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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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India Is Changing Some Cities' Names, And Muslims Fear Their Heritage Is Being Erased

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

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

 

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

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

 

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gara gewiki's comment, 2 May, 07:12
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Seterra Geography Games

Seterra Geography Games | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Learn world geography the easy way! Seterra is a map quiz game, available online and as an app for iOS an Android. Using Seterra, you can quickly learn to locate countries, capitals, cities, rivers lakes and much more on a map.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is my newest favorite app to recommend for teachers.  If you need students to learn where in the world things are without having to take up class time with map quizzes and the like, this app is great.  It has basic "countries and capitals" quizzes for world regions, but it also has some more difficult quizzes for the those that need/want a challenge.   

 

Tags: trivia, gamesregions, toponyms.

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The Weirdest Town Names In All 50 States

The Weirdest Town Names In All 50 States | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A map produced by real estate website Estately found the weirdest town name for every state in America, including Booger Hole, WV, and Old Roach, CO.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I know, I know.  You have a better name that should be on this map of strange toponyms.   Having driven MANY times from San Diego to Utah, I'm kind of partial to Zzyzx, CA...just because.  What's you favorite toponym? What value is there is having a strange name for a town?  How does a place name contribute to the local sense of place?   

Tags: place, toponyms.

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kyleigh hall's curator insight, 13 March 2017, 21:31
 This article is about the funny names that some of the states that some people visit have or just in general. It shows maps and pictures of some of towns. In my opinion one of the funniest one is in Idaho and it is called beer bottle crossing. This relates to world cultural geography because it is talking about states and that's culture. 
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Similarities Between Spanish And Arabic

Spanish and Arabic have more in common than you think, and it's not a coincidence.
Seth Dixon's insight:

These two languages are not in the same language family yet there are many similiarities (article with more connections that in the video).   I would like to challenge you educators to not just say to your students "these similarities are neat!"  Make the geographic connections to explain the 'why' behind this cultural pattern and the implications of it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What past political factors led to this cultural convergence?  How were global regions different in the past?  What are the were the impacts of this convergence, both in the past and lingering results today?   

 

Tagsdiffusion, languagetoponyms, culture, colonialism, regions.

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ismokuhanen's curator insight, 27 March 2016, 12:29

These two languages are not in the same language family yet there are many similiarities (article with more connections that in the video).   I would like to challenge you educators to not just say to your students "these similarities are neat!"  Make the geographic connections to explain the 'why' behind this cultural pattern and the implications of it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What past political factors led to this cultural convergence?  How were global regions different in the past?  What are the were the impacts of this convergence, both in the past and lingering results today?   

 

Tags: diffusion, language, toponyms, culture, colonialism, regions.

Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, 28 March 2016, 15:55

These two languages are not in the same language family yet there are many similiarities (article with more connections that in the video).   I would like to challenge you educators to not just say to your students "these similarities are neat!"  Make the geographic connections to explain the 'why' behind this cultural pattern and the implications of it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What past political factors led to this cultural convergence?  How were global regions different in the past?  What are the were the impacts of this convergence, both in the past and lingering results today?   

 

Tags: diffusion, language, toponyms, culture, colonialism, regions.

MsPerry's curator insight, 31 March 2016, 17:56

These two languages are not in the same language family yet there are many similiarities (article with more connections that in the video).   I would like to challenge you educators to not just say to your students "these similarities are neat!"  Make the geographic connections to explain the 'why' behind this cultural pattern and the implications of it. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What past political factors led to this cultural convergence?  How were global regions different in the past?  What are the were the impacts of this convergence, both in the past and lingering results today?   

 

Tags: diffusion, language, toponyms, culture, colonialism, regions.

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Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name.

Mumbai or Bombay? A British newspaper reverts to a colonial-era name. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Independent's concerns over Hindu nationalism led to a change in policy.

 

The city has been officially known as Mumbai since 1995 when it was renamed by the far-right regional party Shiv Sena, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently holds national office in India. Shiv Sena advocates the use of the Marathi language, which is dominant in the state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital. Marathi speakers have long referred to the city as Mumbai, after the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, the city's patron deity.

