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Violence escalates in divided Venezuela

Violence escalates in divided Venezuela | Geography Education |
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan security forces and demonstrators faced off in streets blocked by burning barricades in several cities on Thursday in an escalation of protests against President Nicolas
Seth Dixon's insight:

As the protests and political violence in Venezuela escalate, it is important to understand the economic roots of the widespread discontent within this South American country.   As prominent pop culture figures are among the fatalities and the wounded, outrage grows.  Last month, the government overhauled its currency system that ignores many of the real problems of many Venezuelans; food is increasingly hard to come and that desperation feeds into more criminal behavior and social unrest. Many students have taken to the streets to protest the deteriorating economic situation, the government's economic policies and the social conditions.

Tags: Venezuela, South America, political.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, February 12, 2015 1:36 PM

Violent government protesting is on the rise and its mostly led by students. The citizens of Venezuela are protesting the socialist government, led by president Nicolas Maduro. Since his election in April 2013 he has been blamed for violent crime, high inflation, product shortages and repression of opponents, like a dictatorship.  protesting has escalated causing Venezuelan security forces to create burning barricades in the streets. over the last week there has been 5 recorded deaths.

Chris Costa's curator insight, September 28, 2015 11:15 AM

I remember first reading about the Venezuelan riots while taking a course in Latin American history, and it saddens me to see the violence taking place in Caracas and in other urban areas. However, the demonstrations continuing to be made by students in the face of violence from their government is incredibly inspiring. These educated young men and women are dying for the simple right to be governed fairly and responsibly within the framework of a larger democratic society; I say "simple" in the sense that this is something I take for granted everyday. However, the history of the world has shown that achieving this standard of living is anything but simple, and Venezuela's government crackdown is just the latest on a lengthy list of such conflicts between a government and its own people. My heart goes out to those rebelling against the current system, one where those in power cling to power in any means possible in order to continue the corruption that brings them so much wealth. What these students are fighting for is admirable, and I hope that the government hears their voices and realizes that it is fighting a lost cost. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 12:53 PM

if this was going on in the us there would be pretty constant gun battles in every street. it seems to me that if the people in this country are opposed to their government and the government is insistent that nothing be done then the country is going to go even more to hell then Venezuela already has.

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Issues with Ukrainian Nationalism

Issues with Ukrainian Nationalism | Geography Education |

"Images of toppled statues notwithstanding, 'revolution' has never been the right word to describe recent events in Kiev. Ukraine, after all, has been here before. At the heart of the country’s present struggle is its resistance to any 'strategic partnership' with Russia and its understanding of Europe as a potential economic and political savior from corrupt government. But the tensions between East and West -- both psychological and geographic -- are deeply rooted in Ukraine's national identity. Those Ukrainians most concerned about their country’s future would do well to recognize that identity’s inherent fragility. The original generation of Ukrainian nationalists suffered precisely for their failure to do so."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This image (hi-res here) and those like it captured me while I was looking for more information on Ukraine's opposition leaders

Tag: Ukraine, political, conflict, devolution.

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 11:43 AM

The situation in Ukraine with the tensions between the East and West are something that could possibly cause WWIII, and that is something that fears a lot of people. The former power of the Soviet Union and corrupt government is embedded in Ukraine's national identity with many different ethnic groups speaking different languages.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:39 PM

This image that we see here is astonishing. The Maidan (Independence Square)  in Kiev is a beautiful place and to see it look like this is breathtaking (in a bad way). The whole problem with this situation is, you have the Ukrainian Nationalists living on the West that want to be part of the EU and you have the Ukrainian Pro Russians living on the East that want to be part of Russia. Due to protesting at Maidan, because of Yanukovych not signing  an agreement with the EU, the Police, Berkut and Titushky are called in to take care of the situation and a lot of this led to violence between the weaponized forces and the pretty much defenseless protesters. The problem is, half the country wants to be free from "tyranny" and have the free lives of Europeans, while the other half see's themselves as part of Russia and nothing else. 

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Muslim Woman Discovers Friendly New World When a Winter Scarf Covers Her Hijab

Muslim Woman Discovers Friendly New World When a Winter Scarf Covers Her Hijab | Geography Education |
Chicago's bitter cold temps led to an impromptu social experiment when Leena Suleiman bundled up in a knit scarf and cap.
Scott Langston's curator insight, February 19, 2014 6:55 PM

Knowledge Questions: Under what circumstances is it acceptable to deliberately deceive others? To what extent are stereotypes justifiable? Is cultural integration ever possible?

Tracey M Benson's curator insight, February 24, 2014 3:25 PM

Interesting article about a social experiment...

Joy Kinley's curator insight, February 26, 2014 1:11 PM

One slight difference in dress - hijab or cap - and a world of difference in how she is treated.  What makes us "be" part of a group?  A hijab clearly marks a woman is Muslim and for some people that is scary, while others welcome you.

