Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Italy’s practically perfect food

Italy’s practically perfect food | Geography Education |

"Pound for pound, Parmigiano-Reggiano can compete with almost any food for calcium, amino acids, protein and vitamin A – and is prescribed by doctors to cure ailments."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this article focuses often on the nutritional aspects of Parmigiano-Reggiano, I want people to notice the understated importance of place and the cultural ethos surrounding the production of this product. True, it is an economic industry for the region, but it is also a defining cultural characteristic of the place and a way of life. The place makes the product and the product makes the place. 


GeoEd Tags: culture, place, Italy, Europe, food, food production, agriculture. Tags: culture, place, ItalyEurope, regions, foodfood production, agriculture.

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Italy's Geographic Challenge

"Stratfor explains that Italy's main geographic challenge is to preserve its unity despite strong regional identities."  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.

pmwpow erwash's comment, June 27, 2018 11:02 AM
seedmarke tingagency's comment, July 6, 2018 9:51 AM
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 5:49 AM
Italy is looked at as being an independent country but yet during its growth has always had separate regions. most of the regions speak Italian but are all different dialect of the major region which can be frustrating trying to travel town to town. So, they have a real challenge on their hands to get them to become more unionized. 
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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 6:18 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 19, 2018 4:18 AM
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 6:11 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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Catalan independence crisis escalates

Catalan independence crisis escalates | Geography Education |

"The Catalan regional parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, while the Spanish parliament has approved direct rule over the region. Catalan MPs backed the motion 70-10 in a ballot boycotted by the opposition. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had told senators direct rule was needed to return 'law, democracy and stability' to Catalonia. The crisis began when Catalans backed independence in a disputed vote earlier this month. The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part in the referendum, 90% were in favour of independence. But Spain's Constitutional Court had ruled the vote illegal."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Stay tuned, sometimes the status quo changes in unexpected bursts. 


Tags: Catalonia, Spain, political, devolution, autonomyEurope.

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Europe's Population Change (2001 to 2011)

Europe's Population Change (2001 to 2011) | Geography Education |
The map provides a level of detail previously unavailable. It is the first ever to collect data published by all of Europe’s municipalities.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What regions can you identify as a part of a trend?  What possible factors have led to these patterns?  What are the long-term implications of this data? 


Tags: Europe, declining populations, population, demographic transition model, models, migration. 


Olivia Campanella's curator insight, October 1, 2018 9:35 PM
Europe has been undergoing intense demographic change and this map is the first ever collect data published by Europe. How this map works:

The Dark Blue color shows average annual population fall of 2% or more

The Medium Blue shows the average annual population fall of between 1 and 2%

and Light Blue shows a fall of 1%. The areas in tan experienced no change at all.

Areas in Deep Red show a rise of 2% or more in population, while in areas of Medium Red (1-2%) and Pale Pink (1%).
K Rome's curator insight, October 7, 2018 12:31 AM
Europe has been undergoing intense demographic change and this map is the first ever collect data published by Europe. How this map works:

The Dark Blue color shows average annual population fall of 2% or more

The Medium Blue shows the average annual population fall of between 1 and 2%

and Light Blue shows a fall of 1%. The areas in tan experienced no change at all.

Areas in Deep Red show a rise of 2% or more in population, while in areas of Medium Red (1-2%) and Pale Pink (1%).
othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 7:45 AM
This article shows the population patterns of Europe between 2001 and 2011. Many cities have had a high rise in average annual population of 2 percent or more. This map also shows that there has been more migration in northwest Europe. Citizens have left certain cities in search of better job opportunities. The population in Germany is sparse except in Berlin. Spain has had a big drop in population overall. Many people living in more rural regions have moved to cities and many others are moving to coasts for retiring or downsizing.
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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May Triggers Article 50, Making 'Brexit' Official

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


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

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

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

Italy’s Last Bastion of Catalan Language Struggles to Keep It Alive | Geography Education |
The lingering use of Catalan in Alghero, Italy, is a reminder of how Mediterranean cultures have blended for centuries. But the language is fading there today.


In an age when people cling ever more tightly to national identity, the lingering use of Catalan in Alghero is a reminder of the ways Mediterranean cultures have blended for centuries, rendering identity a fluid thing.  But while the traditional insularity of Alghero has helped to preserve Catalan, the language is struggling to survive, even here.   


Tags: language, culture, ItalyEurope.

