Geography Education
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NYTimes Video: Linking Gaza to the Outside World

NYTimes Video: Linking Gaza to the Outside World | Geography Education |
A look inside the controversial underground tunnels that link Egypt and the Gaza Strip, where smugglers funnel fuel, food, and potentially weapons into the isolated territory.


This video is a look inside the some of the hundreds of tunnels that are used to smuggle goods into Gaza that have become more intensely used since the blockade on goods that went into effect in 2007 when Hamas came to power.  Also, members of the Israeli military demonstrate the evidence they have that these tunnels are being used to bring weapons. 

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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Using 'Geography Education'

Using 'Geography Education' | Geography Education |

"This story map was created with ArcGIS Online to guide users on how to get the most out of the Geography Education websites on Wordpress and"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This story map will introduce you to ways to get the most out of my Geography Education websites.  Updates are available on social media via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest

I’ve organized some of more ‘evergreen’ posts by the AP Human Geography curriculum unit headings as well as ‘shortlist’ for each unit.       

  1. Geography: It’s Nature and Perspectives (shortlist)
  2. Population and Migration (shortlist)
  3. Cultural Patterns and Processes (shortlist)
  4. The Political Organization of Space (shortlist)
  5. Agriculture, Food Production and Rural Land Use (shortlist)
  6. Industrialization and Economic Development (shortlist)
  7. Cities and Urban Land Use (shortlist)

ROCAFORT's curator insight, September 23, 2016 2:47 AM
Using 'Geography Education'
Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, December 3, 2016 9:33 PM
Just getting familiar with ArcGis and lots of ideas picked up at #ncss16
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Income and Wealth Inequality

Inequality is a big, big subject. There's racial inequality, gender inequality, and lots and lots of other kinds of inequality. This is Econ, so we're going to talk about wealth inequality and income inequality. There's no question that economic inequality is real. But there is disagreement as to whether income inequality is a problem, and what can or should be done about it.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are many of the 35 videos in the Economics crash course set that touch on geographic issues.   This crash course team explains the difference between wealthy inequality and income inequality.  This video also has a nice laymen’s explanation of the GINI coefficient and how it measures inequality.   In another video in the series, they demonstrate how globalization can be seen as the path to economic growth and others see the process of globalization as what has created poverty


Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 15, 6:33 PM
It is interesting to see how unequal some income is for people around the world. Especially in countries like China and India that have some of the world's largest populations. These same countries also have some of the lowest incomes in the world for the majority of their citizens. Adding to that, it is intriguing to see how only a small percentage of people hold most of the wealth in the world, while the vast majority of the world population aren't even close to that level of wealth. While the income inequality gap has increased significantly since the time of the industrial revolution and continues to grow bigger.
theascen sionhouse's comment, March 17, 12:54 AM
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Obesity: not just a rich-world problem

"Obesity is a global problem, but more people are getting fatter in developing countries than anywhere else. If current trends continue, obese children will soon outnumber those who are undernourished. Nearly half of the world’s overweight and obese children under five years old, live in Asia. And in Africa, the number of overweight children under five has increased by nearly 50% since 2000. Hunger still blights many parts of the world. But the share of people who do not have enough to eat is in decline. Globally one in nine people in the world suffer from chronic undernourishment. One in ten are obese. If current trends continue, the share of obese children in the world will surpass the number of undernourished by 2022. Africa has the fastest-growing middle class in the world. A move from traditional foods to high-calorie fast food and a more sedentary lifestyle is driving the rise in obesity. Health systems in Africa, more focused on treating malnourishment and diseases like malaria and HIV, are ill equipped to deal with obesity-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. "


Tagsmortality, medicaldevelopmentfood.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 11:27 AM
This video has taught me some new facts in regard to the obesity crisis going on in the world. Growing up, I would hear so much about the obesity crisis here in America and how the rest of the world is so healthy for the most part. This video has given me a new perspective on the current obesity crisis, and that it isn't just an American problem anymore, but is now becoming a global problem.
One part of this video in particular which stood out to me was that in all of these developing nations that are suddenly becoming obese, American fast food chains are embedding themselves in their societies. It's no wonder that obesity is no longer just an American problem, but becoming a wold crisis since all of these American fast food chains are moving into these developing nations. It seems as though if the world wants to see a decline in obesity, we must stop eating so much processed food from these types of restaurants and get the proper amount of exercise needed for a healthy lifestyle.
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China will soon have air power rivaling the West’s - No longer just catch-up

