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

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.
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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.

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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Pro-Israeli perspective in UNHRC

Seth Dixon's insight:

Admittedly, this is not a neutral perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth sharing if you properly contextualize the statements.  UN Watch is "a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter."  UN Watch works to oppose what they see as chronic anti-Israeli bias in the UN.   


Tags: Israel, PalestineNGOs, political, Middle East.

Douglas Vance's curator insight, March 22, 12:27 PM
Although biased, it is incredible to observe how it is possible to manipulate facts and realities to support your position by taking the out of context. It is clear that many predominantly Muslim nations are trying to actively undermine Israel and its power on the world stage. This video also does a tremendous job of pointing out that all of these nations who are opposing Israel also have a small Jewish population, yet almost gloss over and try to ignore their very existence. 
Christina Caruso's curator insight, March 31, 5:55 PM
We watched this video in class and learned about Israel. It is this big meeting with a bunch of political people allover the Middle East. One guy is talking about Jews and all different countries.  
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Geographic analysis for the zombie apocalypse

Can geography save your life in case of, say, a zombie apocalypse? Understanding the push and pull factors that create geographic movement -- or how people, resources, and even ideas travel -- might help you determine the location that's best for survival. David Hunter playfully analyzes the geography skills that you'd need to escape the zombies.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This tongue -in-cheek TED-ED lesson shows how the concepts of movement are spatial, and of course, critical in an zombie apocalypse.  Good vocabulary (push factors, pull factors, migration, infrastructure, etc.) is used in this clip.  


Tags: mobilitymigration, TED, video.

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xkcd: A Critique of Viral Maps

xkcd: A Critique of Viral Maps | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 'map' is a pithy and quite pointed critique of the many maps that get shared on social media claiming to be based on big data, but they might be more fluff than true substance. 


Tags: XKCD, infographic, mapping, social media, cartography.

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Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy

Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy | Geography Education |

"Though unrecognized by the international community, the country benefits from a strong social contract between government and citizens."


Drop a pin on a map of eastern Africa and chances are it will not land on a healthy democracy. Somalia and South Sudan are failed states. Sudan is a dictatorship, as are the police states of Eritrea, Rwanda and Ethiopia. In this context tiny Somaliland stands out. Somaliland was a British protectorate, before it merged with Italian Somalia in 1960 to form a unified Somalia. It broke away in 1991, and now has a strong sense of national identity. It was one of the few entities carved up by European colonists that actually made some sense. Somaliland is more socially homogeneous than Somalia or indeed most other African states (and greater homogeneity tends to mean higher levels of trust between citizens). For fear of encouraging other separatist movements in the region, the international community, following the African Union, has never obliged [to recognize Somaliland]. Nation-building on a shoestring helped keep Somaliland’s politicians relatively accountable, and helped to keep the delicate balance between clans.


Tags: devolutionpolitical, states, sovereignty, autonomy, unit 4 political, Somalia, Africa.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 30, 4:02 PM
(Africa) Somaliland, an universally unrecognized state in Somalia, recently held it's sixth peaceful election. Originally a British colony that then merged with Italian Somalia, Somaliland declared independence in 1991, leaving the rest of the war-torn and lawless country. Despite their constitution and pursuit of democracy, no other country will acknowledge their sovereignty to prevent other African separatist movements. Usually democratic reform in Africa comes from foreign aid but without external help citizens of Somaliland created a working representative system. Yet, like most of the continent, corruption and delayed elections poses a problem for the autonomous state, and it is hard to tell the future of the only democracy in east Africa.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 6:14 PM
Although it is not recognized as its own country Somaliland is Somalia's strongest state. Surrounded by dictatorships, Somaliland built a strong state by creating a strong contract between the government the people. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 1:48 PM
Although plagued by many of the problems facing African democracies; corruption, abuse of power and delayed elections, Somaliland remains one of the bright spots of African democratic movements. The natural democratic development of the autonomous state within Somalia has been a prime example of how a relatively stable democracy can develop when people can trust the government and are left to their own means to form a free and open government.
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English--Origins and Roots

When we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? Claire Bowern traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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


Tags: languagecultureEnglishTED, video.

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Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds

Haiti and the Dominican Republic share a border, and an island. But the two countries are very different today: the Dominican Republic enjoys higher quality of life for many factors than Haiti. I went to this island and visited both countries, to try and understand when and how their paths diverged.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is an exciting debut for the new series "Vox borders."  By just about every development metric available, the Dominican Republic is doing better than Haiti, the only bordering country on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the DR.   


