Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Manila Times Gives China The Finger With Its Own “Nine Dash Line” Map

Manila Times Gives China The Finger With Its Own “Nine Dash Line” Map | Geography Education |

"The Philippines’ oldest newspaper recently made what could be considered a provocative gesture towards China regarding its notorious nine-dash-line."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've shared some more substantial resources about maritime claims in the South China Sea than this flippant political cartoon.  Still, this cartoon beautifully illustrates a geopolitical perspective quite powerfully.  As always, use your own discretion when sharing resources in your own classroom (my college students love this). 


GeoEd Tags: borders, Political, conflict, water, Philippines, China. Tags: borders, political, conflict, water, PhilippinesChina.


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How to Win Florida

How to Win Florida | Geography Education |

"It’s the southernmost section of the Deep South, the sixth borough of New York City, and the northernmost nation of Latin America. But even in the ultimate swing state, some voters are more equal than others."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Sure this article might be used for partisan purposes, but it's analysis of how a diverse group of interlocking demographic communities vote in the United States is very insightful.  This article doesn't focus on identity politics, but it does show how identity shapes political views and how the demographics of a particular constituency might shape the platforms of candidates. 


Questions to Ponder: What makes a swing state a swing state? How is Florida emblematic of the nation as a whole? Tags: electoral, political, ethnicity.

WordPress TAGS: electoral, political, ethnicity.

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Inside North Korea's bubble in Japan

"Why North Korea has children’s schools in Japan. This isn’t a story about a physical border. North Koreans living in Japan experience a much less visible kind of border, one made of culture, tradition, history, and ideology. The result is a North Korean bubble in Japan whose members face fierce discrimination from Japanese society, leading the community to turn to Pyongyang for support. Now that community is being tested like never before. North Korea routinely threatens to destroy Japan with nuclear weapons, prompting a spike in Japanese nationalism. Japanese politicians are feeling increasing pressure to crack down on this North Korean bubble, creating a battleground in the most unlikely of places: schools."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This episode of Vox borders offers some excellent insight into a cultural enclave that feels deeply connected with a totalitarian regime.  From the outside, this raises so many questions, but understanding the cultural, historical, political, and economic context shows how this peculiar community continues.  The entire series of Vox Borders is fantastic material, dripping with geographic content.   

Tags: North KoreaJapan, East Asiaborders, political, historical.

WordPress TAGS: North Korea, Japan, East Asia, borders, political, historical.

Albahae Geography's curator insight, September 20, 2018 2:18 PM
Share your insight
K Rome's curator insight, October 7, 2018 12:36 AM

This episode of Vox borders offers some excellent insight into a cultural enclave that feels deeply connected with a totalitarian regime.  From the outside, this raises so many questions, but understanding the cultural, historical, political, and economic context shows how this peculiar community continues.  The entire series of Vox Borders is fantastic material, dripping with geographic content.   

Tags: North KoreaJapan, East Asiaborders, political, historical.

WordPress TAGS: North Korea, Japan, East Asia, borders, political, historical.

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Nuclear Missile Submarines

Nuclear Missile Submarines | Geography Education |
Only seven countries in the entire world deploy nuclear weapons at sea, an exclusive and deadly club.


Tags: political, military.

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Political Bubbles and Hidden Diversity: Highlights From a Very Detailed Map of the 2016 Election

Political Bubbles and Hidden Diversity: Highlights From a Very Detailed Map of the 2016 Election | Geography Education |
The Times’s interactive map of precinct results shows that even within partisan strongholds, there are contrary-voting enclaves.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This feature that shows the 2016 election results at the precinct level is astounding, revealing, and a testament to the difficulty of putting all this information together.  The built-in features in this interactive map to explore selected “voter islands” and one-sided places are especially helpful, but much like Google Earth, many people are eager to zoom in to their own neighborhoods.  The article that accompanies the interactive had some excellent case-studies at a variety of scales.  Geography always matters and the maps reveal so many telling patterns. 


Tags: electoral, politicaldensity, mapping.