China will soon have air power rivaling the West’s - No longer just catch-up | Geography Education |

“China’s president, Xi Jinping, wants to be able to challenge America’s military might in the western Pacific. He is making big progress. China’s once bloated armed forces are becoming leaner and a lot more capable. They are also benefiting from a defense budget that is growing at a steady 6-7% a year, in line with GDP. The IISS declares that China has become an innovator in military technology and is not merely ‘catching up’ with the West. For some of the most advanced science, Mr. Xi is tapping the private sector. The Pentagon has to woo skeptical Silicon Valley companies; firms in China do what the government tells them to do. In two years’ time, if not before, America is likely to lose its monopoly of radar-beating stealth combat aircraft with the introduction into service of China’s Chengdu J-20.”


Tags: political, military, China, geopolitics, East Asia.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 10:56 AM
From reading this article, it is clear for one to see that China is not just "catching up" to America with their military technology, but are becoming a true rival. The President of China is clearly putting a larger emphasis on restructuring the Chinese military. The Chinese government is also trimming the fat their military has had before in the past and creating a larger, more organized budget for their military branch. One major advantage China has over America, is that its private sector non-state tech firms have to do what their government tells them to do. Unlike the American government where they have to create deals and contracts with non-state tech firms for new military technology. This allows China to demand whatever they want from their tech firms in order to advance their military technology. Although, as long as American tech firms continue improve in their technology at an advanced rate and maintain a good relationship with the American government, the U.S. military will continue to be a strong rival in the present day arms race. It remains clear though, that America will indeed have to break a sweat in order to supersede China in regards to advancement in military technology. 
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The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s 'lost generation'

The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s 'lost generation' | Geography Education |

"Algeria’s ‘lost generation’ has been shaped by years of conflict, unemployment and state repression. Sheep fighting offers an arena where young men can escape the constant supervision of the state."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I must confess that it was a mixture of morbid curiosity, the allure of the strangely exotic, with more than a dash of horror that initially impelled me to read this article.  If if is not your thing (and I'm guessing that by the title you should already know), I certainly understand and don't recommend that you read it.  However, there was some intriguing geography in the article as it painted a bleak picture of disenfranchised young men in a pent-up country that did not experience an Arab Spring.  Some elements in this article that I thing might intrigue geography teachers are: the pastoral folk culture of North Africa impacting their popular culture pastimes, complexly gendered cultural customs and place-based cultural politics.   


Tags: culture, gendersport, folk cultures, Algeria, Middle East.

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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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Maya civilization was much vaster than known, thousands of newly discovered structures reveal

Maya civilization was much vaster than known, thousands of newly discovered structures reveal | Geography Education |
Scientists using high-tech, airplane-based lidar mapping tools have discovered tens of thousands of structures constructed by the Maya.


Archaeologists have spent more than a century traipsing through the Guatemalan jungle, Indiana Jones-style, searching through dense vegetation to learn what they could about the Maya civilization. Scientists using high-tech, airplane-based lidar mapping tools have discovered tens of thousands of structures constructed by the Maya: defense works, houses, buildings, industrial-size agricultural fields, even new pyramids.

The lidar system fires rapid laser pulses at surfaces and measures how long it takes that light to return to sophisticated measuring equipment. Doing that over and over again lets scientists create a topographical map of sorts. Months of computer modeling allowed the researchers to virtually strip away half a million acres of jungle that has grown over the ruins. What's left is a surprisingly clear picture of how a 10th-century Maya would see the landscape.

