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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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transportation

How a Steel Box Changed the World: A Brief History of Shipping

“As the container shipping industry continues to boom, companies are adopting new technologies to move cargo faster and shifting to crewless ships. But it’s not all been smooth sailing and the future will see fewer players stay above water.”

Source: www.youtube.com

This WSJ video, similar to an animated TED-ED video, explains some of the geographic consequences of economic innovation. Containerization has remade the world we live in, and will continue to see it drive economic restructuring.  

 

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

Corinth Canal

“This photograph, taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station, shows the straight line of the Corinth Canal as it crosses a narrow isthmus between mainland Greece (right) and the Peloponnese Peninsula. The canal cuts through the narrowest part of the isthmus of Corinth. The goal was to save ships from the dangerous 700-kilometer voyage around the ragged coastline of the peninsula.”

Source: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

Questions to Ponder: What does the word Isthmus mean and how does this image help tell that story?  When did people start modifying Earth’s physical systems?  What factors do we need to consider when evaluating the impacts of human modifications to the environment?    

 

Tags: water, coastal, landformsGreece.

How a Texas grocery chain kept running after Hurricane Harvey

“One of my stores, we had 300 employees; 140 of them were displaced by the flooding. So how do you put your store back together quickly? We asked for volunteers in the rest of the company. We brought over 2,000 partners from Austin, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley. They hopped into cars and they just drove to Houston. They said, we’re here to help. For 18 hours a day, they’re going to help us restock and then they’ll go sleep on the couch at somebody’s house.”

Source: www.linkedin.com

Natural disasters complicate the logistics that make our modern economy run.  We take these flows for granted–until they are disrupted. This article is a excellent view into how to operate when disaster strikes. 

 

Tagseconomicindustry, laborglobalizationplace, transportation.

Amazon Is Building a Colossal Warehouse Where America’s Biggest Mall Once Stood

“The Seattle-based internet book seller Amazon just announced plans to open an enormous fulfillment center in the North Randall, Ohio. This is a big deal for the small community which has suffered greatly since the Randall Park Mall, once the largest in America, shut down due to retail sales moving online. Amazon is actually building its new warehouse on the same land where the mall once stood. The irony of this is lost on no one.”

Source: gizmodo.com

Questions to Ponder: Where is the geography in this new development?  What economic forces are shaping and reshaping places?

 

Tagseconomicindustry, laborglobalizationplace, transportation.

When Climate Change Meets Sprawl: Why Houston’s ‘Once-In-A-Lifetime’ Floods Keep Happening

But a local understanding of place is critical and this viral post–Things non-Houstonians Need to Understand–is pretty good.

“Unchecked development remains a priority in the famously un-zoned city, creating short-term economic gains for some, but long term flood risk for everyone.”

Source: projects.propublica.org

Houston’s development boom and reduction of wetlands leave region prone to more severe flooding.  Here is a great map of the change in impervious surfaces in the region from 1940 to 2017–when you combine that with record-breaking rainfall the results are catastrophic.  But a local understanding of place is critical and this viral post–Things non-Houstonians Need to Understand–is pretty good.   

Tagsphysical, fluvialwatercoastal, urban, planningtransportation, architecture.

The walkable city

How do we solve the problem of the suburbs? Urbanist Jeff Speck shows how we can free ourselves from dependence on the car — which he calls “a gas-belching, time-wasting, life-threatening prosthetic device” — by making our cities more walkable and more pleasant for more people.

Source: www.ted.com

In the 2017 APHG exam, there was a question that dealt with new urbanism and walkability.  This TED talk from Jeff Speck gives a good sense of what planners believe in new urbanism are trying to do (you can also watch his earlier TED talk, 4 ways to make a city more walkable). Here also is information on New Urbanism (dot org) from it’s practicioners, such as the Congress on New Urbanism.  Lastly, here is an academic article reviewing the critiques of new urbanism with rebuttals.    

 

Tagsplace, neighborhood, urban, planningtransportation, urbanism, scale, TED, video.

“The Last of the Free Seas”

“The Last of the Free Seas is the title of this fantastic map of the Great Lakes made by Boris Artzbasheff.  It was published in Fortune Magazine in July 1940.”

Source: www.reddit.com

The inland waterways were absolutely critical to the demographic and economic development of the eastern part of the United States, especially from 1820-1940.  Before World War II, Great Lakes shipping exceeded the tonnage of U.S. Pacific Coast shipping (see hi-res map here). World War II and the beginning of the Cold War led to a consolidation of naval power for the United States and its allies, greatly expanding Pacific shipping trade and spurring fast-developing economies countries. 

 

Great Lakes shipping dramatically declined, in part because steel production has gone to lower-cost producers that were connected to the U.S. economy through the expanded trade.  Some could see irony since the steel warships created from the Great Lakes manufacturing enabled expanded Pacific and Atlantic trade that led to the decline of Great Lakes manufacturing and regional struggles in the rust belt.  Still, more than 200 million tons of cargo, mostly iron ore, coal, and grain, travel across the Great Lakes annually.

 

This deindustrialization clearly is a huge economic negative but the environmental impacts for lakeside communities has been enormous.  Industrial emissions in the watershed and shipping pollution in the lakes went down as waterfowl populations returned and more waterfront property became swimmable again.  Still this map of the environmental stress on the Great Lakes shows they are far from pristine.    

 

Tagsenvironment, historicalwater, resources, transportation, industry, economicregions, globalization.

 

America’s Best Long Trails

Plan your next big hike with this map of America’s most-loved long trails.

Source: www.backpacker.com

My uncle hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail and as a kid the enormity of that feat was both inspirational and mind-boggling.  Recently I watched an incredible documentary about an ultra-marathoner’s quest on Vermont’s Long Trail (Finding Traction: free on Amazon Prime–trailer here).  While I doubt most of us could go the full length of these trails given our jobs, fitness levels, etc., I do think that getting outside to explore some of the physical environments in our local areas this summer sounds like a fantastic idea (high-res map here).  

 

Tags: transportation, landscape, place, sportphysical, environment, mappingmap.

4 ways to make a city more walkable

Freedom from cars, freedom from sprawl, freedom to walk your city! City planner Jeff Speck shares his “general theory of walkability” — four planning principles to transform sprawling cities of six-lane highways and 600-foot blocks into safe, walkable oases full of bike lanes and tree-lined streets.

Source: www.ted.com

As the 2017 APHG exam has ended, some people have asked for more resources on new urbanism.  This TED talk from Jeff Speck gives a good sense of what planners believe in new urbanism are trying to do (you can also watch his earlier TED talk, The Walkable City).  Here is information from New Urbanism (dot org) from it’s practioners, including the Congress on New Urbanism.  Lastly, here is an academic article reviewing the critiques of new urbanism with rebuttals.  

Tagsplace, neighborhood, urban, planningtransportation, urbanism, scaleTED, video.

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