Tom Cockburn's curator insight, December 13, 2016 8:52 AM
7 activists arrested by Spanish police for insulting king felipe
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, February 17, 2018 8:35 PM
Prior to Catalon’s attempt to gain independence from Spain last year, I was unaware that there was a region of Spain that was so culturally not Spanish.  This article then introduced me to the Catalonian people living in Italy.  In Italy, the Catalon culture is not even close to as widespread and important as it is in Spain.  The language is scarcely used in the one region (Alghero) where it was most prevalent a century ago— in fact only about 25% of people here speak Catalon as their primary language.  The article explains that the Catalon culture is dying off in Alghero, unlike in Spain where people are so passionate that they want independence.  One of the biggest reasons the article atributes this to is the fact that Italy’s government has not been oppressive of Alghero’s population.  There are signs, menus, and people who have spoken the language with no government opposition, so people do not feel the need to protect the culture.  On the contrary, the Spanish government strongly pushes Spanish culture onto the Catalonians, which is why they fight for independence.  Catalonians feel threatened in Spain and try to defend, whereas in Italy the Catalonians don’t feel threatened and don’t have a reason to cling so strongly to their culture.  Younger people in Alghero speak almost exclusively Italian and education in Catalon is very rare.  This is interesting to me, because unlike the physical connection that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, Alghero is quite distanced from the rest of Italy.  
The distance seems like it would make it easier for Alghero’s residents to maintain their Catalonian roots, but the opposite is happening. The article touches on this a bit, as it explains that since Alghero is on Sardinia, Sardinian is the most common ethnic group.  Sardinian culture and language is more prevalent in the area and Catalonians simply don’t have the numbers to compete.  Another explanation for this is the highly centralized way in which Italian education is set up.  Schoolchildren’s education is uniform with the education that the rest of Italy and has a much stronger Italian influence than proud Catalonians would like.  The final thought I had after reading this article was a question: If Catalonia somehow gained independence from Spain would they attempt to obtain Sardinia as part of their nation in order to take control of their fellow Catalonians?
Nicole Canova's curator insight, March 23, 2018 8:24 PM
The Mediterranean region is a good example of the fact that borders do not always indicate identity, a concept I looked at in a few articles on North America.  Due to trade relationships that date back thousands of years, cultures were dispersed and blended throughout the Mediterranean.  This has led to some interesting things, such as Catalan being spoken in Alghero, on the Italian island of Sardinia.
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Iceland's Glacial Melt and Geothermal Activity

Iceland's Glacial Melt and Geothermal Activity | Geography Education |

Glacial melting and flooding occurs every year by the Skafta River in Iceland. As the water travels down towards the North Atlantic Ocean, incredible patterns are created on the hillsides. Rising lava, steam vents, or newly opened hot springs can all cause this rapid ice melt, leading to a sizable release of water that picks up sediment as it flows down from the glaciers.


Tags: geomorphology, physical, Europe, fluvial, water, landforms, images.

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Bratislava EU meeting: Merkel says bloc in 'critical situation'

Bratislava EU meeting: Merkel says bloc in 'critical situation' | Geography Education |
The EU is in a "critical situation", the German chancellor says, as leaders meet to discuss ways to regain trust after the UK's vote to leave the bloc.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of this article is focused on the micro-issues of the day, but the larger issues of what is the proper role for an economic supranational organization is front and center.  Should the EU have a military headquarters?  How should the member states respond to the underlying tensions in the Union?  Attached is a video showing residents of EU countries with a wide range of opinions about the organization and what it's future should be and another video about the major topics on the table.  Given that the politicians there are balancing personal, national, and European interests, it is a sticky wicket (if British phrases are still allowed, even if they are the only member state not invited to the summit).   


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political, video.

Danielle Adams's curator insight, September 19, 2016 10:18 PM
Geo 152
David Stiger's curator insight, October 8, 2018 5:20 PM
Without a doubt, the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union (EU) - or "Brexit" has deeply shaken the EU. With the British departure, there is fear that the EU may face disintegration and dissolution because it has failed to adequately address important issues, like immigration, that are central to common voters. 

