Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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The Silk Road: Connecting the ancient world through trade

"With modern technology, a global exchange of goods and ideas can happen at the click of a button. But what about 2,000 years ago? Shannon Harris Castelo unfolds the history of the 5,000-mile Silk Road, a network of multiple routes that used the common language of commerce to connect the world's major settlements, thread by thread."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED-ED lesson was produced in part by an AP Human Geography teacher and the strands of geographic thought in this video are evident.  More geographers should make their own TED ED lessons; thanks for blazing the trail Shannon! 


Tags: TED, worldwide, transportation, globalization, diffusion, historical, and video.

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Amanda Morgan's comment, September 13, 2014 5:09 PM
Great video! Very cool to see how far the world has come in regards to globalization. Technology has allowed the people across the globe to immerse themselves in other cultures and good from other parts of the world.
Amanda Morgan's curator insight, September 18, 2014 10:51 AM

Great video! Very cool to see how far the world has come in regards to globalization. Technology has allowed the people across the globe to immerse themselves in other cultures and good from other parts of the world.

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Not dead yet: The American shopping mall is changing, not going away

Not dead yet: The American shopping mall is changing, not going away | Geography Education | Scoop.it
J.C. Penny in peril, Sears is sinking. Is this the end of the American shopping mall?


Last Friday sandwich chain Quiznos filed for bankruptcy protection citing high debt loads and heavy completion. Coming just days after a similar filing from pizza chain Sbarro, Quiznos’ bankruptcy was the second half of a one-two gut punch for shopping malls at a time when they’ve never been more vulnerable. A decade ago there were more than 1,100 enclosed shopping malls in the U.S. Since then more than 400 have  either been “re-purposed” or closed outright. No new malls have been completed since at least 2009.

Seth Dixon's insight:

While all malls aren't dead, this chilling photo gallery of abandoned malls in a fascinating landscape portrayal of economic over-reach. 

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3 Cities With Freeways Going Nowhere

3 Cities With Freeways Going Nowhere | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Once thought to be symbols of prosperity, innercity highways are now just eyesores — and sources of civic dysfunction — to some new urbanists.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED Talk also explores what cities should be with old freeways, suggesting that they should be dismantled and the spaces revitalized (and yes, my inner-Californian linguistic roots demands that I call them freeways).


Tags: transportation, urban, planning.

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Cycling Infrastructure

The Netherlands is well known for its excellent cycling infrastructure. How did the Dutch get this network of bicycle paths? Read more: http://bicycledutch.w...
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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 5, 2014 4:35 PM

This video depicts the way that the Dutch got there cycling in the early years and it also shows the maufacturing process in which goes into making a bike. In this video it goes flashbacks of how the bike has evolved throughtout generations and time.

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Walmart Slumber Party

Walmart Slumber Party | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Who wants to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot?


There are a few generally accepted principles when it comes to the etiquette of spending the night in a vehicle in a Walmart parking lot. One night only. No chairs or barbecue grills outside an R.V. Shop at the store for gas, food or supplies, if you can, as a way of saying thanks. Walmart, the country’s largest discount retailer, says you’re welcome: its Web site says that R.V. travelers are “among our best customers.” The photographer Nolan Conway has been taking pictures of Walmart’s resident guests at several stores in central Arizona. Sophia Stauffer, a 20-year-old who travels the country in a van with her boyfriend and their dog, describes their lots, which usually feel quiet and safe, as their best option for most nights. “We really don’t want to work or live in a house,” she says.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Mobility studies and movement are key elements within geography.  This photo gallery is an intriguing glimpse into a distinct way of experiencing the United States that highlights a hyper-mobile subculture.  When discussing place we often think of the residents and workers, and think of those that use the place with some degree of permanence.  However, many people’s personal geographies are much more ephemeral, and some places are defined by their impermanence and flows.  Wanderlust can strike those in all socioeconomic sectors, and this is a great preview of those on the road.  Fittingly, the dog in this image is named Kerouc.   

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Darien Southall's comment, March 3, 2014 1:23 AM
When I was younger my family went on a road trip before heading to a family reunion. The half a week we were on the road we stopped in Walmart parking lots during the nights. Honestly, I think that staying in a Walmart parking lot is something everyone should experience while on the road (whether it be good or bad).
Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, March 3, 2014 12:26 PM

We see this all the time at our Walmarts in Fresno!

 

Willow Weir's comment, March 10, 2014 12:07 PM
I can see the appeal of safety and the inexpensive nature compared to a camp. I don't think the ability to camp in their parking lots makes up for walmarts many ills considering how many families they keep in poverty
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9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

9 Reasons the U.S. Ended Up So Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Understanding mistakes of the past can help guide U.S. transportation policy in the future.


