cluster map

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

stuff to Peruse over the holidays

Holiday stuff to peruse & use

Here are a number of resources to peruse and ruminate over for the holidays

Interactive Maps , Spatial Journals & other Story Maps

Most walkable cities map of the USA

Accompanying article

The Most Walkable Cities and How Some Are Making Strides

Nationally,(USA) only a small fraction of people walk to work. But some cities' policy and planning efforts are making walking an everyday means of commuting. View data and maps for dozens of U.S. cities.

How much of our "food" is food? Map shows where crops used as human food (green) vs. animal feed & biofuels (red).

Air Pollution in Asia: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map

Other maps for differing regions are also available

Air Pollution in Canada: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map

Outbreak! Watch How Quickly An Epidemic Would Spread Across The World

A new model can predict the spread of any disease across the planet. All we need to do is reorganize our thinking of time and space.

Teacher pay state by state:

Fascinating map shows New York educators get biggest salaries and are paid almost DOUBLE their South Dakota counterparts  Comes with Data

Read more:

The Myth, History, and Mystery of Petra

A journey through the passageways and open spaces of Petra, with a close look at the myth and history of the Nabataen civilization and the rise and fall of this ancient city.- Great Story Map

Mapping food insecurity in big cities of the world

"Scientists map food security and self-provision of major cities."

Mapping tool pinpoints countries at most risk of water stress

A global mapping exercise has highlighted that 37 countries across the world are currently experiencing high levels of water stress, making them vulnerable to climate pressures.

Who Owns the Arctic

Territorial claims of countries in the Arctic are being spurred by the presence of large caches of oil and natural gas, melting ice and dwindling energy reserves in other regions.

Toronto Underfoot

Archaeology from New World Archaeology, Royal Ontario Museum

Great Spatial Journal of Toronto archeological artifacts,-79.439049&spn=0.147421,0.220757

The Earth’s Next 100 Years, Visualized

Take a look at this amazing visualization that explains how we’ve treated the Earth over the past 100 years and what the next 100 might hold

Global Wind Conditions

Exceptionally well done current wind speed map of the earth (interactive)

Death penalty statistics, country by country

After the execution of Kim Jong-un's uncle, the brutality of North Korea's regime has once again come under the international spotlight. In a broader context, is the attention warranted? Find out who uses the death penalty today - and see how it compares to 2007

The AT.las of human Struggle (Beta)

Interesting Spatial journal on human struggles – Also good for History classes. Very current

Map: All the Countries That Contribute to a Single Jar of Nutella

Popular hazelnut and cocoa spread Nutella has become such a global product that the OECD decided to use it as a case study in its latest report on global value chains. ( super for grade 8 Classes)

World Stats Interactive Maps

This index lists over 400 interactive world maps covering areas such as health, education, drugs & crime, economy, environment, gender and population for all countries.

Plastic fishing in the Southern Ocean

In one of the remotest places on Earth, a scientist is measuring for the first time the concentration of plastic particles that can float on the sea surface for hundreds or even thousands of years

Other interactive – graphs & charts

Population Pyramids of the World from 1950 to 2100

Awesome  interactive on population pyramids from differing countries over time Check out UAE.

The World's Biggest Cities Over Time Since 4000 B.C

The folks at Goldman Sachs just published a massive special report with their analysts' 100 favorite charts. Here's an interesting chart going way back to 4000 BC showing the population of the biggest cities in the western and eastern worlds

UNFORTUNATELY global warming continues. 2013 had warmest November since measurments start 1880_ Hans Rosling

Facebook –Newsroom – year in review

Very interesting and student engaging statistics

One third of babies born in 2013 are expected to live to 100

The latest ONS ( office of National Statistics) statistics look at the chances of people living in the UK surviving to their 100th birthday.  According to the principal projection, around 1 in 3 babies born in 2013 will live to celebrate their 100th birthday. The total number of centenarians is projected to rise from 14,000 in 2013 to 111,000 in 2037.(though British it  is still quite applicable)

What is most likely to cause your untimely death?

Urban Topics


Forecasting the Growth of Cities

It’s no shocker that the world is rapidly urbanizing. The World Health Organization estimates that 70 percent of the global population will live in cities and towns by 2050, up from just 50 percent today. Predicting exactly where and when those urban migrations will occur, however, has proven difficult in the past, because they’re guided by millions of personal decisions based on factors such as employment opportunities, cost of living, security and politics.

How does immigration affect crime?

Researchers at the London School of Economics and University College London have studied the effect on crime of two large migration flows to Britain.

Today's #TED: Inside the industry that brings you 90% of everything you own:

Almost everything we own and use, at some point, travels to us by container ship, through a vast network of ocean routes and ports that most of us know almost nothing about. Journalist Rose George tours us through the world of shipping, the underpinning of consumer civilization. Also terrific book



Geographer’s and others doing Geography

What if the Flood Maps Are Just Plain Wrong?

