Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Five Tips and Strategies on How to Interpret a Satellite Image

Five Tips and Strategies on How to Interpret a Satellite Image | Geography Education |
What do you do when presented with a new satellite image? Here's what the Earth Observatory team does to understand the view.
  1. Look for a scale
  2. Look for patterns, shapes, and textures
  3. Define the colors (including shadows)
  4. Find north
  5. Consider your prior knowledge
Seth Dixon's insight:
  1. Look for a scale
  2. Look for patterns, shapes, and textures
  3. Define the colors (including shadows)
  4. Find north
  5. Consider your prior knowledge


Question #3: Also search through NASA’s Earth Observatory (Images or Articles) and the Jefferson Grid Instagram account.


Aerial photography can be quite beautiful, as can satellite imagery. These are more than just pretty pictures; interpreting aerial photography and satellite imagery is not easy; here is a great article that gives an introduction on how to interpret satellite imagery. With a little training, satellite images become rich data sources (instead of some visually meaningless data).  Using Stratocam, you can explore and tag some of the amazing place on Earth. 


Tags: mapping, perspective, remote sensing, geospatial, unit 1 Geoprinciples.

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Houston’s stories of Hurricane Harvey

Houston’s stories of Hurricane Harvey | Geography Education |

"Blue and her team selected 45 stories, each plotted with ESRI’s ArcGIS software on a map of Greater Houston and tied to the exact location where it was first told. The resulting story map of Hurricane Harvey, ‘Damaged and Defiant: Houston Stories,’ was published in the Houston Chronicle in December. The map shows short narratives gathered by Chronicle staffers from people across the area — from Crosby to Kingwood to Katy — each a unique perspective on the storm; told together, they’re the collective account of a city that experienced one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These interlinked Houston story maps show some of the key elements of a good story map: 1) strong spatial analytical components, 2) a powerful narrative, 3) rich visuals, 4) solid cartography, and 5) well-sourced information.


Tags: fluvialwatercoastal, urban, disasters, physical, mappingESRIStoryMap.

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The art of making globes

"In the era of Google Maps, who makes a living out of creating globes - by hand? Peter Bellerby, of Bellerby & Co. Globemakers, for one. Headquartered in London, he talks with Martha Teichner about how a desire to purchase a globe led to him becoming one of the masters of the craft."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Yes, these globes are precise archives filled with geospatial data and locational information–however, that pales in comparison to the artistic brilliance of the globes. These hand-crafted globes are truly works of art.  Marvel at the merger of mathematical precision and artistic design that makes a globe such as these a cartographic gem. 

FUTURE WATCHING: Here is the longer video of the Bellerby Globes being produced.     


Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

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Income and Wealth Inequality

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

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


Tagsdevelopment, laborglobalization, economicindustry, poverty, crash course

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 15, 2018 6:33 PM
It is interesting to see how unequal some income is for people around the world. Especially in countries like China and India that have some of the world's largest populations. These same countries also have some of the lowest incomes in the world for the majority of their citizens. Adding to that, it is intriguing to see how only a small percentage of people hold most of the wealth in the world, while the vast majority of the world population aren't even close to that level of wealth. While the income inequality gap has increased significantly since the time of the industrial revolution and continues to grow bigger.
theascen sionhouse's comment, March 17, 2018 12:54 AM
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 29, 2018 10:57 PM
Inequality of income and wealth has resulted in numerous issues through out history. While many people are unhappy about inequality in wealth, I don't believe it is a problem that will be worked out easily. It is unfair but in many situations, those with money influence or hold positions of power. This prevents action being taken. In other situations in equality may be a result of another issue. Hopefully the gaps in inequality and wealth will be shortened and provide aid those in poverty.
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Obesity: not just a rich-world problem

"Obesity is a global problem, but more people are getting fatter in developing countries than anywhere else. If current trends continue, obese children will soon outnumber those who are undernourished. Nearly half of the world’s overweight and obese children under five years old, live in Asia. And in Africa, the number of overweight children under five has increased by nearly 50% since 2000. Hunger still blights many parts of the world. But the share of people who do not have enough to eat is in decline. Globally one in nine people in the world suffer from chronic undernourishment. One in ten are obese. If current trends continue, the share of obese children in the world will surpass the number of undernourished by 2022. Africa has the fastest-growing middle class in the world. A move from traditional foods to high-calorie fast food and a more sedentary lifestyle is driving the rise in obesity. Health systems in Africa, more focused on treating malnourishment and diseases like malaria and HIV, are ill equipped to deal with obesity-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. "


