate across the United States; they are part of the genealogical strands of navigational technology.   Mathematics can be incredibly spatial as well as geospatial.

Tagsmapping, GPS, math, geospatial, location, historical.

Rich Schultz's curator insight,

Very intriguing!

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Why do competitors open their stores next to one another?

"Why are all the gas stations, cafes and restaurants in one crowded spot? As two competitive cousins vie for ice-cream-selling domination on one small beach, discover how game theory and the Nash Equilibrium inform these retail hotspots."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED-ED lesson shows the economic and spatial factors that lead to businesses to cluster together.  This video is a very simple introduction to the concept of agglomeration that is based on competition.

Tags: APHGTED, models, spatial

CT Blake's curator insight,

For use in understanding the placement of businesses in Human Geography.

Luke Walker's curator insight,

A great video lesson that gets at the heart of location theory and competition.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight,

unit 6

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Economic Decline and Sense of Place

"McDowell County, situated in the coalfields of West Virginia, has experienced a great boom-and-bust since 1950. But despite the economic decline and population loss, many still call it home and feel a great sense of purpose among the mountains. Residents speak about their connection to this place and the meaning of 'home.' Hear more stories at hollowdocumentary.com "

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video perfectly exemplifies some key geographic ideas; sense of place, regional economic decline, migration and resource extraction.  This video would be great to shows students and then get them to analyze the geographic context that creates a place like McDowell County, West Virginia.  This will be a great addition to my Place-Based Geography Videos StoryMap.

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dilaycock's curator insight,

Excellent example of urban decline. Would pair nicely with a reading from 'Rocket Boys' by Homer Hickam Jnr, or with the movie version 'October Sky.' The book and movie are the true story of a boy in Coalwood, West Virginia in the 1950s who is determined to  "escape" working in the coal mines to become a rocket scientist.

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight,

McDowell, a once thriving county in the 1950’s ceased to keep up with the ever-chaning world. There was little need for coal after the 1980’s so work became scarce and the “Brain Drain” began. Those looking for a successful future left for there was more choice elsewhere and economically it would make no sense to stay in McDowell. Nevertheless, cultural upbringings paved way to this "Boom and Bust” town, which gave people a sense of place and identity. Though McDowell is economically on the decline the communal relations and sense of place the community holds is still strong.

Luke Walker's curator insight,

Develop your sense of place regarding the coalfields of West Virginia.

What geographic context (location) might create a place like McDowell County, West Virginia?

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Concentrations of Wealth and Poverty

Seth Dixon's insight:

In this map, all Zip codes with more than 500 people are ranked from 0 to 99 based on household income and education.  The 'Super Zips' rank 95 or higher. The map at the top shows the highest concentration of the nation’s 650 Super Zips. The typical household income in a Super Zip is \$120,272, and 68 percent of adults hold college degrees. That compares with \$53,962 and 27 percent in the other zips mapped.  Washington D.C. shows a powerful bifurcation: One-third of Zip codes in the D.C. area are considered ‘Super Zips’ for wealth and education and large swaths of the metropolitan area are considered food deserts.

This weekend I had the privilege of flying essentially from Boston to Washington DC at night and was mesmerized by the vast urban expanse beneath me.  It was the greatest concentration of wealth in the United States as well as the some of the most blighted regions of the country.  What explains the spatial patterns of highly concentrated wealth and poverty in the biggest cities?  Are cities a causal factor in wealth and poverty creation?  What does this zip code data tell us? What accounts for the spatial patterns in your region?

Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight,

See where the wealth and poverty are in America using this great map.

Chandrima Roy's curator insight,

wonderful

Ishwer Singh's curator insight,

This picture shows the cocentrations of poverty and affluence.  The areas hilighted in yellow show the areas which are wealthy and the dark blue showing the poor. This coincides with the amout of pay and the education levels in these countries. Areas such as Boston, New York and Washington show high cocentrations of affluence. These areas also have much higher education systems and more well -paid jobs. Countries which are highlighted in dark blue are countries with lesser education and lesser paid jobs. This shows the  extent at which poverty can affect a country.