Tags: lidar, spatial, remote sensing, geospatial, unit 1 GeoPrinciplesGuatemala, Middle America.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, February 9, 8:55 PM
This article is not only about our expanding knowledge of Mayan civilization, although it is fascinating that experts are learning more about the cultural and historical geography of Guatemala.  It also highlights some problems that physical geography can sometimes pose to researchers, and the solutions that are becoming possible because of improving technology.  Archaeologists, rather than hiking through dense forests on the off chance of happening upon something recognizable as an ancient structure, can now use laser imaging to see past the overgrowth.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 14, 9:50 PM
This article is particularly interesting because it not only claims to change the way we think of the Mayans, but it also describes the methods used for unearthing the ruins of a civilization that has been lost. By using the Lidar system, archaeologists were able to discover a city with thousands of houses, pyramids and other buildings.
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 1:57 PM
Archaeologists are using new high-tech, airplane-based lidar mapping tools to discover Mayan structures that have gone undetected for hundreds of years. This new method for archaeology has proved very successful as well, since tens of thousands of hidden Mayan structures have been detected using these new tools. This helps paint a different picture of what Mayan civilization was really like. For example, archaeologists now believe that the Mayan civilization may have had a population two to three times the size originally estimated and a much larger extension of land than previously thought. At the end of this article, what really made me think was how the Guatemalan jungle once hindered archaeologists from discovering Mayan structures, but now the jungle is seen as useful in preserving these structures over time, so they are not destroyed by people. It seems as though there is still much to learn about the Mayan civilization and their culture.
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Story Map Swipe and Spyglass Gallery

Story Map Swipe and Spyglass Gallery | Geography Education |

"The Story Map Swipe and Spyglass app template enables users to interact with two web maps or two layers of a single web map, depending on how you build your story. The app enables you to present a single view, or to develop a narrative showing a series of locations or views of the same maps."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The ESRI template to create swipe and spyglass feature is an engaging way to compare and contrast two data layers. For the SPYGLASS maps, I've always enjoyed this historical interactive of Chicago. Chicago is displaced during a economic boom period as the U.S. was expanding westward.  Where were the railroads located then?  Why have some of them vanished today?  Notice anything curious about the coastline along Lake Michigan?  Follow this link to see similar interactives of other major U.S. cities.

For the SWIPE maps, I love exploring this one showing how human activities has reshaped the physical environment.  What activities are creating the new patterns that you see? 


Tags: historical, mappingESRIStoryMap.

Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 16, 9:18 AM
Geographical Thinking Concepts: Spatial Significance, Patterns and Trends
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 6:35 AM

A great Esri tool for examining change over time 

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Strava Heat Map and National Security

Strava Heat Map and National Security | Geography Education |

"A fitness tracking app and national security don’t seem to be connected, and yet this month, the Pentagon has spent serious time discussing how to mitigate the impact Strava’s global data set being post online."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Geospatial intelligence is a knife that cuts both ways. We must consider all the possible ramifications of what might happen as we repackage, render and display geographic information.


Questions to Ponder: What are three discernible patterns that you can identify by analyzing the Strava Heatmap? What does this particular case study show for cartographers and others interesting in creating spatial information? What does this say for regular people now fully immersed in the midst of a geospatial revolution?

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How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define Rural?

"The U.S. Census Bureau has designed a multimedia application experience, a story map, called 'Rural America: How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define Rural?' This story map contains interactive web maps, tables, information, and images to help explain how the Census Bureau defines 'rural.' Many rural communities rely on American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates, rather than ACS 1-year estimates, because of population thresholds. This story map helps data users understand the history and definition of 'rural.' Watch this video and then visit the story map to learn more." Visit the Story Map:  

Seth Dixon's insight:

Census geography brings statistical data to life as seen in their newly designed interactive story map, called "Rural America: How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define 'Rural?" Not only does this story map helps explain how the Census Bureau defines rural, but it displays some fantastic data that helps students to explore rural America.  Many APHG teachers refer to unit 5 as the "ag unit" but the full title, Agriculture, food production, and rural land use, certainly does highlight why this can be a valuable resource.  


Tags: rural, census, regions, mappingESRIStoryMap.

Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 10:57 PM
The U.S. Census Bureau defines "rural" as an area with less than 50,000 people living in it. The majority of the United States is actually considered rural while a small minority of the country is labeled as urban. But interestingly enough, most rural areas are clustered around urban areas rather than in random locations. It seems as though the further out one ventures out from the center of an urban area like a major city, the more the population begins to decrease. One can also see in the same situation, the area transition from urban to rural. U.S. Census data can tell us a lot about populations in rural and urban areas and the correlation between them which can be important to know for many reasons.
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Geography undervalued in understanding of world

Geography undervalued in understanding of world | Geography Education |

Improving skills in ­literacy and numeracy are vitally important components of school education. But it is wrong to assume that these can only be achieved by teaching English and Mathematics respectively. Many other subjects can and do teach these skills using real life examples. Geography is one of these ­subjects. Articulating orally and in writing one’s understanding of the world is one sure way of increasing literacy. Collecting, analysing and using information about the world increases ­students’ numeracy, and gives them a better grounding as ­citizens and future employees. But geography is much more than this. Surely we should aspire to our children and ­grandchildren having a greater understanding of their world: what is happening around them, ­analysing the causes and ­assessing solutions?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I know that understanding the importance of geography is nothing new to my readers, but I am gathering articles that are useful to share with administrators and colleagues in the fight against geographic ignorance.  One this site I've tagged these articles under tag "geography matters."  