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The Growth of Megacities

The Growth of Megacities | Geography Education |

"For the first time in human history, more of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in cities than in rural areas. That is an incredible demographic and geographic shift since 1950 when only 30 percent of the world’s 2.5 billion inhabitants lived in urban environments.

The world’s largest cities, particularly in developing countries, are growing at phenomenal rates. As a growing landless class is attracted by urban opportunities, meager as they might be, these cities’ populations are ballooning to incredible numbers.

A May 2010 Christian Science Monitor article on “megacities” predicted that by 2050, almost 70 percent of the world’s estimated 10 billion people—more than the number of people living today—will reside in urban areas. The social, economic and environmental problems associated with a predominantly urbanized population are considerably different from those of the mostly rural world population of the past."

Whitney Souery's curator insight, May 28, 2014 6:48 PM

The majority of megacities are in the developing world, with the exception of places like New York and Tokyo, best showing how the face of the world is changing. Developing countries are on their paths to becoming major powers, such as Calkutta for example. As an enlarging city, more and more citizens are flocking to the abundance of jobs in the city which thus increases India's development as a result of the growing city and thus leads to a cycle of growth as demand for more jobs increases as the city grows. Megacities are thus a symbol of the developing world and can be used in human geography as symbols of development. 

L.Long's curator insight, August 28, 2015 6:08 AM

mega cities

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 2016 12:06 PM
unit 7
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Don't Give Up on a United Ukraine

Don't Give Up on a United Ukraine | Geography Education |

The current Ukrainian conflict is typically viewed in stark East-West terms: a pro-Russian East versus a pro-European West, with the threat of Ukraine splitting down the middle.

Ukraine’s divisions are indeed pronounced and the forging of a coherent national identity has remained very much a work in progress since independence.

Nonetheless, far from pointing to its unraveling, polling indicates that support for the Ukrainian state has been on the rise over the past decade – even in the Russian-speaking East and South. This is true despite the often polarizing and dysfunctional policies of successive Ukrainian leaders.

Seth Dixon's insight:

As the violence between police and protesters escalate (hundreds of riot police descended on the main square and the protestors set Independence Square ablaze), it is easy to see the country's irreconcilable differences.  The United States and the EU advocated for a peaceful resolution, but this crackdown comes on the heels of Russia buying $2 billion of Ukrainian government bonds and securing their financial future.  This other article is a reminder that while there are divisions, it's not inevitable that the centrifugal forces will pull the country apart.  

Tag: Ukraine, political, conflict, devolution.

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 11:04 AM

This article shows the effects of imperialism and the effect it had on surrounding nations. When the USSR took over new lands and eventually became the Soviet Union, thousands of people were displaced from their homelands which is what happened in Ukraine. It makes sense why there is a population in Ukraine who is United and wants to remain Pro-Ukraine, but that means siding with west values. And there is a strong Pro-Russian population who wouldn't mind being apart of the east, the values and ideas placed by Russia.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 2, 2014 5:45 PM

Ukraine has been a country of interest for many supporters in the past decade. Even though its division amongst it is very Russian vs. European, there are definitely some ways to help their national identity work for the better.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:51 PM

Although there was tons of violence from government forces on the protesters, the will power of the protesters to get the freedom they want prevailed, just as they had done in the past with the "Orange Revolution." They did not give up on their country as they fought for what they thought was the right thing and a fight for a positive and bright future, one that did not include Russia. As of now in 2015 with a new President in office, Petro Poroshenko, things have cooled down significantly. With this new Ukrainian government an EU agreement was signed and one of the major players in the fight agains the protesters is now permanently disbanded, this group was called the Berkut.  

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Global Perceptions of the United States

Global Perceptions of the United States | Geography Education |
Placeholder for the Pew Global Indicators Database
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fascinating chart...the link will show charts and maps of those who consider the United States as a partner/enemy.  The historical data goes back to 2008.     

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, February 22, 2014 12:18 AM


Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 19, 2014 4:25 PM

Kenya is measure as a parter and alliance with the United States for instance, in the Fall of 2009 a report came out and it proved taht 89% thought of Kenya as an alliance. Shockingly enough in 2013 the alliance with Africa drew at a small decrease of 79%.

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 8:05 PM

APHG-U1 & U3

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China, India sign border defense pact

China, India sign border defense pact | Geography Education |
Agreement aims to ease tension on their contested border, as the two countries try to break a decades-old stalemate

China and India signed a deal Wednesday aimed at easing tension on their contested border, as the two countries try to break a decades-old stalemate on overlapping claims to remote stretches of the Himalayas. Beijing lays claim to more than 55,000 square miles disputed by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. In turn, India says China occupies about 24,000 square miles of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.  Under the provisions of the new deal, the two sides will give notice of patrols along the ill-defined border to reduce the chance of confrontation, and will exercise "maximum self-restraint" should the two sides come face to face in areas where the line of control is unclear.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:08 PM

China and India are finally trying to be friends again. After both countries ended up in a stalemate decision over the Himalayas, they need this to refreshen and strengthen their relationship with one another. This new deal will allow new rules to take place on their borders and ease up the control as well.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:39 PM

China and India are finally trying to be friends again. After both countries ended up in a stalemate decision over the Himalayas, they need this to refreshen and strengthen their relationship with one another. This new deal will allow new rules to take place on their borders and ease up the control as well.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 11, 2015 11:08 AM

The easing of tensions between India and China is a major international development. China and India are two of the worlds fastest growing nations. Both could possibly reach superpower status by the end of this century. Two potential superpowers at odds, is threat to the peace and security of the entire world. This move will obviously not erase the overall tension the exisits between both countries. Both nations will continue to compete fro resources on the international stage. This small step however, brings the world a tiny bit closer to stability.

