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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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Nine Nations of North America, 30 Years Later

“Back in the ’70s, almost a hundred reporters around the country – Washington Post bureau chiefs, rovers, freelancers and me, their desk-bound editor – were trying to get our arms around how North America worked, really. Not how it should work. But how it did work. Forget those nice neat rectangles in the middle of the U.S. Let’s be real: The mountains of western Colorado are totally alien from the wheat fields of eastern Colorado. And Miami is part not of Florida, but its own watery Caribbean realm. And what a terrible idea is ‘California.’ It behaves as if it covers three warring civilizations. The result was my 1981 book, ‘The Nine Nations of North America.’ The reader reaction was astonishing. This map – drawn to anticipate the news – revealed something much deeper. It turned out to be a map of culture and values, which have nothing to do with our perversely drawn state and national boundaries.”

Source: www.nytimes.com

Question to Ponder: How would you divide up North America?  What would be some differences from this map?  What reasons do you have for making these different regional groupings?  What are the main criteria for what constitutes a region?

Tags: regionsNorth America.

Growth of underwater cables that power the web

“The map above, created with data from Telegeography, shows how those cables have developed since 1990. Most existing cables were constructed during a period of rapid growth in the mid-2000’s. This was followed by a gap of several years during which companies steadily exhausted the available capacity. Over the last few years, explosive new demand, driven by streaming video, has once again jumpstarted the the construction of new cables.”

Source: qz.com

Twenty years ago, people were still connecting to the internet with a dial-up connection through their modem (if you don’t know what that sounds like, this was once the sound of interconnectivity).  People focus on cell phones, tablets, and cool gadgets when discussing the digital transformation of globalization, but it all rests on the infrastructure of the global connectivity that is mapped out here.  Even still, global trade rests on the back of container ships moving manufactured goods from far-flung factories to major markets.

 

Tags: technology, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

What This 2012 Map Tells Us About America, and the Election

History, race, religion, identity, geography: The 2012 election county-level map has many stories to tell, including about the 2016 race.

Source: www.nytimes.com

The coverage of this election feels less objective than in past years (maybe that’s just my perception, but that is why I’ve shared less electoral resources than in past years).  This article show’s good map analysis and electoral patterns without much of any ideological or partisan analysis of the political platforms.  

 

Tags: electoral, political, mapping.

These Maps Show How Vast New Infrastructure Is Bringing the World Together

“If you want to understand the world of tomorrow, why not just look at a good map? For my (Parag Khanna) new book, Connectography, I researched every single significant cross-border infrastructure project linking countries together on every continent. I worked with the world’s leading cartography labs to literally map out what the future actually — physically — will look like.

It turns out that what most defines the emerging world is not fragmentation of countries but integration within regions. The same world that appears to be falling apart is actually coming together in much more concrete ways than today’s political maps suggest. Major world regions are forging dense infrastructural connectivity and reorienting their relations around supply chains rather than borders.”

 

Tags: regionsmap.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

21 charts that explain how the US is changing

The US is a big, complicated place that has undergone some big changes over its 238 years, and even in the last few decades. Here are 21 charts that explain what life is like today in the US — who we are, where we live, how we work, how we have fun, and how we relate to each other.

 

Tags: USA, map, map archives

Source: www.vox.com

Canada is a huge country. Most of it is unfit for human habitation.

“The area below the red line includes most of Nova Scotia, in Canada’s east, but most of the population comes from the area a little farther west, in a sliver of Quebec and a densely populated stretch of Ontario near the Great Lakes.”

Source: www.vox.com

Admitted, the web Mercator projection of this map distorts the far northern territories of Canada, but still it hammers home some fascinating truths about Canada’s population distribution.  Land-wise, Canada one of the world’s biggest countries, but population-wise, most of it is quite barren.  What geographic factors explain the population concentration and distribution in Canada?  

 

TagsCanada, map, North America, population, density.

World War II Led to a Revolution in Cartography

“More Americans came into contact with maps during World War II than in any previous moment in American history. From the elaborate and innovative inserts in the National Geographic to the schematic and tactical pictures in newspapers, maps were everywhere. On September 1, 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland, and by the end of the day a map of Europe could not be bought anywhere in the United States. In fact, Rand McNally reported selling more maps and atlases of the European theaters in the first two weeks of September than in all the years since the armistice of 1918. Two years later, the attack on Pearl Harbor again sparked a demand for maps.”

Source: www.newrepublic.com

Author of Mapping the Nation, Susan Schulten explains how historical events created a huge demands for maps, revolutionizing the industry and leading to many new ways of visualizing the world.  

Tags: historical, mapping, war.

Visualizing Time and Space

Source: xkcd.com

The question, “what time is it?” does not have one right answer.  The correct answer is dependent on your location on the Earth and the cultural and political conventions of the society in which live.  Don’t mistake a cartoon for a map without substance.


Tags: map, perspective.

China publishes new map

China has published a new map of the entire country including the islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) in order to “better show” its territorial claim over the region.

Source: globalnation.inquirer.net

China is attempting to bolster its geopolitical claims through cartographic validation.  It as if to say, ‘it’s on a map, who can question that it is legitimately our territory?’  Why is a map such a powerful and convincing document?  Why is the Philippines upset by this map?  I think that explains this rival Filipino map as the Philippines and China engage in the cartographic version of dueling banjos.  (note the uage of the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea to refer to the same body of water) .  But this is more than just a map; it’s production has the potential to destabilize regional security.     

For more resources, the Choices Program has put together supplemental materials to investigate China on the world stage.

Tags: borderstoponyms, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

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