 Suggested by Alex Northrup

## For Migrants, New Land of Opportunity Is Mexico

"With Europe sputtering and China costly, the 'stars are aligning' for Mexico as broad changes in the global economy create new dynamics of migration."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I’ve posted earlier about the end of cheap China; the rising cost of doing business in China coupled with the higher transportation costs to get goods to North American and European markets have made manufacturing in Mexican much more competitive on the global market.  Many investors are turning to Mexico as an emerging land of opportunity and Mexico is now a destination for migrants.  This is still a new pattern:  only 1 percent of the country is foreign-born compared to the 13 percent that you would see in the United States.  Mexican migration to the United States has stabilized; about as many Mexicans have moved to the U.S. (2005-2010) as those that have moved south of the border.

Tags: Mexico, industry, location, place, migration.

Aleena Reyes's curator insight,

Even though this article is now three years old, it is refreshing to see that Mexico is really making their mark on the global market. The Global North seems to be coming to a stalemate while "up and coming countries" like Mexico are becoming the perfect place for people to begin their businesses and have a fresh start on life. I can understand though, how it was mentioned on the third page of the article, that some locals may feel that foreigners, European especially, may be receiving some type of special treatment due to past colonialism. However, these entrepreneurs are shaping the economy of Mexico. This is Mexico's chance to advance in the world and increase its GDP. Young, aspiring moguls all seems to feel the same way about their homelands, "Europe, dying; Mexico, coming to life. The United States, closed and materialistic; Mexico, open and creative" and Diego Quemada-Diez, a Spanish director, was quoted in the article, "Europe feels spiritually dead and so does the United States...[y]ou end up wanting something else".  And apparently, Mexico has that "something else".

Chris Costa's curator insight,

Again, I would be interested in seeing how these statistics would change if they were to factor in illegal immigration from Mexico into the United States, but the data remains promising. Mexico has the potential to be an economic powerhouse, and hopefully will utilize this potential sooner rather than later. Although rampant corruption remains in the nation's politics and reinforcement agencies, a strong Mexican economy will ultimately deescalate the violence by stripping the cartels of their strongest allure- well-paying employment for uneducated young men. A stronger Mexican economy will also undoubtedly help the US in terms of trade, as well as reducing the rate of cartel-related violence in the southern regions of the nation. With so many Americans today rallying around Trump's racially-charged rants on Mexican immigration, it brings a smile to my face that we are currently sending more Americans to take Mexican jobs than they are sending our way. The hypocrisy of these politicians and their policies are laughable.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight,

I’ve posted earlier about the end of cheap China; the rising cost of doing business in China coupled with the higher transportation costs to get goods to North American and European markets have made manufacturing in Mexican much more competitive on the global market.  Many investors are turning to Mexico as an emerging land of opportunity and Mexico is now a destination for migrants.  This is still a new pattern:  only 1 percent of the country is foreign-born compared to the 13 percent that you would see in the United States.  Mexican migration to the United States has stabilized; about as many Mexicans have moved to the U.S. (2005-2010) as those that have moved south of the border.

Tags: Mexico, industry, location, place, migration.

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## The Longitude Problem

Seth Dixon's insight:

Today we take it for granted that through GPS technology we can instantaneously determine our latitude and longitude.  This video documents how for centuries it was fairly easy to determine latitude at sea by measuring the height of the sun in the sky, but longitude (determined by the difference in time between local noon and the noon of a fixed point) could only be estimated.  The British Empire saw solving the "longitude problem" as the key to solidifying their economic dominance at sea and they established the Board of Longitude in this 18th century "race to the moon." Today the University of Cambridge has digitized the Board of Longitude's archives with a series of five shorter video clips.

Romain ARMAND's comment, August 21, 2013 5:17 AM
Thank you for the video and fo the link to the Board of Longitude! Already know this story, but still amazing and well documented.
Richard Miles's curator insight,

Great video on how the problem of longitude was solved.

