Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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3 Ways to Make Compelling Maps

3 Ways to Make Compelling Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"What makes a good map?  How can we tell what makes a good map?

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Leoncio Lopez-Ocon's curator insight, June 1, 2013 7:08 AM

Maneras de hacer a los mapas más expresivos y convincentes

Jye Watson's curator insight, June 23, 2013 10:24 PM

Mapping tips

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China's Water Crisis

China's Water Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For years, China claimed to hold an estimated 50000 rivers within its borders. Now, more than half of them have abruptly vanished.
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Paige Therien's curator insight, April 26, 2014 12:04 AM

China is attributing the disappearance of over 50 percent of their country's rivers to inaccurate sources; more effective technologies today give an accurate picture of China's waterways compared to the former data based off of sources from the  1950's.  While it is probably true to some extent that previous numbers were off, there still needs to be much concern for the state of China's current waterways and why waterways that once existed have disappeared.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 4:48 PM

Cutting corners in safety and cleanliness has caused pollution in the rivers. All the money they saved cutting corners now has to be invested in diverting clean water to northern areas of the country. I hope someday they realize that you cannot do things super cheaply without paying for it in another area.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:41 PM

What has happened to these rivers? Are they purposely being depleted from China? How do they expect to supply water for their residents if they are building things over these used-to-be rivers?

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Wealth Inequality in America

Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actua...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video does have a political bent that may or may not reflect your views, but it nicely lays out data that graphically represents the economic differences that we see in the United States today.  Our perception is as skewed as what is and what we think it should be.  

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Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, March 6, 2013 2:36 PM

Des Amériques: les Etats Unis. 

Jennifer S. Hong's curator insight, December 27, 2013 3:39 PM

"In a country well governed, poverty is somehing to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." -Confucius.

Luke Walker's curator insight, October 5, 2014 9:17 AM

Mind blowing and utterly ridiculous.

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Google releases detailed map of North Korea, gulags and all

Google releases detailed map of North Korea, gulags and all | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Google Maps rolls out a detailed may of the secretive state.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Citizen cartographers have edited Google's North Korea map, putting information on what was previously an absence of data concerning one of the most secretive countries in the world.  In essence, as explained in this video, Google is crowd-sourcing the map.  How might this geographic knowledge change our perception of North Korea?  How might the dissemination of this information affect North Korea?  

 

Tags: North Korea, mapping, cartography.

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Ann-Laure Liéval's curator insight, January 30, 2013 9:41 AM

Des cartes pour comprendre le monde: la géographie participative de Google. 

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Census Data Mapper

Census Data Mapper | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This web mapping application provides users with a simple interface to view, customize, save and print thematic maps of the United States, using data from the 2010 Census.  The beta version contains a set of 2010 Census data relating to age and sex, population and race, and family and housing in the United States by county or equivalent entity." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This month the U.S. Census Bureau has released the beta version of a very nice online mapping tool to display the 2010 data.  The mapper will create PDF versions of any map produced online (file sizes from 20-55KB) and the user can export the raw data to Excel.  While the user is more limited in how to display the data than they would using a GIS, this is a simple way to explore some of the basic census information.


Tags: statistics, census, GIS, mapping, cartography.


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Jen-ai's curator insight, January 24, 2013 2:11 PM

mmm data. This tool is really useful for anyone planning on servicing an area with grown food. You can see the demographics of your chosen geographical area quickly.

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Interactive Earth at Night

Interactive Earth at Night | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

You've seen the this image as a static map, as a video and as an adjusted cartogram here before.  This link is especially intriguing because this same data has been added to Google Maps so a user can interactively explore this layer and compare it to daytime satellite imagery or a standard map (it can also be seen on an interactive globe on http://www.geteach.com/ ). 


The first impulse of most students is to note when analyzing this image is to note that the map will show us where people live, where the cities are or some other comment that speaks to the magnitude of the population in the white areas.  Let them analyze this for more time, and they'll notice that population isn't the whole story of this image.  A place like India shines, but less brightly than the eastern part of the United States.  I like to point out that South Korea appears to be an island (because North Korea is literally blacked out).  Politics, development, affluence and population information are all embedded in this image.  As with all maps, the more information you have about the place in question (in this case, Earth), the more meaningful information you can extract out of the map.


Tags: remote sensing, images, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, geography education, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

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Giovanni Della Peruta's curator insight, January 14, 2013 11:54 AM

Thanks to Nic Hardisty

Giovanni Della Peruta's comment, January 14, 2013 12:02 PM
Very good comment, Seth
سعيد محمد's comment, January 15, 2013 11:03 AM
ok
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Apple Promises To Fix Glitches In Map Software By Rearranging Earth's Geography

Apple is working hard to move streets, buildings, and natural features of the Earth itself to be consistent with their heavily criticized Maps software.