Questions to Ponder: How does the border impact both countries?  How has sharing one island with different colonial legacies shaped migrational push and pull factors?


Tags: Haiti, Dominican Republic, video, poverty, development, economic, labor, migration, political, borders.

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 13, 8:41 PM
This video is extremely interesting seeing as it points out the differences between two very different worlds that are only separated by a single border. The video shows how racist the Dominicans are to their neighbors and shows us how the Haitians live under such scrutiny. On each end of the border, there are two markets that are supposed to allow both the Haitians and the Dominicans to trade their goods, however, the strict border patrol officers keep the Haitians from entering until their neighbors have set up their shops at the best spots. The director of the video also notes that he believes the reason Haiti is much poorer than the Dominican Republic stems all the way back to when they were colonies of France and Spain. 
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 12:47 PM
I found this video to be very insightful into the relationship Haiti has with the Dominican Republic and how the Haitian government has formed into what it is today. It was especially informative for myself because I didn't know very much about these countries before watching this video. I knew Haiti was the first slave colony to have a successful revolt against their slave holders, but I didn't know or realize all the consequences of that slave uprising. It seems like Haiti wasn't given a proper chance right off the bat to succeed as a nation. The French overworked their land and destroyed the soil which is still a problem today. Once Haiti declared independence, many nations enforced embargoes on Haiti because it was considered a threat due to it being a black republic, which strangled their potential for a strong economy. Adding to that France demanded a large sum of money from Haiti after they declared independence because France was upset about losing profits from the colony, which hindered the Haitian economy even more. It's too bad that Haiti got a bad hand of cards right from the beginning, I hope that one day they can rise above adversity, and truly flourish as a nation.
tyrone perry's curator insight, March 14, 10:43 PM
watching this showed many disturbing facts about the island shared by the D.R. and Haiti.  because of both of their previous owners the island went in two different directions.  Haiti owned by the French brought over many slaves to pillage and exploit their side of the Island.  Haiti could not flourish because of racism and debt.  D.R. had a different history the Spaniards integrated with the locals and worked together to help the country grow.  they took care of their land and their was no racism playing any role in destroying the people of that country.  driving up and down the you can see the difference on both sides.  Haiti has a bare and eroded land while the D.R. has lush jungles.  according to the narrator there is strong racism towards the Haitians by the Dominicans.  Even thou they both share the island the Dominicans look down on the Haitians and refuse to help them even thou D.R. is a so to speak rich nation they could really help improve and grow both nations as a whole.  Its sad to see that the reason people cant grow is because of systemic and blatant racism. 
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'It's Our Right': Christian Congregation In Indonesia Fights To Worship In Its Church

'It's Our Right': Christian Congregation In Indonesia Fights To Worship In Its Church | Geography Education |
A Christian congregation outside Jakarta built a new church legally, but Muslims in the area object to it. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled to allow worship at the church, but it remains sealed.


Vocal Muslim citizens opposed construction of the church and pressured the local government to cancel the permits. The local government acquiesced to the demands. But the church group went to court, and won. On an appeal, they won again. Finally, the case went all the way to Indonesia's Supreme Court — where the church group won a third time, in 2010. But to this day, the congregation can't worship there.

Indonesia, with its mix of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian citizens, has long had a reputation as a country that embraces religious diversity. Andreas Harsono, the Indonesia researcher for Human Rights Watch, sees things differently.


Tags: Indonesiaculture, religion.

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When Rich Places Want to Secede

When Rich Places Want to Secede | Geography Education |
At the core of Catalonia’s separatist movement is an argument that a country’s better-off regions shouldn’t have to pay to cover their less productive counterparts.


As a relatively rich region with its own independence movement, Catalonia's not alone: A small set of secession movements in historically productive areas, most visibly in Europe, say they’d be better off on their own, and more are pointing to Catalonia's example to regain momentum.

The common wisdom used to be that separatist movements mostly came from weak minorities that rallied around racial or ethnic injustices. “With globalization, that changed significantly,” said Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, a professor of economic geography at the London School of Economics (LSE). “Virtually everywhere in the world,” movements have swapped out the “identity card” for the “economic card.”