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Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style

Shanghai Warms Up To A New Cuisine: Chinese Food, American-Style | Geography Education |
At a new restaurant, expats find a taste of home and locals try foreign treats like fortune cookies.

Imagine living in China and missing Chinese food. It happens. American expatriates who grew up with popular takeout dishes like General Tso's chicken can't find it in China because it essentially doesn't exist here. Much of the Chinese food we grew up with isn't really Chinese. It's an American version of Chinese food. Chinese immigrants created it over time, adapting recipes with U.S. ingredients to appeal to American palates.  Now, Americans living in Shanghai can get a fix of their beloved Chinatown cuisine at a new restaurant.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This restaurant (Fortune Cookie) is just one more delicious example of how globalization impacts cultural products.  Globalization flows in many unexpected directions.  For more, see this TED talk on the search for the origins of General Tso's chicken.    

Tags: foodglobalization, culture, China, East Asia, podcast.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 13, 2015 11:50 AM

This is a cool article because many times we assume Chinese food is actually Chinese when it isn't. All of the food we eat that we think is Chinese is just our own American versions of it. If you go to that part of the world, that type of food isn't even found there. Now Americans living in Shanghai can go to a restaurant and experience what they would if they were living in America. American-Chinese food is very popular and to see it reach Shanghai is incredible because of how influential it has become. They faced many problems and not many people even believed that they'd stay open but their success has brought joy to the people living in that area. 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 2015 7:10 PM

Genius idea for these two guys to capitalize on a market that would seem to be non-existent.  I have always thought that Chinese food in America was the way it was in China.  Knowing that it is not and knowing how many Americans are in China, not to mention how much American culture has an effect in China, especially food, this is a great way to bring American culture to the East.  Like the one lady said, she felt like she was at home when she ate the meal.  The power of food is amazing.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:10 PM

This is the opposite of American franchises going into a foreign country. The franchises have to cater to the culture foods or go out of business. McDonalds as we see it in America serve hamburgers but in some Asian countries they serve oriental soups and must cater to their culture foods or go out of business. Here in this article its the culture of America's way of making Chinese food and bringing it into china.

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50 Amazing Finds on Google Earth

50 Amazing Finds on Google Earth | Geography Education |

"You’ve no doubt already come across some interesting finds on Google Earth. The post below attempts to compile the most fascinating sites other have stumbled upon browsing Google Earth. From natural formations to human structures, the world is a different place when viewed from above.  If you’re interested in seeing any of the places yourself, I’ve included the coordinates for every image shown below. Just copy and paste into Google Earth/Maps and explore for yourself!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

My grandparents bought me my first globe and subscription to National Geographic when they sensed an insatiable desire in me to explore strange places.  They subsequently took me to Yellowstone (Grand Prismatic Spring pictured above) and many other landmarks of in the West.  These sights still fills me with wonder; this fantastic list gives you the ability to digitally explore strange and exotic places.  There are some real teaching gems in the the list for both physical and human geography.  One correction though: the flag displayed in #17 is the Flag for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (It is internationally recognized by only 1 country--take a guess) which controls the northern portion of the island of Cyprus.    

Ann Marie Pelosky Poncet's curator insight, February 14, 2014 8:07 AM

IF you don't have time or money to travel, you can do so by following this link.

Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, February 14, 2014 10:26 PM

yes amazing geographic tool. I love zeroing in on Africa- so much more than sand and empty spaces.


Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:09 PM

When first reading this and viewing the images that go along with it; it became clear that someone somewhere in te world was either looking for these or they stumbled across these specfic faces and shapes in the earth that we dont neccesarily get to see everyday. 28. Monkey Face 65.476721, -173.511416 Russia. This Russian Monkey face was very interesting to see and I would have never thought that their would be these types of images captured.  

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Military industrial complex: These 15 countries have the largest defense budgets

Military industrial complex: These 15 countries have the largest defense budgets | Geography Education |
World defense spending is expected to go up for the first time in five years, thanks to China and Russia.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The top 3 shouldn't come as any big surprises, but there might be a few farther on down the list though that might raise some eyebrows.  There are specific geopolitical, historic, economic and cultural rationales for each of these countries that explain why they are on this list, and discussing those reasons is a conversation would having. 