The Onion is the best spoofing news channel, and in this video, they ‘report’ that Apple with correct the Earth’s geography so that it will conform to the their mapping software.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Onion is the best spoofing news channel, and in this video, they 'report' that Apple with correct the Earth’s geography so that it will conform to the their mapping software.

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Esri Story Map Treasure Hunt

Esri Story Map Treasure Hunt | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Although these were designed specifically for GIS day during Geography Awareness Week, these 2 excellent map-based treasure hunts from ESRI are great any time of year.  The answer to the question will only pop up in you are zoomed in the the right region (SHIFT + Make a box = Zoom to area).  These links will take you to the World Cities quiz and also to the Mountains quiz.

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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 9, 2015 2:52 PM

I enjoyed this exercise, it was fun and creative.

Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 18, 6:54 PM

I love this geography, map-based quiz that let's people explore the world as they learn about some interesting places.  

Douglas Vance's curator insight, January 18, 7:00 PM

This is a brand new and to me, a unique way of exploring global geography by using trivia questions as a means to explore the world.

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Persuasive Maps

Persuasive Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
John F. Smith's smartly-designed biblical anti-slavery map of the mid-19th Century United States. Prepared in 1888; excerpted from “Maps for an emerging nation”.


Maps don't just convey information--they can also shape the way that we think about the world that is being represented by that map.  Maps are texts and sometimes they have very strong perspectives that the cartographer put into that map.  This persausive map shows one way of interpreting American history after the end of reconstruction.  Notice that in addition to the very overt religious, moral tone condemning the South for slavery, the ideas of Manifest Destiny are also woven into the fabric of this map. 


Tags: cartography, historical, USA.

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Manhattan Evacuation Plan Reveals Island’s Old Contours

Manhattan Evacuation Plan Reveals Island’s Old Contours | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Topography and elevation matters.  We can dry to make water dry ground (and vice versa), but not without future consequences.   

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Making Sense of Maps

TED Talks Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places.


This video touches on numerous themes that are crucial to geographers including: 1) how our minds arrange spatial information, 2) how to best graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your audience and 3) how mapping a place can be the impetus for changing outdated systems. This is the story of how a cartographer working to improve a local transportation system map, which in turn, started city projects to improve the infrastructure and public utilities in Dublin, Ireland. This cartographer argues that the best map design for a transport system needs to conform to how on cognitive mental mapping works more so than geographic accuracy (like so many subway maps do).


Tags: transportation, urban, mapping, cartography, planning, TED, video, unit 7 cities.

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Jesse Gauthier's comment, October 14, 2012 3:42 PM
When trying to graphically represent spatial information in a useful manner for your particular audience, you will have a lot to take into consideration. How familiar are the travelers with the area you map out? Are there visuals to precisely mark on the map so that will they accurately correspond to the area?
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Live Flight Tracker

Live Flight Tracker | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Flightradar24 is the best live flight tracker that shows air traffic in real time. Best coverage and cool features!


Ever wanted to find out where that plane overhead came from?  Where is it going?  Here it is.  The flight that was over Rhode Island 5 minutes ago that left the JFK airport?  It's officially on it way to Geneva Switerland and now over the Atlantic.   


Tags: mapping, worldwide, geospatial, transportation

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What is GIS?

This is a brief introduction to what geographic information systems are.  This is not a tutorial on how to use it, but a conceptual overview on the potential uses and applications for GIS.  


Tags: GIS, video, Unit 1 GeoPrinciples, geospatial, mapping and location.

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CT Blake's curator insight, September 28, 2014 10:55 AM

Useful for understanding the use of GIS and differences with GPS.

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Topographic Maps

Topographic Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
USGS National Geologic Database- TopoView
Seth Dixon's insight:

The National Geologic Map Database is a simple interactive tool to find USGS topographic maps that you can dowload.  Users can search for current or historic maps.  

 

Tagsgeospatial, GIS, mapping, cartography.

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Paul Nicoara's curator insight, May 5, 2013 5:05 PM

The National Geologic Map Database is a simple interactive tool to find USGS topographic maps that you can dowload.  Users can search for current or historic maps.  

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Africa Map Collection

Africa Map Collection | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This fabulous collection of African maps from 1535-1897 represents an historical geographic vision of both Africa and colonial visions of an imagined Africa.  I chose this particular map to display because it beautifully highlights the Mountains of KongFor generations, European cartographers erroneously believed that this long mountain range extended north of the West African coast and across the continent.  Currently this map collection is at Plymouth State, NH, but much of it is archive online here. 