Shiv Sena had argued that the previous name, Bombay, was an unwanted relic of British colonial rule in India. That name is believed to be an Anglicized version of the city's name from when it was occupied by the Portuguese — "Bom Bahia," which means "good bay." Both Bombay and Mumbai are now used interchangeably by locals during casual conversation.

 

Tags: culture, India, South Asiacolonialism, placeregions, language, toponyms.

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Matt Manish's curator insight, 30 March 2018, 00:52
Personally, I find it very silly that a single newspaper in England is taking on the role of bringing Mumbai back to its original colony name. If Mumbai is the official name of the city then news being reported about that city should be in reference to Mumbai, not Bombay. The goal of this newspaper should be to educate its readers about the stories it is reporting on and not confusing them by using an old name for the city of Mumbai. This also seems a bit ridiculous to me because there is not a large margin of people trying to bring the old name of Bombay back to this city. It is only this newspaper trying to bring about this name change, which I feel makes their articles more confusing for their readers.
Nicole Canova's curator insight, 2 May 2018, 01:04
This highlights a significant part of decolonization.  When colonial powers like Great Britain, France, etc. took control of lands in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, they gave places new names.  This enforced their legitimacy as the colonial power in places by chipping away the local identity and replacing it with their own.  After colonization, many countries renamed places in the language of that region, stripping away unwanted remainders of colonial rule and reinstating their own local and national identity.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, 14 December 2018, 20:08
This is a tough situation. Do you refer to a city by the name given to it by its colonial masters or to the name it was changed to by ethnic or religious nationalists? Honestly neither is an out-right great option, both have negative connotations. The people of the city use both Mumbai and Bombay interchangeably in everyday conversation, so id the best option to ignore the rest?  There are many other cities and nations whos names have changed after colonization, or by extremist. How will those be judged by the media or by the people within them?
 
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QUIZ: Can you match the country to what it used to be called?

QUIZ: Can you match the country to what it used to be called? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
France has not always been called France.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Everybody know that Istanbul was Constantinople, but some countries have also known by other names.  This quiz of 18 countries is fairly easily, but I must object to the website's characterization for a perfect score: "You're basically a professional historian."  The word you were looking for was geographer...and if you now have a song stuck in your head, here is the They Might Be Giants version and the old school Four Lads version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople)--you're welcome. 

 

Tags: trivia, games, place, toponyms.

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Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, 2 February 2016, 01:46

I am a citizen of which country?

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The 5, the 101, the 405: Why Southern Californians Love Saying 'the' Before Freeway Numbers

The 5, the 101, the 405: Why Southern Californians Love Saying 'the' Before Freeway Numbers | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"How did Southern Californians come to treat their highway route numbers as if they were proper names?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I can't say how delighted this native Southern Californian was to read this (and especially to rediscover the classic SNL skit).  Despite living in Rhode Island, I retain this linguistic quirk that I subconsciously learned as a kid growing up in Southern California.  This is a shibboleth of mine, a distinctive pronunciation, word choice, or manner of speaking that reveals something about the speaker (such as place of origin, ethnic background, or group membership).     

Questions to Ponder: What are other shibboleths that you know?  Do you use any? 


Tags: California, languagetransportation, toponyms.

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How Chicago became the country's alley capital

How Chicago became the country's alley capital | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How Chicago became the alley capital of the country and why so much of the rest of the region is conspicuously alley-free.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The alley is a reminder of past visions of how to best lay out a city.  In the 19th century, back when Chicago started booming, the city was laid out in a grid and it quickly became a filthy, stinky, disease-ridden place. "Rear service lanes were essential for collecting trash, delivering coal, and stowing human waste — basically, keeping anything unpleasant away from living quarters."  As we have moved towards curvilinear residential streets and more discrete public utilities, the newer neighborhoods abandoned the alley, but they are still very prominent in old neighborhoods (click here for an interactive map to explore all of Chicago's alleys). 

Also, Chicago's suburbs have lofty names (Mount, Heights, Ridge, etc.)  that don't match this flat topography--read here to find out why.  


Tags: Chicago, urban, placetoponyms, planning, urbanism.