Inequality between regions is baked into the entire concept of modern nationhood—if subsidizing poorer parts of a country were motivation enough to split off, every region would have done it by now. Plus, there are economic perks to staying together: Trade is easier across internal borders, and diversified regions diffuse risk.


Tags: Cataloniaeconomic, political, devolution, autonomyEurope.

Matt Manish's curator insight, January 18, 7:36 PM
In Spain, citizens of Catalonia are seeking secession from Spain for economic purposes. The citizen's of Catalonia are wealthier than most of the rest of the country. Catalonia pays $12 billion more in taxes a year to Madrid than they receive back from Madrid. This seems like a great idea for the citizens of Catalonia because it would help increase their economy in a positive way, but this could have a negative effect on the rest of the country's economy as far as trade goes. Also, this article points out that if secession because of economic differences in regions of a country made enough sense and were easy to do, countries would be doing more all throughout history. From what I can it see, even though Catalonia pays more in taxes every year to Madrid, it would make sense for the nation as a whole for Catalonia not to secede, because if it did it would hurt the economy of the majority of the nation.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, February 16, 8:32 AM
This article is focused on Catalonia and its hopes for secession from Spain. Catalonia wants to secede because it pays in much more than it receives from the government. Catalonia is the wealthiest part of Spain with the exception of Madrid, and they feel as if they are paying to support the poorer regions of Spain, who they believe do not work as hard. The article also references other countries where wealth is unevenly distributed and how this can cause regions to want secession, it also outlines things that would need to happen for secession to be possible, for example another country offering military protection. In the case of Catalonia if they were to secede, what is left of Spain could plummet, they would lose 20% of their GDP overnight, which could cause massive problems for the country. Spain needs to begin preparing for if a Catalonian secession does in fact happen.  
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Left For Dead: Myanmar’s Muslim Minority

In recent years, democratic reforms have swept through Myanmar, a country that for decades was ruled by a military junta. As the reforms took hold, however, things were growing progressively worse for the Rohingya, a heavily persecuted ethnic Muslim minority concentrated in the country's western state of Rakhine. The 2012 gang rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by three Muslim men ignited violent riots in which hundreds were killed as Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya attacked each other. In the following months, tens of thousands of Rohingya were rounded up and forced to live in squalid camps; Human Rights Watch deemed the attacks crimes against humanity that amounted to ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. Thousands of Rohingya have since attempted to leave the country, fueling the region's intricate and brutal human trafficking network.


Tags: Rohingyagenocide, migration, politicalconflict, refugeesBurma, Southeast Asia.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 3:14 AM
This kind of ethnic conflict within a country is, in part, a result of colonial borders ignoring ethnic boundaries. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in a Buddhist majority country, and they are extremely vulnerable to the ethnic cleansing currently happening. The systemic destruction of villages, massacres, and gang rapes by Buddhist vigilantes and Myanmar's military is nothing short of genocide, wiping out the Rohingya by killing them or forcing them to flee the country.
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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 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics

The 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics | Geography Education |

"[A new paper], published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, calculates that rivers contribute between 410,000 and 4 million tonnes a year to oceanic plastic debris, with 88 to 95% [of that total] coming from only 10. Those rivers are the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai He, Pearl, Amur and Mekong in east Asia, the Indus and Ganges Delta in south Asia, and the Niger and Nile in Africa."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Of river-based plastic pollution, these 10 rivers are responsible for 88%-95% of all the plastic gyrating in the world's oceans.  Improvement in these key places could make a world of difference in improving marine ecosystems (NOTE: the map came from this alternative article on the same subject).


Tags: pollution, water, environmentsustainability, consumption, fluvial.

Matt Richardson's curator insight, January 3, 1:22 PM
Baltimore harbor has an odd contraption that is scooping plastic out of Jones Falls before it reaches the outer harbor. If only this machine could operate in these 10 river systems, which are contributing waste to our embattled/trashed/overfished/warming oceans. .
Matt Manish's curator insight, April 4, 12:44 PM
It struck me as odd to learn that the majority of plastic that winds up in the ocean isn't actually from ocean activities. Also, that these ten rivers contribute up to 88 to 95% of plastics in the ocean. This is a huge margin of these materials coming from these ten major river systems, most of them being in Asia. This makes me wonder why are mostly Asia's rivers carrying so much trash to ocean. It could be the major cities sitting along the banks that are dumping trash into the river and letting float down steam. Also, I wonder if there possibly isn't an efficient enough sanitation system set up in Asia which could lead to more people just throwing their trash into these rivers. To summarize, something from the data in this article tells me that their is a common denominator as to why most of the rivers that carry the largest amount of plastic materials to the ocean every year are located in Asia.
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Capital Jerusalem

Capital Jerusalem | Geography Education |

"Because Israel refused to recognize the U.N. plan for an internationalized Jerusalem and because of its annexation of occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, no country in the world has offered legal and diplomatic recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Most states, however, have unofficially acknowledged Israel's sovereignty and actual possession, without recognition of lawful title."