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Nicaragua on the Brink, Once Again

Nicaragua on the Brink, Once Again | Geography Education |
Jon Lee Anderson on protests in Nicaragua over proposed social-security reforms that are threatening the stability of the government of President Daniel Ortega.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The status quo of the Nicaraguan political system threats to be completely upended and this article is a good primer for getting a handle on the situation. 


Tags: Nicaragua, political.

David Stiger's curator insight, September 23, 2018 3:43 PM
Nicaragua's present situation is an example of how out-of-touch leaders can ruin a country The president-dictator, Ortega, and his co-dictator wife, Murillo, have been in power since 2007 ruling with deaf ears and black hearts. Due to their recent decision to raise the cost of social security while reducing its benefits (something truly bizarre), civil unrest has spilled into the streets permeating throughout the whole country. To quell the anger, Ortega had his soldiers open fire on protesters (another bizarre decision). Average Nicaraguan citizens are enraged and ready for a change of power. 

Ortega first took power in 1979 when his socialist "junta" overthrew an oppressive right-wing regime. Essentially one group of extremists replaced another. The situation only worsened with the involvement of the U.S. Seeing the pro-Soviet Marxist takeover in its geographic backyard, Ronald Reagan authorized military support for a group of right-wing counter-revolutionaries (known in Spanish as 'Contras') who used terrorism to retake the government. Ortega was removed from power in 1990. The  article points out that the C.I.A. backed Contras led to the destruction of the Nicaraguan economy. The United States is a paradox as it raves about democracy at home but goes out of its way to support extremist regimes with little regard to human rights abroad. This self-serving "my interests above all" attitude will only come back to haunt the U.S. as chronic instability in its backyard can spill over to other countries and slither its way to the U.S. border. 

A salient feature of dictatorships, like Ortega's regime, is that they control the media and the news. Only two newspaper outlets, La Prensa and Confidencial, stand independently to oppose the government's "official narrative." Interestingly enough, Ortega and Murillo's children run the pro-government media outlets - illustrating how close family connections between business and government are unhealthy for society. These kindred relations weaken checks and balances because of conflicts of interest.

Two things to take away from this article: One is that the U.S. needs to either cease meddling in foreign affairs or be much more careful. The second is that this scenario serves as a reason why the world needs transparent democratic societies. This latter form of governance ensures that no single group can hold onto power for so long, becoming insensitive to the needs of the people, and continuing to rule simply to hold onto power. 

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Why South Asia’s majorities act like persecuted minorities

Why South Asia’s majorities act like persecuted minorities | Geography Education |

“Mukul Kesavan, a perceptive Indian historian, sees this region-wide propensity for majoritarian nationalism as a sad if natural outcome of the awkward struggle to build new nation-states. The most egregious recent example is Myanmar, whose 90% Buddhist majority felt so threatened by a Rohingya Muslim minority of barely 1% that it sanctioned burning, pillage, murder, rape and enforced exile. Bangladesh chased non-Muslim tribes into India, and its once large and prosperous Hindu minority has dwindled alarmingly in the face of constant pressure. In the name of orthodoxy, extremists in Pakistan have viciously hounded not only Christians and Hindus but also Shia Muslims, Ahmadis and allegedly unorthodox Sufis. Sinhalese have historically dominated the island [of Sri Lanka], a fact forcefully reasserted in 2009 when the Sri Lankan army brought to a bloody end a 26-year-long insurgency by mostly Hindu ethnic Tamils, the largest minority group.”


Tags: religionethnicity, South Asiaregions, politicalconflict

Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 7:13 PM
The printed version of this story was titled "They're all out to get us" which is very fitting. In the world today there is another swing on the pendulum towards nationalism and with that goes xenophobia. The fear of outsiders, of those different from yourself who are trying to take over the country. It is hard not to see the parallels between these South Asian countries and the United States where for the last few years we have seen a major increase in xenophobia and racial/religious dog whistling in politics. In South Asia, this is seen not as an anti-colonial blowback but as  "the majoritarian logic of ethnic nationalism".
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The Age of Borders

The Age of Borders | Geography Education |

"The creation date of (almost) every international border.  Full-size image here."


