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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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Google Maps Smarty Pins

Smarty Pins is a Google Maps based geography and trivia game.

Source: smartypins.withgoogle.com

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?  

 

Tagsgoogle, fun, mapping, place, trivia.

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This Sheep Is Mapping The Faroe Islands By Wandering Around With A Camera

How do you get Google to visit your small, remote island group with its Street View vehicles, and digitize your roads for the benefit of locals and tourists alike? If you are the Faroe Islands, then you exploit your local resources to roll your own Street View, in the hopes of attracting Google’s attention. Behold: Sheep View 360, a solar-powered 360-degree camera, mounted on a sheep’s back. Sheep View takes advantage of one great Street View feature: You can upload your own images to Google’s service. So Durita Dahl Andreassen, working for the tourist site Visit Faroe Islands, decided to kick-start the Faroe Islands’ entry by putting the camera on a sheep and letting it wander free, then uploading the photos.”

Source: www.fastcoexist.com

I think this is my favorite mapping story of the year…I’m sharing this just because I can.  Google wouldn’t originally bring its Street View-recording cars to the islands (part of Denmark), so a solar-powered, ovine-mounted camera was put to work.  Fact can be stranger than fiction.

 

Tags: google, mapping, cartography, technology, Denmark,

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.  

Google Maps Smarty Pins

Smarty Pins is a Google Maps based geography and trivia game.

Source: smartypins.withgoogle.com

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.  I answered 38 questions before I ran out of miles…how far did you get?  

Tagsgoogle, fun, mapping, place, trivia.

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