Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Using the Streamer App

Tutorial on how to use the National Atlas Streamer interactive mapping tool. This map allows you to explore the rivers, streams, and brooks of the United States. Trace these bodies of water upstream to their sources or downstream to their emptying points, and view a detailed report on the traces path.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Streamer is the online mapping application that lets anyone explore downstream and upstream along America’s rivers and streams. Streamer can be used to follow the paths of rivers up to their headwaters and down to the sea, to view location-related information such as weather radar and near real-time streamflow data, and to discover hydrologic connections between distant places.

GeoEd TAGS: water, mapping, physical, fluvial, regions.

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Chart of the World Economy

Chart of the World Economy | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Latest estimates put the world economy at about $80 trillion in nominal GDP. Here is how each individual country stacks up in terms of size."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This chart is reminiscent of another chart depicting the global economy.  Like so many things floating out there on the interwebs, it's  good but not perfect.  Part of what we need to do as educators is to help them assess the validity of online resources.   

Questions to Ponder: What data was used to create this chart?  Any limitation to that data/data source?  Do you agree with the regional divisions in the color scheme and where the countries were slotted? What other information would help contextualize this information? 

 

GeoEd Tags: globalization, industry, economic, visualization.

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The Xinjiang Conflict: Uyghur Identity, Language Policy, and Political Discourse

The Xinjiang Conflict: Uyghur Identity, Language Policy, and Political Discourse | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This study explores Chinese language policy and language use in Inner Asia, as well as the relation of language policy to the politics of Uyghur identity. Language is central to ethnic identity, and official language policies are often overlooked as critical factors in conflict over ethnic nationalism.
Seth Dixon's insight:

A while back I wrote this blogpost for the National Geographic Education Blog about the Uyghur people of Eastern Turkestan.  The cultural policies of assimilation that are working to erase Eastern Turkestan and more fully make it Xinjiang are politically powerful, but the situation is more pressing that most people today realize. This academic article, The Xinjiang Conflict: Uyghur Identity, Language Policy, and Political Discourse, is an excellent primer to the cultural and political complexities of this place with two names where East Asia and Central Asia meet. 

 

GeoEd Tags: political, conflict, governance, China, East Asia, religion, culture, Islam, landscape.

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How Barcelona is taking city streets back from cars

"Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Walkable cities improve the local economy and many cities are working to improve their walkability.  Cities can improve sidewalks, decrease parking lots, beautify storefronts and add other amenities that encourage walking. Neighborhoods that are very walkable often have a vibrant sense of place.  This article (and the embedded video) nicely explain many issues surrounding walkable urban environments.   

 

GeoEd Tags: urban, place, neighborhood, transportation, planning, urbanism, architecture.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, May 10, 5:46 AM
Enhancing urban places and liveability
The Library Patch's curator insight, May 12, 1:38 AM
The most walkable cities are the ones with parks embedded, for example Sofia, Bulgaria.
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Why Colombia has taken in 1 million Venezuelans

"Colombia is currently dealing with a massive wave of refugees coming from Venezuela. Venezuelans are fleeing their home because of a severe economic crisis under President Nicolas Maduro. There are high inflation rates and there isn’t enough food available for people within Venezuela to even eat. Thousands of Venezuelans cross the Simon Bolivar bridge located at Cúcuta every day and Colombia doesn’t seem to be turning anyone way. This borders episode looks at why Colombia doesn’t turn away these refugees, the shared history of the two nations and how there may be a limit to Colombia’s acceptance of incoming Venezuelans."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Vox border series is one of Youtube series that is the most infused with geographic themes and concepts.  If you haven't yet discovered this yet, this episode is a great introduction to current issues in both Colombia and Venezuela.  This is also a curious case because it gets so close to the line of what we consider voluntary and involuntary migration. 

 

GeoEd Tags: South America, Venezuela, Colombia, borders, migration, poverty.

Scoop.it TagsSouth America, Venezuela, Colombia, borders, migration, poverty.

 

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Frances Meetze's curator insight, June 12, 12:00 PM
Use for Migration - involuntary v. voluntary
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Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on the planet. But its benefits mask enormous dangers to the planet, to human health – and to culture itself. Our blue and green world is becoming greyer by the second. If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world with up to 2.8bn tonnes."

 

GeoEd Tags: industry, sustainability, consumption, climate change, environment, architecture, resources.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 30, 5:44 AM
Natural resources
Owenchung's comment, May 13, 11:45 PM
terrible .
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Will the Supreme Court End Gerrymandering?

