Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.



Why didn’t the Ottomans Colonize the Americas?

Why didn’t the Ottoman Empire colonize the Americas? Mostly, it was geography and a confidence that it wouldn’t change the balance of power.” SOURCE: History Matters on YouTube

I do enjoy counterfactual history questions and to imagine how the world would be different is something did (or didn’t) happen.  These “what ifs” are usually a thought exercise in imaginary worlds that often hinge on a single point that might be lead to a pivotal shift in the unfolding of events. For example, “What if Hitler was assassinated before WWII?” or “What if Columbus never crossed the Atlantic?” The question about the Ottoman Empire is different because in the 21st century, it seems apparent that colonization would be the answer for every power seeking to maintain their power in the 16th-18th centuries. This question is getting us to understand the geographic realities and political factors in a new historical context. The Ottoman Empire, because of its distinct geographic context, had a great set of land options available to them, and a more constrained set of maritime resources for the open seas.

This question helps us explore the geographic factors that led to powerful empires over the centuries.  Geographically and historically, the importance of certain resources might have been incredibly important, but not so in a different era or in a different regional context (e.g.-naval power, overland networks, gold, oil, or iron deposits). So what are the three most important reasons why the Ottoman Empire didn’t colonize in the Americas?

TAGS: empire, Turkey, historical.

Esri GeoInquiries™ for World History

“The Esri Education Outreach team is pleased to announce the release of a sample pack from the forthcoming GeoInquiries™ collection for World History classrooms.  The sample pack includes the first four activities supporting high school World History instruction with ArcGIS Online.  Eleven additional activities will be released over the coming weeks.”


ESRI has produced GeoInquires for Earth Science, US History, Environmental Science, AP Human Geography, 4th grade, and has recently released a now has a set for World History.

Tagsmappinggeospatialempire, historical, ESRI, K12, edtech.

What if the British Empire Reunited Today?

The British Empire was the largest Empire to have ever existed in our history. So what would things look like if the empire reunited today?


This is interesting perspective of the strength of the old British Empire as well as some of the inequalities that are part and parcel of empire. 


Tagsempire, UK, historical.

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