Google’s Road Map to Global Domination- (how they are going to control the WHERE)

A Frenchman who has lived half his 49 years in the United States, Vincent was never in the Marines. But he is a leader in a new great game: the Internet land grab, which can be reduced to three key battles over three key conceptual territories. What came first, conquered by Google’s superior search algorithms. Who was next, and Facebook was the victor. But where, arguably the biggest prize of all, has yet to be completely won.—DON’T ASK ME WHY ASK ME WHERE!!

I am a shoe!

A closer look at how a sports shoe is manufactured and distributed in what is a multi-billion dollar industry. (interesting Interactive focus of a topic – Fresh voice with Aljazeera) Has the ability to be full inquiry unit


Oil and Water:

Tar Sands Crude Shipping Meets Great Lakes?

Report cites gaps in region's oil-spill prevention, response

Toxic 'e-waste' dumped in poor nations, says United Nations

Millions of tonnes of old electronic goods illegally exported to developing countries, as people dump luxury items

The social price of gold: child prostitution

Global demand for Peruvian gold has led to illegal mining that has fuelled unprecedented levels of child prostitution. Filmmaker Guillermo Galdos reports for Channel 4 News.

If your Geography Homework is on Nike…

If you’re interested in what it life and work can be like for the people who make sports clothing, we have some other recommendations that aren’t on our sire. The first film is on Nike and could be a vivid and useful source. But other students in other schools may have been given Adidas to research. We have a couple of films for you too, if that’s what you’ve been asked to research. And, at the end, we bring things right up to date: with a way to compare these two companies / brands.- A number of good video’s and other stuff

Canada to make territorial claim for North Pole after mapping complete

Vast freshwater reserves discovered under the oceans

Scientists have discovered huge reserves of freshwater beneath oceans off of Australia, China, North America and South Africa.



The Importance Of geography

Advocating for Geography Education

A recent opinion piece by Kirk Goldsberry, visiting scholar at Harvard University, gained a good deal of attention because it advocated for a return of a geography department to that august institution. Sensors & Systems (S&S) special correspondent Matteo Luccio spoke with Goldsberry about his background, about the need to reveal spatial patterns, and about the importance of geography. - See more at:

How Geography Paved the Way for Women in Science and Cultivated the Values of American Democracy

“The revolution has been favorable to science in general, particularly to that of the geography of our own country,’ wrote the Reverend Jedidiah Morse. In 1784, when Morse published his first geography textbook, he dedicated it ‘To the Young Masters and Misses Throughout the United States,’ signaling its appropriateness for females. Highly popular among boys and girls alike, Morse’s Geography Made Easy ran through numerous editions at least until 1820, when the twenty-third edition appeared. Geography was the first science to appear widely in girls’ schoolbooks after the American Revolution.

Teaching Geography in 19th Century America

The study of geography is now, much more than at any former period, an essential element in education. It is second in importance only to reading, writing, and rudimentary arithmetic. The newspaper is and must continue to be the chief source of that knowledge of current events which is indispensable to every intelligent person. Its telegrams and other items and articles necessarily assume that the reader possesses a knowledge of certain geographical facts. It is the aim of this work to present and impress these-facts.

Geography Careers

What to do with a degree in environmental science/physical geography

Catastrophes, such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, not only serve as a reminder of how unpredictable the Earth can be, but also lead many to wonder why such natural disasters have become so prevalent. These are just some of questions that students of physical geography and environmental science will have grappled with.


And Finally some Santa Trackers ( It is important to know the WHERE of the sleigh)

Tracking Santa With Google Earth 3d at


Happy Holidays


Mark Lowry

Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader

Social World Studies and Humanities

Toronto District School Board

1 Civic Centre Court

Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3

Tel; (416) 394-7269

Cell; (416) 576-4515

Fax; (416) 394-6420


twitter @geogmark




Monday, December 16, 2013

Canadian Geographic Education - Energy Challenge

Here is an opportunity for teachers from grades k to 12 to enter their classrooms into an energy challenge.  

There will be 25 lesson plans for teachers and activities for students, with prizes to be won.   One of the 40 prizes is money  to "green" their school based on the submitted proposal.  

Registration closes January 19th, but the submissions are not until the months of Feb, Mar and April.  So for teachers on a semester system, you will need to register your semester 2 classes before the semester starts.  The lesson plans and activities will be on the website The Classroom Energy Diet Challenge on Feb. 5th.  


Please also note:  This is a great way for teachers to bring in the thinking about geographic perspective... the environmental, social, political and economic aspects of a geographic issue.  


Good Luck!

Kim Wallace

Ontario Representative for Canadian Geographic Education

On the online registration form, please list my name for the section, Who referred you to the CEDC?, and enter, “RCGS Fellow” in the field, School Name.