To counteract the turbulence and unease, the EU plans to create a new "road map" for the future at smaller, more informal gatherings like the one in Slovakia's city of Bratislava. Although the meeting is not exactly about Brexit, it will be about addressing the antecedents and consequences of Brexit. The problem is that the EU lacks a unified position on several key issues ranging from a supranational military force and security, the economy, and immigration. Some EU member states, like Slovakia, do not want to accept any Muslim immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East while the EU - led by France and Germany - is pushing for all states to take in their fair share. Another matter is that some countries see the EU bloc as primarily an economic entity ensuring open borders for people and capital but not as a security agency. The question remains if the EU should maintain a centralized standing army to deal with potential threats and matters of defense. 

Regardless of what is discussed, Brexit proved that the EU needs revamping. Listening to the individuals in the videos, it is clear that people see a whole host of problems with the EU but still want to see it succeed. There is not this sense that the EU is a failed experiment and needs to disband but there is consensus that it needs improvement. 

This article shows that running a supranational organization is no easy task. Despite the struggle, the EU seems fundamentally important in maintaining peace by promoting free trade and open borders. This only makes sense as these countries are geographically situated right next to each other. The more countries become economically interdependent, the less likely these countries are to spiral into conflict and antagonistic behavior. 
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Turkey's 'bumpy ride' into the EU?

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

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 8, 2017 11:29 PM
Post Brexit can we expect a ...Turkentrance?
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The Vatican’s Gallery of Maps Comes Back to Life

The Vatican’s Gallery of Maps Comes Back to Life | Geography Education |
In the 16th century, Pope Gregory assigned the monk and geographer Ignazio Danti to carry out the project. In turn, Danti hired several artistic stars of the day and up-and-comers as well to illustrate the maps, including Girolamo Muziano, Cesare Nebbia and the Flemish brothers Matthijs and Paul Bril. The Brils excelled at landscape paintings—an essential skill for the work.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 4-year restoration project is a great cultural revival, but it also reveals the importance of geographic information.  The Vatican was a great medieval seat of both religious authority and political power.  This attracted prominent visitors from all over Europe and the map gallery served to convey geographic information about the Italian peninsula.  


Tagsart, Italy, historical, Europe, religiontourism, Christianity.

Loreto Vargas's curator insight, August 6, 2016 11:30 PM
Wonderful and amazing
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 6:20 AM
The geography paintings show depict how the 16th century artist saw their country. It is really an amazing feature to have this inside on their walls to show everyone how they feel their nation looks on topical scale. they give the mountains a 3-D look almost to show how deep they are. 
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In stunning decision, Britain votes to leave the E.U.

In stunning decision, Britain votes to leave the E.U. | Geography Education |
The country opted to become the first ever to leave the 28-member bloc in a result that will send economic and political shockwaves across the globe.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The foundations of the European Union have their historical roots in World War II.  To ensure that European countries stop attacking each other, they knit their economies together and cooperated more on political and economic policies.   

The UK has narrowly voted to leave the European Union (52%-48%).  The Brexit (Britain + Exit) was expected to be close, but shows discontent with London.  The ‘Remain’ campaign dominated in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland while the ‘Leave’ campaign found its strength across England and Wales (see maps). 

The fallout of this vote is big and far-reaching.  The first global reaction was financial panic as numerous stock exchanges plummeted.  UK Prime Minister David Cameron will resign.  Already Spain is calling for joint control of Gibraltar (which they’ve wanted anyway) and using this as an opportunity to advance a Spanish agenda.  Many in Scotland chose to stay in the UK in part because they wanted Scotland to remain in the EU.  Another referendum on Scottish Independence feels eminent at this point.       

Still confused?  Here are answers to 9 frequently asked questions about the Brexit as well as a good overview from on the economic issues from the Economist.


Tags: Europe, supranationalism, economic, political.

David G Tibbs's curator insight, February 28, 2018 6:29 PM
With Britain leaving the EU it changes the landscape of Europe. This would be the spark that would light the nationalist fire in Europe. This threatens to break up the supernational organization. This was a massive split in the British politicians. 
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Aerial Photos of Iceland Volcanic Rivers

Aerial Photos of Iceland Volcanic Rivers | Geography Education |

On occasion, we are reminded of how utterly captivating and gorgeous nature is, its visual poetry surrounds us. It just takes a step back, a shift in perspective, to realize how amazing the constructs of this planet are; it’s a beautiful constant balance between order and entropy. Case in point, what appears to be well-crafted, intricate abstract paintings, or works of art, are in reality, mindblowing aerial images of Iceland."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Andre Ermolaev, through his photography has captured the beauty of Iceland's geomorphology.  Being on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland has abundant volcanic ash which adds rich color to the fluvial systems.  