Luke Walker's curator insight,

What was mapping and navigation like before the era of GPS?

Check out this great archive and collection of video clips!

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Successful Implosion of South Bay Power Plant on Saturday morning

The South Bay Power Plant was imploded Saturday Feb 2, 2013
to clear the way for development along Chula Vista's bayfront.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This powerplant was demolished primarily because of location (watch the cool videos of the implosion).  The electrical powerplant provided energy for the region, but it's location right on the San Diego Bay doesn't line up with current land uses.  When the area's economy was focused more on manufacturing, this was seen an ideal way to use the wetlands on the bay.  Today our city planning priorites has shifted.  First, how we view wetlands has changed and we no longer see them as "wasted" space.  Second, an attractive waterfront that can be used to generate tourism is seen as a greater economic priority today than it was 50 years ago.

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight,

It seems that getting rid of this power plant was a great step for the city of San Diego. This plant was doing no good for them because it was taking space that could have been used to attract people from all over the world they could have added a many stores and other cool things that would create hundreds of jobs for local people who are struggling to make ends meet. The explosions were cool it was amazing how they feel in a line back to back. The explosion was a success for the city of San Diego. With all this new space available more people are going to invest in the city in which it will become much more popular than what it is now.

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Place and Flash Mobs

The idea of flash mobs has spread quickly, diffusing at a time when online video sharing can immortalize the moment in time and social media can amplify the audience beyond just one place.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I LOVE this particular flashmob (as a bonus, 'read' the cultural landscape to try to identify where this took place).  While there are many types of successful flash mobs, all share one characteristic: place matters.  The place where a flash mob performs is not simply a stage; place is a crucial part of the meaning of the flash mob.  An incredibly prominent place with open spaces and many sight lines is a prime location for a flash mob.  Beyond these tangible characteristics, if a site has some importance cultural significance, those qualities can be meshed with the meanings of the flash mob.  For more of my musings on flashmobs (and extra clips) you can continue reading here.

Tags: place, space, diffusion, popular culture, music.

Justin Cardoso's curator insight,

we saw this flash mob in my first geography class and i just thought that it was amazing how many people gathered around to listen to the street performers.  i also love how it escalated so quickly from a single performer into a complete orcastra in a matter of a couple minutes. #georic

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight,

I love the consept of a flash mob. How a planed performace can start in the steet and instantly people are attracted and engaged. They are done all over the world, but where the mob takes place is the important part. The location of the mob is more likeley to be in a popular city, or near a highly populated area (park, beach, ect..).  Its important to realize how something like this would serve no signicinace if it was done say at a shopping center in a surban town. Its also interesting to see what the message of the mob is, this video was more of just entertainment while some mobs have clear messages that there trying to comminucate to socioty.

Victoria McNamara's curator insight,

The people who were apart of this flashmob picked a very good place to do it. They decided to do it rightin the center of a town or market area where many people would notice them. They wanted everyone to focus their attention on them even if it was just for a few minutes. If they were to pick an are that was not in a city or town area not that many people would be gathered around and watching them.

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Inside an Amazon Warehouse

Seth Dixon's insight:

During the holiday season, online sales shoot up as distant relatives seek to ship gifts in time for Christmas.  Some have noted that online shoppers can stay at home and completely render the tradition physical storefront redundant.  Online shoppers, whether they think about it or not, hoping that the physical logistics behind the scenes will work efficiently and quickly.  This collection of images is a reminder that while it might appear that geography and location are eliminated with online communications, these virtual interactions in cyberspace are dependent on actual physical locations.

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight,

It is amazing how big this warehouse is. This warehouse must be a couple of acres because amazon is a big company that mostly everyone in the world buys from. it is also amazing how organized they are with all the inventory they get. Amazon is a great company that is helping people gets jobs to help improve there lives and also the economy in which is struggling to get back on it knees. I wonder were amazon has found this warehouse because there are not so many that have this much space. The workers must have golf carts to get around from one spot to the other. Amazon keep up the good work.