Will the Supreme Court End Gerrymandering? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Justices will be reviewing the case of North Carolina, where Republicans drew a map to maximize their power in the House. Plaintiffs challenging the map say it’s unconstitutional. A companion case centers on Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, which Democrats admit they redrew in 2011 to make it harder for the Republican incumbent there to win re-election. The two cases hold the potential to set the course of American politics for generations."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: Do you trust the politicians that are in charge of your state to create better districts than a computer-generated set of districts that are optimized for compactness?  What are some of the potential limitations of compact districts?  Would an independent committee/bipartisan group do a better job?

GeoEd Tags: gerrymandering, political, mapping, cartography, unit 4 political.

Tags: gerrymandering, politicalmapping, cartography, unit 4 political.

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China's hidden camps

China's hidden camps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What's happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang?
Seth Dixon's insight:

A few years ago, I wrote an article for National Geographic's education blog about Eastern Turkestan, and the policies of cultural assimilation that the China is using to more fully make this place become Xinjiang.  This BBC interactive (as well as this NY Times article) is the update to understand how extensive the human rights violations are as re-education camps/detention centers have been used in the last few years to hide away political dissidents and those practicing tradition Uyghur (Uighur) customs.  This video from the Economist highlights how the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have not been able to participate in China's recent economic growth as fully because of governmental policies.  According to U.S. State Department, the number of people forced into these camps is at least 800,000, but potentially over 2 million.     

GeoEd Tags: Central Asia, culture, China, East Asia.

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The changing face of Japan: labour shortage opens doors to immigrant workers

The changing face of Japan: labour shortage opens doors to immigrant workers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Japan – once one of the world’s most homogenous societies – is starting to unwind its traditional opposition to large-scale immigration
Seth Dixon's insight:

Japan is one of the closest examples of a nation-state.  And like Iceland, that is in part because the ocean historically has acted as a massive barrier to cultural diffusion and migration. Today though, modern transportation makes that barrier negligible.  Cultural attitudes have continued to not favor international immigration but their declining population has forced a change towards the end of 2018 (see any of theses five articles from Washington Post, Japanese Times, Nippon.com, the Guardian, and the Diplomat).

Japan has traditionally been one on the countries most opposed to allowing large number of migrants into their country.  The administration is still presenting themselves as tough on immigration; the 2018 policy change will allow semi-skilled workers to enter Japan for 5 years, but they cannot bring their family members with them, and they still must pass a Japanese-language exam.  These shifts are not an abandonment of policies that seek to preserve cultural homogeneity, but they are also an acknowledgement of the demographic realities and struggles of a declining population.     

Until 2018, Japanese policy only highly-skilled migrants were allowed in to Japan, with advantages given to those with Japanese ancestry.  However, these stringent migration policies coupled with Japan’s declining birth rates meant that Japan’s population was declining substantially enough to negatively impact their economy.  There were foreign workers filling in the gaps, but only 20% of those workers had functioning work visas under the old prohibitive system. This new policy is primarily aimed at replacing workers in sectors that are facing severe labor shortages, that are being classified as “semi-skilled workers.”  The law is trying to walk a fine line, trying to bring in more workers to Japan while simultaneously making it very difficult still trying to make it very tough for these workers to settle permanently in Japan. This will have a significant impact on Japanese society, and in the near future, it’s cultural institutions.   

 

GeoEd Tags: Japan, East Asia, declining population, migration.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 6, 9:22 PM

Population 

Frances Meetze's curator insight, June 12, 12:01 PM
Insight on Population issues and migration in Japan
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Kazakhstan renames capital of Astana to Nur-Sultan

Kazakhstan renames capital of Astana to Nur-Sultan | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Astana has been renamed as Nur-Sultan, as a tribute to former leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who recently resigned. Astana replaced Almaty as the capital in 1997 and boomed from a minor provincial steppe town into a futuristic city. The name Astana literally means 'capital' in Kazakh and there has long been speculation it could, at some point, be renamed after the leader who shaped it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

St. Petersburg was the classic example of a forward capital that was renamed after the visionary leader responsible for that change.  The world now has another example of this phenomenon. 

 

GeoEd Tags: political, Central Asia, Kazakhstan.

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Trump: Time to recognise Golan Heights as Israeli territory

Trump: Time to recognise Golan Heights as Israeli territory | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Israel has occupied the strategic plateau since capturing it from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. There are more than 30 Jewish settlements on the heights, with an estimated 20,000 settlers.