Tags: Africa, cartography, colonialism, map.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 11:58 PM

This is a fun collection of maps because you can see how the European view of Africa has changed over time. These maps contain nonexistent land marks such as the Mountains of Kong, these are here because cartographers made their maps based off incorrect information and then passed this information on to others who repeated their mistakes. African was known as the dark continent not only because of European racism but because of the lack of knowledge on behalf of the Europeans. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 11:19 AM

While most people perceive Africa as a country rather than a continent, European cartographers were even more oblivious to the make up of the continent. How is it possible that a mountain can directly across the continent. This also raises the question, how was conquering the continent possible if this mountain sat at the frontier of the continent? Wouldn't the natives know where to escape when European settlers came to conquer their land?

Luis Cabral's curator insight, March 8, 2016 12:02 AM

This fabulous collection of African maps from 1535-1897 represents an historical geographic vision of both Africa and colonial visions of an imagined Africa.  I chose this particular map to display because it beautifully highlights the Mountains of Kong.  For generations, European cartographers erroneously believed that this long mountain range extended north of the West African coast and across the continent.  Currently this map collection is at Plymouth State, NH, but much of it is archive online here. 


Tags: Africa, cartography, colonialism, map.

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Rhode Island Community Profiles

Rhode Island Community Profiles | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a simplified Census data map viewer specifically for Rhode Island.  To see a simplified U.S. Census data at the national scale, see: http://sco.lt/7G5rur


Tags: statistics, Rhode Island, census, GIS, mapping, cartography.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 24, 2013 11:50 AM

This is a simplified Census data map viewer specifically for Rhode Island.  To see a simplified U.S. Census data at the national scale, see: http://sco.lt/7G5rur


Tags: statistics, Rhode Island, census, GIS, mapping, cartography.

Meg Conheeny's comment, April 26, 2013 7:12 PM
This data really gives you a sense of the community in Rhode Island. You can find statistics on education, economic factors, health, housing and the environment. There are slightly more females than males in Rhode Island. The population pyramid shows spikes in both males and females from the ages of 15-24 and 45-54. There could be a higher population of 15-24 year olds because that age group is enrolled in school so many kids go through the public school system in Rhode Island then stay in state to go to college, trying to save some money. There’s a higher amount of 45-54 year olds because they have established themselves in this state with a job, house, family and roots so they are less likely to leave.
There is a high number of families with children under 18 in Cranston, Pawtucket, Warwick and Providence. This could be because those areas are the major cities and towns in the state so there are more families having kids in those places. There also is a high number of people in the city of Providence that speak English “not well” or “not at all”. Migrants tend to move to the cities to try to find work and cheap housing and Providence is the biggest city in Rhode Island so it is populated with many migrates who are new to English. Rhode Island has some of the highest unemployment numbers. The highest places of unemployment in Rhode Island according to this graph are East Providence, Cranston, Pawtucket, Warwick and Providence. Again this could be because those areas are some of the largest cities and towns in the state.
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Creating American Borders

30-second animation of the changes in U.S. historical county boundaries, 1629 - 2000. Historical state and territorial boundaries are also displayed from 178...
Seth Dixon's insight:

I love this time-lapse animation of all the county and state-level boundary changes in United States history.  Would you like to see this in greater detail?  Would you want to download the data and create your own visualization of this?  The Atlas of Historical County Boundaries has all of this data as GIS shapefiles, Google Earth KMZ files and PDFs for the whole country as well as for each individual state.  This project sponsored by The Newberry and the National Endowment for the Humanities has tremendous potential for use in the classroom for history and geography teachers alike.  


Tags: historical, USA, borders, time lapse, mapping, edtech.

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Jesse Olsen's comment, March 16, 2013 1:04 PM
Whooooaaaaaaa!!!!
Betty Klug's curator insight, April 27, 2013 3:50 PM

I love animation maps.  Great for getting students interested in learning.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 6:36 PM

This video does a fantastic job of showing how the United States has expanded and grown since its original 13 colonies. While many today might imagine that our nation was simply always this size in fact over many years of colonization, land purchases and land grabs America has eventually become what it is today.

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Inverted Earth

Seth Dixon's insight:

These maps were purposefully designed to break all the cartographic conventions and consequently conceal as much as they reveal.  When land is colored blue, what happens in the mind of the map viewer?  Why is psychology important in how we design maps?     


Tags: images, mapping, cartography.

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Dewayne Lawson's comment, January 19, 2013 9:19 PM
very cool!
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Digital Globes, a New Way to View the World

Digital Globes, a New Way to View the World | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Their expense has so far made them rare, but with prices coming down, these glowing, programmable spheres are set to become more common.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Due to the expense, only science centers and major museums can afford these digital globes that we see in futuristic movies.  However, as with all new technologies, the price will drop as it is refined and made available for larger market, even if that time is still a ways off.  If this were available in your classroom, it would be splashy, but how much added value would it bring?  What kind of lessons could you teach with this?