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Mount McKinley officially renamed Denali

Mount McKinley officially renamed Denali | Geography Education | Scoop.it
To hear the White House describe Alaska, the state has become the canary in the climate change coal mine, complete with raging wildfires, accelerating ice melt in the arctic, vanishing glaciers and whole villages forced to relocate away from rising seas.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most Alaskans already have shed the Mount McKinley name for over a generation, but as this National Geographic article points out, naming conventions matter and are filled with meaning.  Some of you might be wondering how it ever got called Mt. McKinley in the first place, but this action is still causing some political commotion.  Denali is a spectacularly gorgeous place, and there are a few other prominent mountains that some want to change to previous indigenous names although these changes are unlikely because they don't have the same local support and regular usage.     


Tags: place, language, toponyms, indigenous.

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Lindström gets Swedish double-dot umlaut back

Lindström gets Swedish double-dot umlaut back | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The state transportation authority relies on federal guidelines that outline what it can put on signs, and these rules say signs must use only 'standard English characters, so when we replaced the sign, we didn’t put the umlaut in.'  On Wednesday, the state’s governor put his foot down: The dots were coming back."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The cultural landscape isn't just passively 'there.'  It is purposefully created, defended, protected and resisted by national, regional and local actors.  This example might seem laughable to the national media, but this was a serious matter to those locally that pride themselves on the town's Swedish heritage.  Many want to preserve it's distinctively Swedish characteristics as a part of it's sense of place, but also it's economic strategy to appeal to tourists. 


Tags: place, language, toponyms, culturetourism, English, landscape.

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Julie Cidell's curator insight, 18 April 2015, 14:56

Missing umlauts aren't just a problem on the Internet.

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What’s in a Nickname? In the case of Chiraq, a Whole Lot

What’s in a Nickname? In the case of Chiraq, a Whole Lot | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Nicknames are important branding strategies used by civic boosters, and Chicago’s namesakes are frequently employed to market the city and its surrounding region as 'The Jewel of the Midwest' and 'Heart of America.' At the same time, urban monikers can arise from the wider public and they have sometimes been used to draw attention to negative qualities of Chicago life."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Is it Londonderry or just Derry?  Xinjiang or Eastern Turkestan?  The Sea of Japan or the East Sea?  Persian Gulf or Arabian Gulf?  Names and nicknames have political and cultural overtones that can be very important.  As the author of this AAG article on the Chicago's nickname, Chiraq says, "city nicknames are more than a gimmick; they can define geographies of violence, marginalization, and resistance."


Tags: Chicago, urban, place, language, toponyms.

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, 16 March 2015, 00:07

Illinois has been stigmatized by many negative nicknames such as "Killinois," "Shot-town," and "Chiraq." Urban crime hs always been a problem in the city of Chicago, and the most remarkable areas are on the south side of Chicago. High unemployment, poor neighborhoods, and lack of parenting/mentoring, and failing school districts all contribute to the number of young people turning to steet crime in order for survival. With so many gangs acitivities on the street, Chiraq is a city of violence and war. Chaos on the street and the killings of many innocent people increasing, government  officials needs to react with strict regulations in order to stop this violence. Poor economic status has played a significant role in the deterioration of the city. Citizen who were once classified as middle have become a part of the poor class. The relocation of housing projects in proximity to wealthier communities has instilled fear of the expansion of gang violence and activity within residents of these communities.

Lauren Quincy's curator insight, 19 March 2015, 16:53

Unit 3: Cultural Practices and Processes

 

This article is about how Chicago's many nicknames represent its culture and people's sense of the place. Many people have began to call Chicago by the name of "Chiraaq" and mixture of Iraq and Chicago. This is due to the violences in the city and resemblence to the action in Iraq. The nickname’s power, politically, is the way in which naming functions as a form of shaming and the name has been advertised on shirts, posters and even songs putting it into the category of pop-culture. As suggested in research, place names are not confined to official nomenclature on maps, but also include competing, vernacular systems of naming. Chicago’s many nicknames provide insight into the different ways that people frame and reconfigure the image of the city for the wider world.