Victoria McNamara's curator insight,

Online shopping is a great way to get your holiday gifts or just to regularly shop. By online shopping we do not have to go to the mall and walk around in all these different stores. What most people do not realize is when we online shop our orders are being processed somewhere and it is usually in big warehouse buildings. These buildings require a lot of space to hold all of a stores merchandise.

Luke Walker's curator insight,

Think back to our materials economy system.

Where do images like this fit?

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## 'Sedated by software': No one knows how to read maps anymore, experts say

The Royal Institute of Navigation are concerned about the nation's cartographical know-how and have suggested schools start teaching basic navigation.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Today, many are unable to navigate without GPS devices, but they still need to learn map reading skills. They are convinced that their apps can do all the work and that an old fashioned paper map is outdated technology, but their spatial thinking skills become atrophied. Spatial skills are crucial for understanding the world as a global citizen, to understand your local environs and for making scientific discoveries.  So teach a kid how to read a map...the sooner the better.

Tagsmapping, K12, location.

Ruth Reynolds's curator insight,

I agree !!! and it is fun

Jamie Mitchell's curator insight,

Today, many are unable to navigate without GPS devices, but they still need to learn map reading skills. They are convinced that their apps can do all the work and that an old fashioned paper map is outdated technology, but their spatial thinking skills become atrophied. Spatial skills are crucial for understanding the world as a global citizen, to understand your local environs and for making scientific discoveries.  So teach a kid how to read a map...the sooner the better.

Tagsmapping, K12, location.

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Eratosthenes calculation for the size of the earth around 240 BC

Seth Dixon's insight:

Eratosthenes is often referred to as the "father of geography" for creating meridians and parallels on his maps to organize global information, classifying climatic zones, and as shown in the video, calculating the circumference of the Earth. Plus, he coined the terms so he gets the credit. If you have never pondered the meaning of the word "geometry," the accomplishments of Eratosthenes will certainly show that the mathematical prowess was at the heart of expanding our collective geographic knowledge.

Tagsmapping, math, location, historical.

No comment yet.
 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## Scale taught in Comics

Such as a simple, powerful comic strip to teach the importance of scale.   If you prefer an image with a 'paper' look to it, try this image of the April 19, 2015 post of Mutts

Tags: scale, K12, location, fun.

Karen Breznikar's comment, October 13, 2015 2:36 AM
Simple but effective method of teaching scale to students. Great resource.
Madeleine Carr's comment, October 23, 2015 1:32 AM
I would love to let my students create one of these using the website or by drawing their own. It is a personal way of thinking and I believe that students will be able to retain/grasp the concept of scale through this simple method. It would also be really enjoyable and would allow for creative students to express themselves in geography. Students could then compare their scales with others in the class and you could ask students who have had different yards/towns/country in their lives to share and enhance the enjoyment and importance of multiculturalism.
Matt Bond's comment, November 27, 2015 6:10 PM
Students today are interacting with cartoons through all different mediums from The Simpsons, Family Guy or even those in the newspaper. Cartoons can provide short but affective content transfer in an interesting way. They can be highly emotional and effective in all mediums which is why they are so prone into today's society, which is why as teachers it is important to use cartoons in our classroom to change up the sources in which we use.
 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## A Geographical Oddity

Seth Dixon's insight:

Partly just because I love this highly quotable movie with an incredible soundtrack, but this short clip from O Brother Where Art Thou? can start be a good conversation starter.  I'm hoping to use it when discussing relative location (or isolation) as well as the time-space compression.  Frequently, I ask my student how far away they live from campus and invariably they answer with a unit of time (even though distance was implied in the question).

Questions to Ponder: Why do we often answer with a measurement of time when discussing distance?  What technologies are dependent on our temporal analysis of distance? How would our perception of distance change based on our access to transportation and communication technologies?

Rich Schultz's curator insight,

Why do we answer with a unit of time when asked a distance question?

