Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Geo-economics of the Thai Canal

A group of influential Thai officials is promoting the construction of a long-envisioned megaproject, known as the Thai Canal. If built, it would transform the regional maritime dynamics and give Thailand a substantial stake in global trade. Yet, as ambitious as the project it, there are equally credible drawbacks that could reshape the geo-economic fortunes of Southeast Asia.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Straits of Malacca is an incredibly busy waterway.  Around 20% of global trade and 30% of the world’s crude oil travel through this tiny choke point.  At its narrowest, the Straits of Malacca is less than 2 miles wide and as Asian economies grow, alternative shipping lanes are becoming more attractive.  China is looking to bankroll a canal that would bisect the Malay Peninsula and reduce their dependency on the Straits of Malacca.  This is still uncertain, but would represent a major geo-engineering project that


Perspectives: What are the positives and negatives of this plan for Thailand?  China?  The United States? 


Tags: Thailand, Southeast Asiatransportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

dustin colprit's curator insight, September 5, 2018 7:50 PM
Thailand wants to build a canal to increase its position in Global trade.
Jessica Martel's curator insight, September 5, 2018 7:51 PM
I'm curious to see how this will effect the economics of south east Asia. Although it will give Thailand a great opportunity to grow, how will this create issues for other regions?
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, September 5, 2018 7:53 PM
The Thai Canal could impact Thailand and  make transportation throughout South East Asia so much easier.
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Income and Wealth Inequality

Inequality is a big, big subject. There's racial inequality, gender inequality, and lots and lots of other kinds of inequality. This is Econ, so we're going to talk about wealth inequality and income inequality. There's no question that economic inequality is real. But there is disagreement as to whether income inequality is a problem, and what can or should be done about it.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are many of the 35 videos in the Economics crash course set that touch on geographic issues.   This crash course team explains the difference between wealthy inequality and income inequality.  This video also has a nice laymen’s explanation of the GINI coefficient and how it measures inequality.   In another video in the series, they demonstrate how globalization can be seen as the path to economic growth and others see the process of globalization as what has created poverty


Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 15, 2018 10:33 PM
It is interesting to see how unequal some income is for people around the world. Especially in countries like China and India that have some of the world's largest populations. These same countries also have some of the lowest incomes in the world for the majority of their citizens. Adding to that, it is intriguing to see how only a small percentage of people hold most of the wealth in the world, while the vast majority of the world population aren't even close to that level of wealth. While the income inequality gap has increased significantly since the time of the industrial revolution and continues to grow bigger.
theascen sionhouse's comment, March 17, 2018 4:54 AM
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 30, 2018 3:57 AM
Inequality of income and wealth has resulted in numerous issues through out history. While many people are unhappy about inequality in wealth, I don't believe it is a problem that will be worked out easily. It is unfair but in many situations, those with money influence or hold positions of power. This prevents action being taken. In other situations in equality may be a result of another issue. Hopefully the gaps in inequality and wealth will be shortened and provide aid those in poverty.
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Globalization, Trade, and Poverty

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

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


Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course


Marilyn Ramos Rios's curator insight, November 13, 2017 1:52 PM
Is globalization good thing or not?
Ivan Ius's curator insight, November 13, 2017 4:32 PM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Pattern and Trends; Interrelationships; Geographic Perspective;
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, November 29, 2017 1:51 PM
Globalization, Trade, and Poverty
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How a Texas grocery chain kept running after Hurricane Harvey

How a Texas grocery chain kept running after Hurricane Harvey | Geography Education |

"One of my stores, we had 300 employees; 140 of them were displaced by the flooding. So how do you put your store back together quickly? We asked for volunteers in the rest of the company. We brought over 2,000 partners from Austin, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley. They hopped into cars and they just drove to Houston. They said, we're here to help. For 18 hours a day, they’re going to help us restock and then they'll go sleep on the couch at somebody's house."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Natural disasters complicate the logistics that make our modern economy run.  We take these flows for granted--until they are disrupted. This article is a excellent view into how to operate when disaster strikes. 