Tags: infographic, worldwide, borders, political, historical.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, February 24, 2018 3:04 AM
Political Unit: History of  borders
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 2018 11:33 AM

Preliminary - Political Geography 

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Borders and the Arctic Ocean

The ice in the Arctic is disappearing. Melting Arctic ice means new economic opportunities: trade routes in the Arctic ocean, and access to natural resources. Because of this, the Arctic nations are now moving to expand their border claims. Russia has shown that it’s the most ambitious, using a potent combination of soft power and military buildup to advance its agenda. They’ve said the Arctic is rightfully theirs.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is the second video in "Vox borders" series that is shaping up to be an excellent resources for geography educators.  This focus is on Svalbard and Russia's designs within the Arctic, but this TestTube episode is a shorter version that emphasizes how receding summer ice is being seen as an economic opportunity for all maritime claims in the Arctic.  Canada, the U.S., Russia, and Denmark (Greenland) all are subtly expanding their maritime claims.


Questions to Ponder: How do borders impact the develop/preservation of the Arctic?  How should uninhabited lands and waters be administered politically?



Matt Manish's curator insight, February 17, 2018 3:31 AM
Since the 1980's a significant amount of ice in Antarctic ocean has melted away. This is a big deal because this is causing the changing of borders in this part of the world. With all the ice melting in Antarctica, this opens up new shipping lanes with much faster routes. This also makes it much easier for to drill for natural resources such as gas and oil, that were once difficult to get to because they were covered in ice. This is causing countries like Russia, Canada, Finland, and others to desire for new borders to be drawn up, hopefully in favor of their nation. Russia has even started developing military bases on some of the coast line that is opening up in Antarctica. It will be interesting to see how the borders in the Arctic circle are going to change and how it will also effect world trade in that part of the world.
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 2018 11:36 AM

Preliminary - Political Geography 

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 2018 8:09 PM
In this video, Vox Borders looks into who owns the Arctic. Because of the significant melting ice, the water ways of the Arctic may be opening up… this video looks into the efforts that Russia has made to declare the region. For example, off the coast of Russia, near the north pole lies a mining town, that was established to make sure Russia has a spot that they can declare as their own in the Arctic.
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Pro-Israeli perspective in UNHRC

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


Tags: Israel, PalestineNGOs, political, Middle East.

Douglas Vance's curator insight, March 22, 2018 4:27 PM
Although biased, it is incredible to observe how it is possible to manipulate facts and realities to support your position by taking the out of context. It is clear that many predominantly Muslim nations are trying to actively undermine Israel and its power on the world stage. This video also does a tremendous job of pointing out that all of these nations who are opposing Israel also have a small Jewish population, yet almost gloss over and try to ignore their very existence. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 5:10 AM
This gentleman gives you an eye opener on how little the Israel/Palestine conflict is looked at. Even more so the Israeli people are neglected and not even thought of during these conferences. They need to stop ignoring the issues and start to work on the situations at hand. 
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Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy

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

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


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


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

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 30, 2018 9:02 PM
(Africa) Somaliland, an universally unrecognized state in Somalia, recently held it's sixth peaceful election. Originally a British colony that then merged with Italian Somalia, Somaliland declared independence in 1991, leaving the rest of the war-torn and lawless country. Despite their constitution and pursuit of democracy, no other country will acknowledge their sovereignty to prevent other African separatist movements. Usually democratic reform in Africa comes from foreign aid but without external help citizens of Somaliland created a working representative system. Yet, like most of the continent, corruption and delayed elections poses a problem for the autonomous state, and it is hard to tell the future of the only democracy in east Africa.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, March 31, 2018 11:14 PM
Although it is not recognized as its own country Somaliland is Somalia's strongest state. Surrounded by dictatorships, Somaliland built a strong state by creating a strong contract between the government the people. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 6:48 PM
Although plagued by many of the problems facing African democracies; corruption, abuse of power and delayed elections, Somaliland remains one of the bright spots of African democratic movements. The natural democratic development of the autonomous state within Somalia has been a prime example of how a relatively stable democracy can develop when people can trust the government and are left to their own means to form a free and open government.
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Singapore passport becomes 'most powerful' in the world

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

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


Tag: SingaporeSouthEastAsia, politicaldevelopment.

