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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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geospatial

Speaking the “Language” of Spatial Analysis

“Spatial analysis has always been a hallmark of GIS, the ‘numerical recipes’ which set GIS apart from other forms of computerized visualization and information management. With GIS we pose questions and derive results using a wide array of analytical tools to help us understand and compare places, determine how places are related, find the best locations and paths, detect and quantify patterns, and even to make spatial predictions.”

Source: blogs.esri.com

GIS is a key tool in spatial analysis, but it can also be a driving force in using math, science, technology and (yes) geography as interdisciplinary ways of teaching the curriculum.  StoryMaps can be rich with images and videos, but also filled with data at a variety of scales.  ESRI has share a “Maps we love” page with excellent examples of Story Maps and carefully explains WHY these maps work and HOW they were made.  Are you new to using the Analysis tool in ArcGIS Online?  Try this exercise on analyzing flood risk to guide you through some of the steps to learn what is possible for a project of your own.  What stories can you tell in this rich, visual format?  What visual template shown might lend itself best for that sort of project? 

 

Tagsmapping, GISESRIgeography education, geospatial, edtech.

Drones and Geospatial Data

Without sophisticated sensor packages, drones would just be expensive RC airplanes. In this video, Avweb looks at some of the things they can carry.

Source: www.youtube.com

This video gets deep into the specs of sensor packages and the commercial side of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), but it shows how emerging technologies are using and creating geographic data.  This is also a reminder that geography can be incredibly useful in a diverse range of economic sectors and has far-reaching applications in the real world–geography can be incredibly cutting edge.      

 

Tags: geospatial, video, technology.

All Maps Are Biased. Google Maps’ New Redesign Doesn’t Hide It.

“Google rolled out its new Maps design…from a navigational tool to a commercial interface and offers the clearest proof yet that the geographic web—despite its aspirations to universality—is a deeply subjective entity.”

Source: www.slate.com

Google Maps was updated over the summer, and the updates don’t make them more impartial, but that isn’t a bad thing.  Google Maps now highlight ‘Areas of interest,’ which are created with algorithms designed to reveal the “highest concentration of restaurants, bars, and shops.” The algorithms aren’t ‘objective,’ but are fine-tuned by human engineers to reflect what they consider ‘Areas of Interests’ should look like.  Maps are never as objective as they appear to be, and that can often be a great thing. 

 

Tags: google, mapping, geospatial, cartography, visualization.

Petra, Jordan: Huge monument found ‘hiding in plain sight’

“Two archaeologists, who recently published their findings in the American Schools of Oriental Research, used Google Earth satellite images and drone photography to identify the outline of an enormous monument buried beneath sand and time at the UNESCO World Heritage site in Jordan.”  —Motherboard

Source: www.bbc.com

When in the Mexican state of Veracruz as a grad student, I saw a startling mountain covered by the dense tropical rain forest; this mountain had a consistent slope with hard angles.  I was awestruck to realize that it was an uncovered (but not undiscovered) pyramid and I wondered just how many archeological sites are waiting to be unearthed. 

 

Why is a geographer an important member of an interdisciplinary team? This discovery shows that spatial thinking, geographic tools, and a keen eye for usually patterns in unexpected places are critical for many disciplines and fields of research.

 

Tags: spatial, remote sensing, geospatial, MiddleEast, Jordan, googleunit 1 GeoPrinciples.  

What’s New in ArcGIS Online

“ArcGIS Online has just been updated (June 2016) with the following new features and enhancements. This release includes updates and new capabilities for smart mapping, item pages, improvements to the map viewer and scene viewer, updated content, and more. For additional details see the what’s new help topic.”

 

TagsmappinggeospatialESRI, edtech.

Source: blogs.esri.com

GeoInquiries – Grade 4 Interdisciplinary

“GeoInquiries are designed to be fast and easy-to-use instructional resources that incorporate advanced web mapping technology. Each 15-minute activity in a collection is intended to be presented by the instructor from a single computer/projector classroom arrangement. No installation, fees, or logins are necessary to use these materials and software.

The Elementary, Grade 4 GeoInquiry collection is under-development.

Source: edcommunity.esri.com

ESRI has produced GeoInquires for Earth Science, US History, Environmental Science, AP Human Geography, and has just recently released an interdisciplinary set of GeoInquiries designed for fourth graders.     These include:

TagsmappinggeospatialESRI, K12, edtech.

VIDEO: Saving the art of mapmaking

“If you’re heading out on the road for your vacation this year, you’ll probably get directions from a GPS or navigational system. Does that mean that the traditional map is a relic of the past? Mark Albert hits the road to find out.”

Source: www.cbsnews.com

This video is designed for a general news audience and it nicely shows the public how cartography is not rendered unimportant in the era of digital maps, but has become all the more useful.  I could see this video as useful resource to share with parents who are worried that studying geography won’t lead to careers.  

 

Tags: GIS, video, mapping, cartography, geospatial, technology.

Satellites Are Now Cleared to Take Photos at Mailbox-Level Detail

The Department of Commerce just lifted a ban on satellite images that showed features smaller than 20 inches. The nation’s largest satellite imaging firm, Digital Globe, asked the government to lift the restrictions and can now sell images showing details as small as a foot. A few inches may seem slight, but this is actually a big deal.

Source: gizmodo.com

As reported by the BBC, this change in the legal use of geospatial information could have a huge impact on many industries.  Some are fearful that it could represent an invasion of privacy, and others see this as a way to harness new satellite technology to provide higher resolution data and improved data quality for researchers. 

Tagsmappingimages, remote sensing, geospatial.

Sustaining Seven Billion People

“With seven billion people now living on Earth, the ever growing demand is putting unprecedented pressure on global resources—especially forests, water, and food. How can Earth’s resources be managed best to support so many people? One key is tracking the sum of what is available, and perhaps nothing is better suited to that task than satellites.”

Source: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

Agricultural production is one of the ways in which people modify the environment more than any other.  Global population is expected to top out at around 9 billion around 2050, so will we be able to sustainably feed all of the entire human population?  Satellite imagery can help answer these questions. 

Tagsremote sensing, geospatial, images, sustainability, agriculture, food production, environment modify, unit 5 agriculture

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