Tags: geomorphology, physical, Europe, fluvial, water, landforms, images.

Joaquín del Val's curator insight, May 27, 2016 6:20 PM
Espectaculares imágenes de canales fluviales en Islandia
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Kosovo-Serbia land swap could end conflict – or restart war

Kosovo-Serbia land swap could end conflict – or restart war | Geography Education |

"A land swap proposal between Kosovo and Serbia could end the last ethnic conflict of the Yugoslav Wars, or it could reignite it. The proposal involves swapping Serbian-majority district of Mitrovica in north Kosovo, and the Albanian-majority Presevo Valley, in southwest Serbia. The deal excludes 6 Serbian-majority municipalities within Kosovo."

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.  This BBC podcast explores local impacts and opinions about borders, ethnic identity, and place.   


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

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The World’s Most Economically Powerful Cities

The World’s Most Economically Powerful Cities | Geography Education |

"The newest ranking of the world’s most economically powerful cities put together by Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) research team finds New York to be the clear winner [over London]. Our Global City Economic Power Index  is based on five core metrics: Overall Economic Clout, Financial Power, Global Competitiveness,

Equity and Quality of Life." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

100 years ago, the biggest trends in urbanization showed that the biggest cities in the world were also the most economically powerful cities in the world in core areas.  In the last 50 years, the most obvious change has been the remarkable growth in of the world’s largest cities in the developing world.   

Questions to Ponder: Why has there been such spectacular growth of megacities, especially in the developing world?  How is this map ranking global cities different from a list of the world’s largest cities?  What regional patterns do exist in the 25 most economically powerful cities in the world?  What are the implications of these patterns?    


Tags: urban, megacities, regions.

PIRatE Lab's curator insight, May 28, 2018 5:07 PM
And the winner is: coastal cities.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, September 5, 2018 9:32 PM
In this article it states the most economically powerful cities. From New York to London they are both powerhouse cities in music, finance and fashion. Even though London lost its run after decades it is still the most economically powerful city since 2012. Tokyo, being the 3rd largest economically powerful city is the worlds largest metro economy. And from Hong Kong (4th city) to Toronto we can see that the world is getting more and more powerful in the economy.
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Gibraltar Bay

Gibraltar Bay | Geography Education |

"Gibraltar Bay, located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, is the central feature of this astronaut photograph. The famous Rock of Gibraltar that forms the northeastern border of the bay is formed of Jurassic-era seafloor sediments that solidified into limestone, a rock formed mostly of the mineral calcite, which is found in the shells of sea creatures. The limestone was subsequently lifted above the ocean surface when the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Gibraltar is an exclave of the UK on a peninsula connected to the Spanish mainland that controls access to the Mediterranean Sea; there is naturally going to be friction over this unusual political configuration. "La Linea" marked on the image is the international border


Questions to Ponder: Why are both Spain and the UK invested in this piece of territory?  What challenges are there for a small exclave when neighbors aren't friendly?  How does Spanish and British supranational connections impact this issue?


Tags: borders, political, Spain, Europe.

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 2018 6:37 PM
(Europe) Gibraltar Bay is an important economic and political region located on the very southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. The UK owns city of Gibraltar while the surrounding area is in Spain. The Strait of Gibraltar is a passage separating Spain in Europe and Morocco in Africa, allowing transport between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The area has tactical value because of the inflow of ships and its geographic position, but also houses oil processing and tourism industries.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, October 1, 2018 9:27 PM
The Gibraltar Bay, located in the Southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula is the central feature of this picture. The rock of Gibraltar is formed of Jurassic-era seafloor sediments that solidify into limestone. The waters of the Bay and its location close to Africa contribute to the regions strategic and economic importance.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 3:37 PM
Gibraltar Bay is one of the most fascinating places on Earth, with its formation and location. It has a very successful port and its formation has made it a popular tourist spot.
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Spain crisis: 'stop this radicalism and disobedience,' PM tells Catalan leaders

Spain crisis: 'stop this radicalism and disobedience,' PM tells Catalan leaders | Geography Education |

"Spain’s prime minister has called on Catalan separatist leaders to end their 'escalation' as several thousand people took to the streets of Barcelona to protest at Madrid’s attempts to stop a banned referendum on independence. 'Stop this escalation of radicalism and disobedience once and for all.' Catalonia’s president earlier accused the Spanish government of suspending the region’s autonomy after police intensified efforts to stop a vote on independence that has sparked one of the worst political crises since Spain’s return to democracy four decades ago. Spanish Guardia Civil officers raided a dozen Catalan regional government offices and arrested 14 senior officials on Wednesday as part of an operation to stop the referendum from taking place on 1 October."