This relates to unit 3 because it deals with vernacular regions and popular culture. The different names of Chicago are often not defined with a definite boundary of the city, rather an individuals opinion or idea of the area. They are often very vague with the names such as "Paris on the Prairie" that not only include Chicago but neighboring towns and cities as well. Or the opposite, where the name "Sweet Home" may only be referring to a portion of the city rather than the entire city of Chicago. The names, such as Chiraq, also fall under pop-culture when they become a widely known idea and are adopted by many sources. The advertisement and use of the nickname in songs and merchandise shows the wide range of distribution for the nickname. The use of the word is often changing and will be popular for a short period of time as popular culture is always changing. 

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32 Mispronounced Places

32 Mispronounced Places | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"There’s nothing more irritating to a pedant’s ear and nothing more flabbergasting than realizing you’ve been pronouncing the name of so many places wrong, your entire life! Despite the judgment we exhibit toward people who err in enunciating, we all mispronounce a word from time to time, despite our best efforts. Well, now it’s time we can really stop mispronouncing the following places."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've only been mispronouncing 8 of them, but many of these toponyms (place names) are chronically mispronounced.  Some of these have curious local of pronouncing the name, while others show that translating one language into another can be quite difficult since many sounds don't naturally flow off the tongue of non-native speakers.    


Tagslanguage, toponyms, culture, tourism.

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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, 20 February 2015, 16:37

So interesting!  I knew Louisville, only because my husband of almost 18 years is from there and taught me very early in our relationship that it was "Luh-vull".  ha!  

Savannah Rains's curator insight, 24 March 2015, 07:14

This fun article is telling people about common places that we butcher the names of. Some of the reasons that we say them wrong is because they are in different languages so we shouldn't be pronouncing everything perfectly. But the ones that we say everyday like Colorado, is because we ALL mispronounce it so it becomes the norm. This article really sheds some light on the way that languages can be misinterpreted or changed because of people.

Claire Law's curator insight, 26 April 2015, 07:16

I love discovering I've mispronounced a word, particularly place names. Most of these are in the US but the few international examples are interesting (and the mispronounced variations are perplexing, perhaps we're blessed in Australia with journalists who can pronounce tricky foreign toponyms). I'm surprised Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and Uluru (NT, Australia) don't make the list.

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-stan by your land

Central Asia is full of lands whose names end in -stan. A certain powerful North American country has a related name. How? It's not your standard explanation...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video (with a similar style to CGP Grey's videos) charts the cultural and geographic impact of one of the most important toponyms, -stan.  It also alludes to the fascinating history behind the name of Pakistan.  


TagsCentral Asia, language, toponyms, historicalPakistan, culturediffusion.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, 25 February 2018, 22:37
This video comes at your fast and might need to re play it a couple of times to get the full gist of it. However, how it explains why all of the Stan's are there in Central Asia makes a lot more sense now. We have to look at the linguistic orgins of the word stan and the video traces that then connects it the rest of the current world.  Stan is formed from the old Iranian root *sta- "to stand, stay," and means "place where one stays," i.e. homeland or country. Names such as Afghani-stan, Tajiki-stan, Hindu-stan are formed by adding this suffix. So by seeing that root of origin it makes sense that other countries have -land in it or states like we have here. It is always interesting how words and languages change over time and we lose track of the original meanings and we also take for granted it does not sound like something we know that it must be different or just wrong. 
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, 14 March 2018, 18:44
My original reaction to this video was that the names of almost all countries are completely unoriginal, very literal, and pretty boring.  We are all just saying “place” of whichever group occupies the country.  I liked the fact that this video pointed out that when Westerners think of the ending “stan” they associate it with foreignness and often it can be used in a racist way.  However, as the video points out, the word state, stead, and land come from the term -Stan.  This shows how languages evolved and spread from Central Asia and the Middle East, all the way to North America.  It also shows how names can cause conflict.  For instance, if you live in a Turkmenistan, but do not consider yourself to be Turmeni, it is almost like you live in a country that doesn’t accept or acknowledge your background.  At the same time, places like Kurdistan use the term to describe themselves as independent and the land of the Kurds, but this cannot be recognized because technically they are a part of Turkey.  Pakistan’s name is interesting because it is an acronym for all of the regions of the country and also means “pure land”.  This video shows how one basic word can impact language and physical geography all over the world.
James Piccolino's curator insight, 24 March 2018, 13:56
This is genuinely one of the most interesting things I have learned so far in this course. It answers questions I did not even know I was pondering. It is a little like looking at a board and suddenly being handed a pair of glasses, everything becomes so much clearer and makes so much more sense. It is an insight to a culture I rarely get to be exposed to, as it goes for many others.
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Macedonia signs NATO accession agreement

