Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Citizen Geographer

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

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au


Citizenship and geography

Way back in October 2011 there was a Spatialworlds posting on the concept of 'spatial citizenship' and the importance of the study of geography in the curriculum. In essence the posting highlighted that, "because of the power of spatial thinking and pervasiveness of spatial technology in our society in the 21st Century it is in beholden upon education to ensure that young people are fully aware of and skilled in the way of spatial thinking and the use of technology which can impact greatly upon them as citizens".

With the implementation this year of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship I thought it opportune to revisit the relationship between geography and citizenship. In fact, the fifth aim of the Australian Curriculum: Geography is to develop students as:

  ... informed, responsible and active citizens who can contribute to the development of an environmentally and economically sustainable, and socially just world.


With this thinking in mind, The Australian Geography Teachers Association (AGTA) has produced a resource for schools called "Being a Citizen".  The resources provides copious links and teaching materials to support the teaching of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship. Just as is the case with the Geography curriculum, seven concepts can be identified as the basis of Civics and Citizenship thinking.  Geographers viewing this concept wheel can see that much of the discussional and inquiry work we do when investigating various geographical issues certainly resonates with the key concepts from the civics and citizenship subject. Whilst a work in progress and not official ACARA work, teachers are finding that the concept wheel below is an interesting way to conceptualise the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship as they develop their learning programs. 



Copyright: Malcolm McInerney 2015
The 'Being a Citizen' CD includes materials on;


  • Links to civics and citizenship teaching materials.
  • Political mapping classroom activities.
  • Social Issues worksheets and processes.
  • Links to curriculum documents and teaching materials on civics and citizenship.
  • Professional reading links on civics and citizenship education
The resource is available from AGTA at http://www.agta.asn.au/Resources/TeachingResources/index.php

Thursday, May 28, 2015

From whence they come


Image above: Where Adelaide's immigrants were born (excluding England and NZ)

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

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au

From whence they come: the origin of Australia's migrants, from area to area
This fascinating interactive map interface reveals the top three birthplaces for immigrants in suburbs and towns across Australia. An excellent resource for the Year 8 Changing nations unit and senior school geography topics exploring migration and change.


Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – 2011 Census
Map created by Small Multiples


All you need to do is rollover suburbs with your mouse for detailed info. Zoom and drag for a view of other cities and the nation as a whole, or click on the following links:
Australia | Sydney | Melbourne | Brisbane | Perth | Hobart | Darwin | Canberra
 You can also access a map revealing birthplaces excluding English and New Zealand immigrants.

 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Making fun of geography

 
 

Image above:The GeoSettr site

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

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au

Making fun of geography

This posting showcases a collection of online activities to use in the geography classroom.

World Geography games: A collection of games involving labelling and shape matching on countries and geographical topics.


Spacehopper is a game based on Google Maps Street View imagery. Spacehopper shows a Street View image and you have to guess where in the world the image was captured. You can click the clue button to have the country identified before making a guess. After three incorrect guesses the correct answer will be revealed to you. You can play Spacehopper on a global level or you can specify that you only want to see images from a particular continent.

Smarty Pins is a Google Maps game develop by Google. Smarty Pins presents players with a trivia question that they have to answer by placing a pin on a map. Players earn or lose "miles" for correctly or incorrectly placing a pin on the map.  Geogrpahy is one of the games  available. 

Where is...?  In this game the name of a city is presented to the players and they have to click the map to guess where the city is located. Players are given immediate feedback on their accuracy in the form of a measurement, in kilometers, of the distance between their guesses and the correct answers.

Capital Toss is a free geography game from ABCya. The game has a state capitals mode and a country capitals mode. The name of a state or country appears at the bottom of the screen and three rows of capital names scroll across the top. When the correct capital name appears players virtually toss a ball at it. After ten correct answers players can choose a new ball. Three consecutive incorrect answers ends the game.

Math Trail provides an opportunity to ink geography with mathematics. Math Trail is a series of map based math trivia challenges. Each game follows a trail of locations that students have to find by using the clues provided. If they get stumped they can click "show location" but they lose the point value for the question. When they arrive at the correction location students have to answer the multiple choice math question presented to them before moving on to the next question in the trail.

