Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Iqaluit’s population turns to Amazon Prime

Iqaluit’s population turns to Amazon Prime | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Sky-high food prices in the North have led many residents of Iqaluit to turn to Amazon Prime to save on necessities. But is that a sustainable solution?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Nunavut is remote...far more remote than most of our students can imagine.  They live over 1,000 miles from any city with half a million people.  The entire territory is enormous, but sparsely populated with only 36,000 people.  Try to image getting commercial goods to such a remote location.  The Canadian government has invested heavily to subsidize systems to get food products and other necessities to Nunavut.  Still, the transportation costs are so high, and the numbers are so few that economies of scale can’t help this situation. 

Enter Amazon Prime in 2005, and the online retail giant began offering free shipping for “Prime” customers for a flat yearly subscription fee (today $99 in the U.S.).  This was simply too good to be true for many customers in far-flung settlements in Nunavut.  Amazon, probably not anticipating the overwhelming transportation costs associated with a place like Nunavut, in 2015 stopped offering Prime membership for Nunavut customers that do not live in the capital city of Iqaluit.  Still, the capital city looks to Amazon Prime more so than the Canadian or territorial government as their lifeline to the global economy.  Some even argue that Amazon Prime has done more to improve the standard of living  and providing food security for Nunavut residents than the government.            

Scoop.it TagsCanada, distanceindigenous, poverty, development, economicfood, food distribution, density.

WordPress TAGS: Canada, distance, indigenous, poverty, development, economic, food distribution, density.

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Poles of Inaccessibility

Poles of Inaccessibility | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Geography nuts have located the hardest place to get to on every continent and beyond.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The middle of nowhere...this is a common expression that is used to convey isolation, backwardness, wilderness, or a lack of network connections.  This article focuses on 8 places that are the farthest away from coasts as well as land (known as 'Poles of Inaccessibility').  The point on the map above is Point Nemo, right in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean; it is the farthest place on Earth from land and is one of the best candidates for the world champion title of "the middle of nowehere."  What is it close to?  Nothing. 

 

Tagsplace, distance, site, Oceania.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 24, 2018 12:49 PM
The places in this article really gives a whole new meaning to “the middle of nowhere.”  People often say they want to settle in the middle of nowhere to be alone, but this article points out that no one actually lives at these exact points, and few people live nearby.  This shows that in order to have a successful settlement, people need to have access to both land and water.  Without being able to get to both, temperatures become incredibly unbearable, resources are sparse, and access to the rest of the world is very difficult.  It is interesting that the part of the earth that is the farthest away from land, Point Nemo, happens to be in Oceania.  Oceania is so sparsely populated compared to the other regions of the world, so the fact that the point farthest away from land is located in this region helps to explain this.  The closest land to Point Nemo are small islands that are also very isolated.  Oceania itself is also generally isolated, since most land is far from the continents, except Australia because it is a continent.  The isolation of all these islands means it is difficult to live in these areas, which was probably far worse before globalization brought trade.  The people living on the islands of Oceania would have to rely solely on what was on their islands.  I am not a person who enjoys isolation very much, so I have no plans to visit these locations any time soon.
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Enabling Globalization: The Container

Enabling Globalization: The Container | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The ships, railroads, and trucks that transport containers worldwide form the backbone of the global economy. The pace of globalization over the last sixty years has accelerated due to containers; just like canals and railroads defined earlier phases in the development of a global economy. While distance used to be the largest obstacle to regional integration, these successive waves of transportation improvements have functionally made the world a smaller place. Geographers refer to this as the Space-Time Convergence."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've posted here several resources about the global economy and the crucial role that containers play in enabling globalization.  In this article for National Geographic Education, I draw on many of these to to put it all in one nice container.  


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

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, February 2, 2015 5:19 PM

Containers are part of globalization. It saves time and allows for extra space to store more products. Also, it is easier to handle using ships, railroad, and trucks while also facilitating more quality in terms of safety. However, on the other hand, with the creation of these containers employ mainly the use of technology which, unfortunately, downsizes the workforce. This, as a result, increases the unemployment rate for citizens. Although, when it comes to recycling, the idea of making houses with these containers helps families in diverse ways such as decreased costs, energy efficiency, and very short construction time. Containers have shaped the concept of shipping and living for many years, impacting regions with more business and expansion trades around the world.