Tagsmortality, medicaldevelopmentfood.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 2018 11:27 AM
This video has taught me some new facts in regard to the obesity crisis going on in the world. Growing up, I would hear so much about the obesity crisis here in America and how the rest of the world is so healthy for the most part. This video has given me a new perspective on the current obesity crisis, and that it isn't just an American problem anymore, but is now becoming a global problem.
One part of this video in particular which stood out to me was that in all of these developing nations that are suddenly becoming obese, American fast food chains are embedding themselves in their societies. It's no wonder that obesity is no longer just an American problem, but becoming a wold crisis since all of these American fast food chains are moving into these developing nations. It seems as though if the world wants to see a decline in obesity, we must stop eating so much processed food from these types of restaurants and get the proper amount of exercise needed for a healthy lifestyle.
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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 10:56 AM
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 29, 2018 11:21 PM
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 brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s 'lost generation'

The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s 'lost generation' | Geography Education |

"Algeria’s ‘lost generation’ has been shaped by years of conflict, unemployment and state repression. Sheep fighting offers an arena where young men can escape the constant supervision of the state."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I must confess that it was a mixture of morbid curiosity, the allure of the strangely exotic, with more than a dash of horror that initially impelled me to read this article.  If if is not your thing (and I'm guessing that by the title you should already know), I certainly understand and don't recommend that you read it.  However, there was some intriguing geography in the article as it painted a bleak picture of disenfranchised young men in a pent-up country that did not experience an Arab Spring.  Some elements in this article that I thing might intrigue geography teachers are: the pastoral folk culture of North Africa impacting their popular culture pastimes, complexly gendered cultural customs and place-based cultural politics.   


Tags: culture, gendersport, folk cultures, Algeria, Middle East.

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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 23, 2018 10:04 PM
Political Unit: History of  borders
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 2018 6:33 AM

Preliminary - Political Geography 

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Maya civilization was much vaster than known, thousands of newly discovered structures reveal

Maya civilization was much vaster than known, thousands of newly discovered structures reveal | Geography Education |
Scientists using high-tech, airplane-based lidar mapping tools have discovered tens of thousands of structures constructed by the Maya.


Archaeologists have spent more than a century traipsing through the Guatemalan jungle, Indiana Jones-style, searching through dense vegetation to learn what they could about the Maya civilization. Scientists using high-tech, airplane-based lidar mapping tools have discovered tens of thousands of structures constructed by the Maya: defense works, houses, buildings, industrial-size agricultural fields, even new pyramids.

The lidar system fires rapid laser pulses at surfaces and measures how long it takes that light to return to sophisticated measuring equipment. Doing that over and over again lets scientists create a topographical map of sorts. Months of computer modeling allowed the researchers to virtually strip away half a million acres of jungle that has grown over the ruins. What's left is a surprisingly clear picture of how a 10th-century Maya would see the landscape.

Tags: lidar, spatial, remote sensing, geospatial, unit 1 GeoPrinciplesGuatemala, Middle America.

Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 1:57 PM
Archaeologists are using new high-tech, airplane-based lidar mapping tools to discover Mayan structures that have gone undetected for hundreds of years. This new method for archaeology has proved very successful as well, since tens of thousands of hidden Mayan structures have been detected using these new tools. This helps paint a different picture of what Mayan civilization was really like. For example, archaeologists now believe that the Mayan civilization may have had a population two to three times the size originally estimated and a much larger extension of land than previously thought. At the end of this article, what really made me think was how the Guatemalan jungle once hindered archaeologists from discovering Mayan structures, but now the jungle is seen as useful in preserving these structures over time, so they are not destroyed by people. It seems as though there is still much to learn about the Mayan civilization and their culture.
David Stiger's curator insight, September 23, 2018 8:38 PM
Thanks to new aerial scanning technology, a device called lidar, archaeologists cannot better use geological maps to create three dimensional scans of the earth and uncover buried ruins without moving a rock. Relying on advanced technology to help reveal humanity's past is exciting. Understanding how a civilization lived and functioned, how big it was, its activities, and its achievements brings modern day people closer to the past. 