There are some 20,000 Syrians in the area, most of them members of the Druze sect."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I had my class all ready to go, and then this happened. The Golan Heights is a small chunk of land, 3 times larger than Rhode Island, is far more important geopolitically than its size would indicate. This land is Israeli controlled, but internationally still considered a part of Syria, much like Russia controls Crimea, but it is still internationally recognized as a part of Ukraine.   Not surprisingly, Syria has condemned these statements from the President of the United States as have many members of the international community

 

GeoEd Tags: Syria, Israel, political, MiddleEast, geopolitics.

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Why China Ended its One-Child Policy

"China has huge ambitions for the 21st century. But it’s demographic problems will be a significant challenge on the way there."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I know that YOU know that China ended the One-Child Policy, but many incoming college freshman have a world view about population that is a generation behind on many of the current population trends.  This video discusses most of the APHG population topics using China as the world's most important population case study--that makes this video excellent to show in a regional or human geography course.

 

GeoEd Tags: China, population, industry, development, statistics, economic, video, APHG.

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U.S. Counties Vary by Their Degree of Partisan Prejudice

U.S. Counties Vary by Their Degree of Partisan Prejudice | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A guide to the most—and least—politically open-minded counties in America
Seth Dixon's insight:

I would like to start off by saying that I've lived in Red America and Blue America, and I love the people and places of both.  This is a fascinating set of maps because it isn't just about where are the Republicans and Democrats--we've all seen those maps.  More important to to me is attempting to discern where people can still see their neighbors as neighbors, even if they strongly disagree politically.  "In general, the most politically intolerant Americans, according to the analysis, tend to be whiter, more highly educated, older, more urban, and more partisan themselves."

 

 

GeoEd TAGS: electoral,  political, mapping.

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2019 APHG Reading Professional Development Files

2019 APHG Reading Professional Development Files | Geography Education | Scoop.it
I was delighted to have Dr. Alexander (Alec) Murphy be our professional development night speaker. He was one the members of the very first test development committee that made the idea of AP Human Geography to become a reality. His talk spoke about that history of the early days launching APHG, and the all-important topic, GEOGRAPHY: WHY IT MATTERS. His passion for geography education was only matched by his incredible teaching style that had the audience enraptured (he kindly shared this PDF of his slides with us).
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The Documentary Podcast, Balkan Border Wars - Serbia and Kosovo

The Documentary Podcast, Balkan Border Wars - Serbia and Kosovo | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Old enemies Serbia and Kosovo discuss what for some is unthinkable - an ethnic land swap
Seth Dixon's insight:

Land swaps are about fixing problematic borders–and we know that the world is full of problematic, contentious, and disputed borders.  Yet land swap are incredibly rare because it upends the status quo.  A few years back Belgium and Netherlands swapped some land, but more often then not, calls to simply give land to another country just because the land appears to be controlled by the ‘wrong’ country usually go unanswered.  This proposed swap is especially intriguing because (to an objective outside observer) it could benefit both countries and lead to a mutual recognition of their shared border.  Some argue that working this type of border/land-swap is not to different from the ethnic cleansing of yesteryear and won't lead to greater peace and regional cooperation. This series of maps highlights the ethnic, political, and geographic ramifications. 

 

GeoEd Tags: borders, political, territoriality, unit 4 political, Serbia, Kosovo, Europe.

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Shopping in Pyongyang, and Other Adventures in North Korean Capitalism

Shopping in Pyongyang, and Other Adventures in North Korean Capitalism | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Far from the stereotype of total economic isolation, the black market has brought a surprising degree of modernity and consumerism — for some."

Seth Dixon's insight:

It is very difficult to get reliable data, journalism, or any other form of analysis out of North Korea.  For decades, North Korea has consistently been the country with the least freedom of the press in the world (as ranked by Reporters without Borders metrics).  In the 1990s, North Korea’s official, socialist-run economy failed to provide enough food for the population, and the informal, underground of markets (jangmadang) became increasingly prevalent.  This article is a rare glimpse into the shadow economy and the merchants that grease the economic wheels in one of the most authoritarian countries of the world.     

 

GeoEd Tags: North Korea, East Asia, economic, labor.

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South Africa is the world's most unequal nation

South Africa is the world's most unequal nation | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Despite 25 years of democracy, South Africa remains the most economically unequal country in the world, according to the World Bank. If anything, South Africa is even more divided now than it was in 1994 as the legacy of apartheid endures. Previously disadvantaged South Africans hold fewer assets, have fewer skills, earn lower wages, and are still more likely to be unemployed, a 2018 World Bank report on poverty and inequality in South Africa found."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This CNN article takes a shocked tone, but that removes South Africa from it's historical and geographic context even if the outcome is unfortunate (as a bonus for educators, the article has a GINI reference in its analysis with the data charts).  Time's cover story is more detailed and nuanced. In the late 1980s, the apartheid system was becoming untenable; the injustices and discontent make the apartheid government unable to govern.  Both the government and activists recognized that change was necessary and compromises were needed to allow South Africa to move from the apartheid system of racial separation to nonracial democracy without falling apart.

