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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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models

Factfulness

"The three authors of Factfulness explain why they decided to write the book that is now available in 24 languages."

Source: www.youtube.com

I just finished Hans Rosling’s book, Factfulness.  It was an absolutely delightful read (who wouldn’t want to imagine hearing Hans Rosling’s voice while relaxing on the beach?).  So much of the populace have outdated paradigms about the world and too many have an overly pessimistic worldview that everything is getting worse.  This is why FACTFULNESS is so needed day.  This term is used to describe a fact-based, data-driven worldview that is not overly dramatic, or fear-based.  In so many ways, the world has been consistently getting quantifiable better; this derived from an optimistic perspective, but a factful understanding of the world today.  This book is his clarion call to understand the world as it actually is and is the culmination of his professional achievements.  Now that he has passed away, it feels like a major part of his lasting legacy.  If you’ve ever used his TED talks, Gapminder, the Ignorance Project, or Dollar Street resources, this is a must read.

 

Tagsstatistics, models, gapminderdevelopment, perspective, book reviews.

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How to Train Your Dragon Child

Every 12 years, there’s a spike in births among certain communities across the globe, including the U.S. Why? Because the Year of the Dragon, according to Chinese folk belief, confers power, fortune, and more. We look at what happens to Dragon babies when they grow up, and why timing your kid’s birth based on the zodiac isn’t as ridiculous it sounds.

Source: freakonomics.com

1976. 1988. 2000. 2012.  We often assume that births on a graph in any given year will follow a smooth linear pattern similar to the years around it, but the Chinese zodiac and the mythical standing of the dragon can create spikes in diasporic communities away from the mainland.  This economic podcast offers an interesting glimpse into the looks some of the communal impacts of a mini-baby boom and cultural reasons for these patterns. 

 

Tags: Taiwanpodcast, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 

We’re creating cow islands

The parts of the United States that have higher populations of dairy cows are in the West and northern states.

 

Milk has moved away from cities between 2001 and 2011. Red areas indicate less milk in 2011 than 2001, green areas mean more and a buff color designates a neutral milk region.

Almost every region where you see a dark red area indicating a sharp decline in production has a large and growing population center nearby.

Source: hoards.com

As many of you will notice, this continues the reversal of some patterns that von Thünen observed and put in his famous agricultural model. 

 

Questions to Ponder: Why did milk used to need to be produced close to the cities?  Why is the old pattern changing now? How is this changing regions?

 

Tags: models, food production, agribusiness, agriculture.

Which Countries Have Shrinking Populations?

Source: www.youtube.com

This video explores some of the impacts of a declining population on a country (for example, a smaller workforce, economic decline, and growing public debt).  Eastern Europe as a region is used as the principle example and the countries of Bulgaria, Moldova, and Japan are highlighted. 

 

Tags: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, models, migration, Bulgaria, Moldova, Japan.

Europe’s Population Change (2001 to 2011)

The map provides a level of detail previously unavailable. It is the first ever to collect data published by all of Europe’s municipalities.

Source: www.citylab.com

Questions to Ponder: What regions can you identify as a part of a trend?  What possible factors have led to these patterns?  What are the long-term implications of this data? 

 

Tags: Europe, declining populations, population, demographic transition model, models, migration. 

 

City lights quiz: can you identify these world cities from space?

Astronauts on the International Space Station took these images of cities at night. Note that up doesn’t necessarily mean north. All images: ESA/NASA

Source: www.theguardian.com

I’m a sucker for online quizzes like this.  Here is another quiz that shows only the grid outlines of particular cities.  This isn’t just about knowing a city, but also identifying regional and urban patterns.  What are some other fun trivia quizzes?  GeoGuessr is one of the more addictive quizzes  where 5 locations in GoogleMaps “StreetView” are shown and you have to guess where.  Smarty Pins is a fun game on Google Maps that tests players’ geography and trivia skills.  In this Starbucks game you have to recognized the shape of the city, major street patterns and the economic patterns just to name a few (this is one way to make the urban model more relevant).  If you want quizzes with more direct applicability in the classroom, click here for online regional quizzes.         

 

Tags: urbanmodelsfun, trivia.

Population, Sustainability, and Malthus

In which John Green teaches you about population. So, how many people can reasonably live on the Earth? Thomas Malthus got it totally wrong in the 19th century, but for some reason, he keeps coming up when we talk about population. In 1800, the human population of the Earth passed 1 billion, and Thomas Malthus posited that growth had hit its ceiling, and the population would level off and stop growing. He was totally right. Just kidding, he was totally wrong! There are like 7 billion people on the planet now! John will teach a little about how Malthus made his calculations, and explain how Malthus came up with the wrong answer. As is often the case, it has to do with making projections based on faulty assumptions. Man, people do that a lot.

Source: www.youtube.com

This is a succinct summary of Malthusian ideas on population.  What do you think of his ideas?  Any specific parts of his theory that you agree with?  Do you disagree with some of his ideas?  What did history have to say about it?  

 

Tags: Demographics, population, models, APHGunit 2 population

Quiz: identify the cities from their running heatmaps

Smartphones and GPS watches now leave digital traces behind many urban runners, as they wind their way along the river or round the park. Can you identify the cities from the telltale tracks?

Source: www.theguardian.com

Last year, my running program was greatly enhanced by using a mapping app(I know, who could have guessed that Map My Run and Strava would help keep me motivated and inspired?).  More runners are naturally going to be on more important roads, but they also love beautiful parks and runs along the water.  With that in mind, can you identify these ten cities from around the world based on the density of running routes?  You can explore your city’s raw data on Strava

 

Tags: urbanmodelsfun, trivia.

Why Italy’s ‘Fertility Day’ is backfiring

“Facing a low fertility rate (1.4), Italy is holding its first ‘Fertility Day‘ on Sept. 22, which will emphasize ‘the beauty of motherhood and fatherhood’ and host roundtable discussions on fertility and reproductive health. That may seem inoffensive, but the country’s health department is trying to raise awareness with an ad campaign that’s striking many as misguided and, worse, sexist and alarmist.”

Source: www.cbsnews.com

This pro-natalist campaign designed by the health ministry has received near universal criticism (in an attempt to see other perspectives, I searched for a more positive or even neutral article on the topic and came up empty-handed).  Italy’s Prime Minister openly scoffed at the premise of the campaign, and many pundits argue that it shames and pressures women into thinking about personal choices of childbearing as if they were communal responsibilities.  Unlike the infamous ‘Do it For Denmark‘ advertisements that were filled with playful innuendos, or Singapore’s ‘Maybe Baby‘ which highlights the joys of parenthood, this one has more overtones of duty and plays on fear more than those other pro-natalist campaigns.      

 

Tags:  ItalyEurope, declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 

 

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