Geography played a major role in this recent Mayan excavation. The jungles which once prevented archaeologists from seeing what ruins were left actually preserved the ruins by preventing farmers from changing the land. If it were not for the dense areas of jungle, agricultural development would have eroded and destroyed these last remnants of the Mayan civilization. Luckily, farmers avoided these areas and the new technology made available to archaeologists has allowed this once problematic obstacle to become a blessing in disguise and a massive opportunity. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, September 29, 2018 8:46 PM
Technology is an amazing tool. Using technology to find old temples and buildings is truly astounding. The lidar mapping tools used have created something that would take people years to do. Acres upon acres of forest in Guatemala would have to be mapped and traversed by foot to find any signal of the Maya civilization under the centuries of reclaimed land. If you have ever been to the Mayan temples you would know they are a sight to behold, glorious and awe-inspiring. Technology like this gives us a whole new view of the world and civilizations. Using these could help find many old forgotten cities, not only in Guatemala but all over the world. 
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Story Map Swipe and Spyglass Gallery

Story Map Swipe and Spyglass Gallery | Geography Education |

"The Story Map Swipe and Spyglass app template enables users to interact with two web maps or two layers of a single web map, depending on how you build your story. The app enables you to present a single view, or to develop a narrative showing a series of locations or views of the same maps."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The ESRI template to create swipe and spyglass feature is an engaging way to compare and contrast two data layers. For the SPYGLASS maps, I've always enjoyed this historical interactive of Chicago. Chicago is displaced during a economic boom period as the U.S. was expanding westward.  Where were the railroads located then?  Why have some of them vanished today?  Notice anything curious about the coastline along Lake Michigan?  Follow this link to see similar interactives of other major U.S. cities.

For the SWIPE maps, I love exploring this one showing how human activities has reshaped the physical environment.  What activities are creating the new patterns that you see? 


Tags: historical, mappingESRIStoryMap.

Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 16, 2018 9:18 AM
Geographical Thinking Concepts: Spatial Significance, Patterns and Trends
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 2018 6:35 AM

A great Esri tool for examining change over time 

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Strava Heat Map and National Security

Strava Heat Map and National Security | Geography Education |

"A fitness tracking app and national security don’t seem to be connected, and yet this month, the Pentagon has spent serious time discussing how to mitigate the impact Strava’s global data set being post online."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Geospatial intelligence is a knife that cuts both ways. We must consider all the possible ramifications of what might happen as we repackage, render and display geographic information.


Questions to Ponder: What are three discernible patterns that you can identify by analyzing the Strava Heatmap? What does this particular case study show for cartographers and others interesting in creating spatial information? What does this say for regular people now fully immersed in the midst of a geospatial revolution?

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How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define Rural?

"The U.S. Census Bureau has designed a multimedia application experience, a story map, called 'Rural America: How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define Rural?' This story map contains interactive web maps, tables, information, and images to help explain how the Census Bureau defines 'rural.' Many rural communities rely on American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates, rather than ACS 1-year estimates, because of population thresholds. This story map helps data users understand the history and definition of 'rural.' Watch this video and then visit the story map to learn more." Visit the Story Map:  

Seth Dixon's insight:

Census geography brings statistical data to life as seen in their newly designed interactive story map, called "Rural America: How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define 'Rural?" Not only does this story map helps explain how the Census Bureau defines rural, but it displays some fantastic data that helps students to explore rural America.  Many APHG teachers refer to unit 5 as the "ag unit" but the full title, Agriculture, food production, and rural land use, certainly does highlight why this can be a valuable resource.  


Tags: rural, census, regions, mappingESRIStoryMap.

Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 10:57 PM
The U.S. Census Bureau defines "rural" as an area with less than 50,000 people living in it. The majority of the United States is actually considered rural while a small minority of the country is labeled as urban. But interestingly enough, most rural areas are clustered around urban areas rather than in random locations. It seems as though the further out one ventures out from the center of an urban area like a major city, the more the population begins to decrease. One can also see in the same situation, the area transition from urban to rural. U.S. Census data can tell us a lot about populations in rural and urban areas and the correlation between them which can be important to know for many reasons.
Frances Meetze's curator insight, September 10, 2018 1:19 PM
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Geography undervalued in understanding of world

Geography undervalued in understanding of world | Geography Education |

Improving skills in ­literacy and numeracy are vitally important components of school education. But it is wrong to assume that these can only be achieved by teaching English and Mathematics respectively. Many other subjects can and do teach these skills using real life examples. Geography is one of these ­subjects. Articulating orally and in writing one’s understanding of the world is one sure way of increasing literacy. Collecting, analysing and using information about the world increases ­students’ numeracy, and gives them a better grounding as ­citizens and future employees. But geography is much more than this. Surely we should aspire to our children and ­grandchildren having a greater understanding of their world: what is happening around them, ­analysing the causes and ­assessing solutions?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I know that understanding the importance of geography is nothing new to my readers, but I am gathering articles that are useful to share with administrators and colleagues in the fight against geographic ignorance.  One this site I've tagged these articles under tag "geography matters."  