Astronaut Scott Kelly has started a geography game, asking Twitter users to identify locations on Earth based on photos from space.

Nat Geo Games: Some great games from National Geographic.

GeoGuessr shows you a Google Street View image and a clue to try to guess where in the world the imagery was captured. Playing GeoGuessr is a fun way to get students to look at all of the visual and text clues they have in order to form a good guess as to where in the world they think the imagery came from.


Create your own games.
GeoSettr enables you to create your own GeoGuessr games. When you visit GeoSettr you'll see two screens. A map with a Pegman on your left and the Street View imagery for the Pegman's current location on your right. Move the Pegman around, zoom-in if you like, until you find the location that you want people to guess. When you've found the right location click "set round" to save the location. When you've set five rounds (locations) your game is assigned a URL that you can distribute.

Mission Map Quest, is a map-based tool for creating virtual treasure hunts. You create a series of clues that your students need to follow to identify places around the world. You can add as few or as many clues to your Map Quest as you like. When you're ready to have students try your Quest just give them the web address of the challenge or have them scan the QR code assigned to your Quest.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The significance of place



Image above: Mapping famous deceased.

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

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au

Where am I??

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



 Mapping everyone and everything

Increasingly sites are appearing on the Internet that show that there is an unquenchable appetite to create a map of almost anything in any place. Here are just a few interesting sites that log-into the significance of place  -  as the resting place of the famous and the literacy nature of a place.




This Grave Atlas Shows Where to Find the Distinguished Deceased

We know where the bodies are buried ... take a virtual tour of world cemeteries that host famous artists and rogues.






This site was launched during the last Haloween period and was sold as: 

"Commune with the dead this Halloween, and check out the final resting places for more than 50 of history's most iconic figures. This eerie atlas lets you explore the lives and deaths of actors, authors and outlaws via maps of famous graves, from Bob Marley's mausoleum in Jamaica to Mary Shelley's tomb in Dorset."


 Books and place

This site gets one thinking about what it means for a story to not just be from a place, but also of it, and why it is that some places have an abundance of literary riches, while others don’t. There are plenty of maps pairing books with states in the United States, but those maps tend to signify the fame level of the books rather than their literary merit; they also tend to be dominated by white men, most of them dead. The best book for every state map comes up with a list which is more than just a general reflection of a place. 

No one book, after all, can completely capture the spirit of something so unwieldy as a state. Few—if any—books can even completely capture the spirit of an individual. And yet there are those stories that so beautifully evoke a time and a place and a way of life that it becomes close to impossible to separate the literary perception of a place from its reality—one winds up informing the other.

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 7.46.58 PM
 Illustration by Sarah Lutkenhaus

Another more localised literary map is the literary map of Brooklyn, highlighting the books that are considered as best representing the neighborhoods in which they were set.


An interesting link between English and geography that should be explored!


 Megacities interactives

 Whilst on about a city, the following interactive map of megacities is worth a look.


By 2025, the developing world will be home to 29 megacities. The interactive map explores the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of these 'cities on steroids', and takes a look at the challenges and opportunities megacities present for the tens of millions living in Lagos, Mexico City and Dhaka."




Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tourist hotspots


 Image above: An interesting take on the impact of technological change on lifestyle by John Atkinson of Wrong Hands  - great cartoons.


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

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au

Where am I??

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


Tourists v locals: city heat maps show where sightseers flock


Here is an interesting spatial technology application to show tourism patterns and inform tourism development in some of the large sities of the world. Eric Fischer’s fully browsable worldwide map shows blue points for ‘locals’ – tweets by people who have tweeted in the city over a month or more – and red points for ‘tourists’, those who tweeted there less than a month





Blue points on the map are Tweets posted by “Locals”: people who have tweeted in a city dated over a range of a month or more.

Red points are Tweets posted by “Tourists”: people who seem to be Locals in a different city and who tweeted in this city for less than a month.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tell me a story: a map story



Image above: The very useful ESRI Story maps site.