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:32 PM

Russia is the third highest goverment military that spends around 143 million people lived in Russia in 2012 and they spent around $475 per person on it's military. Russia compared to China and the US is another story the US is number one in who spent the most on their military forces at $600.4 billion. As far as China is concerened it comes in at number two at spending around  $112.2 billion. These numbers make sense especially for the power house that China is and how their values of militarism affect their spending and their way of society/life.

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, March 7, 2015 10:00 PM

Wow looking at all these defense military budgets show why some economies are not producing well, but at the same time its astonishing how much money is spent protecting homelands. It will grow in the next 5 years, and hopefully i'll be around to see what has changed who has taken the top position because i feel as if their will be a shift in the tides.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 9, 2015 6:10 PM

Not surprised at many names on the list, but am surprised at The US figure, how much it costs per American, and at the gap between The US and China.  Its scary to see some of the names on the list though and wonder if they are using that money for defense, or an offensive attack.

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Why Sochi?

Why Sochi? | Geography Education |
Why would Vladimir Putin want to host the Olympics in an underdeveloped place where terrorists lurk nearby? The answer is not as complicated as it may seem.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article is an excellent explanation of the geopolitical significance of holding the Olympic Games in Sochi.  Geographer Carole McGranahan writes critically about the location of the Olympics given Putin's policies in the Caucasus Mountains (especially in regard to the 2008 invasion of Georgia to protect Russian interests in South Ossetia).  Additionally, here is a link from Stratfor discussing the shifting foreign policy concerns of the United States towards Russia.

Tags: sport, political, conflict, devolution, Russia.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:46 PM

It comes at not shock that Russia has had it's share of bad rulers that exzibit totalitarianistic views. Russia has always been in a state of massacre or some time of bad war torn conflict happeening. Russia is also the type of place where you can drive in each way 45 minutes and be able to either swim in the black sea or ski on the snowy trails. I think this is one of the reasons why the winter olympics are hosted here.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:52 PM

There are many reasons as to why the Olympics this year are held in Sochi, Russia i. Although it is an underdeveloped, terrorist driven area, it holds much potential and Vladimir Putin has reasons to why it is the perfect place.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 12:59 AM

This article explains why Putin wanted the Winter Olympic games to be in Sochi. The Olympics have historically been used as a way for a nation to showcase progress or power, and the case is no different here. By hosting the games in Sochi, Putin was drawing attention to his successful crushing of the Chechen rebels and Russia's reinvestment into the area. Through the games, Putin is trying to make an international statement about the security and progress in this war-torn area. Still, there are a number of Chechen rebel cells and Circassian protesters in the area with a grudge against Russia.

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World Population Prospects

World Population Prospects | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs produces easy-to-use population charts and graphs (including population pyramids).  This image (courtesy of Hans Rosling) shows the impending changes on Brazilian society based on changing fertility rates. How is this chart an example of population momentum and of the Demographic Transition Model? 

Tags: population, demographic transition model, declining populationmodels, Brazil.

LeeBurns's curator insight, February 11, 2014 5:20 AM

#unit4 #population

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 11, 2014 1:27 PM

This graph depicts the estimated population growth throughtout the years of 1950-2100. Age has a lot to do with the increasing rate by millions. The people that are 65+ represented in the green are "peaking old" at 2080. As for the 15-64 age braket they are represented in the red and are reaching the "Adult peak" at the year 2030. And lastly, the "Peak Child" is represented in the blue achieves that in 1990. All of these statistics stem from the Brazilian records and are relative to the daily life and climate of the specific group or individual.

Albert Jordan's curator insight, February 12, 2014 5:56 PM

Looking at the statistics for South America’s growth rate since 1950, it has grown rapidly. This rapid growth can easily be attributed to modernization, increased stability within the governments(even if corruption is still rampant in some places and the U.S. isn’t fiddling its fingers in politics or funding government overthrows), and increased outside development thanks to increased global globalization. While total population of the region is expected to rise until it peaks in 2050, so is population density and age. This will create sanitation, infrastructure, and healthcare issues that many parts of the continent may not be ready to address or able to. Even though economic strength is typically on the rise, these are still poorer developing nations. The birthrate is already beginning to peak and taper off even if deaths continue to rise. However, there is still predicted to be more births than death. Improved healthcare globally since 1950 has found its way into South America and so has economic output, bringing with it – immigration. Numbers such as South America’s can be used to create a visual representation by using a population pyramid to figure out which phase of the demographic transition model the region, or with more specific numbers, a country was in, is going into, and will predicable be in.

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Cultural Critique of the #SochiProblems Meme

Cultural Critique of the #SochiProblems Meme | Geography Education |

" #SochiProblems is more of an embarrassment for America than it Is for Russia....So this is my plea: @SochiProblems, whining journalists and social media fiends, have just a bit more respect for Russians when ridiculing what is to you the Olympics and what is to them everyday life. Their government might have just spent $51 billion on possibly the most corrupt Olympic games ever, but most of them are just along for the ride."