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## America’s coal heartland is in economic freefall

The coal economy in Central Appalachia is in an unprecedented freefall. Which isn't making it easier for workers to move on.
Seth Dixon's insight:

West Virginia and 'coal country' are in steep economic decline, but that doesn't mean people are eager to leave.  Leaving for many is a last resort, but when residents feel a familial and emotional connection to a place--to the land--that can create a rationale for staying that is stronger than economic push factors.  This video set in West Virgina captures the strong sense of place and community that can exist in a place even in in the face of tough times economic prospects.  Geographer Ben Marsh wrote about in a 1987 Annals article: "The residents of the anthracite towns of northeastern Pennsylvania show a considerable loyalty to a landscape that provides them with little of material value. This should remind the observer that any broad concept of place must address two different aspects of a landscape: the physical support it provides (means) and the intangible rewards it offers (meaning). "

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James Hobson's curator insight,

(North America post 3)

Alec Castagno's curator insight,

This video really shows the relationship between sense of place versus economic geography. Even though the town is no longer the rich mining town it once was, the remaining residents still cling to the past and their sense of identity remains strong. It demonstrates that cultural heritage is a powerful factor that can remain long after dramatic economic changes. Even though there are few opportunities left in the town and the majority of its young people leave for greener pastures, some residents still identify so strongly with the area that they are willing to do whatever they can to revitalize their town.

Luke Walker's curator insight,

This is relevant to early posts about coalfields in West Virginia.

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## The Language of Maps Kids Should Know

The vocabulary and concepts of maps kids should learn to enhance their map-skills & geography awareness. Concise definitions with clear illustrations.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I really like this article because it briefly shares the language needed for students to able to successfully use maps in the classroom...plus it's highly adaptable for virtually any grade level.

Tags K12, scale, location.

Anita Vance's curator insight,

This article helps give an early start to map skill implementation - even at the earliest levels.

DTLLS tutor's curator insight,

Love this website. Not just this article, but the whole idea. Have a little browse around...

wereldvak's curator insight,

De taal van de kaart: welke  woordenschat hebben kinderen nodig om de kaart te kunnen lezen?

 Rescooped by Seth Dixon from Primary Geography for the Australian Curriculum

## Using Scale in Elementary School

Great idea to help early years learners understand their 'place'...

Via Maree Whiteley
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is would be a nice craft to help younger students understand the concept of scale.  This adapts some of the ideas from the classic picture book "Me on the Map" by Joan Sweeney.

Tags: scale, K12, location.

Maree Whiteley's curator insight,
AC Geography key concepts Place, Space, Environment and Interconnection...all in a set of form cups! Love it...
Hoolee Nan's curator insight,

A great way for children to explore countries, areas, positions on maps and get a grasp of their surroundings! Also a fun and interactive idea for the classroom.

Jamie Mitchell's curator insight,

AC Geography key concepts Place, Space, Environment and Interconnection...all in a set of form cups! Love it...

 Suggested by Thomas Schmeling

## Inequality and the Gini Coefficient

Think everyone should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Try this one on for size.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video shows the place matters; a Washington D.C. educator shows how food deserts and other spatial problems of poverty impact his students on a daily basis.  We usually look at life expectancy data at the national scale and that obscures some of the real issues of poverty in developed countries.  Above is a map that shows the Gini index which measures the degree of economic inequality (the Gini coefficient was recently added to the APHG course content for the Industrialization and Economic Development unit).  Here are some maps and data from the World Bank that utilizes the Gini Index as well as an interactive Gapminder graph.

Ms. Harrington's curator insight,

Educating in poverty

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight,

Do you find this information surprising?

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight,

This video shows the place matters; a Washington D.C. educator shows how food deserts and other spatial problems of poverty impact his students on a daily basis.  We usually look at life expectancy data at the national scale and that obscures some of the real issues of poverty in developed countries.  Above is a map that shows the Gini index which measures the degree of economic inequality (the Gini coefficient was recently added to the APHG course content for the Industrialization and Economic Development unit).  Here are some maps and data from the World Bank that utilizes the Gini Index as well as an interactive Gapminder graph.

