Thursday, January 30, 2014

A picture (or cartoon) is worth a 1000 words!

Image above: A cartoon from the excellent cartoon blog called wronghands by John Atkinson

 In the process of capturing the world under a lens, Google’s cameras have managed to take some of the most incredible,non-edited pictures the world’s ever seen? This amazing library of images from Google Street View are ready for the picking to use in the classroom.

Humour is a good and useful thing in the geography classroom

* Visit the following to view some great cartoons, many with a geography/society and culture relevance (sorry, some of the sites are copyright marked but still good for a geographical laugh)

Friday, January 24, 2014

They keep coming!

Data visualisations with a twist!

Great visualisations just keep on coming as I trawl the Internet via and curating my Spatial Literacy site. Here are just a few.

This is a fascinating data visualization site worth a look. Some of the visualizations makes one wonder their use or veracity (porn searches) but they all provide some great talking points, demonstrating the power of spatial technology.  Here are just three of the ones I found most interesting.

Personal space How much space each person has in some of the world's major cities? The interactive shows 20 countries and each is represented by a circle sized by average square feet per person. Of course, as with population density, this data is broad with land distribution and usage to consider, but it's informative from a general viewpoint.

The map shows a sample of locations across the country, and line length represents distance to the nearest store. For example, in areas with a lot of lines headed to one spot is an area with fewer grocery stores. In contrast, mostly small line segments mean more grocery stores, and therefore less distance to travel to buy groceries.
Places where residents have limited access to grocery stores are called food deserts.

For a country that features the word United so prominently in its name, the U.S. is a pretty fractious place. The country is split along fault lines of income, education, religion, race, hyphenated origin, age and politics. Then too there’s temperament. We’re coarse or courtly, traditionalist or rebel, amped up or laid-back. And it’s no secret that a lot of that seems to be determined by — or at least associated with — where we live.
Now a multinational team of researchers led by psychologist and American expat Jason Rentfrow of the University of Cambridge in the U.K. has sought to draw the regional lines more clearly, literally mapping the American mood, with state-by-state ratings of personality and temperament.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Turning on to geography

Where am I??  

Turning on to 2014 geography lessons

Welcome to the 2014 teaching year. One of our first tasks with a class is to turn them on to geography and all that it encompasses.  Here are just a few of the great video resources on-line that may have a place in your first few lessons of motivation and stimulation! As the Australian Curriculum: Geography states as its first aim is to ensure that students develop:
  • a sense of wonder, curiosity and respect about places, people, cultures and environments throughout the world
Hard not to develop that sense of wonder and curiosity after watching these videos. It is also worth having another look at the Spatialworlds blogpost from 2012 titled: The WOW factor of geography: WOW = World of Wonder!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

So many, so different!

 Image above: The National Geographic Interactive Map called 'Where and how we live'.
Here are just a few interactive sites to support the teaching of population and diversity in the Australian Curriculum: Geography. In particular these sites would be excellent to use in Year 6 with a focus on the diversity of peoples and cultures around the world and The Year 10 'Geographies of human wellbeing' unit.

The map shows population density; the brightest points are the highest densities. Each country is colored according to its average annual gross national income per capita, using categories established by the World Bank (see key below). Some nations— like economic powerhouses China and India—have an especially wide range of incomes. But as the two most populous countries, both are lower middle class when income is averaged per capita. The map also shows a wide range of demographic data associated with economic development

In this graphic, the world's 7 billion population is depicted by 7000 human figures, each representing a million people.