Tagseducation, K12geography education, geography matters.

Matt Manish's curator insight, February 1, 1:39 PM
In this article, Roger Crofts explains how in most schools the main subject focus for students is literacy, math, science, and sometimes a foreign language. While social sciences such as geography usually get put on the back burner in the education system. He also makes the argument that geography helps teach imperative skills like literacy and math which is why this subject should have more of an emphasis in school settings. In response to Crofts' article and from my own experience in public schools, his article lines right up with what I was taught when I was younger. When I was in high school, there was a heavy push to learn math, literacy, and science, and also to be tested on these subjects with standardized tests. I feel that there should be a heavy emphasis on these subjects in schools, but there should also still be room for other classes that are creative and help to mold well rounded individuals. Furthermore, I believe this could become possible if standardized tests occurred less and more focus was put on the actual student rather than their standardized test scores.
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Bad Internet Maps: 'A Social Media Plague'

Bad Internet Maps: 'A Social Media Plague' | Geography Education |

"Business Insider’s widely mocked, since-deleted-from-Twitter, but very very viral map of the most popular fast food restaurants by state is the launching-off point for The Ringer’s Claire McNear, who rants about the maps clogging the Internet that are stupid, uninformed, wrong and exist only to generate clicks."


Tags: mappingsocial media, cartography.

Matt Manish's curator insight, February 17, 12:47 AM
This article talks about the many fake maps arising on the internet in order to get likes or for people to re-share it. Many times there are maps with incorrect data going around on the internet because some people want their content to go viral so bad they are willing to make up statistics in order for it to do so. This is why it is always important to check the sources for content you come across, and not just believe every piece of material you come across on the internet. Too many times people are misled by false information on the internet because they don't check the source it came from. As technology like the internet becomes more advanced, hopefully we will become more skilled at discerning false information such as fake maps on the web.
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We’re creating cow islands

We’re creating cow islands | Geography Education |
The parts of the United States that have higher populations of dairy cows are in the West and northern states.


Milk has moved away from cities between 2001 and 2011. Red areas indicate less milk in 2011 than 2001, green areas mean more and a buff color designates a neutral milk region.

Almost every region where you see a dark red area indicating a sharp decline in production has a large and growing population center nearby.

Seth Dixon's insight:

As many of you will notice, this continues the reversal of some patterns that von Thünen observed and put in his famous agricultural model. 


Questions to Ponder: Why did milk used to need to be produced close to the cities?  Why is the old pattern changing now? How is this changing regions?


Tags: models, food production, agribusiness, agriculture.

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Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 9:09 PM
I've never really wondered which parts of the country produce the milk I consume on a regular basis. But as the maps in this article show there are certain parts of country that are densely populated with cows for the sole purpose of producing milk. This article also indicates that the "cow islands" in the Southeastern part of the United States are becoming smaller, while the density of the "cow islands" in the Northern and Western parts of the country are increasing at a significantly steady rate. While reading this article, I learned more about where the most cows in the U.S. are producing milk and how that might affect the price of the milk I buy.
Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 1:44 PM
How would this relate to the Von Thunen model we discussed?
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National Geographic Reckons With Its Past: 'For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist'

National Geographic Reckons With Its Past: 'For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist' | Geography Education |

"Before it could publish an issue on race, the magazine first had to look at its own history. 'Some of what you find in our archives leaves you speechless,' writes editor Susan Goldberg.  The 1916 caption of the picture of these aboriginal Australians described them as 'savages who rank lowest in intelligence of all human beings.'"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is both incredibly obvious, and remarkably shocking.  I don't think that any academic geographic should be surprised that for generations, National Geographic's goals to describe the world's people and it mission to sell magazines made its coverage a product of the cultural norms of the times, the magazine producers and subscribers.  Still, this open honesty coming from National Geographic about National Geographic's past is a breath of fresh air that is quite encouraging, even if some still think that National Geographic's issue and cover miss the mark.