Tagseconomicindustry, laborglobalizationplace, transportation.

Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 13, 2017 1:55 AM

Natural disasters complicate the logistics that make our modern economy run.  We take these flows for granted--until they are disrupted. This article is a excellent view into how to operate when disaster strikes. 


Tagseconomicindustry, laborglobalizationplace, transportation.

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Self-driving technology and highway trucks with no one at the wheel

Technological innovation and automation are transforming entire industries. As self-driving trucks hit the road, what could possibly go wrong?
Seth Dixon's insight:

What jobs can be automated?  This is a question I ask all of my students because job disruption is something that every future wage earner should consider as they plan out their careers.  Would you be outsource-able? Could technology render your skill set unnecessary in the future?  What are the impacts of creative destruction on the economic, cultural, and political characteristics of a place?  How would those changes impact regions? 


Tagseconomicindustry, laborglobalizationtransportation, unit 6 industry.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, January 19, 2018 12:31 AM

Technology is transforming and changing the global economic order. This technology could change trucking and automobiles forever and prevent dangerous accidents.

Genesis Orellana Cabrera's curator insight, January 24, 2018 8:16 PM
This certainly has with geographical development. This technological innovation is an explanation of why some regions are richer than others. Technology continues to expand and with it, geographical development is growing, making the U.S richer. As it was said in the video, billions of dollars will be saved, but it is also known that jobs will go down as fewer truck drivers are needed in the industry. Technological improvement can bring good and bad to certain regions.  
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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May Triggers Article 50, Making 'Brexit' Official

The United Kingdom has officially kicked off the process of 'Brexit,' almost nine months to the date after the country's momentous vote to leave the European Union.


Tags: EuropeUK, supranationalismglobalization, economic, political, images.

James Piccolino's curator insight, January 19, 2018 12:14 AM
I have a soft spot for nations that seek freedom, control of their own lives/ destiny, and overall individuality for the betterment of themselves against large odds, but nonetheless prevail.

The comment section slightly represents what I expected the general reactions to be. A mixture of sarcasm, excitement over the new possibilities opened now that they are not tied to the EU, those who did not agree thus think this means the end times, and of course the almost necessary exclamation of "first" when you're the lucky guy to comment before anybody else does. 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, March 24, 2018 3:40 AM
In this address to the House of Commons, Theresa May says that she "want[s] [the UK] to be a truly global Britain," but isn't the move to leave the European Union indicative of isolationist attitudes?  She talks about laws being made within the UK, and those laws being "interpreted by judges not in Luxembourg, but in courts across [the UK]."  She also talks about focusing inward, and working to "strengthen the union of the four nations that comprise [the] United Kingdom."  What impact will this have on the UK?  What impact will this have on Europe?  What impact will this have on the global community as a whole?
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China sends first freight train to London

China sends first freight train to London | Geography Education |
Time for a long trip along the new silk road.


The train is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's vision for 'One Belt, One Road' -- dubbed by some as the new silk road. It's China's infrastructure initiative, which Xi hopes will improve China's economic ties with Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


Tags: regions, transportationeconomic, globalization, diffusion, industry.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, March 24, 2018 3:21 AM
It is easy to see why this freight train is being called "the new silk road," with its similarities to ancient trade routes that brought spices, silks, and other goods to Europe for centuries.  It will strengthen the links China has with countries throughout Eurasia.  To what extent will it succeed?  How did the Chinese reach their decisions on which countries the train should pass through and which should be bypassed? What are the economic--and perhaps political--implications for China's relationships with nations completely bypassed by the freight train, such as India, Iran, Turkey, Ukraine, Italy, etc.?
James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 2018 2:12 PM
I can see why this would be considered a new silk road. I think that this idea is a great one and works wonders for trade between many cultures and countries along the way.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 4, 2018 3:18 AM
This article briefly discusses the train that travels from China to London. By sending this freight train, the Chinese president hopes to take initiative in the infrastructure. The route has been compared to the silk Road that was used as means of trade many years ago.
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Growth of underwater cables that power the web