Tags: industry, location, place, migration, APHG, poverty, socioeconomic.

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## GPS Astray: Lost in Death Valley

"Three women’s Death Valley day trip soured after their GPS led them to the edge of survival."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a extreme example, but this video serves as a cautionary tale.  The harsh and unforgiving physical geography of Death Valley does not tolerate a lack of preparation.  Here is part 2 of the video.  Garmin the GPS manufacturer's statement on these videos is quite telling "GPS's shouldn't be followed blindly...it is incumbent on users to obtain and update their GPS devices with the most recent map updates."

Technology is designed to guide and assist our decision-making process--that does NOT mean we should turn over thinking functions to the device.  Spatial thinking is just like a muscle that will atrophy if it is never used.  So consult a map and think for yourself; newer technologies aren't always better or more reliable.

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Mike Carney's curator insight,

GPS devices are very useful tools, but if you don't know how to use them properly they can be very frustrating and sometimes can get you into trouble. On the surface a GPS seems like a pretty fool-proof navigation device, but that's giving people way too much credit. A lot of (older) people can have a hard time following them. Take my mother-in-law for example, she once got lost for a half hour on the ten minute drive from my house to the highway. Somehow she missed the ONE turn and apparently didn't understand how to make a U-turn. People generally go astray if they fail to update their GPS, don't know how to configure their settings properly, or follow the GPS blindly. People often forget that they can just use the GPS as a map and figure out their own routes when the GPS is being wonky. Its also a good idea to keep real maps in your car so you don't have to rely soly on the GPS. The women from the video were dealing with a GPS that was following inaccurate and outdated information. At a time like this its a good idea to pull over and get out the map rather than drive in circles until you run out of gas.

Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight,

Is not always the best idea to only rely on you GPS when traveling, best thing to do is to get and updated maps.  Is always good to get information on where you are going, how long are you going to be there? So you can get enough supplies like food, water, clothes etc.  Also are you making other stops along the road? Let someone know where you going therefore; if something happened to you they know where to look for you, once again don’t always trust on electronic. Prepared AHEAD!!

Justin McCullough's curator insight,

Although I have grown up around technology, I've always been a little skeptical about its reliability. It is a good thing to have a GPS, but we should not rely solely upon it. Relying solely upon technolgy is not as good as it sounds. In some cases the GPS could be wrong and in instances such as these we need to be able to think for ourselves. Not having this ability is a dangerous situation.

 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## The Local Global Mashup Show

Get the inside edge on the stories that connect Americans to the world -- in your ear every week.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video explains why geography teachers should be interested in Latitude News given it's desire to show how global stories have regional impacts.  They often have interesting perspectives on global stories that makes the geographic linkages explicit.  They are currently raising funds to expand their reach.

No comment yet.
 Suggested by Thomas Schmeling

## Where the Streets Have No Name

West Virginia aims to put its residents on the map
Seth Dixon's insight:

While this article does occasionally play off of the country bumpkin stereotypes we've all heard about West Virginians, there are some important concepts lying under the surface in the article.  All places have a location (both absolute and relative), but not one that is easily discernible to an outsider unfamiliar with the area.  Many emergency responders rely on geocoded addresses and GPS systems to location those in need, and the state of West Virginia is trying to ensure that even the most rural of residents is on the grid.  Many location-based technologies lose their value as soon as you leave a named road, so these systematic campaign will strengthen the push for modernization and digital systems.  How will this change the cultural landscape?

Tags: rural, location, GPS.

No comment yet.
 Scooped by Seth Dixon

## How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Wal-Mart officials worked hard to ensure that zoning regulations were changed so that they could bring a store to a coveted location.  They built a Wal-Mart in the shadows of arguably Mexico's most important world heritage site--the pyramids of Teotihuacán.  This investigative report uncovers the illegal steps that Wal-Mart took to force through their agenda.