Tagseducation, K12geography education, geography matters.

Matt Manish's curator insight, February 1, 2018 1:39 PM
In this article, Roger Crofts explains how in most schools the main subject focus for students is literacy, math, science, and sometimes a foreign language. While social sciences such as geography usually get put on the back burner in the education system. He also makes the argument that geography helps teach imperative skills like literacy and math which is why this subject should have more of an emphasis in school settings. In response to Crofts' article and from my own experience in public schools, his article lines right up with what I was taught when I was younger. When I was in high school, there was a heavy push to learn math, literacy, and science, and also to be tested on these subjects with standardized tests. I feel that there should be a heavy emphasis on these subjects in schools, but there should also still be room for other classes that are creative and help to mold well rounded individuals. Furthermore, I believe this could become possible if standardized tests occurred less and more focus was put on the actual student rather than their standardized test scores.
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See the Strange, Beautiful Landscapes Revealed by Lasers

See the Strange, Beautiful Landscapes Revealed by Lasers | Geography Education |

"Geospatial technologies unearth a world hidden beneath the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest."


If you were to strip a forest of all its vegetation, what would you see? To find out, Washington state’s government is using airplanes equipped with LIDAR technology to scan the state’s heavily-forested ground. What’s being revealed beneath the trees is a spectacular and strange landscape of hidden geology. Old landslides, abandoned river channels, ancient lava flows, and the tracks of glaciers are suddenly visible in stark relief. Tracking the altitude and location of a plane with GPS while it scans the ground with LIDAR yields a highly precise digital elevation map of the Earth’s surface created out of the billions of laser pulses. By uncovering the debris from old landslides, LIDAR can show where future slides may occur.


Tags: geomorphologyremote sensing, geology, physical.

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The Geography of AC

The Geography of AC | Geography Education |

"The modern built environment in the United States is now totally dependent on air conditioning. A lot of our buildings would be uninhabitable in the summer without AC, and all of the electricity needed to keep it running."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Like so many 99 percent invisible podcasts, this blends urban design, social geography, local history in a way that deepens our understanding of place. Air conditioning has powerfully reshaped so many geographic patterns that many of ways.  Some mentioned in this podcast include: a) the rapid expansion of the Sun Belt, b) less climatically and regionally distinctive architecture can now be found in the cultural landscape, and c) an enormous amount of energy is consumed to maintain our hyper-cooled buildings (the U.S. now uses as much electricity for air conditioning as it did for all purposes in 1955). 


Tagspodcast, architecturehousing, landscape, place planning.

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National Geographic Reckons With Its Past: 'For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist'

National Geographic Reckons With Its Past: 'For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist' | Geography Education |

"Before it could publish an issue on race, the magazine first had to look at its own history. 'Some of what you find in our archives leaves you speechless,' writes editor Susan Goldberg.  The 1916 caption of the picture of these aboriginal Australians described them as 'savages who rank lowest in intelligence of all human beings.'"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is both incredibly obvious, and remarkably shocking.  I don't think that any academic geographic should be surprised that for generations, National Geographic's goals to describe the world's people and it mission to sell magazines made its coverage a product of the cultural norms of the times, the magazine producers and subscribers.  Still, this open honesty coming from National Geographic about National Geographic's past is a breath of fresh air that is quite encouraging, even if some still think that National Geographic's issue and cover miss the mark.


Questions to Ponder: Are there some voyeuristic tendencies we might exhibit as well learn about, or discuss other cultures?  How do we highlight culture differences without making making those with different cultural practices seem as innately 'other' or 'less than?'    


Tags: National Geographic, race, racismmedia

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How Dollar General Is Transforming Rural America

How Dollar General Is Transforming Rural America | Geography Education |

"Dollar General stores thrive in low-income rural towns, and the deep-discount chain has opened hundreds of new shops in the past year."