In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe. Longer trip distances only partially explain the difference. Roughly 30 percent of daily trips are shorter than a mile on either side of the Atlantic. But of those under one-mile trips, Americans drove almost 70 percent of the time, while Europeans made 70 percent of their short trips by bicycle, foot, or public transportation.  The statistics don't reveal the sources of this disparity, but there are nine main reasons American metro areas have ended up so much more car-dependent than cities in Western Europe.

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Kendra King's curator insight, January 28, 2015 7:51 PM

According to this article, “U.S. (transportation) planners” look to Europe for inspiration as the planners try to decrease Americans’ “car dependency.” Instead of giving answers about how to solve the “car dependency” issue, the author provided nine reasons for why Europeans walk and bike more. Ideas like how the European infrastructure was built (i.e their zoning laws, highways, and biking/pedestrian lanes) were discussed. I found the implication that European’s were able to walk more because residential areas and businesses were intermixed the most interesting of all these reasons. It could never really matter because most of America’s land is already developed, but it did make me remember an earlier study mentioned in the article in which 70% of Americans wouldn’t walk a mile when they could. Triggering this just made me think that intermixing our buildings wouldn’t matter because we are too lazy to walk. Some may come back with the idea that a lack of relaxed pedestrian and bike lanes prohibit this option. However, with the amount of sidewalks around, I just keep thinking it all goes back to how much we exercise (which isn’t much). So honestly, it is an unhealthy attitude that planners need to change. Meaning some drastic action would need to occur in order to actually change people’s habits.

 

 More drastic ideas like decreasing government subsidies on oil, taxing cars, and implementing policies that “shifted behavior” (i.e. no parking zones) were also explained. However with oil companies and car industries around, I don’t actually see lobbyist letting that happening in the short term. Ironically, the article mentioned that the reason U.S. planners were thinking about how to change transportation was because the model the county uses is “unstainable.” This means the transportation system cannot be maintained for either “environmental, social, or economic reasons” (see included link for definition). Thinking about these factors, I just kept coming back to oil. Environmentally it is a fixed resource, socially people want less of it due to climate change, and economically it is typically more costly. What this all means is that an alternative energy source is needed. When that eventually happens, America will probably believe the transportation system is sustainable again regardless of “urban sprawl” and lack of “public transportation.” I say this because the author pointed out how America thought itself stable during the 80’s and 90’s when energy prices were low thereby implying the bigger issue is the oil needed to change people’s behavior. 

 

Overall, the author did provide an in-depth list that made me pay attention to the cultural and government differences between America and Europe from the way space interacts with these regions.

 

*http://environment.transportation.org/environmental_issues/sustainability/#bookmarksubSustainableTransportation

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 4, 2015 6:41 PM

 A big reason why people are more car dependant in America is because we are a lazy nation.  Americans are always looking for the easy way to accomplish things, so if you can drive a mile to work in 2 minutes or walk in 15, its almost guarenteed that the American is walking! This is obviously a general term and does not apply to all Americans but a vast majority would opt for the vehicle.  As someone who has taken several trips to Europe, people there are in far better shape than in America and i'm sure that fitness along with better eating habits attribute to that.  

Another reason I believe America is more dependant than Europe on cars is because it is far easier and cheaper to travel via train or subway in Europe.  Train stations and public transport in America are expensive and only take you to highly populated areas while the trains in Europe will take you all over the continent.

 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 18, 2015 2:40 PM

This has major impact on health issues, because nobody wants to walk or bike anymore which most of us did until 16 years old, it is a good form of exercise and can keep a persons body weight down. Which would lead to less health issues. Also the pollution from the vehicles and illegal dumping of tires and batteries and oil which leads to environmental problems. Socially we would meet more people and even see more of our surroundings if we drove less. Economically we as individuals would save money by not driving or would we? We would save on gas, licenses, maintenance, but on the other hand our renewal of licenses, registration, and even taxes on the vehicle help support our schools, busing and other community projects. This funding would be cut and therefore taxes will rise on something else we would end up paying for. I personally just think as Americans we drive everywhere and spend less time taking bikes, walks even skateboards all over the city which we loved to do as teenagers. I don't expect to be rollerblading or skateboarding at an older age but why do we stop at 16. It is because we are allowed to under the law to drive and everyone can't wait until high school to get their license. Once we give up our bikes and rollerblades, skateboards, walks it is hard to go back to it.

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Great Circle Mapper

Great Circle Mapper | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Great Circle Mapper displays maps and computes distances along a geodesic path. It includes an extensive, searchable database of airports and other locations."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The shortest distance between two points is not a straight line…well, that depends on your map projection.  A flat map always distorts something when representing our three-dimensional Earth—whether it is distance, direction, shape or area—something gets distorted on our maps.  A great circle is the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere, so that’s going to be the quickest travel route between points (which is why so many airline routes seem to arc).  This website Great Circle Mapper generates great circles that show the shortest distance between two points on many map projects will be an arc.  Why does this particular route arc ‘bend’ north for a while and then south?  Get out a globe for added perspective.   