Growth of underwater cables that power the web | Geography Education |

"The map above, created with data from Telegeography, shows how those cables have developed since 1990. Most existing cables were constructed during a period of rapid growth in the mid-2000’s. This was followed by a gap of several years during which companies steadily exhausted the available capacity. Over the last few years, explosive new demand, driven by streaming video, has once again jumpstarted the the construction of new cables."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Twenty years ago, people were still connecting to the internet with a dial-up connection through their modem (if you don't know what that sounds like, this was once the sound of interconnectivity).  People focus on cell phones, tablets, and cool gadgets when discussing the digital transformation of globalization, but it all rests on the infrastructure of the global connectivity that is mapped out here.  Even still, global trade rests on the back of container ships moving manufactured goods from far-flung factories to major markets.


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

Sally Egan's curator insight, October 26, 2016 10:58 PM
ROCAFORT's curator insight, October 28, 2016 7:48 AM
Growth of underwater cables that power the web
Lee Hancock's curator insight, November 1, 2016 9:42 PM

Telecommunication linkages between continents, regions and cities. Note the strength of the trans-atlantic connections. These communication linkages enable communication between these areas.

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Music and Resistance

"Life imitated art in early 1980 when South African school children, fed up with an inferior apartheid-era education system, took to chanting the lyrics of Pink Floyd‘s 'Another Brick in the Wall.' The song, with its memorable line stating, “We don’t need no education,” had held the top spot on the local charts for almost three months, a total of seven weeks longer than it did in America. By May 2, 1980, the South African government had issued a ban on 'Another Brick in the Wall,' creating international headlines."

Seth Dixon's insight:

How a song about rigid school rules in England became banned in South Africa is a fantastic lesson in cultural diffusion and glocalization (where the global becomes intensely local).  Here we see an historical example of a global cultural phenomenon taking on local political dimensions.  If you are interested in teaching more about the social and historical content of music, check out      


Questions to Ponder: Why would this song resonate in South Africa?  How might the video/lyrics map onto the South African situation? 


Tags culturediffusion, globalization, popular culture, South AfricaAfrica, music.

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London Should Secede From the United Kingdom

London Should Secede From the United Kingdom | Geography Education |
Beyond the stunning act that has become Britain’s vote to leave the European Union lies a deeper message: Democracy is not destiny, but devolution. Ceaseless entropy — the second law of thermodynamics — applies to politics as well. The more countries democratize, the more local populations seek greater self-rule.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In his book Connectography by Parag Khanna, he argues that connectivity and networks are more important today.  Using those ideas, Khanna discusses London's options after the recent Brexit vote in this op-ed (this additional article explores the demographic divide on the Brexit vote, especially how many British Millennials feel that their future has been snatched from them).      

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, January 19, 2018 12:40 AM

In this article, Parag Khanna argues exactly what the title suggests, "London should secede from the United Kingdom". In light of the UK's decision to leave the European Union, Khanna discusses that "Londoners... voted by a wide majority to 'remain' in the EU" and suggests that many Londoners have lost their sense of British Pride after the secession. Though it is mentioned that the city "can't and won't" leave the country, the exit from the EU directly impacts London's economy because "immigrants are essential for the city’s financial and education sectors". Without the immigrants, the city's finances will not only be in jeopardy, but its connection between foreign places will be impacted as well. 

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Do The Math - Why The Illegal Business Is Thriving

Do The Math - Why The Illegal Business Is Thriving | Geography Education |

"Globalization hit organized crime over the last decade and now is integral to its most profitable business -- the international narcotics traffic. Once a regional problem involving a customer base of a few million, and barely a billion dollars in sales, the illegal drug industry is now a worldwide enterprise with tens of millions of hard core consumers spending hundreds of billions on opiates, cocaine and amphetamines and marijuana, as well as other drugs."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) calls drug trafficking “a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws.”  While some individuals are profiting off these drugs, the overall impact of the society and the places involved with the illegal trade is detrimental. 


