Gerrymandering in America

Fantastic article in The Atlantic this week on opportunistic Congressional redistricting, i.e. “gerrymandering” — “the most insidious practice in American politics…”

How Much Backyard Would a Backyard Geographer Need if the Backyard Geographer Wanted to be Self-Sufficient?

Infographic courtesy of One Block Off the Grid, a solar power outfitting and advocacy group.

Sunday News and Links

Playing catch-up so there’s lots to share today…

  • One of the main goals of the Geographic Society of Chicago is the promotion and practice of geography education, particularly among grade-school aged children.  This can be difficult because, at such a young age, their perspective of physical geography is often limited to their immediate surroundings — their town, their neighborhood, or even just their block.  That’s why we were thrilled to find this blog post advocating the use of oreo cookies in teaching tectonic plate movement.  This will definitely become part of the curriculum in the future…

  • More education news, from our colleagues at Elmhurst College:

The Geography Education National Implementation Project (GENIP) – a consortium of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the American Geographical Society (AGS), the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE), the National Geographic Society (NGS)  – has released  Geography for Life: National Geography Standards, Second Editionan update of the 1994 publication.  The intention of the second edition is to ensure that the National Geography Standards continue to capture the most important and enduring ideas in geography and that the standards remain challenging to students. . . The second edition is organized to emphasize the importance of “Doing Geography.”  The revised edition features restructured content and a new format. Revised content captures the growth and importance of geospatial technologies and spatial thinking in geography over the last 18 years. Each standard is presented through four components: an introductory essay; knowledge statements; performance statements and examples. Knowledge statements and performance statements are broken down by grade band (grades 4, 8 and 12).

Purchase here

  • Check out Google Earth Engine, a database of satellite imagery dating back almost 40 years.  Some of their presentations are pretty remarkable, offering a greater perspective on important public policy issues such as water conservation, deforestation, and ecological restoration.  This one is pretty compelling:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbSkRS8Ih7o&w=560&h=315]

  • And finally, more Google: artist Jon Rafman has gone through and found the most amazing, bizarre, shocking, and funny images from Google Streetview and collected them on his site 9-eyes.com (*warning* while not exactly explicit, some of the images may not be suitable for younger viewers).