"The Philippines’ oldest newspaper recently made what could be considered a provocative gesture towards China regarding its notorious nine-dash-line."
I’ve shared some more substantial resources about maritime claims in the South China Sea than this flippant political cartoon. Still, this cartoon beautifully illustrates a geopolitical perspective quite powerfully. As always, use your own discretion when sharing resources in your own classroom (my college students love this).
"Learn about one of the world’s most iconic tree species, the baobab tree, and discover why these endangered trees might be on their way to extinction—or might outlive us all."
So are the endangered baobab trees victims of the effects of climate change? The baobab, which has made so many wax poetic, is undergoing a steep decline. Although scientists are unsure of the reasons and possible solutions, this is a nice piece exploring the cultural and ecological significance of one of the more magnificent trees on our planet.
“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.”
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.
“For the last 12 months, the global media has been focused on a lot of bad news. But there were other things happening out there too: conservation successes, huge wins for global health, more peace and tolerance, less war and violence, rising living standards, some big clean energy milestones, and a quiet turning of the tide in the fight against plastic. Stories of human progress, that didn’t make it into the evening broadcasts, or onto your social media feeds.”
The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but far too often the news will give us an overly pessimistic viewpoint about the world (as mentioned in Hans Rosling’s Book, FACTFULNESS). Slow, incremental progress isn’t dramatic enough to make the headlines, and consequently we often miss the evidence that will demonstrate the ways in which the world is improving. This article wrapping up some positive news from 2018 then, is a welcome bit of news that might change how we perceive some aspects of world.
Sky-high food prices in the North have led many residents of Iqaluit to turn to Amazon Prime to save on necessities. But is that a sustainable solution?
Nunavut is remote…far more remote than most of our students can imagine. They live over 1,000 miles from any city with half a million people. The entire territory is enormous, but sparsely populated with only 36,000 people. Try to image getting commercial goods to such a remote location. The Canadian government has invested heavily to subsidize systems to get food products and other necessities to Nunavut. Still, the transportation costs are so high, and the numbers are so few that economies of scale can’t help this situation.
Enter Amazon Prime in 2005, and the online retail giant began offering free shipping for “Prime” customers for a flat yearly subscription fee (today $99 in the U.S.). This was simply too good to be true for many customers in far-flung settlements in Nunavut. Amazon, probably not anticipating the overwhelming transportation costs associated with a place like Nunavut, in 2015 stopped offering Prime membership for Nunavut customers that do not live in the capital city of Iqaluit. Still, the capital city looks to Amazon Prime more so than the Canadian or territorial government as their lifeline to the global economy. Some even argue that Amazon Prime has done more to improve the standard of living and providing food security for Nunavut residents than the government.
"Quick tutorial on using BatchGeo to create a map using your own spreadsheet (Excel) data."
BatchGeo is incredibly easy to use mapping platform…think of it as GIS-lite, but only for simple points on a map (no lines or polygons). If you have a spreadsheet full of point data, you can make a map with your own data. You can grab data straight from an online list (like Wikipedia), but you can also use spreadsheets, databases, or any other tab delimited dataset.
"Don’t listen to the gloom-sayers. The world has improved by every measure of human flourishing over the past two centuries, and the progress continues, writes Steven Pinker."
This is a great article that only reiterates what was said in Hans Rosling’s Book, FACTFULNESS, that the world is getting better.
"An infestation of dots, thousands of them, represent oil wells in the Permian basin of West Texas and a slice of New Mexico. In less than a decade, U.S. companies have drilled 114,000. Many of them would turn a profit even with crude prices as low as $30 a barrel. OPEC’s bad dream only deepens next year, when Permian producers expect to iron out distribution snags that will add three pipelines and as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day."
Overall global commodity prices are impacted by countless local production costs. A large shift in how business is done in one place (in this example, Texas’ Permian Basin) can have reverberating impacts on the local productions of other places that focus on that same global commodity (OPEC).
"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."
This video is a good demonstration of the value of GIS, geospatial technologies, and locational intelligence.