Dollar General is set to open 1,000 locations this year, for a total of more than 14,000 stores. It will have more stores than McDonald's has restaurants in the entire country. That includes plenty of urban locations, but the chain's bright yellow and black signs pop up about every 10 miles along many remote state highways. Like Walmart, it has rural roots. Dollar General started in small-town Kentucky. Al Cross, who runs the Institute for Rural Journalism at the University of Kentucky, says Dollar General competes with the world's largest retailer on price and convenience.


Tags: rural, retail, podcast.

Matt Manish's curator insight, March 15, 2018 7:49 PM
I found this article to be very relevant since the first Dollar General store I've ever seen just popped up within the last year in Rhode Island. Apparently Dollar General is such a big chain in the rest of the country, that it has more stores than Walmart does. According to this article, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of Dollar General building stores in the rural parts of the country. For example this article talks about how people in some rural areas have towns that are so small they don't have any local grocers. So when a Dollar General is built in a town like that, it is a huge benefit to the town. In other cases with small towns that already have a local grocery store, Dollar General can put that store out of business with the difference in their prices. Ultimately, whether or not Dollar General's expansion into rural areas of the U.S. can be seen as negative or positive depends on the local business structure in those small towns.
Nancy Watson's curator insight, March 16, 2018 4:02 PM
cami's curator insight, January 29, 5:30 AM
its good 
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Are Americans trashing the English language?

"Are American's trashing the English language? The Economists language expert, Lane Greene, knows a thing or two about English. Lane is a fan of words, lots of words, and Lane is an American living in London. He's become accustomed to British English slang. But Lane often hears Britons complain that there are too many American words and expressions creeping into British English, these are called Americanisms. British writer Matthew Engel can't stand Americanisms being used in Britain and even wrote a book about it. But are Americanisms trashing British English?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video touches on important cultural and spatial dynamics of the linguistic change impacting the world's current lingua other words, this is incredibly relevant to human geography. 


Tags: languagecultureworldwide, English, diffusion,


Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 2018 12:00 PM
I found this video very enjoyable to watch and I learned a lot more about how British people feel about the American language, especially in their own culture. I knew that American English and British English had some small differences with the spelling of some words and differences in some terms for the same object such as lift and elevator. But I didn't realize how some American phrases or "Americanisms" have crept into the British English language and are causing some English citizens to be upset about it.
In response to this information, I have to side with Lane Greene's opinion towards the end of this video. The fact that "Americanisms" are creeping into the British English language is the sign of a healthy and developing language. It means that one language that is being affected by another language because it has a global reach throughout the world. This is a positive thing that shouldn't be feared because as we can see from history, languages change over time and tend to never stay the same.
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How a Steel Box Changed the World: A Brief History of Shipping

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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

Nancy Watson's curator insight, March 2, 2018 7:38 AM
Unit 6 
Laurie Ruggiero's curator insight, May 29, 2018 4:07 PM
Unit 6
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 29, 2018 11:38 PM
The use of shipping containers has provided many positive results. People receive access to goods and supplies from all around the globe thanks to shipping containers. Recently they've even been given other uses. People have begun modifying them into livable structures.
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Italy's regional divisions

"150 years after its unification, Italy remains riven by regional differences." For more of these videos, visit

Seth Dixon's insight:

Italy’s a country that we may think of as monolithic, but (like so many other countries) it has some deep and persistent regional distinctions.  These videos are older, but the the divisions discussed are still pertinent.  Stratfor also added a video of Italy in their "Geographic Challenge" series.  I've updated my map which spatially indexes 70+ of their videos that are especially relevant to geography teachers to include this one.  These videos are great starting points for students that are researching a particular country.


Tagsvideogeography education, ItalyEurope, regions.

brielle blais's curator insight, March 25, 2018 1:18 PM
This showcases geography because it is an example of how a country can be so divided even though everyone is from the same homeland. However, to Italians, their geographic location in Italy is very important. People take a lot of pride in which region they are from, whether it's between the politics of the north and south Italy or the different dialects spoken between the different regions. The divided is also seen economically as northern Italy is wealthier, and southern Italy is filled with more poverty and unemployment. 
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 18, 2018 11:18 PM
The disunity in Italy has been going on for centuries.  With the north and south basically completely different and divided.  The north is wealthier than the south.  Dialect and language even differ With the two. In the south poverty and unemployment is high.  A Majority of italys prime ministers came from the north.  Many people in the north want to to get full independence for the south.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 3, 2018 1:11 PM
Originally Italy was broken up into vast amounts of city states. However, they were eventually able to unify Italy. To thus day Italy still has significant political differences. Generally the North has always been more affluent than the South. Poverty and unemployment rates are much higher in the South of Italy. Italy also has strong regional dialects that sometimes do not even resemble Italian dialect that contributes to there political differences. The North in recent years has also been calling for full Independence. It seems that if someone doesn't solve Italy's economic issues and tries to unite the nation Italy may divide as a country.
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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 9, 2018 9:10 PM
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 3:51 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 3:54 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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Mercator Puzzle Redux

