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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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Geospatial Technologies

Aral Sea Basin

“Dust blows from what was once the Aral Sea floor. Tragic mismanagement of a natural resource.”

Seth Dixon, Ph.D.‘s insight:

The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the worst man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century and 21st century has seen the continuation of the desertification set in motion.  Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea–it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined.  The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates.  Compare the differences with some historical images of the Aral Sea on Google Earth or on ArcGIS Online

Tags: environment, Central Asia, environment modify.

See on twitter.com

AralSea

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

“Learn how advances in geospatial technology and analytical methods have changed how we do everything, and discover how to make maps and analyze geographic patterns using the latest tools.”

Seth Dixon, Ph.D.‘s insight:

When I was a graduate student at Penn State, I was introduced to some great people and programs and I’m glad to see that the institution has continued to excel and be a leader.  You have probably heard of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and been interested in seeing how this might change higher education in the future.  This MOOC is a free 5-week course designed to be an introduction to mapping, GIS and geospatial technologies so you don’t need to be a specialists with a mapping background: it’s for beginners.  I know that many geography teachers tell their students about GIS, but are afraid to teach with GIS because they are worried that it will be too hard.  This is an easy on-ramp to 21st century geospatial tools and any geography teacher hoping to modernize their skillset would do well to take this summer course fromthe Program of Online Geospatial Education at Penn State, taught by Dr. Anthony Robinson.

Tags: GIS, teacher training, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech, geography education, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

See on www.coursera.org

Geospatial

U.S. Census Dotmap

Seth Dixon, Ph.D.‘s insight:

This interactive dot distribution map of the United States 2010 census data has many great applications.  The conversation can focus on the symbology of the map (for example, this could lead to a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of a dot distribution maps) or notice how the certain physical landforms are visible for either their high or low population density.  One of the advantages of this map is that it uses census data at the block level.  This means that the user can visualize distinct scale-dependent patterns.  Sharp divisions (e.g.-urban vs. rural) might have less of a distinct edge as you zoom in.

UPDATE: This map now includes Canadian census data as well as the United States. 

Tags: cartography, technology, mapping, visualization, population, density.

See on bmander.com

Census Dot Map

Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change

By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate.

 

This interactive feature includes 12 places that have experienced significant change since 1990.  This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time.  Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era’s (mis)management policies.

Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, esri, unit 1 Geoprinciples, zbestofzbest.

See on storymaps.esri.com

What is Geocaching?

Learn about the high-tech treasure hunting game being played around the world by adventure seekers! Learn more at http://www.geocaching.com Subscribe to this…

 Geocaching is great way to get people outdoors, use geospatial technologies and have fun with the whole family.

Tags: GPS, edtech, geospatial, technology, location.

Why Map Projections Matter

This is a clip from the TV show West Wing (Season 2-Episode 16) where cartography plays a key role in the plot.  In this episode the fictitious (but still on Facebook) group named “the Organization of Cartographers for Social Justice” is campaigning to have the President officially endorse the Gall-Peters Projection in schools and denounce the Mercator projection.  The argument being that children will grow up thinking some places are not as important because they are minimized by the map projection.  While a bit comical, the cartographic debate is quite informative even if it was designed to appear as though the issue was trivial.

Questions to Ponder:  Why do map projections matter?  Is one global map projection inherently better than the rest?

Tags: Mapping, geospatial, video, visualization.

See on www.youtube.com

NCGE Webinar Schedule

Supporting Geographic Education since 1915…

The National Council for Geographic Education hosts “Webinar Wednesday” during the school year which are free for NCGE members.  This Wednesday (Sept. 5th) at 8pm Eastern time Charlie Fitzpatrick from ESRI will host a special, free webinar entitled, “Getting Started with ArcGIS Online.”

Next week (Sept. 12th) I will be the presenter for the webinar for NCGE members entitled, “Social Media for the Geography Classroom.”  I look forward to my first webinar on the other side of the screen.

Tags: Training, NCGE, GeographyEducation and edtech

See on www.ncge.org

Create QR Codes for GPS Coordinates to Create Scavenger Hunts

See on Scoop.itGeography Education

Not everyone was access to a full class set of GPS units.  As more students have smart phone capabilities, this is just one idea on how to leverage that technology.

See on www.android4schools.com

Strange Things in Google Maps

This site “Map of Strange” is dedicated to showing strange things that can be seen in Google Maps. Displayed here is a beach that I loved to go to growing up in San Diego.  Coronado is written in large stones on this part of the beach right next to the red roof of the famous Hotel Del Corondo.

See on Scoop.itGeography Education  See on www.mapofstrange.com

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