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 15, 2014 12:38 AM

Twitter pages such as this is an embarrassment for Americans. Posting complaints about via twitter on a page called "Sochi Problems" does not make you look professional. These journalists only have to deal with these issues such as undrinkable tap water for several weeks. The citizens of Sochi on the other hand, are going to deal with these problems for years potentially. 

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 18, 2014 2:00 PM

Sochi Problems is right this water should not be allowed in order for the human consumption. The civilians are more concerned with the money that is going to fund the olympics instead of the humanitiary needs like this example of "water" that looks more like apple juice in Sochi. One of the quotes from this article is "Their goverment might have just spent $51 billion on possibly the most corrupt Olympic games ever, but most of them are just along for the ride." This quotation demonstrates that the goverment has no intention on cancleing the games and will give almost everything it has for the most controversial location of games to fool the world that Russia isn't what it used to be.

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Close-up of Kiev's Independence Square

Close-up of Kiev's Independence Square | Geography Education |

"Protests have centered on the capital's Independence Square, also known as the Maidan, where protesters had set up camp over a number of months. The stand-off turned violent this week as riot police moved in to clear the protest camp.  Security forces had given protesters a deadline of Tuesday 18 February to leave the square, but instead, violence took hold and battles between the demonstrators and police left a number of people dead. Independence Square, which for weeks was the setting for a mostly peaceful protest camp, now more closely resembles a siege, as the remaining protesters attempt to hold their ground."

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2014 11:47 AM

This close up view of Kiev shows how the geographic location of its independence square was placed serves as a great place to protest. It represents the center, the circle of the city, close to the places of power; the government house, parliament. Its long streets lead to the capital's independence square the center for the country, but what started to be peaceful protests where an important monument stands, is now where violence takes place.

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Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings | Geography Education |
The high-tech project would help officials decide which abandoned buildings can be demolished.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This crowd-sourced mapping project is an great example of how a community can work together (using geospatial technologies and geographic thinking) to mitigate some of the more pressing issues confronting the local neighborhoods.  Many optimists have argued that Detroit has "good bones" to rebuild the city, but it needs to built on as smaller scale.  This project helps to assess what is being used by residents and should stay, and what needs to go.  Want to explore some of the data yourself?  See Data Driven Detroit.      


Tagsurban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhoodmapping, GIS, geospatial.

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, September 17, 2014 1:18 PM

So many of the buildings in Detroit have fallen out of use, and are being inhabited by squatters, drug users and vermin. The kindest thing to do is to demolish the ragtag structures in hopes of a chance to revitalize the fallen city. It was one of the first major cities in the US to be primarily built for the automobile. Although the city has fallen out of favor as industry has relocated, it was a well planned metropolis, and has a repairable infrastructure. The sewer lines, electric grid and paved streets lend to the idea of regrowing the city. By using input of the citizens, the government and city planners are able to identify what is useful and what needs to be demolished.


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The 20 year history of NAFTA

The 20 year history of NAFTA | Geography Education |
In the 20 years since it entered into force, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been both lauded and attacked in the United States. But to properly assess NAFTA’s record, it is important to first be clear about what the agreement has actually done. Economically speaking, the answer is a lot.

NAFTA was the first comprehensive free-trade agreement to join developed and developing nations, and it achieved broader and deeper market openings than any trade agreement had before.

NAFTA did that by eliminating tariffs on all industrial goods, guaranteeing unrestricted agricultural trade between the United States and Mexico, opening up a broad range of service sectors, and instituting national treatment for cross-border service providers. It also set high standards of protection for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

NAFTA ignited an explosion in cross-border economic activity. Today, Canada ranks as the United States’ largest single export market, and it sends 98 percent of its total energy exports to the United States, making Canada the United States’ largest supplier of energy products and services. Mexico is the United States’ second-largest single export market. Over the past two decades, a highly efficient and integrated supply chain has developed among the three North American economies.  Intraregional trade flows have increased by roughly 400 percent.

North Americans not only sell more things to one another; they also make more things together. About half of U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico takes place between related companies, and the resulting specialization has boosted productivity in all three economies. NAFTA has also caused cross-border investment to soar.

In spite of this impressive economic record, NAFTA has its critics. Most of those who attack it on economic grounds focus on Mexico, not Canada, and claim that the partnership is one-sided: that NAFTA is Mexico’s gain and America’s pain. But the economic data prove otherwise.

Gary Yarus's curator insight, February 19, 2014 8:24 AM

A good review for those concerned about the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, September 21, 2014 7:42 PM

It is interesting to see exactly what NAFTA has done for North America.  Making trade easier and free between the three countries helps all the economies included.  Free trade between each other means less costly goods.  Also resources can be used from different countries and manufactured in steps not all in one place.  All of the negative comments about it being a one sided deal between the United States and Mexico can be argued with numbers about how it is in fact not a one sided agreement and both countries are benefiting from NAFTA being put in place.

David Lizotte's curator insight, January 24, 2015 3:55 PM

I found this to be an extremely interesting article. I'd say I have a basic comprehension of economics, so I am trying to expand my horizons and learn more about the topic. This article was clear, well-written/structured, and was a good read for someone not so experienced in Economics. 

