Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.



Geo-economics of the Thai Canal

A group of influential Thai officials is promoting the construction of a long-envisioned megaproject, known as the Thai Canal. If built, it would transform the regional maritime dynamics and give Thailand a substantial stake in global trade. Yet, as ambitious as the project it, there are equally credible drawbacks that could reshape the geo-economic fortunes of Southeast Asia.


The Straits of Malacca is an incredibly busy waterway.  Around 20% of global trade and 30% of the world’s crude oil travel through this tiny choke point.  At its narrowest, the Straits of Malacca is less than 2 miles wide and as Asian economies grow, alternative shipping lanes are becoming more attractive.  China is looking to bankroll a canal that would bisect the Malay Peninsula and reduce their dependency on the Straits of Malacca.  This is still uncertain, but would represent a major geo-engineering project that


Perspectives: What are the positives and negatives of this plan for Thailand?  China?  The United States? 


Tags: Thailand, Southeast Asiatransportation, globalization, diffusion, industry, economic.

Bang Krachao-Bangkok Bike Tour

A Bangkok bike tour of Bang Krachao (บางกระเจ้า) in Phra Pradaeng (พระประแดง) makes an excellent day trip. Read more of my Bangkok travel tips here: http://m...


Earlier I shared a fantastic satellite image of Bang Krachao, called the green lung of Bangkok.  This lush oasis of green on a bend in the river is a vivid contrast to the surrounding, sprawling metropolitan area.  For an “on the ground” perspective, the video above is a good visual introduction to Bang Karchao and the Phra Pradaeng neighborhood of Bangkok from a nice travelers guide to the city.  These two different vantage points on an urban park are both very helpful in understanding place. 


Tagstourismplace, land use, Thailand, Southeast Asia, urban ecology.

Maeklong Railway Market

“Multi-purpose land use.”


There are many videos online showing the Maeklong Railway Market, but I’ll share just a few. Clearly the 8 times a day runs like clockwork for the vendors, but as this other video shows, the 8 times a day that the trains go through the market an it becomes a tourist attraction. My students are usually quite shocked to see how this city market in Thailand operates and this video is a usefully ‘hook’ for lesson on population growth, urbanization, economic development, sustainability, megacities and city planning. 


Questions to Ponder: Why does this system work in Thailand, but is inconceivable for the United States?  How many spaces are single use spaces that remain empty most of the day?  How does the both the train line and the market need to accommodate the other? 


Tags: Thailand, Southeast Asiaurbanland use, megacitiesdevelopment, density, sustainability, planning.

Bang Kachao: Bangkok’s Green Lung

“In the heart of Thailand’s most populous city, an oasis stands out from the urban landscape like a great “green lung.” That’s the nickname given to Bang Kachao—a lush protected area that has escaped the dense development seen elsewhere in Bangkok.  The city is built on the alluvial plain of the Chao Phraya River. Toward the southern end, near the Gulf of Thailand, is an old meander that never quite formed an oxbow lake. That meander traces the boundary of Bang Kachao, which TIME magazine once called the ‘best urban oasis’ in Asia.  According to a travel story in The New York Times, Bang Kachao is gaining popularity among tourists lured by bike tours, a floating farmers’ market, and the relaxed atmosphere.”


Tags: physical, fluvialremote sensing, land use, Thailand, Southeast Asia, urban ecology.


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