Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Will the Supreme Court End Gerrymandering?

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

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

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

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Leading the Location Intelligence Revolution

"As GPS devises, sensors, and drones proliferate, the power of location intelligence increases exponentially. This means LI can bring clarity to the most pressing business challenges – even those that at first glance don’t seem location related. Esri has location down to a science – The Science of Where. Examples from the Bavarian Police Department, Switzerland’s largest retailer, Migros, the Port of Rotterdam, and the European Environment Agency, provide just a taste of the broad scope of challenges that can be tackled through the lens of where."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is a good demonstration of the value of GIS, geospatial technologies, and locational intelligence. 

GeoEd Tags: GIS, esri, video, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

Scoop.it Tags: GIS, ESRIvideo, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

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Catherine Pearce's curator insight, November 26, 2018 5:02 PM
Clearly illustrates the degree to which Geographic concepts of space are critical to modern systems.
Geography's curator insight, December 14, 2018 8:31 PM
The Location Revolution
Ivan Valles's curator insight, March 4, 10:57 PM
A great introductory video that provides real-world examples of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at work to help create solutions to complex geospatial phenomenon. 
Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks
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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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Bad Internet Maps: 'A Social Media Plague'

Bad Internet Maps: 'A Social Media Plague' | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Business Insider’s widely mocked, since-deleted-from-Twitter, but very very viral map of the most popular fast food restaurants by state is the launching-off point for The Ringer’s Claire McNear, who rants about the maps clogging the Internet that are stupid, uninformed, wrong and exist only to generate clicks."

 

Tags: mappingsocial media, cartography.

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Matt Manish's curator insight, February 17, 2018 12:47 AM
This article talks about the many fake maps arising on the internet in order to get likes or for people to re-share it. Many times there are maps with incorrect data going around on the internet because some people want their content to go viral so bad they are willing to make up statistics in order for it to do so. This is why it is always important to check the sources for content you come across, and not just believe every piece of material you come across on the internet. Too many times people are misled by false information on the internet because they don't check the source it came from. As technology like the internet becomes more advanced, hopefully we will become more skilled at discerning false information such as fake maps on the web.
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Choosing a Map Projection

"Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement. --World maps usually center on the land, with the Pacific Ocean divided as bookends. To show each ocean as a whole with the least distortion for our 'Beneath the Oceans' supplement map, we used a map projection called an interrupted Mollweide centered on the Pacific."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.  This video provides good insight into how to choose a map projection for a cartographic project. Here is National Geographic's lesson using this video.

 

Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water

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The last globemakers

Peter Bellerby is one of the last artisan globemakers on earth. But now, he's teaching an entirely new generation of artists the secrets of crafting entire worlds by hand.
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.  If anybody want to get me a Christmas present, you know that I love cartographic gifts.  FUTURE WATCHING: Here is the longer video of the Bellerby Globes being produced.     

 

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

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M Sullivan's curator insight, September 28, 2017 9:38 PM
Incredible hand-crafted globes and their stories.
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Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise

Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Federal maps help determine who on the coast must buy flood insurance, but many don't include the latest data. Maryland is now making its own flood maps, so homeowners can see if they're at risk.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geographic themes are overflowing (it was an unintended pun, but I'll just let that wash over you) in this podcast.  I suggest playing a game early in the year/semester called "find the geography."  What geographic theme/content areas will your students find in this podcast? 

 

Tagspodcast, mapping, cartography, climate change, environment, watercoastal,  urban, planningurban ecology.

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M Sullivan's curator insight, August 6, 2017 9:14 PM
Useful for Geographical Processes Unit of Inquiry
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U.S.G.S. Topographical Maps

U.S.G.S. Topographical Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Think of them not as cartographic abstractions, but as incredibly affordable Pollocks.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Good cartography lies at the intersection of rigorous scientific data display and a aesthetic touch of beauty.  This article is an ode to the beauty of USGS topographic maps as affordable pieces of art.  Geography students that start their own mapping projects need to recognize that good cartographic work often needs to be both an art and a science to fit the needs of their intended audience. 

 

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

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This computer programmer solved gerrymandering in his spare time

This computer programmer solved gerrymandering in his spare time | Geography Education | Scoop.it
We could take human error out of the redistricting process entirely. Why don't we?
Seth Dixon's insight:

This computer programmer (code word in the newspapers for geographers using GIS) has created a way to take the human element out of the redistricting process.  Dividing places into separate, formal regions is an important task, one that often times requires an intimate knowledge of the place, it's cultural, economic and physical characteristics.  That's how I would want things to been done in a perfect world, but partisan chicanery has led to so many gerrymandered districts that the human touch is what many of us fear more than a cold, impersonal division that does not take place, history, and community into account.    

