“It is estimated that 97 per cent of all trade – the things we buy in shops – will have been transported in containers by ships at sea. The container vessel, stacked high with uniformly-sized metal boxes, has become a symbol of our globalized world. This is a world of imports and exports, a world where moving things across huge distances keeps the price of daily commodities low as items are manufactured in one place, then packaged in another, before arriving on the shores where they will eventually be sold. In recent geographical literature, attention has turned to the world at sea – a space traditionally overlooked. Geography means ‘Earth-writing’ and geographers have taken the origins of the term very seriously. They have written primarily about the Earth: the ground, the soil, the land. The sea is something ‘out there’ – seemingly disconnected from our everyday lives. However, an appreciation of the world as made from flows and connections has enabled geography to recognize that the sea is essential to our landed life.” http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-5DS
Fort Bourtange remains perfectly preserved, with historic structures strewn across the 11-acre pentagon.
Star forts, five-sided forts designed to give guards a panoramic view of any potential attackers, originated in Italy in the 15th century. Providing the optimal structure for protection from threats, star forts were used in Italian warfare for years and eventually diffused to the Groningen region of the Netherlands, where the Bourtange star fort was constructed in 1593.
This is just one of my favorite “start of the year” videos. I’ve compiled them for when you need to show the importance of geography, spatial thinking and geo-literacy. Collectively, they show why taking geography courses is so important, useful and interesting.
A costly plan to build floating islands shows how climate change is pushing the search for innovative solutions, but some critics ask who will ultimately benefit.
As coastal communities are considering what the tangible impacts of climate change might be, things that were once considered science fiction could be a part of how people adapt to the modifications we’ve collectively made to our global environment that we depend on to sustain life.
Smarty Pins is a Google Maps based geography and trivia game.
As stated in a review of Smarty Pins on Mashable, “Google unveiled a fun new game this week that tests players’ geography and trivia skills. Called ‘Smarty Pins’ the game starts players off with 1,000 miles (or 1,609 kilometers if they’re not based in the United States), and asks them to drop a pin on the city that corresponds with the correct answer to a given question.”
This game is wonderfully addictive…I haven’t enjoyed a mapping trivia platform this much since I discovered GeoGuessr. How far can you get before you run out of miles?
A Democratic state senator in South Carolina wants to end the practice of lawmakers choosing who votes for them. The senator introduced a bill Wednesday that would create an independent commission to draw the state’s political districts. Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled Legislature now control that process. South Carolina voters would approve or reject the boundaries of new political districts in a statewide referendum if the bill becomes law. The state redraws its political boundaries for South Carolina House, state Senate and U.S. House seats after each 10-year U.S. Census [the next Census is in 2020].”
While it may be laudable to try eliminate partisan gerrymandering, this bill is going nowhere. Still, it is an important issue to discuss.
Questions to Ponder: What is the difference between the terms redistricting and gerrymandering? Why won’t this bill pass?
What is the fairest way to divide districts?
“A popular website and now a bestselling book, Atlas Obscura is a guide to many of the world’s most unusual places. Serena Altschul discusses some of the awe-inspiring destinations with two of the guide’s creators, Josh Foer and Dylan Thuras.”
This week, soldiers from Germany and Belgium are settling into a new posting in Lithuania as part of the latest NATO troop deployment. Will their hosts—and the region—feel more secure as a result of their presence?
This video from the Economist shows how shifting political situations in one country can create some powerful ripples elsewhere. It also shows how fluid geopolitical alliances can either embolden a waxing power, or create anxiety among states that might be waning in regional influence. Supranational allegiances can weigh heavily on smaller states.
Smartphones and GPS watches now leave digital traces behind many urban runners, as they wind their way along the river or round the park. Can you identify the cities from the telltale tracks?
Last year, my running program was greatly enhanced by using a mapping app(I know, who could have guessed that Map My Run and Strava would help keep me motivated and inspired?). More runners are naturally going to be on more important roads, but they also love beautiful parks and runs along the water. With that in mind, can you identify these ten cities from around the world based on the density of running routes? You can explore your city’s raw data on Strava.