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Tom Perran's curator insight, January 11, 2013 6:21 PM

Very exciting development in classroom technology!

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TODALSIGS

TODALSIGS | Geography Education | Scoop.it


 

Seth Dixon's insight:

TODALSIGS is an acronym for remembering the most basic elements of a good map.  This interactive briefly explains what each of the letters represents and how it is connected to map-making.  If this particular introduction is either too advanced or too basic for your students, simply run an internet search for the term TODALSIGS to find many other lesson plans and resources that might be more applicable to your institution (including this example-rich slideshow).

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The Rise of Megacities

The Rise of Megacities | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By 2025, the developing world will be home to 29 megacities."


Seth Dixon's insight:

Through this interactive mapping feature with rich call-out boxes, the reader can explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of megacities (urban areas with over 10 million residents).  These 'cities on steroids' have been growing tremendously since the 1950s and present a unique set of geographic challenges and opportunities for their residents. 


Download the data yourself as a CSV file and your can import this into ArcGIS online and symbolize your map with any of the columns in the dataset.  


Tags: urban, megacities.


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Matt Mallinson's comment, November 19, 2012 10:27 AM
If that's what is predicted for 2025, how populated will our world be by 2050? Scary to think about.
Peter Steffan's curator insight, October 9, 2013 5:00 PM

Very cool!

Tori Denney's curator insight, May 27, 2015 3:36 PM

World cities and megacities - Presently , the mega cities of the world have to have a population of at least 10,000. Many cities are very near the minimum to be considered a mega city, but are not quite there. By 2025, the developing world, as we understand it now, is estimated to be home to 29 megacities.

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GIS Day video

GIS Day video | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This is a great video for GIS day (TODAY!) to remember why and how spatial thinking and spatial technologies can improve education and communities.   GIS will be a mainstay in the emerging workplace.

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Digital Topographic Maps

Digital Topographic Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Home page of USGS Topographic Maps...

Seth Dixon's insight:

The last paper editions of USGS topographic maps came out in 1973 and 1992.  If you are waiting for the next print edition, you'll be waiting a long time.  Like so many other agencies with information distribution, the USGS topo maps have gone digital.  In 2001 the USGS announced the production of a current, seamless digital National Map.  You can still quadrangle chunks of the National map and download them for free as PDFs (with geospatial extensions for measuring).   You can search for aerial imagery here.


Tags: mapping, cartography, geospatial.

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The League of Dangerous Mapmakers

The League of Dangerous Mapmakers | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Redistricting today has become the most insidious practice in American politics—a way, as the opportunistic machinations following the 2010 census make evident, for our elected leaders to entrench themselves in 435 impregnable garrisons from which they can maintain political power while avoiding demographic realities.


Tags: political, gerrymandering, mapping, unit 4 political.

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David Holoka's curator insight, February 10, 2016 9:48 AM

Mapmakers seem to have a larger effect on elections, more so than the voters or candidates do. This is utterly unfair, because voters need to have the largest part. 

Lilah Rozar's curator insight, February 10, 2016 9:50 AM

Gerrymandering is a very manipulative and unfair way of setting up the votes. It is a way for them to take control over how the voting will be set up in their favor and it is cheating out the public. Although, it is a way for the elected officials to get re-elected.

Peyton Conner's curator insight, February 10, 2016 9:58 AM

 Redistricting is one of the most deceptive  political task that is given to select few committee and legislature officers. Redistricting is definitely "dangerous" and "unpredictable" ,and as this article says not for everyone.  Redrawing a district sure is something to be proud of. PC

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Regional NFL Fan Bases

Regional NFL Fan Bases | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Any cartographic fine-tuning of borders that you would suggest?  What truths does this map obscure?


Tags: regions, sport, mapping.

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Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:28 PM

I like how this map shows regionaly were most fans of a certain team are.  However one thing it fails to take into account are fans of a certain team that live in another region.  Like I live in Rhode Isalnd so based on the map i would be a Patriots fan, however I am  49ers fan, and I know i am not the only fan of a team not living in that teams region. 

Heather Ramsey's curator insight, January 25, 2013 7:49 PM

An excellent visual representation of functional regions.

Matt Chapman's curator insight, February 7, 8:23 PM

As a football fan, and a fan of the New York Giant, personally i do not adhere to this map of the US.  However, it shows that most fan bases are pretty much loyal to their home teams.  You see this in states suhc as Wisconsin, where its all Green bay Packers and in the region of New England where it is predominantly New England Patriots.  But, in California who has multiple teams you see that these teams are split up from region to region where as in the LA and Oakland area, you have Raiders fans that is because not too long ago, the raiders used to play in LA before they were moved to Oakland.  This is a pretty neat map and its very interesting to see how in states such as North Dakota which does not have an NFL team who they are influenced by surrounding states and end up predominantly Vikings fans