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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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mapping

GeoSettr

In May 2013, GeoGuessr came online and quickly became a favorite quiz game of geo-enthusiasts.  Using 5 random locations in Google Street View.  The game player can search the area in Street View and then make a guess as to where it is on the map.  Using GeoSettr, you can create your own GeoGuessr challenge by choosing five locations on Google Street View.

Source: geosettr.ml

You can customize your own GeoGuessr quizzes now, as others pan and zoom in the StreetView to explore the landscape you selected and find more context clues as to where that location is.  Try my sample quiz that I made based on these 5 clues.   

  1. The best place to get clam cakes and doughboys in RI
  2. My hometown is home to this center of athletic excellence
  3. This monument was a part of my research in this Latin American city
  4. This is where I went to school to get my Ph.D.
  5. Home to the movie “Close Encounters,” this National Monument has always fascinated me.  

Tags: landscape, place, trivia.

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How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define Rural?

“The U.S. Census Bureau has designed a multimedia application experience, a story map, called ‘Rural America: How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define Rural?’ This story map contains interactive web maps, tables, information, and images to help explain how the Census Bureau defines ‘rural.’ Many rural communities rely on American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates, rather than ACS 1-year estimates, because of population thresholds. This story map helps data users understand the history and definition of ‘rural.’ Watch this video and then visit the story map to learn more.” Visit the Story Map: http://go.usa.gov/x8yPZ  

Source: www.youtube.com

Census geography brings statistical data to life as seen in their newly designed interactive story map, called “Rural America: How Does the U.S. Census Bureau Define ‘Rural?” Not only does this story map helps explain how the Census Bureau defines rural, but it displays some fantastic data that helps students to explore rural America.  Many APHG teachers refer to unit 5 as the “ag unit” but the full title, Agriculture, food production, and rural land use, certainly does highlight why this can be a valuable resource.  

 

Tags: rural, census, regions, mappingESRIStoryMap.

Bad Internet Maps: ‘A Social Media Plague’

“Business Insider’s widely mocked, since-deleted-from-Twitter, but very very viral map of the most popular fast food restaurants by state is the launching-off point for The Ringer’s Claire McNear, who rants about the maps clogging the Internet that are stupid, uninformed, wrong and exist only to generate clicks.”

 

Tags: mappingsocial media, cartography.

Source: www.maproomblog.com

xkcd: A Critique of Viral Maps

Source: xkcd.com

This ‘map’ is a pithy and quite pointed critique of the many maps that get shared on social media claiming to be based on big data, but they might be more fluff than true substance. 

 

Tags: XKCD, infographic, mapping, social media, cartography.

Choosing a Map Projection

“Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement. –World maps usually center on the land, with the Pacific Ocean divided as bookends. To show each ocean as a whole with the least distortion for our ‘Beneath the Oceans’ supplement map, we used a map projection called an interrupted Mollweide centered on the Pacific.”

Source: www.youtube.com

There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.  This video provides good insight into how to choose a map projection for a cartographic project. Here is National Geographic’s lesson using this video.

Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water.

State Borders

Source: xkcd.com

I imagine most geographers have wanted to tinker with state or international borders to ‘fix them’ in one way or another…but if any ‘correction’ were to be made, whose criteria would be used?  Which people in which regions would be upset by the changes?  Historical inertia is a power force in maintaining the status quo. When France was preparing to consolidate it’s administrative regions, 68% recognized that consolidating regional administration would be more efficient but 77% didn’t want it to impact their own local region.

 

Tags: XKCD, art, mapping, cartography, borders, political.

The last globemakers

Peter Bellerby is one of the last artisan globemakers on earth. But now, he’s teaching an entirely new generation of artists the secrets of crafting entire worlds by hand.

Source: www.youtube.com

Yes, these globes are precise archives filled with geospatial data and locational information–however, that pales in comparison to the artistic brilliance of the globes. These hand-crafted globes are truly works of art.  Marvel at the merger of mathematical precision and artistic design that makes a globe such as these a cartographic gem.  If anybody want to get me a Christmas present, you know that I love cartographic gifts.  FUTURE WATCHING: Here is the longer video of the Bellerby Globes being produced.     

 

Tags: cartography, visualization, mapping, artgeo-inspiration.

Disaster Mapping: Hurricane Irma, Mexico Earthquake and Bangladesh Floods

This week has seen disasters and destruction on an unprecedented scale, and the HOT Community has activated to respond. Hurricane Irma is the largest Hurricane ever recorded, and has torn death and destruction through the Caribbean. Destruction on some islands is estimated at 95%, affecting the lives of 1.2 million so far, and on track to cause severe destruction across the entire Florida State, where mass evacuation is currently underway. Barbuda’s prime minister, Gaston Browne, described the damage as absolutely heart-wrenching. ‘The island is literally under water and barely habitable,’ Browne said. ‘About 95% of properties are damaged, there is a serious threat of disease. Additionally, those already affected by Irma fear a second brutal battering by Hurricane Jose.'”

Source: www.hotosm.org

Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action?  Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency.  Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets.  My students and I join OpenStreetMap (OSM) projects, especially when there is a major humanitarian need…it’s a great way to make service learning and geospatial technologies come together. The projects that are marked urgent by the Red Cross are all in Haiti right now.  Here are is a video playlist that explains the project and how you can help if you are new to OpenStreetMap (OSM).

 

Tags: disasters, mapping, edtechSTEM, weather and climate.

Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise

Federal maps help determine who on the coast must buy flood insurance, but many don’t include the latest data. Maryland is now making its own flood maps, so homeowners can see if they’re at risk.

Source: www.npr.org

Geographic themes are overflowing (it was an unintended pun, but I’ll just let that wash over you) in this podcast.  I suggest playing a game early in the year/semester called “find the geography.”  What geographic theme/content areas will your students find in this podcast? 

 

Tagspodcast, mapping, cartography, climate change, environment, watercoastal,  urban, planningurban ecology.

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