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YEC Geo's curator insight, January 15, 2014 8:31 AM

Cool tool.

matthias brendler's curator insight, January 16, 2014 10:34 AM

Maps Monster am I!

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, January 28, 2014 12:59 PM

Because this route from JFK Airport to SYD AUS Airport is not a straight route there are many factors that need to be taken in account because of the overwhelming idea of trade winds and how that affects flight plans and routing for different airways/airlanes.  The plane has to fight against the trafe winds in order to create a specific ETA for the passenger and the flight crue among the plane. This is all dependent upon the trade winds (prevailing and other kinds) transmitting against the plane.

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The Container that Moves the Global Economy

The Container that Moves the Global Economy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The unsung hero of the global economy: the shipping container.
Seth Dixon's insight:


NPR's Planet Money has produced an 8-part series following the commodity chain of the T-Shirt.  This series explores cotton production, textile mills, sweatshops, outsourcing and in this podcast, the transportation infrastructure that moves goods globally.  This podcast touches on the same topic as one of my favorite TED talks, how containerization enabled globalization.   

 

Tagstransportation, industry, economic, globalization, technology, podcast.


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 5, 2014 11:50 PM

We discussed how the container has transformed the global economy. These videos show how a simple tee shirt is made from cotton in the US, labor in Columbia, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. In the 1950s Malcolm McLean developed the first shipping container industry and transformed the global economy. Due to the fact that these containers can hold some many items, shipping goods from place to place makes manufacturing a global process. Economic geographies were completely revamped by the innovation of McLean, now a making a tee shirt connects the economies of many nations. A piece of clothing being sold in the United States now is connected to labor across the globe. 

Vicki Bedingfield's curator insight, November 5, 2015 4:54 PM

Tracking the commodity of the T-shirt from cotton to retail.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:18 AM


NPR's Planet Money has produced an 8-part series following the commodity chain of the T-Shirt.  This series explores cotton production, textile mills, sweatshops, outsourcing and in this podcast, the transportation infrastructure that moves goods globally.  This podcast touches on the same topic as one of my favorite TED talks, how containerization enabled globalization.   

 

Tags:  transportation, industry, economic, globalization, technology, podcast.


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Launch of world's biggest 'ship'

Launch of world's biggest 'ship' | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A floating vessel that is longer than the Empire State Building is high has taken to the water for the first time.  Despite appearances, Prelude cannot strictly be described as a ship as it needs to be towed to its destination rather than travelling under its own power."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a floating testament that economies of scale will continue to push the limits.  Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America.  This is one reason why Nicaragua is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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Cam E's curator insight, February 4, 2014 12:34 PM

I've got a weak spot for massive ships, plain and simple. I think there's even a future in ship-based cities which move around the world's oceans. Eventually ships can become so large and so advanced that the normal threats associated with the open ocean will do little to scratch them. For a comparison, the ship pictured is the Prelude FLNG, and it's almost twice the length of the Titanic.

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 2016 8:51 PM
unit 6
BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:19 AM

This is a floating testament that economies of scale will continue to push the limits.  Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America.  This is one reason why Nicaragua is planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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World's Most Thrilling Airports

World's Most Thrilling Airports | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Or the world's most terrifying runways, depending on your perspective and sense of adventure.  Pictured above is the Matekane Air Strip in Lesotho.  It is too short to start flying the conventional way so you drop on a cliff until the aircraft starts flying...if that is not your kind of funmaybe some extreme tourism would suit you in your travels more.


Tags: transportation, tourism.


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Caterin Victor's curator insight, October 27, 2013 4:02 PM

Amazing !!!

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:09 AM

Most people are scared enough to even go on a plan much less having to deal with some of these runways. This horrid runways include high altitude, short runways or even 90 degree turns to even advance onto the runway. Pretty scary if i might say so myself. Im surprised the St Maartens runways didn make the list with its threat of hitting a popular beach in the local proximity.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:02 PM

Some of these airports look to me as if planes won't make it. The one in Portugal goes over mountains and trees and is very short. Flying can be terrifying as it is but landing on some of these airport can be more nerve racking. This raises a question, was this the only land area these countries had to build a runway? 

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Bike Lanes

Seth Dixon's insight:

In a busy city like New York, there are never enough places for parking and lanes for traffic.  There is simply not enough space for the flow to be smooth and efficient.  Cyclists that attempt to assert their right to the street are often times referred to as cyclist activists or hipsters as though their activism or cultural differences makes them synonymous with an extremism that  is more easy to dismiss.  Many hold views that privilege a motorists right to space in the city above that of a cyclist.  I saw this tweet by a NYC cycling organization that referred to "activist drivers" who park in the bike lane as attempting to create a "guerrilla can lane."  They used the terms and language used against them and superimposed it on the larger motorist community which sees itself as having a more natural right to all space in the city.  This video embedded above is an excellent spoof and highlights the dangers of being a cyclist in a motorist-centric world.

