Where U.S. Immigrants Came From

“The new Pew interactive map covers 1850 to 2013.”

Source: www.citylab.com

The source of migrants today has changed the cultural composition of the United States from what is was 100 years ago.  Cultures are not static and migration is one of the key drivers of change. These maps are produced by the Pew Research Center and show the main country of origin of each states’ foreign born population.  Despite what media reports would have you believe, immigration into the United States is not on the dramatically on the rise, maps such as these can be construed to imagine that there is a massive flow of immigrants coming from south of the border.  The reality is that percentage of foreign-born migrants in the United States from Mexico, and most Latin American countries, has steadily dropped since 2000.  

Tags: migration, historical, USA, mappingcensus, ethnicity.

Why Little Kids in Japan Are So Independent

In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.

Source: www.citylab.com

Some cultural practices can be transplanted just about anywhere; others require a cultural environment wherein that particular practice is sufficiently well-known and communally supported for it to thrive.  The idea of sending kids this young out on errands is almost unthinkable in the United States given our cultural norms connected to youth and space.  As additional food for thought, here is an article about 9 parenting strategies around the world that culturally don’t mesh well within the United States.  


Questions to Ponder: Why do cultural norms vary so much from place to place?  How are your actions shaped by cultural norms?  Can you think of an example of a cultural practice that is accepted somewhere, but wouldn’t work in most other societies?

Tags: JapanEast Asia, place, perspective, cultural norms, culture.

Is it time to scrap “Eastern Europe”?

“Europe’s divisions are indeed grave. But counting the ex-communist countries as a single category is outdated and damaging “

Source: www.youtube.com

What places belong in a region together?  What are the boundaries of that region?  How has this region changed over time?  Regional classification is inherently an exercise that relies on our geographic knowledge and requires some spatial thinking.  Each semester I have students divide the United States into the regions that explain how they conceptualize the different parts of the country.  This 2 minute video is a great example that argues that the regional category of Eastern Europe is less meaningful today mainly because of the changing political and economic geography that is blurring the regional borders of Europe.   

TagsEurope, regions.

Map quiz: How well do you know the American landscape?

Using data from the USDA, Pecirno has mapped the lower 48 states by picturing just one single subject, and nothing else – no political borders or backgrounds. The project aims to show how richly detailed single-subject maps can give people a new way to understand their landscape, Pecirno says.

Can you guess what Pecirno is picturing in the minimalist maps below? To make it easier, we’ve given you a few options to choose from.

Tags: games, USA, mapping.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

Singapore’s Pro-Natalist Policies

“Today, it’s no longer unusual to see married couples not wanting to have any children or delaying parenthood. Regardless of big or small changes between the past and present, one thing remains constant –  the joy & bliss that are seen in the parents’ eyes. Parenthood is not without its challenges, but you can’t put a price on seeing the smile on your little ones’ faces.”

Source: www.youtube.com

This video is part of the “Maybe Baby?” campaign in Singapore designed to boost the low fertility rate in this small Southeast Asian country.  Singapore’s National Night was another innovative campaign to boost fertility rates (although much more provocative than this one).

There are several countries these days that are adopting pro-natalist policies (including Denmark) and their favorite travel agency); they officially encourage citizens to have more children to boost fertility rates that are below the replacement level, fearful that it will have negative social and economic impacts for their population.


Tag: declining populations, Singaporepopulation, demographics, unit 2 population, .

Why everyone should take a geography class, especially now

Geographical literacy remains vital—particularly for those of us who live in (for the time being at least) the world’s preeminent military and economic superpower. Geography is necessary for understanding why the overthrow of a government in Libya contributed to an unprecedented surge of migrants into Europe, why Ukraine has been split between East and West amid its conflict with Russia, and why China’s neighbors are alarmed at the new islands under construction in the South China Sea. And as we learned during last year’s Ebola panic, an understanding of African geography could have helped explain why an outbreak in West Africa should not lead to the quarantining of people from Kenya or Tanzania. In the years to come, as the effects of climate change on everything from sea level rise to deforestation to drought quite literally reshape the world we live in, an understanding of geography will be necessary for mitigating and adapting to the consequences.

Source: www.slate.com

A basic understanding of geography is a prerequisite for any informed citizen, and globalization means that is even more important than ever.  

TagseducationK12geography education.

ConnectED Geography Webinar: Students can use, make, and share online maps for free

Join K-12 Esri Education Manager, Charlie Fitzpatrick, for this upcoming partnered webinar that is open and free to everyone! Online maps are easy, fun, and powerful. Anyone with an internet connection can get started in seconds, learn new content constantly, and build toward college, career, and civic life. Any connected device, anytime, anywhere! This NCGE webinar is designed for those just wondering how to start, with a special ConnectED offer from Esri for US K12 schools. Register now!
Wed, Oct 7, 2015 8:00PM – 9:00PM EDT
NCGE offers regular webinars for members; look at the 2015-2016 NCGE Webinar Season Schedule

Source: attendee.gotowebinar.com

Do it for Denmark, Take II

Spies Travel is joining forces with wannabe grandmas in the fight against Denmark’s low birth rate. Introducing Spies Parent Purchase™: Send your child on an active holiday and get a grandchild.

Source: www.youtube.com

Not all countries are concerned about overpopulation;  Countries like Japan are in steep decline in terms of their population.  Denmark is a country that is seeking to to encourage higher fertility rates; this travel company is using this salacious ad (as a sequel to Do it for Denmark) to promote the it and themselves, but there is some actual demographic analysis in there). Singapore’s National Night was another innovative campaign to boost fertility rates, but they also have a less steamy campaign entitled “Maybe Baby?”

Tag: declining populations.

Can you identify these world cities from their street plans alone?

We’ve stripped out the street names and lost the labels – but can you still recognise the cities from their aerial views?

Source: www.theguardian.com

This is a fun map quiz that is part memory, but also relies on pattern recognition to see if you can understand the urban morphology that shaped these places.  I got 11 out of 13…can anybody top that?  I’m sure someone can; give it a shot.  

Tagsplanning, architecture, urban, regions, trivia, games.

Wind Forecast

Ubercool wind animation all over the world. Wind and weather forecast for kiters, surfers, pilots and anyone else.

Source: www.windyty.com

With people on the East Coast concerned about the possible trajectories for Hurricane Joaquin, I think it is the right time to share this interactive map.  In the past I shared a dynamic map of near-live wind data for the United States and a mesmerizing digital globe with wind data.  This new one though, includes multiple meteorological layers with forecasts for the next two weeks…very cool.     

Tagsphysical, weather and climate, mapping, visualization.