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

1. Singapore

2. Germany

3. Sweden

3. South Korea

4. Denmark

4. Finland

4. Italy

4. France

4. Spain

4. Norway

4. Japan

4. United Kingdom

5. Luxembourg

5. Switzerland

5. Netherlands

5. Belgium

5. Austria

5. Poland

6. Malaysia

6. Ireland

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

6. Canada

7. Greece

7. New Zealand

7. Australia

David Stiger's curator insight, November 27, 2018 6:22 PM
This articles highlights the logistics and technical minutia of globalization in real life. When people think about people traveling, it is easy to forget that there are barriers such as visas. Depending on the prestige and status of a country, a passport can allow a traveler to enter a foreign land visa free or at least hassle free. As the world becomes more interdependent and borders lose their strict nationalistic rigidity, this ability to traverse freely and more easily is important. One might not think that the small nation of Singapore now has the most capable passport out of 195 countries worldwide. Once tied with Germany to access 158 countries visa-free, Singapore pulled ahead when Paraguay reduced its visa restrictions for Singapore. This serves as another sign that Asia and the "global south" is truly catching up to the Western world. As these other nations catch up to the West's development, even surpassing the West's premier status, people's attitudes will eventually change towards these Asian, African, and Latin American nations. The positive associations will attract more business and more travel giving rise to new opportunities and stronger globalized connections. In the end, Singapore's win over Germany in international travel is a victory for globalization. Now whether one thinks globalization is good or bad is another matter entirely. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 9:37 PM
The Singaporean passport is the most powerful passport in the world, which is a great tagline but what does it mean? Well, passports are created for you to travel between borders and usually to create to another country you need to obtain a visa, but if you have a passport from Singapore you now have the most visa-less passport in the world. Allowing you to travel more freely and will allow many people better opportunities. 
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 17, 2018 4:26 PM
Singapore has become the holder of the most powerful passport in the world. This means that people from this country has free access to the most countries around the world. America thought they had the most powerful visa in the world however that's the farthest from the truth. Since Donald Trump has become president America's visa has gone down even more while Singapore has been quietly climbing the totem pole.
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Left For Dead: Myanmar’s Muslim Minority

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


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

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 8:14 AM
This kind of ethnic conflict within a country is, in part, a result of colonial borders ignoring ethnic boundaries. The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in a Buddhist majority country, and they are extremely vulnerable to the ethnic cleansing currently happening. The systemic destruction of villages, massacres, and gang rapes by Buddhist vigilantes and Myanmar's military is nothing short of genocide, wiping out the Rohingya by killing them or forcing them to flee the country.
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New census data projects which states could gain or lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment

New census data projects which states could gain or lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment | Geography Education |
the Census Bureau released its population estimates for 2017 for every state, detailing how many residents each state has gained or lost since the 2010 census. The firm Election Data Services has used these estimates to project how many congressional seats each state might gain or lose in the 2020 round of reapportionment, which assigns each state its share of the House’s 435 districts based on its population.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Reapportionment is a forgotten step.  Before a state can redistrict the congressional districts within the state, every 10 years, the Federal government is constitutionally required to conduct a census with the main goal of being able to reapportion the congressional seats based on the decennial census.  The upcoming 2020 Census is big deal, showing regional population shifts with political ramifications.   

Tags: electoral, political, mapping.

WordPress TAGS: electoral,  political, mapping.

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The Root Causes of Food Insecurity

Why are some communities more vulnerable to hunger and famine? There are many reasons, which together add up to food insecurity, the world's no.1 health risk.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is an excellent summary of the geographic factors that lead to food insecurity and hunger and the main ways NGO's are trying to combat the issues. This is an incredibly complex problem that, at it's heart, is a geographic issue that can challenge student to synthesize information and make the connections between topics. Tags: food, poverty, economic, political, food desert, agriculture, food production.

