Thursday, September 18, 2014

The world but not as we know it!

Image above: The Mercator projection (black) overlayed on the Peters projection.

Related links to Spatialworlds
Spatialworlds website

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Where am I??

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

Our ever changing world

As I tend to do from time, I go scooping of sites for my geography classes and workshops. As a result I have added to my 'Just real interesting',   'Spatial literacy'   and   'Geographical Thinking' sites three scoops which highlight three aspects of our ever changing world; changing world population, the threat of Ebola and the projections of the globe we choose.
These are just three of 100's of fascinating geographical sites on the curated's related to geography.

* Check out this site on the changing nature of the world population.

What can the median age of a country tell us about its future?
Turns out, quite a bit. Using data from the CIA Factbook, this site has created graphics to show the median age of every country in the world. As the article says:

"There are 1.2 billion people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the world today — and that means that many countries have populations younger than ever before.
Some believe that this "youth bulge" helps fuel social unrest — particularly when combined with high levels of youth unemployment. Writing for the Guardian last year, John Podesta, director of the progressive Center for American Progress, warned that youth unemployment is a “global time bomb,” as long as today’s millennials remain “hampered by weak economies, discrimination, and inequality of opportunity.”
The world’s 15 youngest countries are all in Africa. Of the continent’s 200 million young people, about 75 million are unemployed. The world’s youngest country is Niger, with a median age of 15.1, and Uganda comes in at a close second at 15.5.
On the flip side, an aging population presents a different set of problems: Japan and Germany are tied for the world’s oldest countries, with median ages of 46.1. Germany’s declining birth rate might mean that its population will decrease by 19 percent, shrinking to 66 million by 2060. An aging population has a huge economic impact: in Germany, it has meant a labor shortage, leaving jobs unfilled."

The article asks, What will be the long-term impact of the world's shifting demographics?
Have a good look at the maps in this article to support the above geographical analysis.

* Why this Ebola outbreak became the worst we've ever seen

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more people than sum total of all the previous outbreaks since the virus was first identified in 1976. This video explains how it got so bad and threatens to change the human geography of our world forever.

* Mapping projections

A really interesting blog on projections, containing some great visuals to show students that the world can be shown in many ways. Just like statistics, we can manipulate projections of the world to meet any agenda - why is England always in the centre of maps at the global scale and Australia to the East and out of the way? In particular the blog provides the opportunity to revisit that great scene from 'West Wing' when they are briefed on projections.

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