Seth Dixon's insight:

That is, until now.  The United States is planning to move it's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a move that will have far more reaching implications than the relocation of just about any other embassy on Earth could have, given the geopolitical significance of Jerusalem to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader international ties.  Below are some resources to contextualize this shift: 


Questions to Ponder: How does this change the status quo at the local, national and international scales?  What might be some of the consequences of this move?  What would you recommend and why?  


Tags: Israel, Palestine, borders, political, Middle East, geopolitics, historical.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 9:12 AM
It was a major move by the Trump administration with far reaching complications.  Now it if you take out all of the past history in the area and all of the future political/military problems in the area does it make sense to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, well yes. However, in this world that we live in it surely is not that simple. With the past, current, and future arguments in the area between Israel and the Palestine's this further creates a rift between both and probably takes us further away from a resolution. From a geography and economic perspective Jerusalem would be a great central location in which to work from, however since there is so much contested space there it simply does not work. It isn't always the best place from a geographical standpoint (although in an ideal world that be perfect), but the one in our current political climate that makes the most sense for ones own country. This is a decision that we will have to look back at for the next decade or so and see eventually the impact that it will have on the current situation. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, March 22, 12:36 PM
The decision by the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the capital of Israel totally and absolutely undermines almost any chance at a two state solution. With this declaration, the US has taken sides and the idea that a two state solution with a Jerusalem under international government has essentially vanished. Even if the US were to reverse their decision in the future, the damage has already been done. 
Christina Caruso's curator insight, March 31, 6:03 PM
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Most states, however have unofficially acknowledged Israel's sovereignty and actual possession, without recognition of the lawful title that Jerusalem was the capital.  
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Quebec urges shopkeepers to stop saying 'Hi'

Quebec urges shopkeepers to stop saying 'Hi' | Geography Education |

The unofficial greeting in the bilingual Canadian city of Montreal has long been a friendly 'Bonjour, Hi!' But that standard is no more since a motion mandating store clerks to greet customers only in French was passed in Quebec's provincial legislature. The move reaffirms French as the primary language in the province, where use of English can be controversial. The motion - which is not a law - was passed unanimously, but the province's premier called the debate 'ridiculous'. Introduced by the fiercely Francophile Parti Quebecois, the motion 'invites all businesses and workers who enter into contact with local and international clients to welcome them warmly with the word bonjour'."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great example of how culture isn't just passively received, but it's actively constructed.  The call to defend cultural traits of a region to maintain it's local distinctiveness is oftentimes why a region has a strong sense of place.  


TagsCanadalanguage, placeculture, landscape

Matt Richardson's curator insight, January 3, 2:24 PM
The actions of the Quebecois legislature to regulate free speech is a form of hierarchical diffusion. Here is a [slightly dated but good] video explaining the modern complexity of the French/English divide in Canada, especially as it relates to new immigrants.
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Gibraltar Bay

Gibraltar Bay | Geography Education |

"Gibraltar Bay, located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, is the central feature of this astronaut photograph. The famous Rock of Gibraltar that forms the northeastern border of the bay is formed of Jurassic-era seafloor sediments that solidified into limestone, a rock formed mostly of the mineral calcite, which is found in the shells of sea creatures. The limestone was subsequently lifted above the ocean surface when the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Gibraltar is an exclave of the UK on a peninsula connected to the Spanish mainland that controls access to the Mediterranean Sea; there is naturally going to be friction over this unusual political configuration. "La Linea" marked on the image is the international border


Questions to Ponder: Why are both Spain and the UK invested in this piece of territory?  What challenges are there for a small exclave when neighbors aren't friendly?  How does Spanish and British supranational connections impact this issue?