WordPress TAGS: food, poverty, economic, Political, food desert, agriculture, food production.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, October 12, 2018 3:21 PM
Unit 5 Ag 
Albahae Geography's curator insight, December 4, 2018 4:22 PM
Share your insight
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Classifying languages is about politics as much as linguistics

Classifying languages is about politics as much as linguistics | Geography Education |
CROSS the boundaries of the former Yugoslavia and you face a few hassles.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The linguistic differences between languages can be slight, but if politics and identity are involved (as they invariably are), these small linguistic differences can seem massive.  "Languages" can occasionally be dialects with their own armies. tags: languageculture, borders, political, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia.

WordPress TAGS: language, culture, borders, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia.

K Rome's curator insight, October 7, 2018 12:37 AM

The linguistic differences between languages can be slight, but if politics and identity are involved (as they invariably are), these small linguistic differences can seem massive.  "Languages" can occasionally be dialects with their own armies. tags: languageculture, borders, political, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia.

WordPress TAGS: language, culture, borders, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Slovenia.

Nancy Watson's curator insight, October 12, 2018 3:23 PM
Political unit 
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How to tell when criticism of Israel is actually anti-Semitism

How to tell when criticism of Israel is actually anti-Semitism | Geography Education |
Calling out human rights violations shouldn’t stray into bias against Jews.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a very partisan article, but some of the ideas brought up in it are worth discussion in non-partisan settings as well.  The author takes a very liberal perspective critiquing Israeli policies, while loving Judaism, Jewish history, and the right of the Israeli state to exist.  Blanket "good guys" and "bad guys" narratives are always sloppy, but in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict it may be even more pernicious.  


Tagsop-ed, Israel Judaism conflict, political, Middle East.

David Stiger's curator insight, November 1, 2018 12:59 AM
Two things to take away from this well-written article. It is important for critics of the Zionist movement and of Israel (the nation-state) to always bear in mind that the Jewish people are very diverse in both their backgrounds and their views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No single entity, specifically the Israeli government or army, speaks on behalf of all Jewish people. The second takeaway is being on the lookout for coded language that guises itself as political rhetoric leveled against Israel the state but, in reality, the subtext is covertly anti-Semitic. In place of verbally attacking "the Jews" some people may state "the Zionists" or reference a global Zionist conspiracy theory. Zionism is a specific movement within Judaism advocating for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in the ancestral land of Judea/Israel/Canaan/Palestine (or as the Romans called the region, the Levant). Considering these valid points, it must be said that it is okay to criticize the state of Israel and specific actions it has taken against Palestine. But, when doing so, critics must be careful in their choice of words so as not to accidentally encourage anti-Semitic ideas. It is important to note that some Israeli Jews, and some other Arab Jews, disapprove of Israel's human rights violations but still might support having a homeland of their own. It is also worth noting that a person can be a Zionist without condoning the current government and military forces of Israel. One can be a Zionist and pro-Palestinian. In being critical, it is important to monitor the passions and anger that may arise, and not paint the world in black and white. There is always nuance. And there is enough anti-Semitism in the world without liberals who are pro-Palestinian unintentionally adding any more fan to the flames. 
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Peru gives landlocked Bolivia a piece of Pacific coast to call its own

Peru gives landlocked Bolivia a piece of Pacific coast to call its own | Geography Education |

"It might be a strip of sand without even a jetty but a small stretch of the Pacific coast now harbors Bolivia's dream of regaining a coast and becoming a maritime nation. The landlocked Andean country has won access to a desolate patch of Peru's shoreline, fueling hopes that Bolivia will once again have a sea to call its own. President Evo Morales signed a deal yesterday with his Peruvian counterpart, Alan García, allowing Bolivia to build and operate a small port about 10 miles from Peru's southern port of Ilo. The accord, sealed with declarations of South American brotherhood, was a diplomatic poke at Chile, the neighbor that seized Bolivia's coast and a swath of Peruvian territory in the 1879-84 war of the Pacific."

