The Speed Burden [Costs of Sprawl]

The need for speed devours huge chunks of American cities and leaves the edges of the expressways worthless. Busy streets, for almost all of human history, created the greatest real estate value because they delivered customers and clients to the businesses operating there. This in turn cultivated the highest tax revenues in town, both from higher property taxes and from elevated sales taxes. But you can’t set up shop on the side of an expressway. How can cities afford to spend so much to create thoroughfares with no adjoining property value?


That is is the ENTIRE city of Florence, Italy on the left, while there is area surrounding just one cloverleaf interchange in Atlanta, Georgia on the right.  The high speed on the highways is one of the costs of sprawl.   

Tags: transportation, planning, sprawl, scale

Augmented Reality Sandbox

“Realtime topographic contour line generation.”


Many of our first experiments of creating landforms and designing a new world started in the sandbox (you can only image what I do at the beach).  This video shows how that early childhood activity can make for an excellent classroom demonstration to shows how Earth’s physical systems work.  If you don’t happen to have a digital topographic map to superimpose on the sandbox and a GPU-based water simulation, then at least you’ve got this video.  Click here to learn more about this UC Davis project on the visualization of lake ecosystems.

Tags: water, physical, geomorphology, landforms, visualization.

Gerrymandering Visualized

By simplifying gerrymandering we see how problematic it really is.


The redistricting process is far from neutral; to be fair we should remember that gerrymandering is has happened on all ends of the political spectrum.  Which map do you think is the best way to divide these districts?  What is the fairest way to divide them?

Tags: gerrymandering, political, mapping, census, unit 4 political.

4th Graders Get Free Admission to National Parks

The President announced yesterday that, starting in September, all 4th grade students and their families will have free access to national parks and other public lands and waters for a year.


Field Trips in a National Park can be an incredible experience in a outstanding learning environment, but even with this incredible opportunity, it is hard to get classes and students physically the parks.  The National Park Service has produced many lesson plans, videos, distant learning programs, and resources for teachers to give them opportunities to experience the National Parks online.  These resources are available for a wide range of subjects and grade levels.  Where is the nearest U.S. National Park to your community?  


Tags: K12, virtual tours.

GeoEd on Instagram

“Fascinating combination of old urban sophistication, modern consumerism and the new spatial demands of the automobile. Spotted in Washington D.C., on the corner of 10th and G.”


So apparently Instagram’s a thing.  Anyway, I created an account to share some on the physical and cultural landscapes that I find intriguing. 

I also curate other pages on including:

Cultural Geography

Regional Geography

Fantastic Maps

History and Social Studies Education

and the

Social Media Classroom

Damage from cancelled Canadian census as bad as feared

The cancellation of the mandatory long-form census has damaged research in key areas, from how immigrants are doing in the labour market to how the middle class is faring, while making it more difficult for cities to ensure taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely, planners and researchers say.


Canada got rid of the mandatory census, and is discovering it can no longer know much about itself. 

Tag: Canada, populationcensus.

15 Countries In 4 Minutes (Time Lapse)

“During the past two years, Kien Lam went on the kind of trip most could only dream about. The photographer wanted to “see as much of the world as possible,” so he visited 15 countries around the globe, from Mexico to New Zealand, snapping more than 10,000 photographs along the way. He edited his work together to make this stupendous time-lapse, which may be one of the most envy-inducing travel diaries I’ve ever seen.”

Tags: landscape, time lapsevideo.