Macedonia signs NATO accession agreement | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This comes after Greece backed a deal to rename its neighbour North Macedonia, ending a long row.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Oh, what's in a name?  National pride, fear of irredentist dreams, border disputes and supranational exclusion...that's all.  Ever since the collapse of Yugoslavia, Greece has opposed an independent neighbor using the name "Macedonia" when they have an adjacent region of the same name.  This has be a point of contention, in part, over the historic memory of Alexander the Great and Hellenic grandeur which Greece feels have been wrongfully appropriated.  It is also regarding expansionist ambitions of a "greater Macedonia" so Greece has blocked Macedonia's entry to NATO and the EU.  To appease Greece, lessen international strife, and gain greater access to the global community Macedonia approved this change, but this move has lead to internal strife as many Macedonians feel that this name change is unfair.           

GeoEd Tags: culture, Political, place, toponyms, historical.

Tagsculturepolitical, placetoponyms, historical.

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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. 

 

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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, 16 February 2018, 00:14
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, 20 October 2018, 08:04
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, 15 December 2018, 05:53
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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Czech Republic poised to change name to 'Czechia'

Czech Republic poised to change name to 'Czechia' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Czech Republic is expected to change its name to "Czechia" to make it easier for companies and sports teams to use it on products and clothing.
Seth Dixon's insight:

That sound you hear is cartographers and database managers gasping at the joy and shock of need to updata all their data and maps.  Old maps still show Czechoslovakia, maybe on date in the future someone will be excited to find "The Czech Republic" on the map as much as I was fascinated to discover Hindustan on a 19th century globe. I also enjoyed this quote from the Czech foreign minister: “It is not good if a country does not have clearly defined symbols or if it even does not clearly say what its name is."  

 

Tag: Czechia, languagetoponyms, culture.

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xkcd: Orbiter

xkcd: Orbiter | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've always enjoyed this comic strip...it highlights some of the difficulties in teaching about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, political, language, toponymsMiddle East.

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EP Eric Pichon's curator insight, 18 March 2016, 08:48

...some of the difficulties in teaching about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, political, language, toponyms, Middle East.

Leonardo Wild's curator insight, 18 March 2016, 13:10

I've always enjoyed this comic strip...it highlights some of the difficulties in teaching about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 

 

Tags: Israel, Palestine, political, language, toponyms, Middle East.

Corey Rogers's curator insight, 15 December 2018, 05:37
This comic is funny because it shows just how confrontational people are between Palestine and Israel. Where people back Israel saying that they deserve that land and people who back Palestine stating that the land has always been there own, thus creating a never ending cycle.  
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Persian (or Arabian) Gulf Is Caught in the Middle of Regional Rivalries

Persian (or Arabian) Gulf Is Caught in the Middle of Regional Rivalries | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been escalating on many fronts — over wars in Syria and Yemen, the Saudis’ execution of a dissident Shiite cleric and the Iran nuclear deal. The dispute runs so deep that the regional rivals — one a Shiite theocracy, the other a Sunni monarchy — even clash over the name of the body of water that separates them.

Iran insists that it be called the Persian Gulf, and has banned publications that fail to use that name. Yet this riles Arab nations, which have succeeded in pushing various parties to use their preferred term — Arabian Gulf."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Is it the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Gulf?  This mini-controversy is part of a broader fight to exert greater regional power and influence (see also this article on GeoCurrents on the same topic). 

 

Tags: placeregions, language, toponyms.

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Why Are There So Many Different Names for Germany?

"Germany, Deutschland, Allemagne, Tyskland, Vacija, Saksa, Niemcy..."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Not only are their so many names for Germany, they are also from very distinct linguistic and historic origins.  Being at the center of Europe has put Germans is connect with many ethnic groups, part of why there are so names for Germany. 