Seth Dixon's insight:

How important is a coastline to the economic viability of a country in the global market and to for the country's geopolitical strengthen?  Ask the countries without one. 


TagsSouth America, Bolivia, economictransportation, political, coastal, borders.


Albahae Geography's curator insight, July 22, 2018 3:48 PM
Unit 4
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 30, 2018 3:24 AM
Having access to a coast provides many benefits to a country. If Peru follows through and allows Bolivia use of the coast, both countries may profit from the deal. If Bolivia is unable to gain access to the coast it will continue to be dependent on neighboring countries.   
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, September 30, 2018 3:40 AM
A deal between the two countries of Peru and Bolivia giving the latter a small stretch of land to call their own. This is a win for Bolivia who had been left without a coastal shore since Chile took their land in the late 19th century during the War of the Pacific. As both a sign of friendship and a dig on Chile, Peru leased out a "1.4 square mile patch of sand" to Bolivia for 99 years. Morales, the leader of Bolivia, knows how much a port would do for the country being able to export more goods, dock naval vessels and bring more trade and investment into the country. 
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The Democrats’ Gentrification Problem

The Democrats’ Gentrification Problem | Geography Education |
Allies on Election Day, the two wings of the Democratic Party are growing further estranged in other aspects of their lives.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is more partisan source/part of the topic than I'd want to share with my human geography classes, but the ideas, patterns, and impacts are all about principles discussed in the AP Human Geography course articulation. 


Tags: neighborhoodpolitical, gentrificationurban, place, economic.   

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China will soon have air power rivaling the West’s - No longer just catch-up

China will soon have air power rivaling the West’s - No longer just catch-up | Geography Education |

“China’s president, Xi Jinping, wants to be able to challenge America’s military might in the western Pacific. He is making big progress. China’s once bloated armed forces are becoming leaner and a lot more capable. They are also benefiting from a defense budget that is growing at a steady 6-7% a year, in line with GDP. The IISS declares that China has become an innovator in military technology and is not merely ‘catching up’ with the West. For some of the most advanced science, Mr. Xi is tapping the private sector. The Pentagon has to woo skeptical Silicon Valley companies; firms in China do what the government tells them to do. In two years’ time, if not before, America is likely to lose its monopoly of radar-beating stealth combat aircraft with the introduction into service of China’s Chengdu J-20.”


Tags: political, military, China, geopolitics, East Asia.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 2018 3:56 PM
From reading this article, it is clear for one to see that China is not just "catching up" to America with their military technology, but are becoming a true rival. The President of China is clearly putting a larger emphasis on restructuring the Chinese military. The Chinese government is also trimming the fat their military has had before in the past and creating a larger, more organized budget for their military branch. One major advantage China has over America, is that its private sector non-state tech firms have to do what their government tells them to do. Unlike the American government where they have to create deals and contracts with non-state tech firms for new military technology. This allows China to demand whatever they want from their tech firms in order to advance their military technology. Although, as long as American tech firms continue improve in their technology at an advanced rate and maintain a good relationship with the American government, the U.S. military will continue to be a strong rival in the present day arms race. It remains clear though, that America will indeed have to break a sweat in order to supersede China in regards to advancement in military technology. 
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 30, 2018 4:21 AM
While it is always possible for a country to increase it's strength. It is still a slightly unsettling reality knowing this increases their influence on the globe, while opening the possibility of future confrontation from an equal military force.
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The Two Koreas

The Two Koreas | Geography Education |

"While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. What follows is a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and where the crisis could go from here. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate rulers of the peninsula. Tensions between north and south gradually mounted, until finally, in June 1950, hundreds of thousands of North Korean troops stormed across the 38th parallel. The unsuspecting South Korean defenders were outgunned and outnumbered, and beat a hasty retreat southward."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This excellent interactive was created by Esri's Story Maps team using the Story Map Cascade app--making it an great resources of the geography of the Korean Peninsula as well as a stellar example of how maps, infographics, videos, images and text can be combined using ArcGIS online.