Questions to Ponder: Are there some voyeuristic tendencies we might exhibit as well learn about, or discuss other cultures?  How do we highlight culture differences without making making those with different cultural practices seem as innately 'other' or 'less than?'    


Tags: National Geographic, race, racismmedia

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How Dollar General Is Transforming Rural America

How Dollar General Is Transforming Rural America | Geography Education |

"Dollar General stores thrive in low-income rural towns, and the deep-discount chain has opened hundreds of new shops in the past year."


Dollar General is set to open 1,000 locations this year, for a total of more than 14,000 stores. It will have more stores than McDonald's has restaurants in the entire country. That includes plenty of urban locations, but the chain's bright yellow and black signs pop up about every 10 miles along many remote state highways. Like Walmart, it has rural roots. Dollar General started in small-town Kentucky. Al Cross, who runs the Institute for Rural Journalism at the University of Kentucky, says Dollar General competes with the world's largest retailer on price and convenience.


Tags: rural, retail, podcast.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 15, 7:49 PM
I found this article to be very relevant since the first Dollar General store I've ever seen just popped up within the last year in Rhode Island. Apparently Dollar General is such a big chain in the rest of the country, that it has more stores than Walmart does. According to this article, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of Dollar General building stores in the rural parts of the country. For example this article talks about how people in some rural areas have towns that are so small they don't have any local grocers. So when a Dollar General is built in a town like that, it is a huge benefit to the town. In other cases with small towns that already have a local grocery store, Dollar General can put that store out of business with the difference in their prices. Ultimately, whether or not Dollar General's expansion into rural areas of the U.S. can be seen as negative or positive depends on the local business structure in those small towns.
Nancy Watson's curator insight, March 16, 4:02 PM
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Are Americans trashing the English language?

"Are American's trashing the English language? The Economists language expert, Lane Greene, knows a thing or two about English. Lane is a fan of words, lots of words, and Lane is an American living in London. He's become accustomed to British English slang. But Lane often hears Britons complain that there are too many American words and expressions creeping into British English, these are called Americanisms. British writer Matthew Engel can't stand Americanisms being used in Britain and even wrote a book about it. But are Americanisms trashing British English?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video touches on important cultural and spatial dynamics of the linguistic change impacting the world's current lingua other words, this is incredibly relevant to human geography. 


Tags: languagecultureworldwide, English, diffusion,


Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 12:00 PM
I found this video very enjoyable to watch and I learned a lot more about how British people feel about the American language, especially in their own culture. I knew that American English and British English had some small differences with the spelling of some words and differences in some terms for the same object such as lift and elevator. But I didn't realize how some American phrases or "Americanisms" have crept into the British English language and are causing some English citizens to be upset about it.
In response to this information, I have to side with Lane Greene's opinion towards the end of this video. The fact that "Americanisms" are creeping into the British English language is the sign of a healthy and developing language. It means that one language that is being affected by another language because it has a global reach throughout the world. This is a positive thing that shouldn't be feared because as we can see from history, languages change over time and tend to never stay the same.
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How a Steel Box Changed the World: A Brief History of Shipping

"As the container shipping industry continues to boom, companies are adopting new technologies to move cargo faster and shifting to crewless ships. But it’s not all been smooth sailing and the future will see fewer players stay above water."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This WSJ video, similar to an animated TED-ED video, explains some of the geographic consequences of economic innovation. Containerization has remade the world we live in, and will continue to see it drive economic restructuring.  


Tags: transportationlabor, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Launceston College Geography's curator insight, February 28, 5:46 PM

Impacts of transport developments on the process of globalisation - containerisation of shipping.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 1, 7:50 PM
I found this video to be quite informative about the process of shipping goods throughout the world. I didn't know that 95% of world wide goods are shipped in container vessels. I also never really put much thought into how goods were shipped before watching this video. One piece of information that stuck out to me was that not too long ago ships would spend more time loading cargo at ports than they would actually traveling. That was until the idea of using containers to ship goods on top of shipping vessels was developed. It seems like such a simple idea, but is truly one that has changed the shipping industry forever. This container system saves time, energy, money, and is indeed the most effective way to ship goods throughout the world.
Nancy Watson's curator insight, March 2, 7:38 AM
Unit 6 
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Italy's regional divisions

"150 years after its unification, Italy remains riven by regional differences." For more of these videos, visit

Seth Dixon's insight:

Italy’s a country that we may think of as monolithic, but (like so many other countries) it has some deep and persistent regional distinctions.  These videos are older, but the the divisions discussed are still pertinent.  Stratfor also added a video of Italy in their "Geographic Challenge" series.  I've updated my map which spatially indexes 70+ of their videos that are especially relevant to geography teachers to include this one.  These videos are great starting points for students that are researching a particular country.