I find the NAFTA agreement to be quite useful. The article did a good job at portraying many of the pros the agreement puts forth. It is clear that the three nations involved benefit. Throughout the article I was wondering if the agreement had been modified to accommodate todays new technology, trade goods, etc... The article then went and discussed this topic.The article did so through stating the importance in NAFTA branching out in other trade agreements, with nations in the Pacific as well as Nations in the EU. What's neat about this is how whether Mexico or Canada making the trade... all nations involved in the NAFTA agreement benefit. 

What I want to know however is where do these jobs, that this agreement creates are set geographically? I can only assume they are predominately in the South West (in regards to Mexico) and in the North/mid North West (in regards to Canada). Who are the people working these jobs? It seems like they'd be the immigrants themselves, not so much existing citizens. Does this create a problem amongst the masses? 

It seems as if NAFTA could benefit from expanding its trade market. This is something I am interested in reading more about and perhaps keeping up to date with. Side note... in regards to USA being able to buy capital in the countries "cross-border investment," and vis versa, I find it extremely useful and creative. 

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Rivers from Above

Rivers from Above | Geography Education |
Get a unique view of these rivers beyond the banks.Photo editing by Lia Pepe
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fantastic photo gallery, filled with great images to show the processes of fluvial geomorphology. 

Tags: physical, water, geomorphology, erosion, landforms.

Woodstock School's curator insight, February 25, 2014 5:01 AM

The Art of Geography

Mark Burgess's curator insight, February 26, 2014 6:26 AM

Awesome rivers. i love a good river.

ok's curator insight, September 23, 2014 5:45 AM

esrdcfvtgbhyjnkmstgyb weiweeee

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Protests in Venezuela

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video shows the student activist perspective as to the reasons and causes of behind the political protests in Venezuela in the last few days (as will many YouTube videos, remember that this source isn't trying to be 'fair and balanced,' but to spread the strength of their movement).  The Venezuelan government has expelled U.S. consular officials, accusing them of helping to organize the student movement.  This is an issue worth following in the coming week.   

Tags: Venezuela, South America, political.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 26, 2015 1:48 PM

A modern-day Nazi-Venezuela seems to be forming right in front of our eyes.  It's crazy to think that governments in 2015 are still committing horrific crimes against humanity.  These protesters are some of the bravest people in the world, in my opinion.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 13, 2015 12:51 AM

Alot of the things in this video reminded me of the Arab spring, were the internet was shut down, and the military was sent out to abuse and arrest peaceful protesters. I hope that the people of Venezuela never give up. It is after all the majority, the population, that fuels the country!

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 22, 2015 11:33 AM

Wow!  I understand there are two sides to every story and we are just seeing one side here in this video. But its amazing how when a population of people have had enough of political corruption, being treated unfairly by peace keepers, living in poverty while others are living extravagant life styles, some by no fault of their own and want to vent and have exhausted their means of peaceful communications with no one that wants to listen then its captivating how citizens who are on the outside think these people are irrational. This is happening more and more globally even in our own country. People have had enough of being treated unfairly, countries becoming a military state or a police state, corruption by the very government officials who are elected by the people to represent the people. I am not an expert or even know what is happening to cause this protest except for this video but I do know that when people of this magnitude and the people of Syria and the people of the U.S.  including civil rights movement protesters of the 1960s ( oh yeah that's right that was a no cause protest those were people who didn't know what they were talking about they were irrational people because they took to the streets because no one would listen peacefully) then people on the outside should listen. Its sad that protest get out of hand because it takes billions in reparations, it causes unstable governments, causes deaths, and most importantly lack of trust among the citizens and government officials, as well as local officials. This prevents growth via jobs, tourism, etc... so sad...

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No union, no pound, British official warns Scots backing independence

No union, no pound, British official warns Scots backing independence | Geography Education |
LONDON – Escalating the fight against secession, the British government warned Thursday that Scotland would lose the right to continue using the pound as its currency if voters there say yes to a historic referendum on independence this fall.

Osborne’s stark warning, delivered in a speech in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, represented a new willingness by unionists to take a hard line in persuading Scottish voters to shun independence in a September plebiscite. A thumbs-up would end Scotland’s 307-year-old marriage to England and Wales and cause the biggest political shakeup in the British Isles since Ireland split from the British crown nearly a century ago.

Sturgeon predicted that “what the Treasury says now in the heat of the campaign would be very different to what they say after a democratic vote for independence, when common sense would trump the campaign rhetoric.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an intriguing strategic move by the UK as Scotland considers  independence.  Some have argued that this move will backfire and push more Scottish voters into the "yes" camp.  In related news, the BBC reports that EU officials say that an independent Scotland would have a hard time joining the European Union.  

Tags: devolutionpolitical, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, currency, economic.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:40 AM

The countries of Britain want their independence. Scotland uses the pound just like England and Wales but its being threatened that the government might take away that right to use that monetary system. 

