Monday, June 27, 2011

Geographical bits and pieces: Networking resources

Left image: Perfect Sunday in Central Park, New York.
Right image: Grand Central Station, New York.

Related sites to the Spatialworlds project
Spatialworlds website
21st Century Geography Google Group
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
Email contact

Where am I??
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

Geographical bits and pieces: Networking resources

The sites of interest keep on coming. However they don’t just appear! They are the result of an incredible networking of geography teachers around the world who are keen to share what they find. The geographical bits and pieces of this posting are accumulated from the South African Google Group postings, the Geography Teachers Association of South Australia website newsletter, the Geography Association of the UK blog page and the ESRI Community blog from the US. All fantastic sources of Internet sites, resources and inspiration regarding geography. What the Spatialworlds blog tries to do is consolidate the resources into one site and if possible give them a theme. This posting has no theme and hence called ‘bits and pieces’. If you have any links or resources don’t hesitate to pass on via the comment section below. There have been over 1500 hits on this site over the past two months but no comments – it would be great to hear from those reading the blog and even get some resources which Spatialworlds has not come across! Well, here are some sites of interest and I am sure of great use in the geography classroom, some using spatial technology, while others just some great geography.

1. The Guardian Teacher Network: A great repository of teaching resources. You will need to register (free) but well worth the trouble.

2. Crime data released:
A site to help show what crime has been committed in neighbourhoods across the UK. Crime information can be shown on a map shaded to show crime rates in each area compared to the average across London, or as text

3. Human Planet Explorer Discover amazing human stories from around the world through television and radio clips from BBC programmes such as Human Planet, Amazon with Bruce Parry and Tropic of Cancer. Human Planet Explorer enables you to browse a selection of clips that showcase man's relationship with the natural environment.

4. Chilean Volcano:
Thousands flee their homes and flights are grounded as Chilean volcano sends plumes of ash showering down. Booming explosions echoed across the Andes as toxic gases belched up from a three-mile-long fissure in the volcanic complex .

5. The Chocolate Map:
Features over 2000 chocolate shops and growing each day! Whether at home or on the road, it's easy to find a chocolate shop near you.

6. National Public Toilet map:
The National Public Toilet Map (the Toilet Map) shows the location of more than 14,000 public and private public toilet facilities across Australia. Details of toilet facilities can also be found along major travel routes and for shorter journeys as well. Useful information is provided about each toilet, such as location, opening hours, availability of baby change rooms, accessibility for people with disabilities and the details of other nearby toilets.

7. Sentinel:
A national bushfire monitoring system that provides timely information about hotspots to emergency service managers across Australia. The mapping system allows users to identify fire locations with a potential risk to communities and property.

8. Cyclone tracking:
An archive of tracked severe weather activities. A site for those fascinated and wanting to observe severe weather occurrences.

9. Visualising Projections: A short video on projections. The projections morphs into another to show drastic differences in how we see the world geographically

10. Google Earth Outreach Showcase:
Explore how other non-profit and public benefit organizations are using Google Earth and Maps to visualize their cause. You can see both Earth and Maps projects, and read about the impact the organizations have had using these different mapping technologies.

11. Mapping the future of countries
Parag Khanna - Geopolitical expert Parag Khanna foresees a future with maps. Many people think the lines on the map no longer matter, but Parag Khanna says they do. Using maps of the past and present, he explains the root causes of border conflicts worldwide and proposes simple yet cunning solutions for each

12. Collecting data with the latest mobility devices:
Use iGPSGIS to easily collect data for utilities, wildlife, natural resources, land management and other applications. Tag the data with date, time, GPS coordinates and pre-defined descriptions. Organize the data in topic layers displayed with colorful symbols and text labels. iGPSGIS will import data in Shapefile format. You will also be able to digitize points, lines and areas on top of a background map. You will be able to view the area and perimeter of an Area Feature on the spot. Please keep in mind that continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life. iGPSGIS lets you easily toggle the GPS on or off. Following the release of the iCMTGIS for the Apple iPad, Corvallis Microtechnology, Inc. has announced the release of the iGPSGIS application software for use on the Apple iPhone. Like the iPad app, iGPSGIS allows the creation of GIS data in the field, including the export and import of shp files. The app has several useful features, including creating sampling grids, displaying a Google Map as the background map, collecting multi-layer GPS/GIS data, digitising points, lines and areas, assignment of symbols and attributes to features. You can of course view/edit any collected data from the device, and view the area of an enclosed region.
The free iGPSGIS Version 1.0.0 is available from the App Store at: And the iPad version is available. For additional information.

13. Realtime weather: check out the local weather conditions. Maps and charts weather conditions.

14. Environmental case studies galore:
A website from the American University which has published case studies since 1997 about major environmental issues affecting regions around the world. Topics include climate change, impacts and role of nature, conflicts over use and pollution of rivers, wars and environmental impact, border disputes, nuclear energy, forest depletion, etc.

15. The S.A. Weather and Disaster Information Service(SAWDIS: Images of Eritrea’s Nabro Volcano. This service is made possible by amateur radio operators and private citizens around the country that volunteer the use of their weather and radio stations, weather and disaster photographs, data and information for educational and research purposes.

16. Just nonsense but fun:
Sometimes the networking involves a little pressure release –just some useless fun activity. Give theses a try. Nothing to do with geography or spatial technology but how can resist swatting a fly – an environmental act!

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