    

Tags: transportation, cycling, urban, planning, territoriality, space.

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Sofia Speranza's curator insight, October 10, 2013 2:10 PM

BIKERS. be aware of dangers on the street path

Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:27 AM

I find this to be very true. I have gone to big cities such as Boston and New York and it is always chaotic. I find that there is always terrible parking in the big cities. Also it seems very dangerous for the average civilian trying to get to his or her job on a daily basis. Me not being from around the area found it difficult to navigate.

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:45 PM

Bikers in New York City should know better not to ride their bikes around the streets because it is so busy and the traffic can be difficult. I know people use bikes to commute to work or school but this is New Yorks job to create more bike paths for people who want to use their bikes to commute. This will be safer for people to ride their bikes whenever they want. 

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The World's 25 Busiest Airports

The World's 25 Busiest Airports | Geography Education | Scoop.it
More than 1.4 billion airline passengers departed, landed, or connected through these massive facilities in 2012. Viewing them from above gives a sense of their gargantuan scale and global significance.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This ESRI storymap of the 25 busiest airports compliments nicely the storymap of the 50 busiest ports around the world.  The busiest ports interactive clearly shows how East Asian manufacturing is impacting global economics (almost 90% of everything we buy arrives via ship).  European and North American ports are few and far between on the busiest ports list but much more prominent on the busiest airport list.   


Questions to Ponder: How do places of economic flows reshape the global economics?  What do the rankings on these two lists suggest about regions of the world?  What would strengthen in a particular mode of transportation indicate?  

  

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

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L.Long's curator insight, February 16, 2014 4:24 AM

Transport technology is a key factor that assists the operation of Global networks

 

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:11 PM

I found it interesting that one of the most busiest airports was in the US, in Atlanta to be exact. A lot of the airports that are included in this list of 25 were located in the US. Also, I noticed that there are no busy airports in Africa, South America, and Australia. I'm wondering if it is because not many people wish to travel there due to the climate and environment.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, September 10, 2014 3:26 PM

Is really good to know the busiest Airports because you would think that the number one is John F. Kennedy International Airport but it is not. The number one busiest airport in the world is the

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

 

 
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The Detroit Bus Company

"Young entrepreneur Andy Didorosi believes that the way to Detroit’s new era depends on better leadership and a solid connection between the city and the suburbs. The city in 2012 axed its plans to build the M-1 light rail, the transit solution that would’ve bridged that vital connection, Didorosi bought a bus, had a local artist trick it out with a wicked mural, and he started the Detroit Bus Company.  Dedicated to a more connected city, Andy Didorosi is bringing Detroit home one ride at a time."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In the 1950s, Detroit was the 4th largest city in the US with a population around 2 million as seen in some vintage footage of Detroit.  As de-industrialization process restructured the US economy, globalization restructured the world’s economy, and Detroit’s local economic strategy crumbledThe tax base continued to shrink, city services were spread thin and the poor services encouraged people to migrate elsewhere, leaving current homeowners unable to sell their homes at a fair price.  Today, Detroit is $18-20 million in debt with a population around 700,000 and is unable to pull out of this nosedive.  Detroit filed for bankruptcy July 18, 2013 and became the largest U.S. city ever to file for bankruptcy and more importantly the first major American city to essentially fail (photo gallery of 'ruin photography'). 


With all this sad news, there are still glimmers of sucess as seen in this video.  Some entrepreneurs and local have stepped in as the city government has been unable to manage the needs of a large city creating organizations such as the Detroit Bus Company


Tags: transportation, urban, planning, poverty, communityeconomic, industry, Detroit

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Jackie Hinton's comment, July 19, 2013 12:18 PM
love the video,didn't know detroit was in that bad of shape.
Betty Denise's comment, July 20, 2013 5:45 AM
http://www.marchandmeffre.com/detroit/index.html (Detroit détruite)
Cynthia Williams's curator insight, July 25, 2013 12:52 PM

Andy is creating a transportation system for the new Detroit.  Once the inevitable downsize takes place his idea for transportation could take off.

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China Has Accomplished Something In Global Trade Not Seen Since Colonial Britain

China Has Accomplished Something In Global Trade Not Seen Since Colonial Britain | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"China is a true mega-trader — a position last held by colonial Britain, with trade significant not only as a share of world trade (11.5%) but also of its own GDP (47%).  The U.S. is China's top export destination. China's trade with Latin America has risen more than 200 times since 1990 and is the fastest-growing corridor. China's trade is beginning to slow, however. Exports accounted for about 25% of GDP in 2012, down from 35% in 2007." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article is highlights what we already know; China is a dominant force in global trade (although the map should be centered on the Pacific to show China's real shipping lanes and interregional connections).  Containers are symbols of global commerce that enable economies of scale to be profitable and the outsourcing of so many manufacturing jobs to developing countries (almost 90% of everything we buy arrives via ship).  The invention of these containers have changed the geography of global shipping and the vast majority of the world's largest ports are now in East Asia. 