 

TagsGermanylanguage, toponyms, culturediffusion.

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Mapping the Sexism of Street Names in Major Cities

Mapping the Sexism of Street Names in Major Cities | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In a study of seven world metros, only a little more than a quarter of the streets were named for women.


Tags: gendermapping, urbantoponyms.

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Long Toponyms

Liam Dutton nails pronouncing Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch


Known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Llanfair PG and Llanfairpwll, the small community of 3,000 on the island of Anglesey has the longest single word toponym (place name) in Europe. The name means "Saint Mary's Church in a hollow of white hazel near the swirling whirlpool of the church of Saint Tysilio with a red cave."

The longest toponym in the world is a New Zealand hill named Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu.


Tags: place, language, toponyms.

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Antonios Vitaliotis's curator insight, 23 September 2015, 19:27
After a few drinks...ask your friends to say: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
John Puchein's curator insight, 6 November 2015, 12:40

The city in this is featured in our text books. I know this guy practiced it for a while just to say it on TV! 

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Behind the Dateline: ‘Kathmandu’ Becomes Times Style

Behind the Dateline: ‘Kathmandu’ Becomes Times Style | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"When a terrible earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, our correspondents quickly began to report from the battered capital, Katmandu. By the beginning of this week, we were still reporting on the quake’s aftermath, but under a slightly different dateline: Kathmandu.  Why the switch?

There are many examples of foreign place names with more than one English rendering, especially if the local language uses a different alphabet, requiring the name to be transliterated for English. For Nepal’s capital, the 'Katmandu' spelling has long been widely used in English-language publications, and may still be more familiar to some American readers. But 'Kathmandu,' with an 'h' in the middle, has become more widespread in recent years, reflecting the preferred local usage."


Tags: place, language, toponyms, Nepal.

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One Place, Two Names

One Place, Two Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan. Many times when two groups do not refer to a place by the same name, it points to a cultural or political conflict, as is the case here.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Multiple names on the map can hint at bigger cultural and political fault lines.  Is it Londonderry or just Derry?  The Sea of Japan or the East Sea?  This article I wrote for the National Geographic Education Blog is on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  


TagsCentral Asia, toponyms, culture, political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religionIslam, landscape.

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Martin Kemp's curator insight, 17 December 2015, 20:45

it seems that this a a recurring theme with china. disputed lands surround this country inside and out, they claim to own all of it as well. but when the people that live their claim to be independent and choose not to associate themselves with you than it creates and interesting dynamic.

James Piccolino's curator insight, 24 March 2018, 13:52
Very interesting. I am curious to know where this will lead to. There is something also unnerving about how most of us are never taught this in public schools even though it is a very big and very important topic. I can not image there being a split eventually over time, though there is no way that this area will stay as they are with the treatment of their government. This is surely a region to keep an eye on.
othni lindor's curator insight, 20 October 2018, 09:06
This article talks about how the "government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan." Usually when two groups or more have different names for the same place there is a political or cultural conflict happening in that country. 
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Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape

Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For decades the leading nature writer has been collecting unusual words for landscapes and natural phenomena – from aquabob to zawn. It’s a lexicon we need to cherish in an age when a junior dictionary finds room for ‘broadband’ but has no place for ‘bluebell’


Tags: language, culture, English, toponyms, landscape.

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Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Last year, Julie and I wrote this article for Maps 101 (which was also created into a podcast) about the historical and geographic significance of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement.  Martin Luther King fought racial segregation, which, if you think about it, is a geographic system of oppression that uses space and place to control populations. Derek Alderman and Jerry Mitchell, excellent educators and researchers, produced lesson plans to help students investigate the politics behind place naming, specifically using the case study of the many streets named after Martin Luther King.  


Questions to Ponder: Why are streets named after Martin Luther King found in certain places and not in others? What forces and decisions likely drive these patterns? What is the historical legacy of Martin Luther King and how is it a part of certain cultural landscapes? 


Tags: seasonal, race, historical, the South, political, toponyms, landscape.

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Kendra King's curator insight, 23 January 2015, 00:01

Interesting and different way to view MLK.