Questions to Ponder: Why would Wal-Mart be so keen on this particular location?  Why would some in Mexico oppose this project so fiercely?  Would Wal-Mart behave in such a manner in the United States?

Tags: Mexico, industry, planning, culture, location, place.

James Hobson's curator insight,

(Mexico topic 9)

It is troubling to discover how bribery still continues to promote special interests at the expense of others and their own interests. Though other articles I have commented on discuss the improving economy and politics of Mexico, this one clearly shows an area that needs much more attention.

Despite this, all of the fuss (though justifiable) may be slightly over-exaggerated in my opinion. Just look at the photo above: the WalMart is at least somewhat set back from the pyramids, BUT the smoke and smog from other industries fills the air right up to and all around the pyramids themselves. I think this is just as much, if not more, of an injustice to the cultural site. While one can choose whether or not to enter a store, it is impossible not to breathe in the polluted air and have one's view limited while visiting such a place.

Lastly, although bribery is certainly something I deeply frown upon, perhaps it is slightly less "wrong" than it would be in other countries like the US. Since Mexico's government and its departments have a reputation (at least from what I've heard) of being corrupted, perhaps the only way to build a store is to offer a bribe. It would be interesting to see if this was the case with other store locations throughout Mexico.

Kendra King's curator insight,

Clearly it is horrible what Walmart did, but what about everyone else in this scenario? Walmart was able to damage public history and jeopardize the traffic safety of Mexico because they figured out the going price for those concepts was: a couple mayors, some INAH official, and an Urban Operations official (see article for in-depth explanations of how each was bought off). All of whom bypassed their duty to the public. See I am not surprised by the corporation’s actions. The corporation is acting for its own self-interest like many corporations have historically done. In fact, compared to the East India Company of 1800 (which had its own standing army) this is tame (see below article). I would prefer companies not to operate as such, however a company will act in such a manner so long as it is permitted. Deterring such actions falls on the fault of the officials who were so easily bought off.

Yet, whose job is it to police a corporation? At one point, the article mentioned that when the Mexican investigation found nothing wrong with Walmart they, “chided protesters for failing to present any specific proof.” I’m sorry, but it isn’t the protesters job to go out and find proof. That is the job of an investigator, whom I might add didn’t do a good job given the evidence the New York Times was able to amass. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) for Mexico, they probably aren’t that apt at forensic banking because they are a largely agrarian society who only relatively recently is being introduced to the corporate world. Looks like there is a whole new specialty that Mexico will need to learn soon due to globalization. I say Mexico needs to learn this also because it is mainly their job to monitor their people. I understand that this is an American company so on some level they will have to monitor their people. However, majority of the people involved in this were in Mexico. Thus, Mexico will need to deal with their side of justice and also start developing environmentally usefully laws under the new corporate rule (i.e. ones that protect historical artifacts even when the “proper” licenses have been secured.)

I am not looking to just pick on Mexico’s corporation problems either because we all know the United States has their fair share of corporate issues. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Walmart could have bought off people in the United States too. Think of all the tainted deals that occurred in the subprime mortgage crisis. We aren’t even sure because no one actually went after them! At least in the case of Walmart there is an investigation going on again. It will be interesting to see what the end result is though. Most times, it isn’t near what a company should get. In the United States some are literally able to get away with murder. Just look at GM's latest court dealings. I hope Mexico can do a better job than the United States when it comes to handling corporate investigations in the future.

Bob Beaven's curator insight,

This article shows the "forced globalization" of Mexico.  I thought it was interesting how Walmart de Mexico would use such cutthroat means to build a "intermediate sized store".  Yet the Walmart officials in Mexico realized that being not too far from a major tourist attraction would help business.  There were many groups who tried to stop it from happening, but they could not stop the store from being built.  This article shows how corporate Globalization is ruthless, and it doesn't care about disobeying laws.  This article also shows that if a company is big enough, it can, in effect do whatever it pleases.  In the United States on the other hand, this type of bribery could never have happened.