Tags: globalization, conflictnarcotics.

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Where our food came from

Where our food came from | Geography Education |

"Explore the geographic origins of our food crops – where they were initially domesticated and evolved over time – and discover how important these 'primary regions of diversity' are to our current diets and agricultural production areas."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an incredibly rich website with great interactive maps, dynamic charts, and text with rich citations.  This is one of those resources that an entire class could use as a starting point to create 30+ distinct project.  This is definitely one of the most important and best resources that I've shared recently, one that I'm going to use in my class.  Where did a particular crop originally come from?  Where is it produced today?   How do these historic and current agricultural geographies change local diets and economies around the world?  All these issues can be explored with this interactive that includes, but goes beyond the Columbian Exchange


Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, agriculture, APHG, unit 5 agriculture, globalizationbiogeography, ecology, diffusion.

Sally Egan's curator insight, June 16, 2016 11:43 PM

Great interactive map to illustrate the source regions of the world and foods that originated there. Hover over each region and the foods of that area popup.

Rory McPherson's curator insight, July 3, 2016 10:39 PM

Very informative! It's great to learn where our food comes from. The author is able to communicate this information through simple but effective maps and visualizations.

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Megacities, not nations, are the world’s dominant, enduring social structures

Megacities, not nations, are the world’s dominant, enduring social structures | Geography Education |

"Cities are mankind’s most enduring and stable mode of social organization, outlasting all empires and nations over which they have presided. Today cities have become the world’s dominant demographic and economic clusters."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This map is a sneak peek preview from the new book Connectography by Parag Khanna.  This main point of the book and article is that economic and social connectivity is the new driving force is of geopolitics, not just global economics.  Supply chains matter more than borders and the largest cities are the controlling nodes of those supply chains.  


Tags: political, globalization, urbaneconomic.

Caitlyn Scott's curator insight, June 14, 2016 6:22 AM
Rare insight into the changes of the economic climate of the world. Fantastic for use in unit focused around mapping and the changing distributions of the world by asking students to think outside the boundaries of traditional maps and what future maps could possibly look like and have them map their ideas as to why their maps look the way they do with research to enforce their ideas.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 11, 2018 9:37 PM
In this article, the author argues that cities are not only where people tend to gather, but are where the economy flourishes. In cities in the Chinese Pearl River Delta, Boston, San Fransisco, and Dallas, we see greater connections and higher GDP than in non-mega city areas
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Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage?

Why Is It So Hard for Clothing Manufacturers to Pay a Living Wage? | Geography Education |

"In the garment industry, stories about workers who barely eke out an existence on 'starvation wages' are legion: Factory workers in New Delhi often describe living in makeshift hovels 'barely fit for animals.' A young woman from Myanmar might wrestle with the decision to feed her children or send them to school. In Bangladesh, sewing-machine operators frequently toil for 100 hours or more a week, only to run out of money before the end of the month. Workers have demanded higher pay in all those countries, of course, sometimes precipitating violence between protesters and police. Companies in general, however, have preferred to sidestep the issue altogether. In fact, no multinational brand or retailer currently claims to pay its garment workers a wage they can subsist on."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In some ways this isn't the right question to be asking.  While clothing brands don't want the bad PR from low wages, like all businesses, they are incentivized to minimize their inputs and maximize their profits.  If capitalistic logic were completely unrestrained, this situation would never change as long as their are low-skill workers.


Questions to Ponder: What institutions have the ability to change this situation and what are effective ways to bring about change?  Where are textile industries located in the international division of labor?  How do sweatshops impact the places where they locate in the international division of labor? 


Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty

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How a Steel Box Changed the World: A Brief History of Shipping

"As the container shipping industry continues to boom, companies are adopting new technologies to move cargo faster and shifting to crewless ships. But it’s not all been smooth sailing and the future will see fewer players stay above water."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This WSJ video, similar to an animated TED-ED video, explains some of the geographic consequences of economic innovation. Containerization has remade the world we live in, and will continue to see it drive economic restructuring.  