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

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Sean Goins's curator insight, November 13, 2014 1:31 PM

in the global market, china has become the rising power in the exporting market with latin america which has risen more than 200 times since 1990 and is the fastest, but has also slowed down in more recent times but is still one of the largest exporters in the world

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 10:38 PM

A new Standard Chartered report by Madhur Jha and other Standard Chartered economists, titled "Global Trade Unbundled," highlights just how much of a trading giant China has become. "China is a true mega trader-- a position last held by colonial Britain, with trade significant not only as a share of world trade but also of its own GDP", according to Jha. "China will likely become a champion of free trade." In 2013, China topped the United States for the first time. China's imports and exports of goods amounted to $4.16 trillion dollars. The United States is China's top destination for exports. This is obvious because if we look on half the items we use daily, they probably say "Made in China". China's exports with Latin America and Africa are still continuing to grow rapidly. Jha and others believe that China will remain the top trader mostly because the economic recovery is a positive for China. Also because a lot of attention is paid towards exports from China rather than imports. China's trade rates are likely to keep growing at a steady pace.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:17 AM

This article is highlights what we already know; China is a dominant force in global trade (although the map should be centered on the Pacific to show China's real shipping lanes and interregional connections).  Containers are symbols of global commerce that enable economies of scale to be profitable and the outsourcing of so many manufacturing jobs to developing countries (almost 90% of everything we buy arrives via ship).  The invention of these containers have changed the geography of global shipping and the vast majority of the world's largest ports are now in East Asia. 


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

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Great Salt Lake: Landsat Science

Great Salt Lake: Landsat Science | Geography Education | Scoop.it

With imagination one can explore and understand how very different life was for people in the United States before the Golden Spike was hammered into the ground in Utah in 1869. That was a much-hailed event that knitted the country together by linking two railroad lines from the eastern and western ends of the continent. Just ten years earlier, when the map at left was made, life was more centered on local transactions. It was hard for families with children to visit friends because travel in this part of the country was slow and arduous, over bumpy dirt roads by horse and wagon. A life involving daily travel for several miles from home each day to work was not feasible. Yet change was in the air even then.

Engineers had put together the recently-invented steam engine with the practicality of a road made of rails and cross-ties, and businessmen and politicians were envisioning a national transportation network – a railroad system. What a difference that could make in the life of this still-young nation! The federal government began sending dozens of mapmakers across the country to identify and draw the best routes for a national railroad in an initiative called “the Great Reconnaissance.”

The national railroad system brought a revolution in commerce and mind-set to the United States in the 19th century. Landsat technology has fomented a revolution of its own, making hundreds of maps of landscapes around the globe daily and becoming an integral part of our national infrastructure just as the railway system and automobile Interstate Highway Systems did in previous eras. With Landsat we have our own 21st century Great Reconnaissance.

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19th Century Ship Routes

19th Century Ship Routes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Ben Schmidt, assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, has visualized the routes of 19th Century ships using publicly available data set from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). The resulting image is a hauntingly beautiful image that outlines the continents and highlights the trade winds. It shows major ports, and even makes a strong visual case for the need for the Panama and Suez Canals."

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Tracey M Benson's curator insight, March 10, 2014 4:29 PM

Beautiful data visualisation of 19th century ships using publicly available data set from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Brian Altonen's curator insight, March 10, 2014 6:21 PM

Lessons in GIS and Medical GIS - Examples of applications. Various Resources at hand.

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China's Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua

China's Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By the end of this year, digging could begin on a waterway that would stretch roughly 180 miles across Nicaragua to unite the Atlantic and Pacific oceans."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America; China is strategically working on strengthening their geopolitical position in the South China Sea and all international waters.  This is one reason why a Chinese firms are planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  This article highlights the reasons for concern (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what else Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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Chris Costa's curator insight, September 23, 2015 2:39 PM

I remember reading that this was the original location for where the canal to connect the Pacific and Atlantic was going to be, but the technology available at the time made it impossible for the plan to be set into motion. It would be interesting to see if it can be done, as there is a variety of environmental factors at play that would make its construction complicated. I bet the venture would be very profitable for the nation's government, but I doubt that much of this work would end up helping the Nicaraguan people, and it would irreversibly alter the geographic landscape of the surrounding area. I would also be interested to see how the US would react to its construction. China is our biggest economic competitor and not an explicit ally of our's, so I wonder how comfortable the government would be with a Chinese firm exerting so much influence over a region that is very much in our own backyard. Its construction would have a number of political, economic, social, and cultural consequences, not only for Nicaragua, but for Central America and the US as well.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 7:30 PM