 

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

 

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

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Madison Murphy's curator insight, May 16, 2017 2:34 PM
The Computer Programmer looks at gerrymandering in a different way by drawing boundary lines on his map and then comparing to show you the difference. This relates to the classroom by showing how gerrymandering draws lines of states but is illegal. This still exists and is bigger in political parties.
Mr Mac's curator insight, June 13, 2017 10:23 AM
Unit 1 - regions, GIS, Unit 4 - districts, gerrymandering (please note, saying "solved" might be a stretch as any districting will have to work on some form of bias) 
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Making Globes

"Colored printed sections showing the map of the world are cut to shape then pasted onto the surface of the globes and a protective coat of varnish is added. Narrator recounts the fact that lots of the workers have been there for over 30 years and quips: 'While the rest of the mankind does its best to blow the world up, they like building a new one.'"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love watching globes made by hand and this vintage video shows the process of globes being made in London in 1955.  While most globe production is mechanized today, you can also watch the Bellerby company use gorgeous artistry to handcraft globes today.   

 

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

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A More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award

A More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"To design a map of the world is no easy task. Because maps represent the spherical Earth in 2D form, they cannot help but be distorted, which is why Greenland and Antarctica usually look far more gigantic than they really are, while Africa appears vastly smaller than its true size. The AuthaGraph World Map tries to correct these issues, showing the world closer to how it actually is in all its spherical glory."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This just shows how subjective the concept of "accurate" can be. First off, this is a fabulous map that nicely minimizes distortions (distance, direction, area, and shape) of the land on our planet. Any criticism of the map just shows the impossibility of making an accurate 2D map of a 3D Earth, but I still think that there is plenty of room to discuss the flaws/distortions that were chosen instead of others. It is interesting to note that a Japanese contest awarded this map with it's top honor (I doubt a Brazilian organization would feel the same way about this map). This map does make with some traditional cartographic conventions in its representation of Earth.  

 

Questions to Ponder: What are some elements of this map that are different from more traditional maps? This map claims to be more accurate; does that make it more useful?    

 

Tags: visualization, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

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All Maps Are Biased. Google Maps’ New Redesign Doesn’t Hide It.

All Maps Are Biased. Google Maps’ New Redesign Doesn’t Hide It. | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Google rolled out its new Maps design...from a navigational tool to a commercial interface and offers the clearest proof yet that the geographic web—despite its aspirations to universality—is a deeply subjective entity."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Google Maps was updated over the summer, and the updates don't make them more impartial, but that isn't a bad thing.  Google Maps now highlight 'Areas of interest,' which are created with algorithms designed to reveal the “highest concentration of restaurants, bars, and shops.” The algorithms aren't 'objective,' but are fine-tuned by human engineers to reflect what they consider 'Areas of Interests' should look like.  Maps are never as objective as they appear to be, and that can often be a great thing. 

 

Tags: google, mapping, geospatial, cartography, visualization.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, September 6, 2016 9:30 AM
All maps are biased because they are not the territory, but represent our subjective view of the territory; what we include and what we leave out depends on what we deem important, or not. Europe is still oversized in most current maps in relation to the "Third World." What is the new politically correct fad?
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Do You Know The Outline of These Countries?

Do You Know The Outline of These Countries? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Can you spot the real outline from the fake?..
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is just for fun...The borders/coastlines of these 14 countries are slightly photoshopped in one of the two images, and you have to remember from your mental maps which one is correct.  And yes, of course I got a 14. 

 

Tagsmapping, trivia, funborders, cartography.

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Jamie Strickland's comment, August 19, 2016 10:37 AM
Love this --- will try with my classes when I talk about cognitive images and our mental maps!
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The Man Behind Most of the Ski Maps in America

The Man Behind Most of the Ski Maps in America | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The ski trail map at your local mountain was probably painted by James Niehues. Now you can see his life's work in one beautiful book."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This new book looks to be a wonderful cartographic coffee table piece.  Good cartography lies at the intersection of rigorous scientific data display and an aesthetic touch of beauty. 

 

GeoEd Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, art.

Scoop.it Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, art.