Cody Price's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:57 PM

This article describes the basics of globalization and what technology really allowed globalization to spread, the shipping the container. It allowed thing to be shipped organized and more efficiently. These containers fit together perfectly. It helps ideas and products transport all over the world and spread pop culture. 

 

This relates to the idea in unit 3 of globalization. These shipping container allow ideas and products to be shipped all over the world. The shipping container was the key to better connecting the world. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:14 AM

I've posted here several resources about the global economy and the crucial role that containers play in enabling globalization.  In this article for National Geographic Education, I draw on many of these to to put it all in one nice container.  


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

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Spatial Navigation Before GPS

Spatial Navigation Before GPS | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Giant 70-foot concrete arrows that point your way across the country, left behind by a forgotten age of US mail delivery.  Long before the days of radio (and those convenient little smartphone applications), the US Postal service began a cross-country air mail service using army war surplus planes from World War I.  The federal government funded enormous concrete arrows to be built every 10 miles or so along established airmail routes they were each built alongside a 50 foot tall tower with a rotating gas-powered light. These airway beacons are said to have been visible from a distance of 10 miles high."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is fascinating...just because a technology is old and outdated in modern society doesn't mean it wasn't ingenious.  The original mathmeticans who calcuated angles and distances study geometry so they could navigate and 'measure the Earth.' These giant arrows are but one of those links in the geneological strands of navigational technology.   Mathematics can be incredibly spatial as well as geospatial.   

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Giovanni Sonego's curator insight, December 15, 2013 1:49 PM

Adesso sembra incredibile che si usasse un sistema simile per guidare la posta aerea. Forse a quei tempi sembrava normale. 

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 3:14 AM

I love articles like this one where they talk about the collide of different times. This article speaks of huge concrete arrows which were left from 1930's air mail routes. sadly most of the towers that were paired with the arrows have been dismantled but still really cool that these directional arrows from the past can still be found almost 90 years later.

Elle Reagan's curator insight, September 28, 2014 11:44 PM

Wow technology has come a long way in just a short amount of time! We would still be using  those stone arrows if it wasn't for the invention of the GPS. 

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Mapping functional distance: the communte

Mapping functional distance: the communte | Geography Education | Scoop.it

As described by Manu Fernandez, "MySociety developed this project that perfectly illustrates the utility of georeferenced data. Mapumental tool displays the travel time to reach a certain point from anywhere in the city, thereby helping to understand the temporal distance mobility, a much more useful and practical information than just physical distance."


Seth Dixon's insight:

This type of mapping shows the Space-Time Compression as well as the unevenness of that compression.  Why are some areas 'functionally closer?'  What makes some places 'functionally farther apart?'   How do technology, density and infrastructure influence this phenomenon?

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juanchosierrar's comment, December 19, 2011 5:10 AM
Excellent application of isochronism in geomarketing studies have great use with them we know the areas of influence at 5, 10 or 15 min.

This tool in combination with demographic data can be known potential areas of my future clients.

Currently working with a company in which we develop these products. I leave you some examples of isochrones lins.

http://cartoo.dyndns.org/

http://cabsa.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/geomarketing-areas-de-influencia-con-winab/

adeu
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Olympic Races, in Your Neighborhood

Olympic Races, in Your Neighborhood | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"What would Olympic races look like if they took place near you? Enter your address below to find out, or keep clicking the green button to explore races that begin in where you live."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I thought I was done with the Olympics, but this just sucked me right back in...in the most geographically relevant way possible.  Scale and distance are important geographic concepts and realizing JUST HOW FAST these Olympians are on the TV can be deceptive when they are paired up with other great Olympians.  Seeing how far in your own neighborhood you would have to go to beat the 400m champion--or the 5000m.  Since the United States doesn't use the metric system, this map is a good way to contextualize these measurements and try to run the race in your own backyard.  Let the Backyard Games begin!!