Tags: mappingESRIStoryMapinfographic, visualizationNorth KoreaSouth Korea, East Asiaborders, political, geopolitics, historical.

Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 10, 2018 2:10 AM
The two Koreas are polar opposites literally, North and South. The Korean war that took place some 68 years ago never formally ended because they could not come to peace agreements. So the border between North and South Korea known as the DMZ is the most heavily fortified border in the world because tensions still run high. The DMZ is the cease fire line. Both sides fear invasion, however in the current state of things it seems as if the North is more aggressive towards invasion that the South, as the South has found some secret tunnels and fear there's more by the North Koreans. Economically the North is severely behind in the world because of there dictators. While the South has become an economic Tiger thanks to the UN and USA trying to promote democracy in the area.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 8:51 PM
The two Koreas are a great example of how Capitalism, Democracy, and liberty are far better than Communism. Just the difference in light visible from satellites at night in the two countries speaks volumes. The war being technically not over and only under cease-fire always leaves that chance for the conflict to reopen. Though today they are taking major steps toward peace and making moves that have never been done before. The amount of famine and overall  sub quality of life in North Korea is mind blowing, and with much of it kept secret its hard to imagine how bad it really is.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 8:54 PM
For the two Korean nations, there are stark contrasts in the standard of living and wealth of the people. While the Korean war began in the 1950's it never formally ended a ceasefire was called and has just not flared up in a massive battle again. The two nations are uneasy with each other having different ideas for what Korea should be, but both nations do want a joint Korea. Looking at a map of the energy consumption by the two nations there is a line between those who have it and those who do not. These two have shown solidarity as well in the Olympics joining as one nation, but tensions will continue to flare for a long time.
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Za'atari Camp

Za'atari Camp | Geography Education |

"Spongebob Squarepants has been painted on the entire side of one caravan, and an Arabic phrase has been gracefully painted on another. This kind of incongruity I see throughout the camp. Two women are dressed in traditional full-length hijabs, for example, but the man behind them is wearing a Golden State Warriors t-shirt. A man in a robe encourages a donkey to pull a cart, yet right past him are young boys with smartphones huddled near a fence looking for better cell reception. A little further down the road and on my right I see a shoeless kid laughing and rolling a tire, but on my left, I spot a vast number of solar-powered panels. This constant juxtaposition is jarring and yet beautiful, and I am taken back by the energy of the place."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is from the other Professor Dixon, my brother Shane, an ESL professor at Arizona State who travels abroad frequently to train ESL teachers around the world (he's taught MOOCs and is a rock star in the ESL world--trust me--he's awesome).  I was thrilled to hear that he would not only be going to Jordan, but working within the Za'atari refugee camp.  He's a keen observer of the cultural and urban landscapes. 


TagsMiddleEast, Jordan, political, refugees.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 15, 2017 3:01 AM

What is it like i a refugee camp? A juxtaposition of conflicting images. 

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Capital Jerusalem

Capital Jerusalem | Geography Education |

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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