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

Nancy Watson's curator insight, March 2, 2018 12:38 PM
Unit 6 
Laurie Ruggiero's curator insight, May 29, 2018 9:07 PM
Unit 6
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 30, 2018 4:38 AM
The use of shipping containers has provided many positive results. People receive access to goods and supplies from all around the globe thanks to shipping containers. Recently they've even been given other uses. People have begun modifying them into livable structures.
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When Rich Places Want to Secede

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


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

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

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


Tags: Cataloniaeconomic, political, devolution, autonomyEurope.

Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, September 5, 2018 8:43 PM
Interestingly, this is something going on all over the world in many different countries. As different regions find themselves separated by economic or social inequality they look to secede. These tensions increased in Catalonia, and in the UK, and is also growing as we see different proposals for California and Texas to secede from the United States. 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 3, 2018 8:45 PM
Catalonia separatist movement is one of the most prominent separatist movements in the world (along with Northern Ireland long standing issues). The people of Catalonia feel it is not fare for them to hold up the poorer areas of Spain, and wish for more autonomy. These economic reasons have pushed a large independence movement in the region of Catalonia. Against Spanish parliamentary wishes they attempted to hold a vote to secede. This vote was then broken up by force by Spanish police, and many were even arrested. Many fear this use of force could lead to more drastic measures of Catalonia independence. Though this most likely will not happen without heavy outside support.  
othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 7:33 AM
This article talks about the citizens of Catalonia wanting independence from Spain. Catalonia is one of the wealthiest regions in Spain. They contribute billions of dollars in taxes to Madrid. The citizens of Catalonia find it unfair that they have to help out poorer regions in Spain. However, if Catalonia was granted independence, it could lose up to 20% of their GDP overnight and this could also cause conflict. Many other countries are also following Catalonia's example in their separatist movement towards independence. 
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Amazon Is Building a Colossal Warehouse Where America's Biggest Mall Once Stood

Amazon Is Building a Colossal Warehouse Where America's Biggest Mall Once Stood | Geography Education |

"The Seattle-based internet book seller Amazon just announced plans to open an enormous fulfillment center in the North Randall, Ohio. This is a big deal for the small community which has suffered greatly since the Randall Park Mall, once the largest in America, shut down due to retail sales moving online. Amazon is actually building its new warehouse on the same land where the mall once stood. The irony of this is lost on no one."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: Where is the geography in this new development?  What economic forces are shaping and reshaping places?


Tagseconomicindustry, laborglobalizationplace, transportation.

Matt Manish's curator insight, January 19, 2018 12:48 AM
North Randall, Ohio was once home of the largest mall in America until it lost all of it's business to online shopping. Ironically, Amazon the online shopping website is looking to build a new warehouse in the old mall building that is now vacant. This would have a huge positive impact on the town's economy. The majority of citizens in North Randall are excited for Amazon's plans with this warehouse as it will create 2,000 jobs in the community. This is a big deal for North Randall since many of it's citizens lost their jobs at the previous mall. Overall, this is going to have a great impact on the North Randall community in a positive way and is a good example of economic geography.
tyrone perry's curator insight, February 12, 2018 8:57 PM
When any business closes its bad for the company but worse for the employees.  It leaves multiple people unemployed.  But when a mall closes it is detrimental for the whole town/city and even at times the state.  So when amazon says it is building a new warehouse that is going to be just as big the mall was where it once stood that is going to boost the surrounding economies and create much needed jobs.  Amazon will big in revenue, jobs will create money and money will lead to spending which will also bing upgrades to the surrounding geographical areas!