Tagsvideogeography education, ItalyEurope, regions.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 22, 12:12 PM
I had a friend in middle school and high school who's father was an Italian immigrant.  He was from Turin, which is very far north.  My friend always used to call people from Southern Italy, and specifically Sicily, things like gangsters and ghetto.  I used to think it was kind of silly.  This video reminded me of my friend and now I can more fully understand why she had that point of view.  The north of Italy is more financially stable than the south and enjoys much lower rates of unemployment.  Another noteworthy point that this video brought up was the language diversity among Italians.  For whatever reason I have always thought of everyone in the country speaking mainstream Italian, when in reality there are many dialects that are so different, Tuscans may have no idea what Sicilians were saying.  My friend must think that since southern Italians are not as wealthy and may not speak the same type of Italian she knows, they must be inferior.  The fact that the North is more financially well off has lead the number of Prime Ministers from the north to be far greater than the south.  All of these factors create tension between the north and the south.  This just goes to show that just because a geographic region is considered to be the same country, it does not mean that it is strongly united or the same throughout.
Nancy Watson's curator insight, February 23, 10:06 PM
Italian regions. I will report back on Tuscany in May!
Matt Manish's curator insight, March 15, 8:16 PM
What is interesting about Italy is that the region it is in has been around for and has influenced world culture for thousands of years. But Italy as a nation is fairly new as it was only developed into a unified state 150 years ago. What is also interesting about Italy's geography is that many cultural and economic trends differ from the Northern part to the Southern part of the country. For example, a person in Northern Italy is likely to make twice as much income as someone in Southern Italy. Adding to that, as far as culture goes, there is also a division among the different dialects throughout the North and South of Italy as well. As a result of this information, one can see how important it is to not lump an entire nation into one category for it is made up of various elements from the different divisions and opinions among it's people.
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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.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 6:33 AM

Preliminary - Political Geography

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Mercator Puzzle Redux

Mercator Puzzle Redux | Geography Education |

"Play this interactive game--move the 15 red countries to their appropriate locations to turn the countries green.  If you give up, you can double click on a red country to locate it (but it will turn blue)." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

The old link to this map quiz no longer works but here is a new version.  This online game where you return the “misplaced” country on the map is more than just and exercise in locating places (there are many online map quizzes for that sort of activity).  What makes this one unique is that as you move the country further north or south the country expands or contracts according to how that country would be projected if that were its actual location on a Mercator map.  This is a great way to introduce the importance of map projections.


Tags: map projections, mapping, cartography.

more...'s comment, February 14, 12:33 AM
Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 16, 9:22 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Spatial Significance; Patterns and Trends
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 7:18 PM
This is an interesting quiz to test your world geography skills. It gives you the shape of a country in red and you have to place the shape on the correct country. If you can't find the correct country, just double tap the shape and it will show you which country it belongs to. This was definitely a challenge for me since I only got two of the countries correct. I found particular difficulty with locating the smaller countries with less features that stand out. Although I only got two answers right, I did enjoy this map quiz because it helped me to realize that I should brush up on my world geography skills more to help me stay informed with what's going on in the world.
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Hong Kong's 'coffin homes' reveal a housing crisis

Hong Kong's 'coffin homes' reveal a housing crisis | Geography Education |
A shortage of developable land have pushed Hong Kong's housing prices skyward, leading some to live in spaces the size of closets.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Overpopulation doesn't feel like a serious issue when you live in a land characterized by wide open spaces, but in some densely settled urban centers, the issues become quite personal.  Hong Kong is currently facing a housing shortage. This article nicely explains the difficulties that living in the so-called coffin homes makes for the residents.  This photo gallery humanizes this difficult living condition.


Tags: housingurban, place, neighborhoodspatialdensity, planning, density, urbanism.

HumdeBut's curator insight, February 6, 8:54 AM
Hopefully we have more space in Europe and elsewhere (Canada !).
For me, living in these conditions : non !!!
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 8:35 PM
The photo gallery in this article helps to give an accurate depiction of the housing crisis in Hong Kong with many people living in units that are 4 by 6 feet. Many families have to live in separate units because they are so small and can't usually fit more than one person. The bright side of the housing crisis in Hong Kong is that these "coffin homes" allow people to live in the major city at a cheaper cost, although it definitely comes with a hefty price with such tiny living quarters. The future looks positive though, as Hong Kong promises to build over 400,000 new homes over the next decade. This will help improve the housing crisis and hopefully phase these "coffin homes" out of existence once and for all.
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GeoSettr | Geography Education |

In May 2013, GeoGuessr came online and quickly became a favorite quiz game of geo-enthusiasts.  Using 5 random locations in Google Street View.  The game player can search the area in Street View and then make a guess as to where it is on the map.  Using GeoSettr, you can create your own GeoGuessr challenge by choosing five locations on Google Street View.

Seth Dixon's insight:

You can customize your own GeoGuessr quizzes now, as others pan and zoom in the StreetView to explore the landscape you selected and find more context clues as to where that location is.  Try my sample quiz that I made based on these 5 clues.   

  1. The best place to get clam cakes and doughboys in RI
  2. My hometown is home to this center of athletic excellence
  3. This monument was a part of my research in this Latin American city
  4. This is where I went to school to get my Ph.D.
  5. Home to the movie “Close Encounters,” this National Monument has always fascinated me.  

Tags: landscape, place, trivia.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, January 30, 9:38 AM
Fun!! Scholary Geography Game!!
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 6:34 AM

another great tool - create your own Geoguesser games

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How Instagram Is Changing the Way We Design Cultural Spaces

How Instagram Is Changing the Way We Design Cultural Spaces | Geography Education |

"As neighborhoods, restaurants and museums become more photogenic, are we experiencing an 'Instagramization' of the world?"


Penang is one of a number of cities capitalizing on the wild popularity of photo-based social media apps such as Instagram, which has 800 million users (that’s more than a tenth of the world’s population). It’s part of a wider phenomenon of public and private spaces being designed to appeal to users of such apps. This phenomenon is subtly changing our visual landscapes—on the streets, in restaurants, in stores, in museums and more. Call it the “Instagramization” of the world.

Restaurants have been at the forefront of Instagramization. Since social media mentions can make or break a restaurant’s success, owners have become attuned to what visual aspects of food and décor appeal to customers. Restaurant designers are going for photo-friendly background materials like slate and whitewashed wood, and using plain white plates. Some are deliberately incorporating Instagram-appealing visuals that feature the restaurant’s name or logo—floor tiles, neon signs—hoping they’ll wind up in a snap.


Tagssocial mediaplaceculture, architecture, urban.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, January 25, 12:12 PM

Over the course of years Instagram has become increasingly popular and especially in Penang. Penang is one out many cities capitalizing on photo based social media such as Instagram. This phenomenon is changing our landscapes, streets, museums, in restauraunts and stores. We call it Instagramization.

James Piccolino's curator insight, January 25, 7:38 PM
I am admittedly a little bit torn on whether this is a good or bad thing. This "Instagramization" does drive art and restaurants to look better, but is it for the right reasons? I have an Instagram, and I do these very same things, but I still have to question the motivations. Are we appreciating art again for the right reasons? Long ago we as humans had an appreciation for art stretching all the way back to cave paintings on walls, long before social media. This trend of only now getting so much into art seems to be more for personal branding, showing off, and trying to impress our friends/followers, maybe even impress ourselves on a deeper level. If we did not hashtag and get likes for our artsy pictures, would we still be so ready to post them, or love them? Do we love the creative world around us? Or do we love what the art around us does for us? There is nothing really wrong with either, but it is a question to consider. The restaurants and tourist spots would probably say "Who cares?" and who could really blame them? They benefit, which is a great thing. I guess when it comes down to it, whether it is for ourselves or for a love of various forms of expression, it is a nice thing that humanity is getting into art again.
Matt Manish's curator insight, January 31, 4:13 PM
This article helps to explain the interesting topic of social media in this current age and how it is shaping our culture. Author of the article Emily Matchar points out how many places in big cities are becoming more and more visually appealing for tourists and customers to come and take pictures for Instagram. She further gives examples of this by how restaurants are putting much more thought into designing their establishments than ever before in hopes that their customers will take a picture there and upload it Instagram. These, restaurants are also creating dishes and beverages that are more colorful as well as pleasing to look at to encourage their customers to post a picture of their food online. Posting these pictures online benefits these restaurants by helping increase their presence online leading to a potentially larger customer base. Matchar goes on to say how this not only changes the way restaurants are trying to use social media to their advantage, but how many other businesses and public places are trying to as well. Pointing out that even museums are coming up with more interactive exhibits for attendees to take pictures of. Overall, I found that this article had an insightful view into the power of social media and how it is molding the way we look at things in our world.
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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 

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English--History and Connotations

"What is the difference between 'a hearty welcome' and 'a cordial reception'? In a brief, action-packed history of the English language, Kate Gardoqui explains why these semantically equal phrases evoke such different images."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED-ED video (and lesson) shows how the connotations of English words often times depend on the linguistic root (sweat--Germanic, perspire--Latin). English has obviously changed much over the years, but this other TED-ED video (and lesson) also shows some good language family information and traces it back to proto-Indo-European roots.


Tags: languagecultureEnglishTED, video.

Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 1:19 PM
It is very interesting to see how far the English language has come and how much is has changed over the past 1600 years. Adding to that it is intriguing to see what other languages had an influence on English. I knew that German and English were very similar languages which made sense that German had a large influence on the English language. Although, it did take me by surprise that French has made quite an impact on English as well. Also, that royal Englishmen spoke French for three centuries. That piece of information shocked me since France and England have had such a historic rivalry that lasted for centuries. Overall, I enjoyed this video and the border maps helped me to better understand the evolution of the English language.
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The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers

The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers | Geography Education |

Hinduism shares an intricate, intimate relationship with the climate, geography, and biodiversity of South Asia; its festivals, deities, mythology, scriptures, calendar, rituals, and even superstitions are rooted in nature. There is a strong bond between Hinduism and South Asia’s forests, wildlife, rivers, seasons, mountains, soils, climate, and richly varied geography, which is manifest in the traditional layout of a typical Hindu household’s annual schedule. Hinduism’s existence is tied to all of these natural entities, and more prominently, to South Asia’s rivers.


Hinduism as a religion celebrates nature’s bounty, and what could be more representative of nature’s bounty than a river valley? South Asian rivers have sustained and nourished Hindu civilizations for centuries. They are responsible for our prosperous agriculture, timely monsoons, diverse aquatic ecosystems, riverine trade and commerce, and cultural richness.  Heavily dammed, drying in patches, infested by sand mafia and land grabbers, poisoned by untreated sewage and industrial waste, and hit by climate change — our rivers, the cradle of Hinduism, are in a sorry state.


If there is ever a threat to Hinduism, this is it. Destroy South Asia’s rivers and with it, Hinduism’s history and mythology will be destroyed. Rituals will turn into mockery, festivals, a farce, and Hinduism itself, a glaring example of man’s hypocritical relationship with nature. The fact that we worship our rivers as mothers and then choke them to death with all sorts of filth is already eminent.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This might be a controversial op-ed because it has a strong perspective on the religious and environmental dimensions of modern Indian politics...that said, I think it is well worth the read.  The Ganges is both a holy river, and a polluted river; that juxtaposition leads to many issues confronting India today. 


Tagsculturereligion, India, South Asia, Hinduism, pollution, industry,   environment, sustainability, consumption, fluvial

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, January 4, 8:18 PM

Environmental change and human impacts 

Reasons for effective management 

Brian Weekley's comment, January 5, 9:26 AM
Seth- here is another article from a few years back about this same thing.
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 1, 2:31 PM
Gauri Noolkar, explains in this article how much of Hinduism is related to India's nature, and how influential the Indian continent's river systems are on the country's leading religion. Noolkar, informs her audience about how pollution and greed for natural resources is killing the riverbeds of India. Which ultimately is leading to a negative impact on Hinduism in India, since much of the religion is influenced by the country's many rivers. For example, numerous Hindus make pilgrimages to and along the many famous rivers of India. Also, there are many religious sites erected next to rivers in India such as ghats which are stairs leading down into these rivers. These pilgrimages and religious sites are being affected by India's rivers by being dammed, polluted, dried up, and filled with toxic waste. Noolkar concludes her article by proclaiming that if Hinduism in India is to survive, drastic steps need to be taken in order to restore and preserve India's ancient river basins.