Mercator Puzzle Redux | Geography Education |

"Play this interactive game--move the 15 red countries to their appropriate locations to turn the countries green.  If you give up, you can double click on a red country to locate it (but it will turn blue)." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

The old link to this map quiz no longer works but here is a new version.  This online game where you return the “misplaced” country on the map is more than just and exercise in locating places (there are many online map quizzes for that sort of activity).  What makes this one unique is that as you move the country further north or south the country expands or contracts according to how that country would be projected if that were its actual location on a Mercator map.  This is a great way to introduce the importance of map projections.


Tags: map projections, mapping, cartography.

more...'s comment, February 14, 2018 12:33 AM
Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 16, 2018 9:22 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Spatial Significance; Patterns and Trends
Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 7:18 PM
This is an interesting quiz to test your world geography skills. It gives you the shape of a country in red and you have to place the shape on the correct country. If you can't find the correct country, just double tap the shape and it will show you which country it belongs to. This was definitely a challenge for me since I only got two of the countries correct. I found particular difficulty with locating the smaller countries with less features that stand out. Although I only got two answers right, I did enjoy this map quiz because it helped me to realize that I should brush up on my world geography skills more to help me stay informed with what's going on in the world.
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Hong Kong's 'coffin homes' reveal a housing crisis

Hong Kong's 'coffin homes' reveal a housing crisis | Geography Education |
A shortage of developable land have pushed Hong Kong's housing prices skyward, leading some to live in spaces the size of closets.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Overpopulation doesn't feel like a serious issue when you live in a land characterized by wide open spaces, but in some densely settled urban centers, the issues become quite personal.  Hong Kong is currently facing a housing shortage. This article nicely explains the difficulties that living in the so-called coffin homes makes for the residents.  This photo gallery humanizes this difficult living condition.


Tags: housingurban, place, neighborhoodspatialdensity, planning, density, urbanism.

Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 8:35 PM
The photo gallery in this article helps to give an accurate depiction of the housing crisis in Hong Kong with many people living in units that are 4 by 6 feet. Many families have to live in separate units because they are so small and can't usually fit more than one person. The bright side of the housing crisis in Hong Kong is that these "coffin homes" allow people to live in the major city at a cheaper cost, although it definitely comes with a hefty price with such tiny living quarters. The future looks positive though, as Hong Kong promises to build over 400,000 new homes over the next decade. This will help improve the housing crisis and hopefully phase these "coffin homes" out of existence once and for all.
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 2018 9:31 AM
Now this is a major housing crisis. I thought apartments in NYC were small, but nothing like this. In Hong Kong they have what is called "coffin homes" they are stacked on top of each other to try to fit as many in as possible. With increasing population and just 7% of the land properly zoned for housing it caused a major crunch in the housing market. Currently prices are going for $1,350 per square foot. Obviously this is a major problem and causes living conditions to be brutal especially for the elderly or for families that have to split up due to space. So what to do to fix this problem? Well one would say just make more land available for housing, well that comes with problems as well. There probably is a reason that there is limited land for housing due to geographical issues. So yes we can build more homes, but would we run into new problems such as natural disasters that cause more debt for the people in the country. There definitely needs to be a solution for these people, but it might not be so simple. I will never go back to NYC now and say how small the apartments are, because well you could be in Hong Kong.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 2018 9:17 PM
(East Asia) Unlike Singapore's regimented government housing, Hong Kong faces a severe housing crisis, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to live in tiny 4 by 6 foot homes. Hong Kong has a population of 7.3 million but only 7% of the city is cleared for housing. Therefore, landlords have to get creative. Stacking these "coffin homes" one on top of another is a great way to save space while providing the bare minimum housing. The coffin homes, little more than closets, have no windows or room to move around. Skyrocketing housing prices have caused extremely dense buildings as the elderly, disabled, young, and poor are forced to move in.
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GeoSettr | Geography Education |

In May 2013, GeoGuessr came online and quickly became a favorite quiz game of geo-enthusiasts.  Using 5 random locations in Google Street View.  The game player can search the area in Street View and then make a guess as to where it is on the map.  Using GeoSettr, you can create your own GeoGuessr challenge by choosing five locations on Google Street View.