Here in this article, it is discussed why the plan to dig a canal across Nicaragua could be a very bad idea. One main concern is the fact the Wing Jang's company has no prior infrastructure construction background, where the money is coming from, the whole $40 billion. Jang denies the government will have a role in paying. There is also the environmental standpoint. A proposed route would cut through Central America's largest fresh water lake, Lake Nicaragua. The lake is a major source of drinking water and irrigation, and home to rare freshwater sharks and other fish of commercial and scientific value.There is also the possibility of Pacific sea life entering the freshwater of the lake. Economic benefits from this new canal are not even guaranteed. That is just to name a few.  Overall, it seems to me that the earth's environmental affects would outweigh the monetary economics because the potential damage that could be done is devastating to both wild life and people of the country and region.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:18 AM

Today, the largest of the massive cargo ships are simply too big to get through the Panama Canal and have to travel down around the tip of South America; China is strategically working on strengthening their geopolitical position in the South China Sea and all international waters.  This is one reason why a Chinese firms are planning to construct a canal to rival Panama's.  This article highlights the reasons for concern (Maps 101 readers can read more about the geographic implications of Nicaragua's plans in this article co-authored by myself and Julie Dixon or you can sign up for a free trial subscription to see what else Maps 101 has to offer). 


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

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Are container ships getting too big?

Are container ships getting too big? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

What is blue, a quarter of a mile long, and taller than London's Olympic stadium?  The answer - this year's new class of container ship, the Triple E. When it goes into service this June, it will be the largest vessel ploughing the sea.  Each will contain as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers and have a capacity equivalent to 18,000 20-foot containers (TEU).  

Seth Dixon's insight:

These containers are symbols of global commerce that enable economies of scale to be profitable and the outsourcing of so many manufacturing jobs to developing countries.  The invention of these containers have changed the geography of global shipping and the vast majority of the world's largest ports are now in East Asia.  Today though, the biggest container ships are too big to go through the Panama Canal, encouraging China to build a larger canal through Nicaragua.      


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

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Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, October 7, 2015 1:17 PM

These vessels are specifically made to increase more profit and is a symbol of economic power for trades between Europe and Asia. They aim to increase containment of cargo so it is more efficient and time consuming of going back to fourth. However, they forced ports to become bigger to compete and keep up with these new inventions. These ships are getting too big and are only able to transit through the Suez canal and cannot go through the Panama. This lead to the Chinese expanding their reach to Nicaragua and building a larger canal to be able to pass through Central America.

Alex Smiga's curator insight, March 14, 2016 7:42 PM

These containers are symbols of global commerce that enable economies of scale to be profitable and the outsourcing of so many manufacturing jobs to developing countries.  The invention of these containers have changed the geography of global shipping and the vast majority of the world's largest ports are now in East Asia.  Today though, the biggest container ships are too big to go through the Panama Canal, encouraging China to build a larger canal through Nicaragua.    

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:18 AM

These containers are symbols of global commerce that enable economies of scale to be profitable and the outsourcing of so many manufacturing jobs to developing countries.  The invention of these containers have changed the geography of global shipping and the vast majority of the world's largest ports are now in East Asia.  Today though, the biggest container ships are too big to go through the Panama Canal, encouraging China to build a larger canal through Nicaragua.      


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

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What Everybody From The North Needs To Understand About The Traffic Disaster In Atlanta

What Everybody From The North Needs To Understand About The Traffic Disaster In Atlanta | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Republicans want to blame government (a Democrat thing) or Atlanta (definitely a Democrat thing). Democrats want to blame the region’s dependence on cars (a Republican thing), the state government (Republicans), and many of the transplants from more liberal, urban places feel the same way you might about white, rural, southern drivers. All of this is true to some extent but none of it is helpful."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are no easy answers, but that doesn't mean we people aren't trying to frame this in an easy narrative.  Also look at the Washington Post's compliation of 16 pictures that highlight the missteps in handling this unusual problem.   

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Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 3, 2014 12:13 PM

   AH, only government could make such a mess out of snow. It seems impossible to get anyone to agree to anything. Solutions need to be found in ways to work together. I think snow is the least of the issues here. It just doesn’t happen often enough to be of great concern. But city, state and local governments need to learn to work together for the best interests of their constituents. 

