Friday, November 21, 2014

Geography: from the stimulating to exhilarating

                                     everything has to do with geography

Related links to Spatialworlds
GeogSplace (a teaching blog for Year 12 geography)
Spatialworlds website

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Where am I??

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


“I’m a geographer, frankly, I’m proud of that fact even if I have to explain when I meet someone exactly what it is a geographer does.”
Associate Professor Andrew Shears (a fascinating geography blog to check out from Andrew)

As frequently mentioned on this blog, there is a disconnect between what geographers think geography is and what the community and non-geographer educators think geography is. In fact, there is even arguments on the matter between geographers i.e. the physical geography versus human geography debate. Whilst the perception of geography varies enormously, one of the good things coming out of the implementation of the Australian Curriculum: Geography is that  geographers are working with teachers and parents to enunciate what they see geography as. I was amused by the following example of a typical discussion geographers tend to have with those trying to get a grasp of what geography is in the 21st Century - an exhausting, but necessary role for us geographers as the curriculum is implemented!

Imagine the poor geographer trying to explain to someone exactly what it is he or she studies.

“Geography is Greek for ‘writing about the earth.’ We study the Earth.”
“Right, like geologists.”
“Well, yes, but we’re interested in the whole world, not just the rocky bits.  Geographers also study oceans, lakes, the water cycle…”
“So, it’s like oceanography or hydrology.”
“And the atmosphere.”
“Meteorology, climatology…”
“It’s broader than just physical geography.  We’re also interested in how humans relate to their planet.”
“How is that different from ecology or environmental science?”
“Well, it encompasses them.  Aspects of them.  But we also study the social and economic and cultural and geopolitical sides of–
“Sociology, economics, cultural studies, political science.”
“Some geographers specialise in different world regions.”
“Ah, right, we have Asian and African and Latin American studies programs here.  But I didn’t know they were part of the geography department.”
“They’re not.”
(Long pause.)
“So, uh, what is it that you do study then?”
―    Ken Jennings 

Just to emphasise the difficulty for many to get a purchase on what is geography, I thought it would be fun in this posting to pick a mixed-bag of sites, from the stimulating to exhilarating to show the diversity of topics studied under the banner of geography. As Judy Martz is quoted as saying in the image at the top of the posting,  everything can be studied in geography, as long as it is studied geographically!  What does that mean? With the Australian Curriculum: Geography it means to look at what we study through the lens of the seven key concepts of place, space, environment, scale, environment, sustainability, interconnection and change - to think geographically on a topic/area of study is what makes geography geography.  Now just enjoy these amazing examples of geography and geographical thinking!

The stimulating!

* A Meandering stream

* Visualising global urban growth 

An interactive data visual covering all cities with 500,000-plus inhabitants – illustrates the scale and speed of urban transformation that research by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) has sought to document and describe. A guide to its use can be found underneath the visual.

* Who lives where in Europe? Nationalities across the continent mapped

People of many different countries are now living in Europe, with the continent's residents coming everywhere from Jamaica to Tuvalu. Using data from 2011 censuses this interactive maps the prevalence of different nationalities across the European continent. Pick a country and the map will tell you how many people from that country live in each* European state

* Women's rights: country by country

Which countries have laws preventing violence? Which legislate for gender equality? And which countries allow abortion? Using World Bank and UN data this interactive offers a snapshot of women's rights across the globe

* Instant thematic maps on demographics 

 A great resource to make demographic geography interactive. Index Mundi is home of the Internet's most complete country profiles. The site also contains detailed country statistics, charts, and maps compiled from multiple sources.

* The geography of stolen cars: why the difference from place to place must be the geographical question?

* Worldometer 

Live world statistics on population, government and economics, society and media, environment, food, water, energy and health.

* Mapping children's chances 

Excellent maps displaying the standard of living available to children around the world. These maps help us to understand the quality of life present in different countries around the world. This is the biggest ever global picture of children’s well-being, education and family life has been assembled into a series of maps by the University of California, Los Angeles. "When you look at a map, everyone's eyes go straight to where they live," says Dr Jody Heymann, director of the university's World Policy Analysis Centre.

... and the exhilarating!

* Norway, a time lapse adventure

* Climbing Mount Everest in 3D

No comments: