Geography Education
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Tiny Capital

Created by Eirik Evjen.  The production of this video was made out of 76,940 single photos.

"Norway has recently reached 5 million inhabitants and the capital is growing rapidly. The city scene in Oslo is steadily thickening with taller buildings, more people and the never-ending construction sites. Being by far the most populated city in Norway with 613 000 inhabitants, most Norwegians look to Oslo as a major capital. However, if one compares Oslo to other international capitals, Oslo only ranks as the 112th largest. Oslo is indeed a major capital, just a small one…"

Tags: art, urban, Europe, landscape, unit 7 cities.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 27, 2014 5:39 PM

Oslo may be small in size, but it is quickly growing and advancing. Norway's capital is now a place of constant travel and exploration. The 76,940 photos used to create this video embrace Oslo's city rush and functionality. 

Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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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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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!
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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.

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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!!
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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.
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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.
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How the letters of the alphabet got their names

How the letters of the alphabet got their names | Geography Education |
There seems to be little predictability to the English names for the letters of the alphabet, to say nothing of the names of letters in other languages. Some begin with an e-as-in-egg sound (eff, ell); some end in an ee sound (tee, dee); and others have no obvious rhyme or reason to them at all. How did they get that way?


Tags: language, culturehistorical, English.

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Alluvial Fans

Alluvial Fans | Geography Education |

"When a mountain stream carries a lot of sediment (clay, silt, sand, gravel, cobbles, and boulders) and leaves the confines of the canyon, the sediment is deposited. Over time, this process creates a fan-shaped deposit. The sediment is deposited not because the gradient of the stream decreased, but because the power of the stream dissipates beyond the canyon mouth as the water is spread thin and infiitrates. Many cities are built on alluvium fans, often leading to hazards from flash floods and mudflows."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In mountainous, interior deserts, the largest settlements are usually not deep in the deserts or on top of the mountains but in that in between space.  Many settlements in Central Asia are built on these alluvial fans


Tags: environment, physical, geomorphology, erosiongeology, California, landforms.

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Za'atari Camp

Za'atari Camp | Geography Education |

"Spongebob Squarepants has been painted on the entire side of one caravan, and an Arabic phrase has been gracefully painted on another. This kind of incongruity I see throughout the camp. Two women are dressed in traditional full-length hijabs, for example, but the man behind them is wearing a Golden State Warriors t-shirt. A man in a robe encourages a donkey to pull a cart, yet right past him are young boys with smartphones huddled near a fence looking for better cell reception. A little further down the road and on my right I see a shoeless kid laughing and rolling a tire, but on my left, I spot a vast number of solar-powered panels. This constant juxtaposition is jarring and yet beautiful, and I am taken back by the energy of the place."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is from the other Professor Dixon, my brother Shane, an ESL professor at Arizona State who travels abroad frequently to train ESL teachers around the world (he's taught MOOCs and is a rock star in the ESL world--trust me--he's awesome).  I was thrilled to hear that he would not only be going to Jordan, but working within the Za'atari refugee camp.  He's a keen observer of the cultural and urban landscapes. 


TagsMiddleEast, Jordan, political, refugees.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 14, 2017 10:01 PM

What is it like i a refugee camp? A juxtaposition of conflicting images. 

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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
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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
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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.

ava smith's curator insight, January 8, 11:24 PM
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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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As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger

As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger | Geography Education |

"Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. But in the last three years its economy has collapsed. Hunger has gripped the nation for years. Now, it’s killing children. The Venezuelan government knows, but won’t admit it. Doctors are seeing record numbers of children with severe malnutrition. Before Venezuela’s economy started spiraling, doctors say, almost all of the child malnutrition cases they saw in public hospitals stemmed from neglect or abuse by parents. But as the economic crisis began to intensify in 2015 and 2016, the number of cases of severe malnutrition at the nation’s leading pediatric health center in the capital more than tripled, doctors say. 2017 was even worse."


Tagsmortality, medical, developmentfood, poverty, Venezuela, South America.

David G Tibbs's curator insight, February 10, 10:50 PM
This is a sad and dire situation for children living in Venezuela. With food becoming increasingly hard to acquire the death toll has increased. It is also shocking that hospitals most censor the cause of death if it makes the government look bad. With access to the largest oil reserve in the Americas why not tap into that resource and change the economic situation in a few months. If this rate keeps up it could delegitimize the government and plunge the country into a civil war. No child should have to starve especially when the government has access to a resource that is highly needed in most industrialized societies. 
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 13, 9:57 AM
The article explores the devastation that Venezuela is feeling right now. After the economy collapsed in 2014, the entire country has been in shambles. Because of the inflation caused by the economy collapse, food has been nearly impossible to find. The article discusses multiple families who lost their children as a result of severe malnutrition. However, the government has turned a blind eye to the increasing infant mortality rate, often telling doctors and hospitals to not record many deaths.
brielle blais's curator insight, February 18, 10:24 PM
This article shows how the economic geography can so deeply affect a country that because of the failing economy of Venezuela, children, by the hundreds, are dying of hunger. Shortages and inflation are to blame, but the government is keeping the numbers of deaths a secret, doing nothing about it, paying no mind to the way of life of people living in crisis. 
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Walmart Nation: Mapping the Largest Employers in the U.S.

Walmart Nation: Mapping the Largest Employers in the U.S. | Geography Education |
Walmart employs 1.5 million people across the country - and the retail behemoth is now the largest private employer in 22 states.


In an era where Amazon steals most of the headlines, it’s easy to forget about brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart.

But, even though the market values the Bezos e-commerce juggernaut at about twice the sum of Walmart, the blue big-box store is very formidable in other ways. For example, revenue and earnings are two areas where Walmart still reigns supreme, and the stock just hit all-time highs yesterday on an earnings beat.


Tag: rural, retail, labor, economicindustry.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, January 19, 12:04 PM
We hear so much about Amazon that we forget about major companies like Walmart. This article did a good job of showing the power of Walmart and the map showed the breakdown of what industry or company dominated that region of the country. One can use these factors as we look at population growth in areas and wonder how it effects the economy and jobs. We can also use the information from a business perspective and see where we can continue market growth or brand growth. As amazon continues to take over the world its important for major companies to continue to brand in certain regions. Walmart has proven this especially in the southern portion of the United States.
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 18, 5:41 PM
The job market always seems to be changing whether it is up or down, especially in today's diverse economy. I knew that Walmart is quite a large corporation, but I didn't know that they were one of the largest employers in the United States with 1.5 million employees and counting. Also, even though Walmart is spread out throughout the country, I did pick up on a trend that Walmart seems to be most popular in the South. Although,one thing I did notice in this map that didn't make much sense to me is why this article states it is "excluding public administrative bodies, such as state governments" from their data. I can understand why they would want to exclude that information, but what I don't comprehend is why they include state governed universities into their map that is supposed to show the largest private employers in the U.S. Even with this information, I did learn a lot about the many jobs Walmart helps provide for the U.S. economy.
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Robots can pick strawberries. Now what?

Robots can pick strawberries. Now what? | Geography Education |

"The robots have arrived. And they’ll be picking crops in Florida fields soon. Robots can do things humans can’t. They can pick all through the night. They can measure weight better. They can pack boxes more efficiently. They don’t take sick days, they don’t have visa problems.

Google 'are robots taking our jobs?' and you get millions of theories: Robots will take over most jobs within 30 years; yes, but it’s a good thing; yes, but they will create jobs, too; chill out, they won’t take them all. Truckers, surgeons, accountants and journalists have all been theoretically replaced by prognosticators.

But harvesting specialty crops is different: Plants vary in shape and size and determining ripeness is complex — experts have said there are too many variables for robots. Until now."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many industries have been, and will continue to be transformed by automation and robotics.  There is a great amount of uncertainty and anxiety in the labor pools as workers see many low skill jobs are being outsourced and other jobs are being automated.  Some economic organizations are preparing resources for workers to strengthen their skills for the era of automation. 


Questions to Ponder: How will a machine like this transform the agricultural business? How might it impact migration, food prices, or food waste?


Tags: economic, laboragribusiness, industry, food production, agriculture.

Jane Ellingson's curator insight, December 18, 2017 9:05 AM
Structural Changes in the economy.
Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 1:46 PM
Where will this lead us in terms of population, economics, and agriculture?
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The 'War on Sitting' Has a New Front

The 'War on Sitting' Has a New Front | Geography Education |
Cities are removing benches in an effort to counter vagrancy and crime—at the same time that they’re adding them to make the public realm more age-friendly.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geography explores more than just what countries control a certain territory and what landforms are there.  Geography explores the spatial manifestations of power and how place is crafted to fit a particular vision.  Homeless people are essentially always 'out of place.'  These articles from the Society Pages, Atlas Obscura, the Atlantic and this one from the Guardian share similar things: that urban planners actively design places that will discourage loitering, skate boarding, and homelessness, which are all undesirable to local businesses.  This gallery shows various defensive architectural tactics to make certain people feel 'out of place.'  Just to show that not all urban designs are anti-homeless, this bench is one that is designed to help the homeless (and here is an ingenious plan to curb public urination).  


Tags: urbanplanning, architecture, landscape, place, poverty.

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