 

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, January 30, 2015 2:46 PM

Atlanta's struggles with 2 inches of snow was a hilarious sight. I mean its funny for us Northerners but not for them. We are used to driving our big large trucks over 6 inches of snow but for them its like a global error, they see it as the end of the world. A friend of mine from Goergia who moved up here in the north says its hard for him to get through the snow now, because he is adjusting to the climate by wearing coats and etc. So i guess its like the same thing for Northerners when a Tornado occurs  around our area we freak and panic.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 4, 2015 9:09 PM

to me, as a native born northerner, right here in RI, it is funny to hear that a state gets freaked out by a little bit of snow, when to me, two inches of snow is not even an amount to cross my mind when it snows. I used to know a guy that attended school here at RIC, I met him in my French class my first year here. He grew up in San Diegeo his entire life and only moved here when he married his wife. He told me the very first time it snowed here he was on a highway, got nervous because he never had to drive in snow before and said he when he came across the closest bridge, he parked under it. I even have a friend now that said when he was in basic training for the USAF in Texas, it had snowed one night and his Drill Instructors cancelled drill for the day because the base was not equipped with proper snow removal machines or shovels. 

 

as for the government wise, there was a paragraph explaining how should people be trained? because if they are trained now and it does not snow again until 2020, those people probably moved on with other jobs and have new ones, so what about the new untrained people? I think, that even though it is not likely to happen, the new people should have a brief training on snow removal. 

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Transportation and Planning

"When you combine a street and a road, you get a STROAD, one of the most dangerous and unproductive human environments. To get more for our transportation dollar, America needs an active policy of converting STROADs to productive streets or high capacity roadways."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In this video, a road provides high connectivity between places, and a street is a diverse platform of social interactions that create a place.  A 'stroad' can be likened unto a spork--it tries to do it everything but does nothing especially well.  While you may debate the principle being shown, this video (found on Atlantic Cities) is a good way to show the spatial thinking that city planners need to utilize to improve the urban environment. 


Tagstransportation, urban, planning.

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Marcelle Searles's curator insight, January 25, 2014 5:03 AM

the danger of stroads

François Lanthier's curator insight, January 31, 2014 2:19 PM

The Stroad - an unfortunate phenomenon... NYC is taking action to minimize its' STROADS... more cities should do the same.

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Pipeline On Wheels: Trains Are Winning Big Off U.S. Oil

Pipeline On Wheels: Trains Are Winning Big Off U.S. Oil | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The railroad industry is eager to be the go-to oil shipper, but some worry it's moving too fast.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers.  As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market.  Trains, however, are not the safest way to transport oil, even if they are efficient in the short run.    


Tagstransportation, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

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Connie Anderson's curator insight, December 8, 2013 3:01 PM

"Forward on climate?" This news is backwards and at least 40,000 people who attended "Forward on Climate" rallies throughout our nation in February 2013 will continue to question, protest peacefully, and convince others that we MUST reduce our dependence on oil no matter how it is transported!

ManuMan's curator insight, December 8, 2013 10:55 PM

As steel and rail built this county, oil and rail will rebuild it. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:19 AM

Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers.  As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market.  Trains, however, are not the safest way to transport oil, even if they are efficient in the short run.    


Tags:  transportation, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

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Ruling On NYC Disaster Plans For Disabled May Have Far Reach

Ruling On NYC Disaster Plans For Disabled May Have Far Reach | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A year after Superstorm Sandy stranded many New Yorkers without power for days, a federal judge has ruled that New York City's emergency plans violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those shortcomings, the judge found, leave almost 900,000 residents in danger, and many say the ruling could have implications for local governments across the country."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I have many more questions than answers after listening to this podcast.  Presumably, most governmental agencies during emergencies are seeking to assist the greatest number of people with limited time and resources; would this court ruling change that mandate?  How will this impact urban planning in the future?  Just how much can plans in times of emergency account for assisting the disabled?  Do you think the City of New York was negligent? 


Tags: disasters, NYC, transportationurban, planning, podcast.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 29, 2013 9:35 PM

I am disabled, and while I am not in a wheelchair, I would implore the politicians to come up with accommodations for those that are, or have other severe forms of disabilities.  I damaged my brain and spinal cord in an accident that cost me some of my psychological functions, as well as a lot of the fine motor skills in my hands and body.  I remember what it was like before my accident, and I know that there was nowhere along the line that I asked to be disabled.  The people in wheelchairs, or the people who cannot evacuate themselves from areas of danger, are people that should in fact be prioritized, not left behind, when it comes to evacuating during emergencies.  In class our group discussed that the average able-body person should be prioritized during evacuation, but I kept thinking- what if something happened to them? What if they broke their leg during a flood evacuation?  Should they be left behind?  I would suggest that rather than answer these James Wan-like instances of moral quandary, we prepare for them and come up with access for the handicapped to be evacuated- in such an instance where NO ONE would have to be prioritized OR left behind.  That is the only fair way to deal with this sort of idea, without leaving anybody behind.  I have had dealings with people with disabilities, and a guy I know that is in fact wheelchair bound, is one of the most productively creative people of his age that I have encountered- wheelchair or not, he has produced, written, and directed two full length feature films before his 22nd birthday, one of which has screened at the Sundance Film Festival.  I had the privilege of working with him during some photoshoots, and I was really quite inspired by what he does, enough to pursue film-making on my own.  I feel that people today don't really care until something affects them.  Negative thoughts against those that prioritize against the disabled in events of emergency do not enter my head; rather, I feel that there must be something we can work out now, in a time of no immediate emergency, that can save us all...

