Sunday, May 11, 2014

The app opportunity for the geography classroom

Image above: The Social Landscape app.  Great for visualising and comparing data across space.

Related links to Spatialworlds 
Spatialworlds website

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website    

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

Visualisation of data across space and real time quake feeds

Recently there has been an interesting shift in focus when looking for classroom friendly geography resources.  On a daily basis new apps are appearing for students and teachers to use on their iPads and iPhones to teach and learn geography in the classroom.  With iPads and iPhones now able to be linked (by wi-fi or cord) to data projectors and smart boards, these apps provide a great resource for some meaningful geographical learning.  This posting just showcases two recently launched apps that I have been using in my class and workshops over the past weeks. These two are just the 'tip of the iceberg' of geographical apps available for iPads and iPhones. Go to the App Store on you iPhone or iPod and download the apps - both are of these are free in their basic form.

* The Social landscape app

Launched by a Melbourne app developer Blitzm in February 2014, Social Landscape is a fantastic local data visualisation app which provides quick and easy access to information about anywhere in Australia. By simply picking a location one can quickly explore the database of statistics to get a complete socio-economic picture of an area. The app is supported by a geospatial data platform that is highly scalable and capable of querying large volumes of geospatially organised data. The complete Social Landscape system allows statistical data to be queried and distributed efficiently so that is can be presented in a meaningful and effective way. Data from several reliable sources such as the Census from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is used by the app. The developer would love to hear data suggestions from users to gather future statistics to visualise on the app. The Social Landscape app is a really useful, easy to use resource for comparing data across space and from place to place in Australia.

* The QuakeFeed app

QuakeFeed has seven beautiful base maps, provided by Esri, showing plate boundaries and ocean floor topography for the real time earthquakes to be plotted. Quakefeed enables users to choose from either the 1-day, 7-day or 30-day USGS data feeds - variety of filter and sort options are also provided. The app is also location aware so you can find quakes that are closest to you. Push notifications are also free for M6+ worldwide quakes. You will receive an MSS any time of day - even during lessons - real time geography in the classroom!

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