Tags: borders, political, Spain, Europe.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 1:37 PM
(Europe) Gibraltar Bay is an important economic and political region located on the very southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. The UK owns city of Gibraltar while the surrounding area is in Spain. The Strait of Gibraltar is a passage separating Spain in Europe and Morocco in Africa, allowing transport between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The area has tactical value because of the inflow of ships and its geographic position, but also houses oil processing and tourism industries.
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Choosing a Map Projection

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water

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Globalization, Trade, and Poverty

What is globalization? Is globalization a good thing or not. Well, I have an answer that may not surprise you: It's complicated. This week, Jacob and Adriene will argue that globalization is, in aggregate, good. Free trade and globalization tend to provide an overall benefit, and raises average incomes across the globe. The downside is that it isn't good for every individual in the system. In some countries, manufacturing jobs move to places where labor costs are lower. And some countries that receive the influx of jobs aren't prepared to deal with it, from a regulatory standpoint.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are many of the 35 videos in the Economics crash course set that touch on geographic issues, but I’d like to highlight episodes 16 and 17 especially.  Many see globalization as the path to economic growth and others see the process of globalization as what has created poverty.  In many ways both have a point as demonstrated in the 16th episode of this crash course.  In a follow-up video, they explain the difference between wealthy inequality and income inequality.  This video also has a nice layman's explanation of the GINI coefficient and how it measures inequality.   


Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course


Marilyn Ramos Rios's curator insight, November 13, 2017 8:52 AM
Is globalization good thing or not?
Ivan Ius's curator insight, November 13, 2017 11:32 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Pattern and Trends; Interrelationships; Geographic Perspective;
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, November 29, 2017 8:51 AM
Globalization, Trade, and Poverty
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

How Bollywood stereotypes the West

How Bollywood stereotypes the West | Geography Education |
Hollywood’s view of India can be insensitive – but Indian films present clichés about the West, and about Indian emigrants too, writes Laya Maheshwari.


Nostalgia for the colour and vivacity of India turns into a snobbish belief that ‘Indian culture’ is inherently more fun and cheerful than the drab and lifeless world in France, the US, or the UK. The rule-conforming nature of Western society is seen as antithetical to ‘living it up’, which our exuberant protagonists are wont to do. Western weddings cannot match up to Indian ones; nor is Western food anywhere as tasty as Indian food. People residing in Western societies are just not as street-smart as our Indian protagonists.


Tagsculture, India, South Asia, media

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 29, 8:35 PM
I find it interesting how Hollywood tends to not particularly cater to audiences in India, even though I never really even had this thought cross my mind before. It is also interesting that Bollywood in India creates many films that don't really grab the attention of American or British audiences as well. As I was reading this article, I thought maybe it's alright that these two major film industries cater to their specific audiences, because that way everyone has something for them. But as I kept on reading, I realized that one major audience that is currently being overlooked are Indian-Americans and British Indians that live in Western countries and were raised there. Hollywood doesn't focus on Indian culture while Bollywood focuses on Indians retaining their heritage through their culture. These Indian-Americans and British Indians are often overlooked in much of today's film culture. I feel as though I have learned much more about this topic. This article has helped open my eyes a little bit more to this issue in the film industry.
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 5, 1:51 PM
Indians express in their films the disdain that they feel for other cultures and highlight their belief that Indian culture is superior.  It is important to note that they do so specifically when talking about emigrants who settle in Western countries.  I never really thought about attitudes of superiority that others have against the U.S., I usually hear the opinion being expressed of Americans believing they are superior.  Bollywood films depict the West as having loose morals that are not compatible with the Indian way of life.  So they show actors who are playing emigrants either adhering to their Indian culture or abandoning it and acting improperly like Westerners.  The most popular characters are those who stand by their roots and chose to live how they want, not the way Western society wants them to.  Although this article is highly critical of the attitudes of Bollywood towards the West, it also points out that it actually helped paint emigrants in a more positive light back in India.  The most popular Bollywood movie called Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge or "The Braveheart will take the Bride" changed the views that many Indians had towards emigrants.  Instead of looking at them as traitors and ex-Indians, it presents the main characters as heroes for sticking by their roots.  However, the film still had the problem of expressing only disdain for Western culture and making it seem evil.  