Seth Dixon's insight:

You can customize your own GeoGuessr quizzes now, as others pan and zoom in the StreetView to explore the landscape you selected and find more context clues as to where that location is.  Try my sample quiz that I made based on these 5 clues.   

  1. The best place to get clam cakes and doughboys in RI
  2. My hometown is home to this center of athletic excellence
  3. This monument was a part of my research in this Latin American city
  4. This is where I went to school to get my Ph.D.
  5. Home to the movie “Close Encounters,” this National Monument has always fascinated me.  

Tags: landscape, place, trivia.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, February 27, 2018 6:34 AM

another great tool - create your own Geoguesser games

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How Instagram Is Changing the Way We Design Cultural Spaces

How Instagram Is Changing the Way We Design Cultural Spaces | Geography Education |

"As neighborhoods, restaurants and museums become more photogenic, are we experiencing an 'Instagramization' of the world?"


Penang is one of a number of cities capitalizing on the wild popularity of photo-based social media apps such as Instagram, which has 800 million users (that’s more than a tenth of the world’s population). It’s part of a wider phenomenon of public and private spaces being designed to appeal to users of such apps. This phenomenon is subtly changing our visual landscapes—on the streets, in restaurants, in stores, in museums and more. Call it the “Instagramization” of the world.

Restaurants have been at the forefront of Instagramization. Since social media mentions can make or break a restaurant’s success, owners have become attuned to what visual aspects of food and décor appeal to customers. Restaurant designers are going for photo-friendly background materials like slate and whitewashed wood, and using plain white plates. Some are deliberately incorporating Instagram-appealing visuals that feature the restaurant’s name or logo—floor tiles, neon signs—hoping they’ll wind up in a snap.


Tagssocial mediaplaceculture, architecture, urban.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, January 25, 2018 12:12 PM

Over the course of years Instagram has become increasingly popular and especially in Penang. Penang is one out many cities capitalizing on photo based social media such as Instagram. This phenomenon is changing our landscapes, streets, museums, in restauraunts and stores. We call it Instagramization.

James Piccolino's curator insight, January 25, 2018 7:38 PM
I am admittedly a little bit torn on whether this is a good or bad thing. This "Instagramization" does drive art and restaurants to look better, but is it for the right reasons? I have an Instagram, and I do these very same things, but I still have to question the motivations. Are we appreciating art again for the right reasons? Long ago we as humans had an appreciation for art stretching all the way back to cave paintings on walls, long before social media. This trend of only now getting so much into art seems to be more for personal branding, showing off, and trying to impress our friends/followers, maybe even impress ourselves on a deeper level. If we did not hashtag and get likes for our artsy pictures, would we still be so ready to post them, or love them? Do we love the creative world around us? Or do we love what the art around us does for us? There is nothing really wrong with either, but it is a question to consider. The restaurants and tourist spots would probably say "Who cares?" and who could really blame them? They benefit, which is a great thing. I guess when it comes down to it, whether it is for ourselves or for a love of various forms of expression, it is a nice thing that humanity is getting into art again.
Matt Manish's curator insight, January 31, 2018 4:13 PM
This article helps to explain the interesting topic of social media in this current age and how it is shaping our culture. Author of the article Emily Matchar points out how many places in big cities are becoming more and more visually appealing for tourists and customers to come and take pictures for Instagram. She further gives examples of this by how restaurants are putting much more thought into designing their establishments than ever before in hopes that their customers will take a picture there and upload it Instagram. These, restaurants are also creating dishes and beverages that are more colorful as well as pleasing to look at to encourage their customers to post a picture of their food online. Posting these pictures online benefits these restaurants by helping increase their presence online leading to a potentially larger customer base. Matchar goes on to say how this not only changes the way restaurants are trying to use social media to their advantage, but how many other businesses and public places are trying to as well. Pointing out that even museums are coming up with more interactive exhibits for attendees to take pictures of. Overall, I found that this article had an insightful view into the power of social media and how it is molding the way we look at things in our world.