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In Mexico, a City's Scar Becomes its Most Prized Park

In Mexico, a City's Scar Becomes its Most Prized Park | Geography Education |

"Many good things are happening along a sliver of land that cuts through a crowded corner of Aguascalientes, a city of 1.3 million people. Fields strewn with garbage and a haven for criminals, followed the narrow path of an underground oil pipeline that traverses one impoverished neighborhood after another. In the past three years, the city has reclaimed almost all of this passage for the 300,000 people who live near it. The result is a 7.5 mile linear park that is one of Latin America’s most extraordinary urban green spaces: La Línea Verde  The Green Line."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The term "LULU" for city planners stands for local unwanted land use.  LULUs are necessary (prisons, landfills etc.) to the society at large but nobody wants to be close to the negative and undesirable aspects they bring to a community ("NIMBY"-not in my backyard).  Consequently, LULUs are usually concentrated in poorer neighborhoods with limited political capital and disproportionately bear the localized burdens of these sites.  Inspired by the urban transformations in Curitiba Brazil (see this TED talk from Jaime Lerner of Curitiba discussing sustainable urbanism), this is a great example of how an urban renewal project that was able to mitigate the negatives and even make a LULU a positive for a community. 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, October 3, 2014 1:45 PM

This article illustrates how urban renewal can be carried out without the negative effects usually associated with gentrification. The local government did this by working directly with the residents to ensure the improvements made directly reflect the needs and desires of the people that live there. It led to an improved area that not only provided activities and facilities for the locals but helped reduce the criminals and other unsavory characters that frequented the areas before. As the mayor in the article states, the park worked so much better than the common "policy of more cops and guns".

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 16, 2014 9:20 PM

This article starts off with a story about a four year old girl named Jessica Lopez. Jessica has suffered severe asthma attacks since she was born. Her condition always worsened in the fall, due to  dust rising up from the abandoned fields that bordered her family’s one-room house. Last year, city officials turned the dusty fields next to her house into a beautiful park with trails, playgrounds and shaded pavilions. Oddly enough, Jessica's asthma did not come back that fall. Her mom insists that the creation of this parked saved her life and I couldn't agree more. Most of the pollution and dust were taken out of the environment, thus making it easier for Jessica to breathe. Jessica is just one person that got help out of this. However, the amount of people in that area is equivalent to about 1.3 million. It has to have helped millions of other people as well. The park's lawn are kept nice and green and watered. Solar powered lamps are used to light the park up at night and the park is a great afternoon spot for children and their families.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, February 12, 2015 6:44 PM

Personally, I love stories like this.  These people took something that wasn't doing anyone any good, and was just sitting there, and turned it into something that brought the community together.  This park brought life to a poor area, even though they really didn't have the means or the money to do so.  However, this park can have so many benefits, and it can become an outlet.  It can lower crime rates, promote health, bring in people from other cities, etc.

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China and Taiwan

China and Taiwan | Geography Education |
Will China win its 65-year war with Taiwan -- without firing a shot?
Seth Dixon's insight:

As one analyst quoted in this article says, the whole point of China's policy is to try to create an environment where the people are Taiwan want to be unified with mainland China.  China has opened up economically towards Taiwan to foster this in "an offer they can't refuse." What would your position on this issue be if you were advising China, Taiwan or the United States?  

Yiannis Tsingos's curator insight, February 15, 2014 4:57 PM

Great resource for conflict resolution


Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:40 PM

China and Taiwan have been battling each other without physically fighting for decades. Nowadays someone needs to take charge and eliminate this battle. Can China do it without releasing its militia?

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Heart-shaped landscapes

Heart-shaped landscapes | Geography Education |

The top image is of a mangrove stand in New Caledonia, Glaslyn (Blue lake) is in Northern Wales and this cave is in the 4 corners region of the United States. 

Seth Dixon's insight:

Happy Valentines Day!  I decided to compiles some heart-shaped landforms from a Google search.  For the Google Earth enthusiast, you can find the top image at 20°56’15.47″S, 164°39’30.56″E.  Like love, some were artificially manufactured and others were purely natural.  If you don't want cutesy heart pictures but prefer a sociological critique of Valentines Day, this is for you.   

Dixie Conner's curator insight, February 14, 2014 12:11 PM

Happy Valentine's Day

Estelblau's comment, February 14, 2014 4:03 PM
Really great ;)!
Estelblau's comment, February 14, 2014 4:03 PM
Really great ;)!
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150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing

150 Years Ago, Sochi Was the Site of a Horrific Ethnic Cleansing | Geography Education |
Czar Alexander II may have freed the serfs, but his war against the stateless people of the Caucasus cannot be ignored

The czar’s approval of this rapid expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Circassians to the Ottoman Empire resulted in an ethnic cleansing through disease and drowning as overcrowded ferries crossed the Black Sea. The Ottomans were unprepared for the influx of refugees, and the absence of adequate shelter caused even more deaths from exposure. Those Circassians who attempted to remain in the Russian Empire and fight for their land were massacred. Sochi’s “Red Hill,” where the skiing and snowboarding events will take place during these Olympic Games, was the site of the Circassian last stand, where the Imperial Russian armies celebrated their “victory” over the local defenders.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating.  As the international spotlight in on Sochi, our students interest in the region is also heightened.  This makes it the perfect time to shine a light on parts of history that many have conveniently tried to brush aside. 