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

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au

Where am I??

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



Story telling through maps: Esri's Story Maps

"Map-based storytelling is fun, compelling, and helps us all better understand our world."

Several previous Spatialworlds postings have played with the idea of story in geography; geogstory in geography teaching and learning. 

This posting showcases the fantastic Esri Story Map initiative and the availability of hundreds of story maps that may be of use to the teaching of any aspect of the geography curriculum. The story maps produced are not only spatially interesting but also full of valuable information. You may even like to get your students make their own story map - details of how to do it are on the Esri Story Map page.

Story maps use geography as a means of organizing and presenting information. They tell the story of a place, event, issue, trend, or pattern in a geographic context. They combine interactive maps with other rich content—text, photos, video, and audio—within user experiences that are basic and intuitive.

For the most part, story maps are designed for general, non-technical audiences. However such maps can also summarise issues for business and decision makers. In general story maps use  the tool of GIS to present the results of spatial analysis that does not require their users to have any special knowledge or skills in GIS.

Story maps use interactive web maps created with ArcGIS Online, Esri's cloud-based mapping and GIS system. ArcGIS web maps let you combine your own data, including spreadsheets and GIS data, with authoritative content and thematic maps from Esri and the GIS community, on top of Esri basemaps. The web maps support visualization, queries, analytics, and pop-ups for map features with rich content including photos and graphs.

People who are creating story maps to tell their geographic stories include GIS professionals, planners, communications specialists, knowledge workers, journalists, activists, web designers, bloggers, educators, students, amateur geographers and hopefully school students!

The Story Map Gallery is an excellent resource for students to explore and see the power of maps to tell a geographical and/or historical story. Some fascinating and informative maps!





The Titanic Story map is especially fascinating for those with an historical bent.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Peace mapping

               

Image above: The Global Peace Index map

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

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
manning@chariot.net.au

Where am I??

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


 Using maps to analyse peace

After the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney and terror attacks in Paris and Denmark, acts of terror continue to be at the centre of much of our news in 2015. The Vision of Humanity mapping initiative helps us to get an understanding of the relative danger of such attacks across the world. 

The Vision of Humanity site also provides maps showing a Global Peace Index, as well as peace information specifically for the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Click here to watch a brief video on the Peace Index Project.

 Vision of Humanity is a strong proponent of the need to further study, advocate and act on peace. The website focusses on the major issues facing the 21st century and aims to  bring a balanced approach with factual information that is positive and solution based.



As seen above, the site provides a huge amount of information on countries,  in terms of peace indicators such as violent crime, homicide, military expenditure etc. Just click on the "Specify Indicator" button. The site also enables you to see the change in peace status between 2009-2014 by using the date slider below the map. It is worth spending some time navigating around this amazingly rich site to see what it offers your political/social geography studies.

 Some information gleaned from analysing the Terrorism Index map



"Of the 17,958 people who died in terrorist attacks in 2013, 82 percent were in one of five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria. That's one finding from this year's Global Terrorism Index report, published by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The report is based on data from the University of Maryland's Global Terrorism Database, which has information on more than 125,000 terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2013.
The report found a 61-percent jump in terrorism fatalities between 2012 and 2013. "Over the same period," the authors wrote, "the number of countries that experienced more than 50 [terrorism-related] deaths rose from 15 to 24"—an indication that the problem of terrorism was getting both more fatal and more widespread a year before ISIS declared a new caliphate. But it's also striking where terrorism didn't occur. Much of the increase in terrorism-related fatalities in 2013 took place in Iraq, where terrorists claimed nearly 4,000 lives—a 168-percent increase over 2012. Worldwide, Iraq was the worst-affected country, accounting for 34 percent of terrorism-related fatalities in 2013, with Afghanistan ranked next with 17.3 percent. Meanwhile, between 2000 and 2013, the report found, around 5 percent of terrorism-related fatalities occurred in the 34 wealthy countries of the OECD. In 2013 specifically, there were 113 terrorism-related deaths in OECD countries—0.6 percent of the worldwide total. Six of these took place in the United States."