The most interesting part of the article for me came at the very end, where it pointed out that racism is an issue in Bollywood.  Oftentimes I have heard about racism in Hollywood films, but to the credit of film makers, cinema has become more inclusive lately-- especially compared to what I read about Bollywood.  The depiction of black people is always negative.  They are sometimes portrayed by Indian actors in blackface in the background of films, which is highly offensive.  Other times they are portrayed as the dregs and lowlifes of society in the West.  Overall, I think this article raised interesting points about the culture of India and the perception of Indians to the rest of the world.
Scooped by Seth Dixon!

Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world

Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world | Geography Education |

Historically, the top ten most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years. Since early 2017, Singapore has tied for number one position with Germany. For the first time ever an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world. It is a testament of Singapore's inclusive diplomatic relations and effective foreign policy."


Tag: SingaporeSouthEastAsia, politicaldevelopment.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Who else is high on the list of the most powerful passports in the world?  This tier system is based on the number of visa-free entries available to the holder of the visa:

1. Singapore

2. Germany

3. Sweden

3. South Korea

4. Denmark

4. Finland

4. Italy

4. France

4. Spain

4. Norway

4. Japan

4. United Kingdom

5. Luxembourg

5. Switzerland

5. Netherlands

5. Belgium

5. Austria

5. Poland

6. Malaysia

6. Ireland

6. USA (that's tied for 19th for you competitive sorts)

6. Canada

7. Greece

7. New Zealand

7. Australia

Christina Caruso's curator insight, April 28, 2:29 PM
Most powerful passports in the world were mostly European, with Germany having the lead for the past two years. In early of last year, Singapore tied for number one position with Germany. The first time an Asian country has the most powerful passport in the world. Singapore and Germany is tied for the number one position for the most powerful passport.  
tyrone perry's curator insight, May 1, 12:31 PM
Travel is a leisure that has time constraints for most people.  Being able to just up and go is a great luxury.  So for Singapore to have the best passport is great.  This allows the traveler to go from country to country without obtaining visa and its lengthy process of waiting and or just to get a quick visa from certain countries.  The more countries that trust the visiting passport background checks the more passes one can visit.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 11:54 PM
(Southeast Asia) I never thought about passports having different restrictions for different countries, let alone that it could be a measure of a country's power and greatness. Formerly tied with Germany, Singapore managed to scrape off another visa requirement from Paraguay, bringing Singapore's visa-free score to 159. The city-state, a major global commerce center, has become the first Asian nation to have the most useful passport. Visa-free requirements reflect a country's ability to negotiate foreign relations. While the country is poor in land size and resources, Singapore excels in their economy and statecraft.
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Kazakhstan to switch from Cyrillic to Latin alphabet

Kazakhstan to switch from Cyrillic to Latin alphabet | Geography Education |

"Kazakh was written in Arabic script until 1920 when it was substituted by the Latin alphabet. In 1940, it was replaced by a Cyrillic one. 'Given that over 100 countries in the world use the Latin script, it is crucial for Kazakhstan's integration into the global educational and economic environment,' said Gulnar Karbozova.

The former Soviet Republic declared independence in 1991. Its state language is Kazakh, a member of the Turkic family.

Yet, Russian is widely spoken across Kazakhstan and is its second official language."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Having to translate your language into another is one level of cultural difference, but having to change into another writing system (transliteration) adds an extra layer of foreignness that makes interactions more difficult.  Kazakhstan, a with a history of connections to the Middle East and Russia, is now making a choice that appears to signal greater connection to the larger global community.  This is not going to be an easy transitions, as as this additional BBC article notes, the choice comes with plenty of advantages and disadvantages


Tags: languagecultureworldwide, regions, Central Asia, Kazakhstan.

James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 9:01 AM
This comes as a surprise to me. I would think that the cyrillic alphabet was an integral part of their cultural identity. This is further evidence of groups sacrificing their own culture for the sake of globalizing and relating with other countries.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 3:15 PM
This article explains how the country of Kazakhstan will be switching their alphabet, as the title suggests. Originally using the Kazakh alphabet, the president has declared that they will be using the Latin Script. They argue that this will help with Kazakhstan’s “integration into the global educational and economic environment”
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2:18 PM
This showcases how important a countries language is. It allows the country, in this case Kazakhstan, to have their own sort of identity, which can be seen in having extra letters in their alphabet that are certain Kazakh sounds. However, is it also important to be on the same grounds as other countries, many using the latin alphabet, because it makes the economic environment and education situations easier which other countries.