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Bad TV Maps

Bad TV Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"If you have been on social media this week, you have seen screenshots of this week’s CBS News broadcast on Syria, which in fact displayed a map of Iran. Many jokes were made, many tweets went viral. As connoisseurs of hilariously wrong TV news maps, this is nothing. Kids’ stuff. We have dug deep into our collection, gathered lovingly over the years, and now invite you to follow along on a tour of the world according to TV news."

Seth Dixon's insight:

News organizations are in the business of prioritizing speed and accuracy, but sometimes those priorities come into conflict.  These are but a few of many examples of poor cartography in media.  While this isn't all there is to geographic illiteracy, this is certainly one of the most obvious to the general public. If only there were the only element of geographic illiteracy in media coverage. 

 

Tagscartography, media

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, June 25, 2018 12:11 PM
You must always have solid maps!
Albahae Geography's curator insight, June 29, 2018 6:45 PM
This is why geography is so important!
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Mercator Puzzle Redux

Mercator Puzzle Redux | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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.

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allbuild.construction's comment, February 14, 2018 12:33 AM
good
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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xkcd: A Critique of Viral Maps

xkcd: A Critique of Viral Maps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This 'map' is a pithy and quite pointed critique of the many maps that get shared on social media claiming to be based on big data, but they might be more fluff than true substance. 

 

Tags: XKCD, infographic, mapping, social media, cartography.

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State Borders

State Borders | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I imagine most geographers have wanted to tinker with state or international borders to 'fix them' in one way or another...but if any 'correction' were to be made, whose criteria would be used?  Which people in which regions would be upset by the changes?  Historical inertia is a power force in maintaining the status quo. When France was preparing to consolidate it's administrative regions, 68% recognized that consolidating regional administration would be more efficient but 77% didn't want it to impact their own local region.

 

Tags: XKCD, art, mapping, cartography, borders, political.

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Disaster Mapping: Hurricane Irma, Mexico Earthquake and Bangladesh Floods

Disaster Mapping: Hurricane Irma, Mexico Earthquake and Bangladesh Floods | Geography Education | Scoop.it

This week has seen disasters and destruction on an unprecedented scale, and the HOT Community has activated to respond. Hurricane Irma is the largest Hurricane ever recorded, and has torn death and destruction through the Caribbean. Destruction on some islands is estimated at 95%, affecting the lives of 1.2 million so far, and on track to cause severe destruction across the entire Florida State, where mass evacuation is currently underway. Barbuda’s prime minister, Gaston Browne, described the damage as absolutely heart-wrenching. 'The island is literally under water and barely habitable,' Browne said. 'About 95% of properties are damaged, there is a serious threat of disease. Additionally, those already affected by Irma fear a second brutal battering by Hurricane Jose.'"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action?  Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency.  Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets.  My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need...it's a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. The projects that are marked urgent by the Red Cross are all in Haiti right now.  Here are is a video playlist that explains the project and how you can help if you are new to OpenStreetMap (OSM).

 

Tags: disasters, mapping, edtechSTEM, weather and climate.

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Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 2017 8:55 PM

Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action?  Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency.  Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets.  My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need...it's a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. The projects that are marked urgent by the Red Cross are all in Haiti right now.  Here are is a video playlist that explains the project and how you can help if you are new to OpenStreetMap (OSM).

 

Tags: disasters, mapping, edtechSTEM, weather and climate.

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Boston schools ditch conventional world maps in favor of this one

Boston schools ditch conventional world maps in favor of this one | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Social studies classrooms throughout the Boston public school system are getting an upgrade some 448 years in the making.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Personally, I'm not a fan of this decision, but it's as if they watched the classic West Wing clip and decided to roll with it. I think that the Peters projection map is better than the Mercator for most educational applications, but it isn't the "right, best, or true" map projection.  Many viral videos comparing the two love to exaggerate and say things like "The maps you use are lying to you" or "the world is nothing like you've ever seen."  Yes, Mercator maps distorts relative size, but it isn't a "wrong" map anymore than the Peters projection.  All maps have distortion and map readers need to under that all maps are a mathematical representation of the Earth.  

 

Tags: mapping, visualization, map projections, cartography, perspectiveeducation, geography, geography educationBoston.

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The Geography Teacher's Introduction to OpenStreetMap

The Geography Teacher's Introduction to OpenStreetMap | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Wed, Mar 15, 2017 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT, the NCGE will be offering a free webinar for educators on the OpenStreetMap project and how you can incorporate it into your class."

