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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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cartography

Bad TV Maps

“If you have been on social media this week, you have seen screenshots of this week’s CBS News broadcast on Syria, which in fact displayed a map of Iran. Many jokes were made, many tweets went viral. As connoisseurs of hilariously wrong TV news maps, this is nothing. Kids’ stuff. We have dug deep into our collection, gathered lovingly over the years, and now invite you to follow along on a tour of the world according to TV news.”

Source: static.nytimes.com

News organizations are in the business of prioritizing speed and accuracy, but sometimes those priorities come into conflict.  These are but a few of many examples of poor cartography in media.  While this isn’t all there is to geographic illiteracy, this is certainly one of the most obvious to the general public. If only there were the only element of geographic illiteracy in media coverage. 

 

Tagscartography, media

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The art of making globes

“In the era of Google Maps, who makes a living out of creating globes – by hand? Peter Bellerby, of Bellerby & Co. Globemakers, for one. Headquartered in London, he talks with Martha Teichner about how a desire to purchase a globe led to him becoming one of the masters of the craft.”

Source: www.youtube.com

Yes, these globes are precise archives filled with geospatial data and locational information–however, that pales in comparison to the artistic brilliance of the globes. These hand-crafted globes are truly works of art.  Marvel at the merger of mathematical precision and artistic design that makes a globe such as these a cartographic gem. 

FUTURE WATCHING: Here is the longer video of the Bellerby Globes being produced.     

 

Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

Mercator Puzzle Redux

“Play this interactive game–move the 15 red countries to their appropriate locations to turn the countries green.  If you give up, you can double click on a red country to locate it (but it will turn blue).” 

Source: bramus.github.io

The old link to this map quiz no longer works but here is a new version.  This online game where you return the “misplaced” country on the map is more than just and exercise in locating places (there are many online map quizzes for that sort of activity).  What makes this one unique is that as you move the country further north or south the country expands or contracts according to how that country would be projected if that were its actual location on a Mercator map.  This is a great way to introduce the importance of map projections.

 

Tags: map projections, mapping, cartography.

Bad Internet Maps: ‘A Social Media Plague’

“Business Insider’s widely mocked, since-deleted-from-Twitter, but very very viral map of the most popular fast food restaurants by state is the launching-off point for The Ringer’s Claire McNear, who rants about the maps clogging the Internet that are stupid, uninformed, wrong and exist only to generate clicks.”

 

Tags: mappingsocial media, cartography.

Source: www.maproomblog.com

xkcd: A Critique of Viral Maps

Source: xkcd.com

This ‘map’ is a pithy and quite pointed critique of the many maps that get shared on social media claiming to be based on big data, but they might be more fluff than true substance. 

 

Tags: XKCD, infographic, mapping, social media, cartography.

Choosing a Map Projection

“Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement. –World maps usually center on the land, with the Pacific Ocean divided as bookends. To show each ocean as a whole with the least distortion for our ‘Beneath the Oceans’ supplement map, we used a map projection called an interrupted Mollweide centered on the Pacific.”

Source: www.youtube.com

There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.  This video provides good insight into how to choose a map projection for a cartographic project. Here is National Geographic’s lesson using this video.

Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water.

State Borders

Source: xkcd.com

I imagine most geographers have wanted to tinker with state or international borders to ‘fix them’ in one way or another…but if any ‘correction’ were to be made, whose criteria would be used?  Which people in which regions would be upset by the changes?  Historical inertia is a power force in maintaining the status quo. When France was preparing to consolidate it’s administrative regions, 68% recognized that consolidating regional administration would be more efficient but 77% didn’t want it to impact their own local region.

 

Tags: XKCD, art, mapping, cartography, borders, political.

The last globemakers

Peter Bellerby is one of the last artisan globemakers on earth. But now, he’s teaching an entirely new generation of artists the secrets of crafting entire worlds by hand.

Source: www.youtube.com

Yes, these globes are precise archives filled with geospatial data and locational information–however, that pales in comparison to the artistic brilliance of the globes. These hand-crafted globes are truly works of art.  Marvel at the merger of mathematical precision and artistic design that makes a globe such as these a cartographic gem.  If anybody want to get me a Christmas present, you know that I love cartographic gifts.  FUTURE WATCHING: Here is the longer video of the Bellerby Globes being produced.     

 

Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

Disaster Mapping: Hurricane Irma, Mexico Earthquake and Bangladesh Floods

This week has seen disasters and destruction on an unprecedented scale, and the HOT Community has activated to respond. Hurricane Irma is the largest Hurricane ever recorded, and has torn death and destruction through the Caribbean. Destruction on some islands is estimated at 95%, affecting the lives of 1.2 million so far, and on track to cause severe destruction across the entire Florida State, where mass evacuation is currently underway. Barbuda’s prime minister, Gaston Browne, described the damage as absolutely heart-wrenching. ‘The island is literally under water and barely habitable,’ Browne said. ‘About 95% of properties are damaged, there is a serious threat of disease. Additionally, those already affected by Irma fear a second brutal battering by Hurricane Jose.'”

Source: www.hotosm.org

Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action?  Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency.  Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets.  My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need…it’s a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. The projects that are marked urgent by the Red Cross are all in Haiti right now.  Here are is a video playlist that explains the project and how you can help if you are new to OpenStreetMap (OSM).

 

Tags: disasters, mapping, edtechSTEM, weather and climate.

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