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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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mapping

Mercator Puzzle Redux

“Play this interactive game–move the 15 red countries to their appropriate locations to turn the countries green.  If you give up, you can double click on a red country to locate it (but it will turn blue).” 

Source: bramus.github.io

The old link to this map quiz no longer works but here is a new version.  This online game where you return the “misplaced” country on the map is more than just and exercise in locating places (there are many online map quizzes for that sort of activity).  What makes this one unique is that as you move the country further north or south the country expands or contracts according to how that country would be projected if that were its actual location on a Mercator map.  This is a great way to introduce the importance of map projections.

 

Tags: map projections, mapping, cartography.

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Story Map Swipe and Spyglass Gallery

“The Story Map Swipe and Spyglass app template enables users to interact with two web maps or two layers of a single web map, depending on how you build your story. The app enables you to present a single view, or to develop a narrative showing a series of locations or views of the same maps.”

Source: storymaps.arcgis.com

The ESRI template to create swipe and spyglass feature is an engaging way to compare and contrast two data layers. For the SPYGLASS maps, I’ve always enjoyed this historical interactive of Chicago. Chicago is displaced during a economic boom period as the U.S. was expanding westward.  Where were the railroads located then?  Why have some of them vanished today?  Notice anything curious about the coastline along Lake Michigan?  Follow this link to see similar interactives of other major U.S. cities.

For the SWIPE maps, I love exploring this one showing how human activities has reshaped the physical environment.  What activities are creating the new patterns that you see?

 

Tags: historical, mappingESRIStoryMap.

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.

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.

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