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

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 7, 2018 2:12 PM
It was a major move by the Trump administration with far reaching complications.  Now it if you take out all of the past history in the area and all of the future political/military problems in the area does it make sense to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, well yes. However, in this world that we live in it surely is not that simple. With the past, current, and future arguments in the area between Israel and the Palestine's this further creates a rift between both and probably takes us further away from a resolution. From a geography and economic perspective Jerusalem would be a great central location in which to work from, however since there is so much contested space there it simply does not work. It isn't always the best place from a geographical standpoint (although in an ideal world that be perfect), but the one in our current political climate that makes the most sense for ones own country. This is a decision that we will have to look back at for the next decade or so and see eventually the impact that it will have on the current situation. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, March 22, 2018 4:36 PM
The decision by the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the capital of Israel totally and absolutely undermines almost any chance at a two state solution. With this declaration, the US has taken sides and the idea that a two state solution with a Jerusalem under international government has essentially vanished. Even if the US were to reverse their decision in the future, the damage has already been done. 
David Stiger's curator insight, October 31, 2018 5:55 PM
Ever since taking an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during high school model U.N., I have always wondered how a two-state solution would deal with the city of Jerusalem. I wondered how any solution, single-state included, would handle the highly politicized, disputed ancient metropolis. While Jerusalem is Judaism's most holy city, it is the third most holy city in Islam - a faith with 1.6 billion adherents compared to 14 million Jews. Simply stated, both faiths are equally deserving of the right to live in, worship in, and experience Jerusalem. Because of this reality, it would be grossly unfair and unjust let only one faction inherit and rule the city. As the author Emmett argues, President Trump's decision to support permanent Israeli control over the city was a mistake - pure folly that will only exacerbate tensions. If the city cannot just be handed over to one side, another solution must be offered.

 I once thought it would be wise to divide split Jerusalem - what Emmett calls "scattered sovereignty. The division would have to be considered because Arab and Israeli neighborhoods are mixed together. As a non-partisan, peace, it would seem, should be the ultimate aim as coexistence through compromise would benefit the most amount of people in the Israel-Palestinian region. After this article introduced the concept of an "internationalized city," it would seem best that Jerusalem take this route. No one has claim to the city because all have valid claims. This sentiment echoes the ideas established in 1948 under the United Nations Resolution 194. Following through on this idea would take the supercharged, contentious issue of control over Jerusalem off the table allowing peace negotiations to move forward. 
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Divided island: How Haiti and the DR became two worlds

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

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


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


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

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 14, 2018 1:41 AM
This video is extremely interesting seeing as it points out the differences between two very different worlds that are only separated by a single border. The video shows how racist the Dominicans are to their neighbors and shows us how the Haitians live under such scrutiny. On each end of the border, there are two markets that are supposed to allow both the Haitians and the Dominicans to trade their goods, however, the strict border patrol officers keep the Haitians from entering until their neighbors have set up their shops at the best spots. The director of the video also notes that he believes the reason Haiti is much poorer than the Dominican Republic stems all the way back to when they were colonies of France and Spain. 
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 5:47 PM
I found this video to be very insightful into the relationship Haiti has with the Dominican Republic and how the Haitian government has formed into what it is today. It was especially informative for myself because I didn't know very much about these countries before watching this video. I knew Haiti was the first slave colony to have a successful revolt against their slave holders, but I didn't know or realize all the consequences of that slave uprising. It seems like Haiti wasn't given a proper chance right off the bat to succeed as a nation. The French overworked their land and destroyed the soil which is still a problem today. Once Haiti declared independence, many nations enforced embargoes on Haiti because it was considered a threat due to it being a black republic, which strangled their potential for a strong economy. Adding to that France demanded a large sum of money from Haiti after they declared independence because France was upset about losing profits from the colony, which hindered the Haitian economy even more. It's too bad that Haiti got a bad hand of cards right from the beginning, I hope that one day they can rise above adversity, and truly flourish as a nation.
tyrone perry's curator insight, March 15, 2018 2:43 AM
watching this showed many disturbing facts about the island shared by the D.R. and Haiti.  because of both of their previous owners the island went in two different directions.  Haiti owned by the French brought over many slaves to pillage and exploit their side of the Island.  Haiti could not flourish because of racism and debt.  D.R. had a different history the Spaniards integrated with the locals and worked together to help the country grow.  they took care of their land and their was no racism playing any role in destroying the people of that country.  driving up and down the you can see the difference on both sides.  Haiti has a bare and eroded land while the D.R. has lush jungles.  according to the narrator there is strong racism towards the Haitians by the Dominicans.  Even thou they both share the island the Dominicans look down on the Haitians and refuse to help them even thou D.R. is a so to speak rich nation they could really help improve and grow both nations as a whole.  Its sad to see that the reason people cant grow is because of systemic and blatant racism. 
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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.