The post-apartheid government guaranteed that while political power would be transferred, economic power would still stay ensconced in the hands of the land-owning elites, since there was to be no massive land redistribution. Neighboring Zimbabwe had disastrous land redistribution attempts and everyone wants to avoid economic chaos.  Land reform will be be a key issue in tomorrow's election (see this BBC article for more election issues).     

 

GeoEd Tags: South Africa, Africa, race, ethnicity, political, economic.

Scoop.it Tags: South Africa, Africarace, ethnicitypolitical, economic

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, May 10, 5:45 AM
Development
Owenchung's comment, May 13, 11:39 PM
OH,I SEE
Renee's curator insight, May 14, 5:41 AM
This article is a good resource that may be used for a case study in our unit because it highlights inequalities and issues affecting the development of South Africa and the impact it has on human wellbeing. Additionally, there are several useful data charts taken from credible sources. 
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India Is Changing Some Cities' Names, And Muslims Fear Their Heritage Is Being Erased

India Is Changing Some Cities' Names, And Muslims Fear Their Heritage Is Being Erased | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A generation ago, long before Modi (and the BJP) was in power, right-wing Hindu nationalist leaders in Maharashtra state renamed Bombay as Mumbai — a nod to the city's patron goddess Mumbadevi. Other cities followed: Madras became Chennai; Calcutta, Kolkata; Bangalore, Bengaluru. All the changes were a rejection of Anglicized names that came into use during British colonial rule. In the most recent wave of name changes, it's not about erasing colonial monikers. It's about erasing Muslim ones."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Indian officials have been altering toponyms to be more Hinducentric; this is a results of growing Hindu nationalism as an important element of modern Indian politics.  In another thematically similar, but regionally distinct example, we can see how place names matter in American cities.  When large corporations (like Google or Amazon) move in to a city,  the corporations might try to rename the neighborhoods and, in a sense, rebrand the place.    

Both examples show that the cultural landscape, including the names on them, are not just a passive reflection of the cultures that have shaped these places; they manifest the power dynamics of competing cultural groups seeking to assert their vision of place and culture to be physically manifested in public spaces. 

 

GeoEd Tags: culture, political, place, toponymsIndia, South Asia, Hinduism, historical.

Scoop.it Tagsculturepolitical, placetoponymsIndia, South Asia, Hinduism, historical.

 

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gara gewiki's comment, May 2, 2:12 AM
good
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Bir Tawil - the land that nobody wants

There's a patch of land between Egypt and Sudan that no country owns. Why? Can anybody claim it for themselves? (No.)
Seth Dixon's insight:

VIDEO SOURCE: If it's new to you, the Map Men YouTube channel is very entertaining with fun, quirky, interesting trivia, but most importantly, these videos are rooted in geographic concepts.  The Map Men, as Chris Fitch wrote, "tap into a rich vein of geographical quirks to teach through comedy."

 

VIDEO CONTENT: Both Sudan and Egypt claim the rightful border between their countries should include the Hala'ib Triangle on their side of the border.  This leaves Bir Tawil unclaimed and it pops up in the news when those hoping to create a micronation claim it.  This bizarre case exemplifies some important principles of political geography with a tangible example to test the limits of political sovereignty and what it take to be called a country.  If discussing the elements necessary to create a state, this article would help fuel a discussion, especially when some people are eager to create their own micronation.    

 

GeoEd Tags: mapping, fun, video, political, Sudan, Egypt.

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The demographic time bomb that could hit America

The demographic time bomb that could hit America | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Japan’s demographic crisis provides some lessons for where America might be headed."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This op-ed looks at the demographic trends of Japan's declining population and tries to see what this might mean for the United States. 

Questions to Ponder: What are the cultural and economic forces that lead to a declining population? What are some of the difficulties that confront countries with declining populations? 

