Thursday, August 22, 2013

Exploring spatial literacy

Image above: The Spatial literacy

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Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

The fascinating world of mapping anything and everything and then being able to 'read' it!  

As described in a previous Spatialworlds posting, spatial literacy is the development of the skills and capacities to ‘read’ maps, images and graphics. This is often called the skill graphicacy in geography. Such a skill is fundamental to the competency of a geography to make sense (analyse and make conclusions) of visualisations

Here is an excellent presentation on the nature and importance of spatial literacy.

To highlight the importance of spatial literacy, here is a great clips about maps and projects (and spatial literacy) from the West Wing.

As a result of my fascination as a geographer with spatial literacy I have an on-going titled ‘Spatial literacy’.  The purpose of the is to curate any sites which contain a map, graphic, image or interactive which requires students to ‘read’ and interpret what it shows – to make sense of the visualisation.  The following selection of a few sites curated on the Spatial literacy show that there are some really fascinating visualisations about which stimulate our curiosity on an unlimited number of topics – if the visualisation can be ‘read’ in the first instance. Only then can the geographical questions be asked.

Here are some great sites to test your spatial literacy on!

* World’s busiest airport: great for the scale concepts via zooming – and just fun to look at the location, configuration and business of these giant airports.  

* The racial dot map. An interesting way to show change over space.

* Interactive crime map of London. A fascinating visualisation of crime to analyse and try to explain.

* London 3D map. A fantastic way to visually comprehend the spatial urban patterns and densities of a world city like London.

* Mapping flight paths

* Earthquakes in the last week

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