 

Tags: mappingfunscaledistance, sport, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.  

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ringacrux's comment, August 27, 2016 1:14 AM
Remarkable...!!
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Road from Europe to U.S.? Russia proposes superhighway

Road from Europe to U.S.? Russia proposes superhighway | Geography Education | Scoop.it
London to New York City by car? It could happen if the head of Russian Railways has his way.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As Asya Pereltsvaig, the author of Languages of the World, wrote: "That's what happens when Russia's main problems, fools and roads (дураки и дороги), are combined..."  It's the opposite idea of the summer road trip that is designed to hit all the major tourist sites.

 

Questions to Ponder: What are the pros and cons of this project?  What would it take to actually happen?  This map is a Mercator Projection--would a different map change your perspective on the feasibility of the project? 


TagsRussia, map projections, transportation, tourism.

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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 15, 2018 3:42 PM
(Russia) In a world of globalization, this considered highway could make the world a little smaller. The Trans-Eurasian Belt Development project intends to create a road alongside the Trans-Siberian Railway, crossing all of Russia to link with roads spanning throughout Europe and connecting to North America through Alaska. The head of Russian Railways did not explain how the road would cross the Bering Strait. There are 55 miles between Russia and Alaska at the narrowest point, and one consecutive bridge would still be half the length of the longest bridge in the world. It is definitely doable. Linking to roads in Alaska and across the continent, a trip from London to New York could be about 12,910 miles, all by car. The road network would apparently pay for itself with weighty economic promise, however Russian Railways provided no information on this financial promise.

The highway would connect most of the world, but tense relations between Russia and the US and Europe could hinder progress. Additionally, the road would cost trillions of dollars, take a very long time, and require frequent maintenance, especially across seldom traveled regions in Siberia.
brielle blais's curator insight, March 29, 2018 5:20 PM
This showcases how the geography of the world can be linked together to grow the economic stability of each country through easier access to products and goods. By creating the trans-siberean highway, Russia would be connected to the United States by their western coast. This allows access for places once very difficult to travel too. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, November 1, 2018 11:05 AM
The Russian Railway president has proposed a plan for a Europe to U.S. superhighway. The Trans'Eurasian Belt Development would lead London to Moscow through Siberia, over the Bering Strait to Alaska, through Canada ending in New York. This would take major coordination between all the different countries. You must think about the time, money and effort this would take. From  Eastern Russia to Alaska, how would drivers get over the gap? Who would tear through the forests and stretches of land needed to create this? 
 
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A Geographical Oddity

Seth Dixon's insight:

Partly just because I love this highly quotable movie with an incredible soundtrack, but this short clip from O Brother Where Art Thou? can start be a good conversation starter.  I'm hoping to use it when discussing relative location (or isolation) as well as the time-space compression.  Frequently, I ask my student how far away they live from campus and invariably they answer with a unit of time (even though distance was implied in the question). 


Questions to Ponder: Why do we often answer with a measurement of time when discussing distance?  What technologies are dependent on our temporal analysis of distance? How would our perception of distance change based on our access to transportation and communication technologies?


Tags: Time-Space Compression, location.

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Rich Schultz's curator insight, February 11, 2015 11:34 AM

Why do we answer with a unit of time when asked a distance question?

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A Sense of Place

A Sense of Place | Geography Education | Scoop.it
THERE WAS SOMETHING odd about the black car at the junction of Sutter and Hyde Streets. It was an ordinary saloon. Its windows were clear, and it looked in good...


Technologies today have allowed us to be digitally connected from anywhere.  This impacts geographic patterns from outsourcing to local businesses that rely on interpersonal communications to connect potential demand with resources.  Some may see this as geography becoming less of a barrier, and consequently, less relevant.  This article in the Economist argues that as these technologies have rendered location more important than ever since they rely on geospatial technologies.  "The reports of the death of distance have been much exaggerated." 


Tags: technology, globalization, location, place.

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