Tags: Russia. historical, colonialism.

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 30, 2014 8:33 PM

This is basically like a mini Holocaust. When do people think its okay to do something like this? It boggles my mind how things like this can actually go on in the world still with todays technologies and armed forces. 

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 5, 2015 2:27 PM

This article shows the great deal of overlap between Geography and History.  Today, when people think of Sochi, they will remember the Olympic games, and the epic hockey battle between the USA and the Russian Federation.  Yet, as this article discusses, Sochi was once the sight of a military battle, and a massacre.  The Russian Empire under Alexander II wanted to expand its borders to be well defined and would wage war against the Circassians who lived in the region.  When they would not go to the Ottoman Empire, and fought the Russians, the army and the Czar were prepared to fight them.  As a result, on Red Hill, the native people had a last stand against the Russian Army and were massacred.  Yet, the southern region of Russia near the middleast, to this day, is not secure.  The history of this region has guaranteed that the people living in these regions of the country would come to loathe Russia.  In fact, this area in the form of Chechnya, has exported the hatred and Islamic fervor of the region, to the United States in the Boston Marathon Bombings of 2013.  History and Geography are not neat boxes that are separate from each other, they are always influencing one another in all actuality. 

Calem Cauley's curator insight, April 7, 2016 10:16 AM
I didn't know how ruthless this leader was. At the little lest threat the czar would fight them and demolish them. 
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Drain the Great Lakes

This represents less than 10% of the Terragen CGI created for "Drain the Great Lakes", a TV documentary made for MSP, National Geographic Channel & Discovery Canada by 422 South in Bristol, UK. I created all the Terragen landscape work over a period of 7 months in 2011."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What would the Great Lakes region look like if the lakes were drained?  This visualization is a tremendous exploration into hypothetical geographies. This video has been added to the the interactive map, Place-Based Geography Videos.  

Tags: physical, environment, water, visualization.

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Shifting post-colonial economic geographies

Shifting post-colonial economic geographies | Geography Education |

"Changes in relationships can be hard to take. The economic bond between Latin America and Spain, its biggest former colonial power, is shifting as the region’s economies mature. Despite some ruffled feathers, the evolution is positive.  After two decades in which Spain amassed assets worth €145 billion ($200 billion) in Latin America, last year was the first in which Latin American companies spent more on acquiring their Spanish counterparts than the other way around."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I am hesitant to use the term post-colonial since there are theoretical constructs that use that term to embody cultural hegemonic power structures.  I'm simply using it to mean "after colonialism" because the power paradigm is shifting to the former colonies. 

TagsLatin AmericaSouth America. economic, development, Spain, historical, colonialism.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 27, 2015 8:02 PM
This phenomenon is interesting. Mainly due to the fact that in the past the Spaniards have been quoted as describing native Latin-Americans as "backwards", "barbaric", and "savages". It's funny how some people can be made to eat their own words.
Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 5, 2015 10:51 AM

This article provides an interesting story about the shift in economic power from colonizer (Spain) to colonized (Latin America). Of course, colonialism in the sense that many of us think of it has not truly existed for a century or so. But that doesn't mean that its effects can't still be felt around the world. Many former colonies are still economically dependent on their former colonizers and are still feeling the adverse effects of (in some cases) rapid decolonization. In some instances, however, economic, and in some sense, political power has shifted to the former colonies. This certainly seems to be the case with Latin America and its former biggest colonizer, Spain. As the numbers show, the flow of investment and goods between the two countries has reversed over the last two decades or so, with Latin America now pouring more money into Spain than the reverse. 


What this has created is a sort of paradigm shift not only in an economic sense, but a geographic one as well. Where Europe and the U.S. were once major economic powerhouses on the global stage, now nations in Latin America and other developing countries around the world are seeing a gain in economic power. The availability of resources, large labor markets, and industrialization have allowed these countries to strengthen their economies and engage in foreign trade and investment that they were previously locked out of. As a result, developed nations such as China and the U.S. are now forced to recognize that developing nations half a world away are potential competitors when it comes to trade and investment. That this could mean a geographic shift in the centers of economic power in the coming decades is certainly possible, and something which the wealthiest and most developed countries around the world will surely monitor with great interest. 

David G Tibbs's curator insight, February 10, 10:20 PM
This article highlights that geographic influences change over time. In colonial times this would never have been thought. However, in today's joint economic systems anything can happen. Just like how America once owned China in economic and governing affairs. Not only does this show that anything can happen in today's economic systems but also how purchasing power has shifted from Europe into the New World.