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"The Last of the Free Seas"

"The Last of the Free Seas" | Geography Education |

"The Last of the Free Seas is the title of this fantastic map of the Great Lakes made by Boris Artzbasheff.  It was published in Fortune Magazine in July 1940."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The inland waterways were absolutely critical to the demographic and economic development of the eastern part of the United States, especially from 1820-1940.  Before World War II, Great Lakes shipping exceeded the tonnage of U.S. Pacific Coast shipping (see hi-res map here). World War II and the beginning of the Cold War led to a consolidation of naval power for the United States and its allies, greatly expanding Pacific shipping trade and spurring fast-developing economies countries. 


Great Lakes shipping dramatically declined, in part because steel production has gone to lower-cost producers that were connected to the U.S. economy through the expanded trade.  Some could see irony since the steel warships created from the Great Lakes manufacturing enabled expanded Pacific and Atlantic trade that led to the decline of Great Lakes manufacturing and regional struggles in the rust belt.  Still, more than 200 million tons of cargo, mostly iron ore, coal, and grain, travel across the Great Lakes annually.


This deindustrialization clearly is a huge economic negative but the environmental impacts for lakeside communities has been enormous.  Industrial emissions in the watershed and shipping pollution in the lakes went down as waterfowl populations returned and more waterfront property became swimmable again.  Still this map of the environmental stress on the Great Lakes shows they are far from pristine.    


Tagsenvironment, historicalwater, resources, transportation, industry, economicregions, globalization.


PIRatE Lab's curator insight, August 9, 2017 2:08 AM
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Ship to shore: tracking the maritime motorways

Ship to shore: tracking the maritime motorways | Geography Education |

"It is estimated that 97 per cent of all trade – the things we buy in shops – will have been transported in containers by ships at sea. The container vessel, stacked high with uniformly-sized metal boxes, has become a symbol of our globalized world. This is a world of imports and exports, a world where moving things across huge distances keeps the price of daily commodities low as items are manufactured in one place, then packaged in another, before arriving on the shores where they will eventually be sold. In recent geographical literature, attention has turned to the world at sea – a space traditionally overlooked. Geography means ‘Earth-writing’ and geographers have taken the origins of the term very seriously. They have written primarily about the Earth: the ground, the soil, the land. The sea is something ‘out there’ – seemingly disconnected from our everyday lives. However, an appreciation of the world as made from flows and connections has enabled geography to recognize that the sea is essential to our landed life."


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

Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 19, 2017 8:38 PM
Geographic Concepts: Patterns and Trends, Geographic Perspective, Interrelationships
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The Spice Trade's Legacy

The Spice Trade's Legacy | Geography Education |

"In its day, the spice trade was the world’s biggest industry. It established and destroyed empires and helped the Europeans (who were looking for alternate routes to the east) map the globe through their discovery of new continents. What was once tightly controlled by the Arabs for centuries was now available throughout Europe with the establishment of the Ocean Spice Trade route connecting Europe directly to South Asia (India) and South East Asia."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The spice trade changed how we eat forever but it did so much more.  The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire cut off Europe from the vital trade routes to the east and access to the most prized commodities of the day.  What drove European exploration to get around Africa and to cross the Atlantic?  It was to reshape their situation location relative to the economic networks that shaped the emerging global economy.  In essence, the spice trade reshaped the fortunes and trajectories of several major world regions.   


