Friday, December 2, 2011

SA Geographers, not South Australian!

Left image: Student working on a SA Spatial technology site. South Australian as opposed to South African!
Right image: A piece of farming history on Goyders line - the margins of the good earth in South Australia.

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'

Connection with South African geographers via Google Groups

After meeting geography teacher, Bridget Fleming from South Africa in 2009, I have been a member of the South African Google Group. This group of inspiring and committed geography teachers in South Africa has been the source of many great spatial links which I have included in this Spatialworlds blog. If you want to join the group go to
Everytime I see an SA addressed email from the group come in I think it is something South Australian ... but it is from our South African colleagues. Must be terribly confusing for the postal services having two countries being SA! Be aware that there is quite a bit of “chatter” with the group, much not that relevant to those outside of South Africa, but the group does supply some great Internet links and provides a real insight into an active geographical education community doing their best to keep pace with the ever-changing world of geography.
Here are just some of the latest links that I was sent from the group.

Where in the World? A Google Earth Puzzle
Some amazing images from Google Earth – fantastic examples of patterns and trending for spatial analysis. Looking at the world through Google Earth offers striking images of the diversity of our planet and the impact that humans have had on it. The site finds some great images and then challenges visitors to figure out where in the world each of the images is taken. North is not always up in the pictures, and, apart from a bit of contrast, they are unaltered images provided by Google and its mapping partners. You make your guesses, and see the score at the end of looking and guessing.

A great website for contour lines.
Contour maps of South African dams. Although maps/images of South African locations, this site is a great example of the practical recreational use of spatial technology. A dream site for the South African fisherperson and boatie.

Fun with projections
What your favourite projection says about you?

Spatial Reference website- Topographic Maps in South Africa
This service provides access to about 1600 topographic maps covering most of South Africa. These maps are electronic copies of the 1:50000 scale topographic maps. Detail such as road networks, contours and spot heights, trig beacons, land use definition (residential, nature reserves, plantations, industrial), farm boundaries, some services, dams and rivers are available on the maps making it useful for surveyors, town planners, engineers, navigation, flight planning, geography, etc...

Weather animations
A useful collection of animations to support the teaching of climate and weather.

Images from the NASA Earth Observatory
* An image everyday. Have a look at the image for today at

*Also check out the image galleries for topics such as natural hazards, human presence etc.

* Worth also looking at the global maps while on the site

This information is not from SA but from the US - Well worth considering.

Teaching with GIS: Introduction to Using GIS in the Classroom
Three free ESRI authored web courses of one hour duration. The ESRI website says:

"Today's students embrace technology outside the classroom, and, when used effectively, technology is an excellent tool to engage students inside the classroom as well. This course presents strategies for integrating GIS to support instruction, discussion, and extended learning on any topic. You will learn how to create and use GIS maps as a framework for understanding the geographic context of current and historical events and phenomena and exploring issues of interest to your local community. Many practical ideas for GIS activities that enhance student learning and critical thinking skills are shared."