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you are looking for an example of devolution today, this is it.  This situation has escalated as Spain and Catalonia's governments cannot work together.  The referendum was (according to the Spanish government) outlawed but keep an eye on Catalonia over the next few weeks. 
UPDATE: This video from the Economist is an excellent summary of the situation.


Tags: Catalonia, Spain, political, devolution, autonomyEurope.

David Stiger's curator insight, September 30, 2018 9:58 PM
The right to self determination is a contentious issue. Both Spain's national government and Catalonia have different perspectives on the matter. Spain does not want to lose one its regional economic powerhouses. Such a fracturing event would make Spain as a whole look weaker as they'd be losing a valuable economic asset. It would send shock-waves throughout Spain and bolster other independence movements. Spain, not wanting to give up ground, is escalating an issue of perceived unfairness. Through federal taxation, the prosperous Catalonian people are putting into the Spanish government more than they're getting out. There are also strong regional differences. Catalonians speak more Catalan than Spanish. In some ways, this situation resembles Canada's French speaking Quebec. Fearing such a loss, Spain is refusing to allow Catalonia to host a referendum which could determine its independence. Either Spain needs to compromise and incentivize Catalonia to remain part of the union or the Spanish government should allow the referendum giving the people an opportunity to be heard. There is a solid chance the referendum's motion towards independence would not pass. In this case, Catalonians might simply feel better that they had a chance and gave the process a shot. Considering Catalonia feels disgruntled, Spain is not helping its image by cracking down on Catalonian leaders by arresting them and messaging to the people to cease and desist. Such insensitive gestures might only be strengthening the resolve of Catalonian secessionists.  
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Brexit, UK, Great Britain, and England

"An update of an earlier sketch we did before Brexit, the situation has become a little more unclear since."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The difference between the UK, Great Britain, and England can be confusing (the short version can be shown on a map, but the long version is much more complicated than this).   This is an amusing look at how these complexities lead to real-world complications besides using the right toponym. 


Taylor Doonan's curator insight, February 16, 2018 12:14 AM
This video quickly defines the different terminologies that can be used to define England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Ireland. The different terms include England, for England, Great Britain, when talking about England, Scotland and Wales, and the United Kingdom when talking about England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The video also talks about  how in different sporting events this group of countries competes differently, sometimes they are Great Britain, sometimes the United Kingdom, sometimes the countries compete individually sometimes Northern Ireland competes with Ireland. This video described all these differences very well. 
othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 8:04 AM
This video helped explain Brexit and the countries that will be affected by it. It also helped explain the difference between all the countries in the United Kingdom including: England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. This is an important video because of Brexit. Many people are confused about what Brexit actually is and what effect it will have on other countries in the U.K. This video clears it up and makes it easier to understand.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 5:53 AM
Britain's exit from the the EU has made trying to understand it very unclear and mostly confusing. Since Ireland is apart of these islands and seeks the joining of the EU but since being inside the UK gives them a hard chance of joining with UK;s push of leaving. 
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Language: The cornerstone of national identity

Language: The cornerstone of national identity | Geography Education |

"Of the national identity attributes included in the Pew Research Center survey, language far and away is seen as the most critical to national identity. Majorities in each of the 14 countries polled say it is very important to speak the native language to be considered a true member of the nation."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Most Europeans see language as a strong prerequisite to be a part of the "national identity."  Immigration has put a strain on cultural identities that are often very political. A majority of European agree on the link between language and national identity, but not surprisingly, the older Europeans and those on the political right feel more strongly about the importance of speaking the national language to truly 'belong.'


Tags: language, culturepolitical, Europe, migration, ethnicity.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, February 6, 2018 2:03 PM
The link between language and national identity is important as shown in this article as Europeans believe it is the the number one link and most important.  From an American standpoint this was interesting to read as the trend nowadays, especially in America is to be more open to multiple languages and always viewing Europe as a place where many of the people that would live their would speak multiple languages as well.  How we communicate with people is very important obviously and now it has even become a political issue.  If you tend to lend more left you link national identity and language less and if you lean more right you tend to link national identity and language more. This is something that will continue to play out in the United States over the next decade as the Hispanic community continues to grow in the country and language will come to the forefront. While America has always been a melting pot of people, English has always survived as its dominate language and a way to identify Americans. Twenty or Thirty years from now will that continue? Will Americans lose that as and Identity, how will that effect them? Will this become a major political battle as well, how will this play out in elections in 2020, 2024, 2028, and beyond. Some very interesting trends to look at.  
Douglas Vance's curator insight, February 9, 2018 8:37 PM
For most of Europe, but especially older and more conservative Europeans, being able to speak the language of the country you live in is incredibly closely tied to national identity. Therefore, immigrants who arrive and do not speak the language are viewed as "others" and not belonging. This close tie between language and national identity serves as one of the fuels for anti-immigrant sentiments in many European nations. Although this sentiment is not confined to just Europe.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 2018 7:26 PM
(Europe) Throughout Europe and North America, the majority of citizens believe the national language is essential to the country's identity. For immigrants to be considered a part of these countries, the majority believe proficiency is required. In the United States, age, education, and religion are all factors contributing to this view, however race has little effect on people's view of language. Like America, older and more conservative Europeans place a higher emphasis on language. National identity can be a geopolitical problem for the European Union because some countries believe the 24 official languages subvert autonomy and internal unity. Interestingly Canada, a country with two official languages, places a lessor importance on language, with only a 59% majority believing it is fundamental to identity.
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Belgium and the Netherlands Swap Land, and Remain Friends

Belgium and the Netherlands Swap Land, and Remain Friends | Geography Education |
The discovery of a headless corpse in the Netherlands helped Belgium and its bigger Dutch neighbor resolve a property squabble that began in 1961.


In a region that has long known geopolitical and linguistic squabbles, and where Belgium has lived in the shadow of its neighbor, the land swap was anything but inevitable. In 1961, when the Meuse was reconfigured to aid navigation, it had the side effect of pushing three pieces of land onto the wrong side of the river. The uninhabited area subsequently gained a reputation for lawlessness, wild parties and prostitution.


Tags: borders, political, territoriality, BelgiumNetherlands, unit 4 political, Europe.

Taylor Doonan's curator insight, February 16, 2018 12:21 AM
This shows a peaceful glimpse into the future of potentially the world. When borders don't make sense a peaceful sit-down resulting in subtle changes of borders makes sense. Though this is extremely hard to attain, Belgium and the Netherlands achieved this. When a body was found and the wrong authorities were called and the correct authorities could not reasonably get to the land the deal was made creating borders between the two nations that made sense. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 9, 2018 7:05 PM
(Europe) The Belgian-Dutch border on Meuse River was drawn to aid navigation but caused parts of each country to end up on the wrong side of the river. When a murder happened on Belgian land on the opposing river bank and required a tricky river landing, the countries realized the impracticality. Without fighting over land in other regions of the world, Belgium relinquished 35 acres and the Netherlands gave up 7 peacefully, strengthening their relations. Illogical borders like this exist throughout the world, including between Norway and Finland and the US and Canada.
brielle blais's curator insight, March 24, 2018 4:37 PM
This article shows that despite small geopolitical and linguistic squabbles, Belgium and Norway still peacefully traded land to fix unreasonable boarders. This also showcases the importance of maintaining friendly relations and practical boarders between countries. A peninsula belonging to the Netherlands was cut off by a treacherous river and Belgium, through which the Dutch needed special permission to cross over. After the peninsula became a hub for lawlessness, it was agreed by both countries that the boarder needed to be fixed. This shows that these changes can be done peacefully by countries and that geographic location is very important. 
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Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong

Germany reunified 26 years ago, but some divisions are still strong | Geography Education |

"While 75 percent of Germans who live in the east said that they considered their country's reunification a success, only half of western Germans agreed. With eastern and western Germans blaming each other for past mistakes over the past two years, that frustration has likely increased. Younger citizens, especially — who do not usually identify themselves with their area of origin as strongly anymore — have grown worried about the persistent skepticism on both sides. But where do those divisions come from? And how different are eastern and western Germany today?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This series of 10 maps (and 1 satellite image) highlights many of the cultural and economic divisions between East and West, despite efforts to in the last 26 years to smooth out these discrepancies. The social geographies imposed by the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall are still being felt from this relic border and will for years to come. 


Tags: Germany, industry, laboreconomichistorical, politicalborders.