 

GeoEd Tags: declining population, population, USA, Japan.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, April 19, 10:40 AM
Population unit 
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‘Seattle-ization’? American cities fear what’s happened here

‘Seattle-ization’? American cities fear what’s happened here | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In so many ways, Seattle is an amazing success story, thriving and economically vibrant, drawing thousands of people from around the country and the world. But we’ve also paid a hefty price for our success. The sudden injection of tech wealth has made Seattle a more exclusive place. It’s exacerbated inequalities, pushing people out of the city or even into homelessness. Rapid growth has taxed our infrastructure, and the debate over where to house all these new people has divided the city."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Here are three articles from West Coast cities  (Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego) all bemoaning the troubles/difficulties associated with the increasingly expensive housing markets that are negatively impacting the quality of life and the communities.  The three cities in question are all perceived as highly desirable places to live and many creative industries and businesses are flourishing in these areas. 

Rapid economic success will change a city--and reconfigure the spatial networks and the sense of place in many neighborhoods. As demand for new housing in exclusive neighborhoods grows, gentrification is but one of the processes that will impact the city. These are some of the most economically successful cities on the West Coast; but economic success for a region will also present new difficulties and challenges as many domestic and international migrants are attracted to these comes the areas. Virtually all of the cities that migrants are being pulled to for economic opportunities and cultural amenities are going to be experiencing some similar struggles.  

 

GeoEd Tags: neighborhood, gentrification, urban, place, economic, architecture.

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‘Ethnoburbs’: The New Face of Immigrant Cities

‘Ethnoburbs’: The New Face of Immigrant Cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Old settlement patterns have reversed, but old problems of adaptation remain. Immigrants still like to settle where immigrants have already settled (chain migration). Once word of the new ethnoburbs got around, they grew fast. Letters, phone calls, and then emails back to the old country, enticed others. In Richmond, one group held an extended debate with city hall over there being ‘too much’ Chinese writing on business signs. Residents of a condo building complained when the strata council held its meetings only in Mandarin. And just as in other parts of gateway cities, as wealthy Chinese buy properties in ethnoburbs, they have been blamed for driving prices out of local reach."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Residents of ethnoburbs often have transnational lives that fit into their countries of origin as well as their new homes.  Ethnoburbs are common in North America as well as Australia and New Zealand. 

Questions to Ponder: What similarities and differences do ethnoburbs have from other ethnic communities?  What similarities and differences do ethnoburbs have with other urban processes such as gentrification?

 

GeoEd TAGS: culture, historical, North America, ethnicity, USA, neighborhood, gentrification, urban, place.

Scoop.it Tagsculture, historicalNorth America, ethnicityUSA, neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 6, 9:22 PM

Cultural integration, Culture of place 

Owenchung's comment, May 13, 11:40 PM
New face
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Healthy Nation Rankings: These Are the Healthiest Countries

Healthy Nation Rankings: These Are the Healthiest Countries | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Maybe it’s something in the gazpacho or paella, as Spain just surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This data offers excellent insight into regional developmental patterns around the world--it is very much worth exploring.  However I'm sharing this also for it's mapping project potential; the data behind this map is available in the article and students can make their own maps with it.  

 

GeoEd Tags: mortality, medical, development, food, mapping.

Scoop.it Tagsmortality, medicaldevelopmentfood, mapping.

 

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Renee's curator insight, May 14, 5:45 AM
This data will be helpful for students to exam how where a person lives influences their wellbeing (health with a focus on two Asian countries, as per curriculum descriptors). This can be a starting point for learner investigations of; reasons for, and consequences of, spatial variations in human wellbeing on a regional scale within India or another country of the Asia region (ACHGK079 - Scootle )
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GFPLAIN250m, a global high-resolution dataset of Earth’s floodplains

GFPLAIN250m, a global high-resolution dataset of Earth’s floodplains | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Identifying floodplain boundaries is of paramount importance for earth, environmental and socioeconomic studies addressing riverine risk and resource management. However, to date, a global floodplain delineation using a homogeneous procedure has not been constructed. In this paper, we present the first, comprehensive, high-resolution, gridded dataset of Earth’s floodplains at 250-m resolution (GFPLAIN250m).
Seth Dixon's insight:

Satellites see the world as a bunch of pixels.  In this recent article in the journal Nature, the authors used a global set of satellite images to create the first global layer of floodplains.  This data is now publicly accessible as a free download (one you can put into ArcGIS after the files are extracted and zipped).     

 

GeoEd Tags: mapping, ESRI, GIS, remote sensing.

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Worker Safety?

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is old video is still shocking because of the blatant disregard for worker safety during the huge rush to get Beijing ready for the 2012 Olympics. This can been seen as large cities host global events such as the World Cup or the Olympics.  As was seen in Rio de Janeiro, leaders will try to sweep some problems under the rug before the global spotlight shines on them. This video can also be used to lead to a discussion concerning China's continued economic growth. What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?" How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?

 

GeoEd Tags: industry, labor, China.

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