Mark Lowry

Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader

Social World Studies and Humanities

Toronto District School Board

1 Civic Centre Court

Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3

Tel; (416) 394-7269

Cell; (416) 576-4515

Fax; (416) 394-6420


twitter @geogmark




Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela - some resources etc




Nelson Mandela

Resources, activities & supports


Nelson Mandela death: A life in pictures

BBC Africa gallery of Mandela’s life


Reaction to Nelson Mandela's death

Various leaders and individuals from around the world responding to Mandela’s death

PHOTOS: How The World Is Celebrating The Life Of Nelson Mandela

How social media reacted to Mandela’s death


Nelson Mandela's death leaves South Africa wondering where to go next?

The death of Nelson Mandela will shake South Africa to its core, no less than the deaths of John F Kennedy and Diana, Princess of Wales delivered shell-shocked newscasters, public demonstrations of grief and interrogations of the American and British psyches. That death in old age does not fit the proper definition of "tragedy" will not console the millions who grew up with him as a constant presence, like a grandfather, and feel the loss just as keenly.

Good for gr 12 world Issues

Nelson Mandela, 1964: 'I am prepared to die' - audio recording of speech at sabotage trial

Extracts from Nelson Mandela's statement from the dock at the opening of his trial on charges of sabotage at the supreme court of South Africa in Pretoria on 20 April 1964. Mandela, leader of the African National Congress and of the struggle against the racist apartheid regime, was given a life sentence, of which he served 27 years, most of which was in the prison on Robben Island


Mandela Video’s

UNICEF mourns the loss of Nelson Mandela

Published on Dec 5, 2013

UNICEF joins millions of people around the world who mourn the loss of 
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa.
For more information, visit:

Nelson Mandela's Life Story

The 13-minute video documentary of Mandela's life has been provided by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which has given the UN permission to use it.

History Channel - Miracle Rising South Africa [ Full Movie ]

Special AKA - Free Nelson Mandela (TOTP)

April 1984 performance from Top Of The Pops, as rebroadcast on TOTP2. Love the drummer's expression at the audience's failure to clap along properly...

Significance is was before he was released

The Specials - Nelson Mandela

Remembering South African leader Nelson Mandela

PBS retrospective Published on Dec 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa credited with ending apartheid there, died in Johannesburg on Dec. 5, 2013. Former PBS NewsHour correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault takes a look back at Mandela's life and legacy.

Activities & Lessons

Nelson Mandela- OXFAM Education

Explore the life of Nelson Mandela and the difference between fact, fiction, and opinion.

Explore the life of Nelson Mandela and the differences between biography and autobiography with these materials for English and Literacy. Also good for grade 7&8 geography

The lessons develop critical reading skills, invite shared discussion, and provide the opportunity for pupils to develop their own writing skills.

They also provide ideas for discussing the difference between explicit and implicit points of view, and the differences between first and third person narration.


Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

A group of lesson activities

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” tells the inspirational story of one of the greatest leaders of our time, Nelson Mandela. From his humble beginnings in Transkei, South Africa, to his 27-year incarceration for treason, to his eventual release to become the president of a fully participatory, democratic South Africa, the story of Mandela provides educators with an opportunity to dive into the issues of freedom and forgiveness, equality and equanimity, reconciliation and redemption. With that in mind, we have created the “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Educator’s Guide”.

Education is a vital component of furthering the film’s–and Mandela’s own–message. The classroom lessons that accompany the film not only examine this explosive period in the history of South Africa, but also afford an opportunity to explore current events in Africa, America and around the world through the lens of an incredible person and his incredible story


South Africa After Ten Years of Freedom

Lesson plans from PBS


South Africa: fast facts

South African facts at your fingertips … up-to-date information on the country's economy, population, geography, climate, languages and more.

Read more:


CIA Fact Book on South Africa


South Africa – facts and pic’s



Other Images


A Tribute to Nelson Mandela

We are proud of our long and special relationship Nelson Mandela, who has served as our Goodwill Ambassador since 2005. His triumph over racism is a history-making achievement, and forever part of humanity’s common heritage, safeguarded as UNESCO World Heritage and Memory of the World. His life is an education to us all -- we must help others, reach across all dividing lines, and cherish the world we live in.


This is a very good example of the essence of a Geographic Inquiry

Certainly for our students we need to make the ‘what is where’ connection

Which logically moves into the Inquiry or ‘WHY THERE’

And then or need in to day’s world and specifically on Mandela’s Death



Create your own spatial journal or Story Map for Nelson Mandela


Here are some kmz(kml) files to get started- All you need to do is Click on them and they will open in Google Earth ( or faiuling that drag them into open Google Earth 0


Birth place of Nelson Mandela.kmz


Some Maps images ( but better to create your own)



Mark Lowry

Geography and Geotechnologies Instructional Leader

Social World Studies and Humanities

Toronto District School Board

1 Civic Centre Court

Toronto , On ,M9C 2B3

Tel; (416) 394-7269

Cell; (416) 576-4515

Fax; (416) 394-6420


twitter @geogmark