Douglas Vance's curator insight, February 9, 2018 8:00 PM
The social, political, and economic impacts of reunification are still being flt today. The old policies of both East and West Germany still impact the cultural and social habits of Germans. Despite the borders between the two former nations being eliminated almost 30 years ago, the differences between the two halves of Germany will be felt for decades to come. Issues from vaccines to child care to trash production all feel the effects of the policies of the former division.
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 20, 2018 4:48 PM
From when this article was written it has been 26 years since Germany was completely unified.  But over the last two years there has been a rift between east and west Germany.  Economically the east feels left behind by the west with their rise of wealth.  The west is mad that the east doesn’t taken in as many refugees as they do.  These rifts between the two are not making things easy to work out between the two.  All they are doing are pointing fingers and not coming up with solutions.  Many people of the younger generations don’t feel as divided as the older generations do.  They feel they are Germans and not east or west.  Maybe they can find a way to bring people together as one. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 6:00 AM
You may think that since the fall of the Berlin wall that Germany has reunified itself and has become a strong nation again but that isnt such the case. The fact is that most of West Berlin still feel left out and feel that they are still shorted in the reunification. 
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Thousands Leave Norwegian Church as Online Registration Backfires

Thousands Leave Norwegian Church as Online Registration Backfires | Geography Education |

"15,035 people have 'unsubscribed' from the church since Monday."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Europe, the most developed region in the world, is also the most secular region today.  During colonial times, Europeans were spreading Christianity across the globe, but now Christianity is becoming more a part of Europe's historical landscape.  Secularization can be seen as either the cause or the effect of several other European trends such as declining fertility rates.  Today Europeans have stopped attending mass en masse, and many cathedrals sit empty.  This example for Norway has an amusing twist, but it is rooted in a powerful cultural shift. 


Questions to Ponder: What are other signs of secularization on the cultural landscape?  What would you do with a former sacred site (and an architectural treasure) that is can't be maintained?


Tags: culturepopular culture, religion, ChristianityNorway, Europe.

David Stiger's curator insight, September 28, 2018 7:09 PM
Being raised Lutheran in the Mid-West, with Norwegian heritage, I can recall my relatives telling me that, unlike America, the "official church" of the Scandinavian countries is usually Lutheran. As a teen, it was always ironic to hear how irreligious, agnostic, and secular these European countries were despite having a state-sponsored religion. It's interesting to note that in 2012, the Lutheran church ceased to be the official national church of Norway - marking a trend that continues to grow. 

Interestingly enough, despite Europe's decline of Christianity, many of these states support robust welfare systems and social programs that include the powerless and vulnerable. What does this reality say about Christianity then? Can the message of Jesus - to love and serve the downtrodden -  be better achieved without Jesus the divine? 

Notably, Europe is the most advanced and developed region in the world and they are now the most secular region in the world. Perhaps the decrease in religiosity and traditional beliefs is tied to education, higher quality of life, technology, and better opportunity. It would be interesting to compare the most religious countries in the world (often Arab-Muslim and Latin American Roman Catholic) to determine if development has a strong correlation with declining religious participation.  
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, October 1, 2018 9:19 PM
Europe is one of the most developed regions in the world and is also the most secular region today. Christianity was spreading across the globe but now, it is becoming part of Europe's past. In this article a Norwegian church attempted to help people check their enrollment or to sign up  by creating a website, but, to their surprise 10,854 people clicked the unenroll option leaving the church with a net loss of 14,500 people.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 28, 2018 7:15 PM
Europe today lacks the religious aspect it once held so close. Attendance of church has dramatically declined as time went on leaving many church buildings abandoned. Europe stands today as one of the most developed regions in the world however, it is now the most secular region today. Which is very different from how Europe use to be. Christianity is now becoming part of Europe's past. In this article a Norwegian church tries to combat the lack of church attendance and practices. They do this in a very modern way that being using the internet. They attempted to create an website where people could sign up or check their enrollment in church. However, this modern idea backfired and the church lost around 14,500 people as they clicked the un-enroll option on the website. I believe this idea failed because people that attend church probably lean more towards old traditions. So they might have felt insulted by the church that they had to enroll on a modern (new tradition). The members probably wanted the church to remain untouched by modernity.
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Why Italy’s 'Fertility Day' is backfiring