Tags: Southeast Asia, food productiondiffusionglobalization, agriculture, economicindustry, economic, historical, regions.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 3, 2018 1:10 PM
A very insightful article and shows the uttermost importance of geography in many phases. First off, it shows the importance of  having key resources within your country or region. Southeast Asia is know for its spices which made it especially key during the age of exploration. Also, which is key is how do we get there? What are the best trade routes? Over the years, first the Romans then the Ottoman Empire controlled key lands in which connected Europe and Southeast Asia. Since, the Christian Europeans did not want to work with the Muslims  they found new trade routes and well eventually we end up discovering the New World (the Americas". This shows how everything like always connects. Southeast Asia, which for most of its time  has been colonized up until almost the mid 1980s is finally starting to grow on its own. It will be interesting to see how they use there own resources to try to gain traction in the global markets throughout the next few decades and it we see any smaller world powers come out of the area. The spice trade dominated thousands of years of trade, but Southeast Asia has many other key resources as well and it will be key for politicians and businesses in the future to capitalize on this into the future. 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 8:06 AM
It is no exaggeration to say that the spice trade shaped the world as we know it today. Southeast Asia's location made it the only place in the world to obtain some of the most popular spices and other goods. Meanwhile Constantinople, being situated squarely between Europe and Asia, was the perfect middleman through which spices could get to markets in Europe -- where demand was high from Antiquity through the Middle Ages -- until the city fell to the Ottoman Empire and turned its back on Europe. This motivated Europeans to develop the sailing and navigational technology necessary to find sea routes to Asia, which led to the discovery of the Americas, and the rest is history. What followed were centuries of colonization, conflict, trade, and globalization on a scale the world had never seen before. All because people were crazy for spices that could only be found half-way around the world.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 16, 2018 1:22 AM
The spice trade not only opened up all the amenities Southeast Asia had to offer but spread their culture throughout Western Europe. It also opened up new routes for Europeans to explore Eastern Asia and then sail around the world. 
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The other Asian tiger

The other Asian tiger | Geography Education |

"Vietnam's success merits a closer look."


Which Asian country has roared ahead over the past quarter-century, with millions of its people escaping poverty? And which Asian economy, still mainly rural, will be the continent’s next dynamo? Most would probably respond “China” to the first question and “India” to the second. But these answers would overlook a country that, in any other part of the world, would stand out for its past success and future promise.

Vietnam, with a population of more than 90m, has notched up the world’s second-fastest growth rate per person since 1990, behind only China. If it can maintain a 7% pace over the next decade, it will follow the same trajectory as erstwhile Asian tigers such as South Korea and Taiwan. Quite an achievement for a country that in the 1980s was emerging from decades of war and was as poor as Ethiopia.


Tags: Vietnam, globalizationdevelopment, economic, SouthEastAsia.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 20, 2018 4:33 PM
Like this article points out in the beginning, Vietnam is not a country I typically think of when talking about countries who's economies are growing rapidly.  I think that there are still leftover thoughts from the Vietnam War over the state that the country is in.  By expanding manufacturing, they were able to boost employment and exports- two keys to a healthy economy.  Vietnam has also become heavily involved in global trade, which now accounts for a large part of its GDP.  They have been able to take advantage of their physical location nearby China by offering lower prices for businesses looking to develop in Asia, particularly those looking to do business with China.  Vietnam has also invested heavily in education which has made their population competitive in math and science.  Vietnam has done such a good job of managing and growing their economy that they are actually the second fastest growing economy in the world.  They have also encouraged competition among their provinces which has given the country a greater variety in valuable industries.  The obstacles that Vietnam faces into becoming an even more powerful economy are lack of domestic supply chains, meaning they have to import goods to sustain their own population, and a one-party government that is unstable.  Without changes to this, they will struggle to become a major world economy.  However, they show that it is possible for small, developing countries to grow their economies and gain the status of being a developed country.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 5:10 AM
(Southeast Asia) This article argues the importance of Vietnam as an upcoming Asian Tiger. Vietnam has the second highest growth rate in the world, leading to a current population of 92.7 million. By reducing trading regulations, Vietnam is a cheap substitute for hosting companies in China. Each region of the country was stimulated to have different economies, causing a variety of services to Vietnam. Additionally, Vietnam spends a large budget on education in order to produce reliable workers for the economy. However, the dictatorial government, state owned businesses, and China's dominance of international markets poses a problem for its ascension to a highly developed nation.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 3, 2018 8:11 PM
This showcases how quickly economies can bounce back or change. For a long time China and India were thought to be Asia's two economic dynamic duo. However, despite the decades of war that struck the country and ruined the economy and were as poor as Ethiopia, Vietnam has had a 7% increase the growth rate per person. This alters political geographies and economic geographies. 
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Turkey's 'bumpy ride' into the EU?

