This is a fantastic comic strip that shows how map projections are perfect representation of planet Earth, but a 2D rendering of a 3D world. A map projection is like a personal perspective or worldview. There is no single perfect map projection (or perspective or worldview), but there are some strengths and limitations to organizing geographic and spatial information in any given system.
There are many great cartographically-themed XKCD comic strips (here are a bunch of my favorites). This particular one ALMOST looks right and finding the inaccuracies is a little harder than you might think (yes, I am proud of myself for finding them all, and yes, that is the ridiculous bit of profession pride).
Questions to Ponder: When you see a map, do you assume that it is 100% accurate? If so, how come? Where you able to find the “missing states” in this psuedo-map?
After a 93 year hiatus, the elusive Jackalope has returned to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem! These beautiful, yet frightening, creatures were once widely collected by tourists, but better management practices have allowed a re-introduced pack to thrive again. These guys have been sporadically spotted all around the west, including Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico. Idaho allowed a “shoot on sight” policy for jackalopes, so they have not been seen there in quite a while.
Long live the Jackalope!! May the majestic creature once again flourish in the West.
Astronauts on the International Space Station took these images of cities at night. Note that up doesn’t necessarily mean north. All images: ESA/NASA
I’m a sucker for online quizzes like this. Here is another quiz that shows only the grid outlines of particular cities. This isn’t just about knowing a city, but also identifying regional and urban patterns. What are some other fun trivia quizzes? GeoGuessr is one of the more addictive quizzes where 5 locations in GoogleMaps “StreetView” are shown and you have to guess where. Smarty Pins is a fun game on Google Maps that tests players’ geography and trivia skills. In this Starbucks game you have to recognized the shape of the city, major street patterns and the economic patterns just to name a few (this is one way to make the urban model more relevant). If you want quizzes with more direct applicability in the classroom, click here for online regional quizzes.
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?
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.
This link is where you will find funny science pictures, jokes, current events and other miscellaneous things pertaining to science.
Because we all need a laugh sometimes…and if we can teach something at the same time, then even better.
“No borders. No landmarks. No context. How many countries will you be able to recognize? Here’s how this works. I give you a the outline of several countries together, without borders or any other context, and you guess which countries you’re looking at.”
This is not the most difficult geography quiz (as advertised on Buzzfeed), but it does take some time since all the countries in a given cluster aren’t all immediately obvious. The fact that it is multiple choice certainly simplifies the this quiz.