Why Italy’s 'Fertility Day' is backfiring | Geography Education |

"Facing a low fertility rate (1.4), Italy is holding its first 'Fertility Day' on Sept. 22, which will emphasize 'the beauty of motherhood and fatherhood' and host roundtable discussions on fertility and reproductive health. That may seem inoffensive, but the country’s health department is trying to raise awareness with an ad campaign that’s striking many as misguided and, worse, sexist and alarmist."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This pro-natalist campaign designed by the health ministry has received near universal criticism (in an attempt to see other perspectives, I searched for a more positive or even neutral article on the topic and came up empty-handed).  Italy's Prime Minister openly scoffed at the premise of the campaign, and many pundits argue that it shames and pressures women into thinking about personal choices of childbearing as if they were communal responsibilities.  Unlike the infamous 'Do it For Denmark' advertisements that were filled with playful innuendos, or Singapore's 'Maybe Baby' which highlights the joys of parenthood, this one has more overtones of duty and plays on fear more than those other pro-natalist campaigns.      


Tags:  ItalyEurope, declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 


Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 5, 2016 12:28 PM
Preliminary - population
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Brexit: Reaction and the Aftermath

Brexit: Reaction and the Aftermath | Geography Education |

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


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

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

How Islam Created Europe | Geography Education |

"For centuries in early and middle antiquity, Europe meant the world surrounding the Mediterranean. It included North Africa, but the swift advance of Islam across North Africa in the seventh and eighth centuries virtually extinguished Christianity there, thus severing the Mediterranean region into two civilizational halves, with the 'Middle Sea' a hard border between them rather than a unifying force. Islam is now helping to undo what it once helped to create. A classical geography is organically reasserting itself, as the forces of terrorism and human migration reunite the Mediterranean Basin, including North Africa and the Levant, with Europe." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

The title is a bit overstated (aren't they all in this click-bait driven media age?), but the article shows nicely how regions are cultural constructs that change over time. 


Tags: op-edregions, Europe, historical, Islamreligionhistorical, culture, Christianity.

association concert urbain's curator insight, September 22, 2016 2:06 PM


The Atlantic


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Violaine Maelbrancke's curator insight, December 3, 2016 5:06 PM
Dans sa cartographie, l'Europe a souvent intégré le nord africain qu'elle a pourtant colonisé et soumis. Bien que ce nord africain ait gagné son indépendance il a conservé une relation Nord-Sud privilégiée avec l'Europe. Le terrorisme permet aujourd'hui de reconstruire une Europe bien délimitée en détruisant ce que le nord africain avait dessiné.
L'auteur critique ici une volonté européenne d'intégrer d'autres pays dont la méthode est calquée sur la méthode romaine de constitution d'un empire. L' Europe doit aujourd'hui trouver un autre moyen d'intégrer de nouveaux pays pleinement. Pour l'exemple du nord africain elle doit apprendre à pleinement intégrer l'islam en abandonnant un peu la logique législative catégorisante. Il faudrait alors construire un système où ces grandes lois deviennent des valeurs universelles qui prennent en considération les individus et leurs droits selon une hiérarchie des besoins.
David Stiger's curator insight, September 28, 2018 8:35 PM
After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe was a disparate and disorganized collection of ethnically similar Christian tribes and kingdoms. Without Rome, there was no driving force to unify these proto-European entities. Bickering, feuding, and divisiveness dominated Christendom. 

An Islamic threat from the south, coming up through North Africa, eventually united Europeans against an "other". By sizing up to Arabic and African Muslims, Europeans saw their common ethnic and religious threads more clearly. This development culminated during the Crusades. Arguably, Islam defined and shaped the final product of Europe. 

Europe believed itself superior to the Islamic world and colonized it. Despite acknowledging the breathtaking accomplishments and advancements of their Muslim counterparts, Europeans saw themselves as something better. During the post-colonialization, 
Europe's excessive exploitation left  these old possessions in shambles without a foundation to build healthy democracies that could support human rights. Seeing itself as democratic and morally sophisticated, Europeans once again defined themselves against an Islamic backdrop.

Times are changing and Europe cannot pursue its old system of defining its civilization. Because of the geographic situation, Europe is poised to absorb the brunt of migration waves from the Islamic world. Failed states, inhumane governments, civil war, and economic collapse have propelled mass waves of North African and Arab immigrants to the shores of Europe. Cultures are mixing and the strict boundaries the old civilizations are disappearing in a more interconnected world. Europe must figure out a way to navigate these turbulent waters of change or risk giving into nationalistic extremist movements that are highly xenophobic and Islamophobic.