Seth Dixon's insight:

My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need...it's a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. If you are interested learning more about OSM projects for the classroom, sign up for this NCGE webinar seminar as soon as possible, since this event is right around the corner (the webinar program is one of the many great reasons to become a member of NCGE). 

 

TagsNCGE, mappingedtech, cartography, geospatial, disasters, STEM.

 

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Sally Egan's curator insight, March 14, 2017 7:24 PM

Anyone interested in learning more about Open Street Map might like to enrol for this Webinar. Check the local time for this by clicking on the link about this webinar.


Boulagnon's curator insight, March 15, 2017 3:45 PM

My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need...it's a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. If you are interested learning more about OSM projects for the classroom, sign up for this NCGE webinar seminar as soon as possible, since this event is right around the corner (the webinar program is one of the many great reasons to become a member of NCGE). 

 

TagsNCGE, mappingedtech, cartography, geospatial, disasters, STEM.

 

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How the U.S. Air Force Mapped the World at the Dawn of the Cold War

How the U.S. Air Force Mapped the World at the Dawn of the Cold War | Geography Education | Scoop.it
One specialized unit gathered data that could guide a missile to a target thousands of miles away.

 

The work of the 1370th bridged a crucial gap in the history of military technology. By the late 1950s, both the United States and the Soviet Union had developed intercontinental ballistic missiles, but satellite navigation systems like GPS weren’t yet up and running. That left military planners with a huge challenge: how to program a missile to hit a target on the other side of the world. Even a tiny mistake could be disastrous.

 

Tags: mapping, cartography, technology, historical.

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Alexander peters's curator insight, February 7, 2017 9:05 AM
my opinion on this article it that it really cool and boring but mostly cool i thought that it would be better than that and it wasn't. It sucked.

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This Sheep Is Mapping The Faroe Islands By Wandering Around With A Camera

This Sheep Is Mapping The Faroe Islands By Wandering Around With A Camera | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"How do you get Google to visit your small, remote island group with its Street View vehicles, and digitize your roads for the benefit of locals and tourists alike? If you are the Faroe Islands, then you exploit your local resources to roll your own Street View, in the hopes of attracting Google's attention. Behold: Sheep View 360, a solar-powered 360-degree camera, mounted on a sheep's back. Sheep View takes advantage of one great Street View feature: You can upload your own images to Google's service. So Durita Dahl Andreassen, working for the tourist site Visit Faroe Islands, decided to kick-start the Faroe Islands' entry by putting the camera on a sheep and letting it wander free, then uploading the photos."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I think this is my favorite mapping story of the year...I'm sharing this just because I can.  Google wouldn't originally bring its Street View-recording cars to the islands (part of Denmark), so a solar-powered, ovine-mounted camera was put to work.  Fact can be stranger than fiction.

 

Tags: google, mapping, cartography, technology, Denmark.

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Susan Haskell's curator insight, December 9, 2016 8:32 AM
Excellent career choice for sheep...
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xkcd: Map Age Guide

xkcd: Map Age Guide | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I was riding my bike during Labor Day weekend and chanced upon a yard sale with an old globe going for $4 (of course I bought it and rode home one-handed).  There were some clues that it wasn't a recent globe (The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia still existed and Burkina Faso was labeled Upper Volta and Zimbabwe was listed as Rhodesia). I knew that if I wanted to know what year this globe was produced, I would need this XKCD guide. XKCD is a comic strip that deals with many intellectual issues, but it can also be a wealth of quality scientific information.  This infographic (hi-res) is amazingly useful if you are trying to find the map of an undated map, but the flow chart also is a wealth of global history and moments that 'changed the map.'

 

Tags: XKCD, artinfographic, mapping, trivia, cartography.

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Interactive Climate Map

Interactive Climate Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Obsessed as we are with cartography we in Staridas Geography perceive any aspect of the actual 3D World as a constant opportunity for another pretty map creation!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great interactive map of the world's climate zones. 

 

Tags: ESRIStoryMapedtech, GIS, mapping, cartographyphysical.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 19, 2016 7:47 PM

Great map to discuss global distribution of biomes and links to climate 

Sally Egan's curator insight, August 21, 2016 6:24 PM
Fun way for students to learn about the diverse climates around the world, by selecting a location on the map students are shown the climatic data of the selected place.