Turkey's 'bumpy ride' into the EU? | Geography Education |

"As the UK prepares for what looks like a slow and painful divorce from the European Union, the people of Turkey are wondering how their relationship with Europe will now develop.

The government in Ankara has been seeking to strengthen its case to join the EU, but as Europe grapples with Brexit - is the Turkey's membership closer or further away?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video show some of the recent shifts in the always important, often rocky Turkey/EU relationship.   Economically, Turkey has consistently sought greater ties with Europe for the past few decades and Europe keeps Turkey at arms length.    Turkey has applied to join the EU, but that is not going to happen without some massive social restructuring that would take years. 


Tags: EuropeTurkey, supranationalism, economicrefugees, political, video.

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 8, 2017 11:29 PM
Post Brexit can we expect a ...Turkentrance?
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Brexit: Reaction and the Aftermath

Brexit: Reaction and the Aftermath | Geography Education |

"The reactions to the Brexit have come in from all corners.  Since this was so shocking, newspapers articles that are insightful are using hyperbole in their titles to get our attention (Britain just killed globalization as we know it–Washington Post; Will Brexit mark the end of the age of globalization?–LA Times).  There have also been some excellent political cartoons and memes, so I wanted to archive a few of them here."  


Tags: Europe, supranationalismglobalization, economic, political, images.

MsPerry's curator insight, June 29, 2016 4:29 PM
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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, February 16, 2018 1:40 PM
These graphics are examples of propaganda, which has been used for hundreds of years. Great Britain leaving the EU was a big deal as it was basically GB saying that they were better than the rest of Europe. These graphics show what different sources around the world thought of Brexit. The one that stood out to me was the picture of the woman who appeared beaten up and the captions stated that it was the EU with and without GB, and this shows that GBs influence is not nearly what it used to be and that Europe can survive without it. 
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Cities are the New Nations

Cities are the New Nations | Geography Education |

"Political geography is not determinant anymore, because cities are more important."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Controlling borders and territory were the main factors in geopolitics for centuries.  In his book Connectography by Parag Khanna, he argues that connectivity and networks are more important today.  The world's most connected cities act in ways that transcend political boundaries.      


Emily Mikus's curator insight, April 25, 2017 4:35 PM
This article is about cities being important in political geography and it relates to our class because we just learned about whenever you go to calculate the number of people of that are a certain ethnicity in a certain region or area, you look in the cities. This also relates because we are learning about political geography in this unit. I believe this scoop and the statements in it, they are true and definitely go along with this new unit. They also open my eyes to some hings I've never thought of before.
Madison Williams's curator insight, May 8, 2017 1:52 AM
This article relates to our chapter because it talks about political boundaries, in my opinion the world is way more connected than it used to be because of global trading, traveling, ect..
Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 9, 2017 2:57 PM
You heard it here first.  30 is the new 20, Master's are the new Bachelor's, Cities are the new Nations, Orange is the new Black, etc...
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Break Dancing, NGOs, and Global Lives

Break Dancing, NGOs, and Global Lives | Geography Education |

Deported to Cambodia, Former Gang Member Gets A Second Chance. When Tuy Sobil was deported to Cambodia from the U.S., it was the first time he had ever stepped foot in the Southeast Asian country.

Seth Dixon's insight:

My students have enjoyed this video about a break-dancing NGO that was created by a former refugee from the United States who was subsequently deported to Cambodia (this article serves as some added background and a follow-up to the story).  This story shows the influence of urban youth culture and various strands of geography in this young man's global life.


Tags: Cambodia, diffusion, cultureNGOs, globalization.

Genesis Orellana Cabrera's curator insight, January 19, 2018 12:36 AM
This article shows how background and place can impact a person's career. Tuy Sobil did not enjoy living in the U.S, when he was deported to Cambodia he began to help others through dancing. Geography has a lot to do with this as culture is what forms a person's identity, then it become cultural geography. This man was able to obtain a second chance in a place in which accepted Hip Hop, through this, others started to follow, for instance, the guy who gave up drugs in order to dance with Tuy Sobil.