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:34 PM

In my opinion I do not think it was all of New Yorks fault that some handicapp people could not get the help they needed. There are a lot of people in New York and not everyone could make it out even if they were not handicapp. I think these people should have a back up plan as well just incase. You could have a family member, neighbor, or friend come and help you and give you a ride.  

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 11:01 AM

This subject is the definition of a gray area matter. Of course you want to treat everyone equally and have everyone come out of a sotrm unscathed, but to do soo you have to tip the scales so much that it becomes unfair for un handicapped people. Sure New York could of done this better. But also some neglegence has to fall on the citizens. If your and elderly handicap person and know a major storm is comming you should try to evacuate immediatly, you dont need the news to give you the A Ok to go. Yes the City should have gave a heads up atleast 10 hours in advance so people could better prepare better but the citizens have to be away of their own situation. This comes down to an ancient survival theme the survival of the fittest were if you weak and not smart you die off simple ass that.

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Ship-Shipping Ships

Ship-Shipping Ships | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This is a ship-shipping ship, shipping shipping ships."  http://geographyeducation.org/2013/10/14/ship-shipping-ships/


Seth Dixon's insight:

The two industries that are the real backbone of globalization are transportation and communication.  What has accelerated the pace of global interconnectedness is the scale of these devices and their ubiquity in facilitating massive global commerce. Economies of scale infuse our transportation and communicating technologies, boosting the diffusion of countless other technologies. China's transportation infrastructure, for example has undergone some amazing physical transformations that have made their economic growth possible.  If, however, you only want to laugh at the tongue-twister of ship-shipping ships shipping shipping ships,  this is the internet meme for you


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

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jim dzialo's curator insight, October 16, 2013 2:54 PM

Pretty sure that doesn't fit in the panama canal

 

L.Long's curator insight, February 16, 2014 4:28 AM

The two industries that are the real backbone of globalization are transportation and communication.  What has accelerated the pace of global interconnectedness is the scale of these devices and their ubiquity in facilitating massive global commerce.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:20 AM

The two industries that are the real backbone of globalization are transportation and communication.  What has accelerated the pace of global interconnectedness is the scale of these devices and their ubiquity in facilitating massive global commerce. Economies of scale infuse our transportation and communicating technologies, boosting the diffusion of countless other technologies. China's transportation infrastructure, for example has undergone some amazing physical transformations that have made their economic growth possible.  If, however, you only want to laugh at the tongue-twister of ship-shipping ships shipping shipping ships,  this is the internet meme for you. 


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

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Chicago on the Eve of the Great Fire

Chicago on the Eve of the Great Fire | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This 1868 pocket map of Chicago shows the city in full-blown expansion, a mere 3 years before the infamous blaze
Seth Dixon's insight:

This interactive map with a 'spyglass' feature.  Chicago is displaced during a economic boom period as the U.S. was expanding westward.  Where where 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.


Tags: Chicago, historical

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, January 25, 2014 11:07 AM

An interesting map which shows the difference between present day Chicago and 1868 Chicago. It illustrates what a dramatic transformation the city has undergone in the last 150 years. The trains and their tracks, which were such an important part of 1800's travel and logistics, were all removed and replaced with roads for automobiles. Lake Michigan was filled in approximately 1000 feet to expand the city to the east. Where Soldier Field now sits, was once roughly 150 feet into Lake Michigan. To the west, the 1868 map shows large squares of undeveloped city which is today subdivided into entire neighborhoods. Yet, while there are a lot of differences, it's surprising how much is still the same. Much of the developed part of 1868 Chicago has the same layout as today. The buildings may have changed, but the locations of buildings and streets are the same as they were then, a likely product of inertia since it would take more effort to restructure the city than renovate it.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, January 29, 2014 3:09 PM

This map is cool.  It lets you compare the old map to the new map by moving a lens around the satellite map.  It is a great interactive tool to compare old and new and allows the viewer to see how much the geography of the city has changed in the last 150 years or so.

A. Perry Homes's curator insight, July 24, 2014 10:09 PM

This map is truly revealing of how far Chicago has progressed!

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This Guy's Never Met a Map He Didn't Want to Fix

This Guy's Never Met a Map He Didn't Want to Fix | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Just not always for the better: "I've deliberately designed maps that are deliberately horrible to look at, and succeeded."
Seth Dixon's insight:

All maps are compromises; the Mercator projection preserves shape but distorts size, and so on.  What about sacrificing locational accuracy to preserve the aesthetic design or readability?  Just some things to think about as you peruse these redesigned subway maps.  


Tags: visualization, transportation, mapping, NYC.

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