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For the Love of Maps

Originally posted on Nat Geo Education Blog:

By Seth Dixon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Geography, Rhode Island College

I have a confession to make; I’m a map geek. Even as a kid watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, I was fascinated by the map they used to segue between scenes to show Indiana Jones’ travels. Forget the one I mean? Watch the clip below.

The spatial information stored in that single image heightened the level of mystery and intrigue in the adventure for me. Ever since then I’ve loved the idea of combining videos with maps, so I produced this interactive map using ArcGIS online (the metadata for the map is available here). This mapping feature spatially indexes over 60 of my favorite place-based videos that I use in my classes. Since all of these videos specifically refer to particular places, they are spatially indexed on this map. The maps are marked with varying degrees of…

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Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor could soon become national park

If enacted, the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, its official name, will be Rhode Island’s first national park.
The state currently has a national memorial, which marks the settlement of Providence founded by Roger Williams, at the foot of College Hill; a national historical site, Touro Synagogue, in Newport; and a national historic trail, the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route that travels through nine states, including Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia.
“The Blackstone Valley is a national treasure that deserves to be preserved,” Reed said in a news release. “It is the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and includes thousands of acres of beautiful, undeveloped land, and waterways that are home to diverse wildlife, cultural sites, and numerous recreational opportunities for Rhode Islanders.”

Source: www.providencejournal.com

Historical Geography of Whaling

“Summer 2014 brought a sight that had not been seen since 1941: the Charles W. Morgan leaving the Mystic River for the Atlantic Ocean, stopping at several New England harbors before eventually arriving in New Bedford, Massachusetts where the ship was built in 1841. The Charles W. Morgan is the last remaining wooden whaling ship in the world, and a National Historic Landmark.”

Source: maps101blog.com

Only two countries today are stilling whaling (Japan and Norway), but the whaling industry was a critical component to the settling of New England.  Check out this Maps 101 podcast for short introduction to the historical geography of New England whaling.  

Tagspodcast, Maps 101, historicalbiogeography.

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center

“The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is dedicated to the creative educational use of its cartographic holdings, which extend from the 15th century to the present.  The Center has a particular interest in developing innovative uses of maps and geographic materials to engage young people’s curiosity about the world, thereby enhancing their understanding of geography, history, world cultures, and citizenship.”

The Map Center has specific teacher resources and its current display is “Geography in the Classroom.”  Saturday, Nov. 15th there will be a Family Open House in the BPL’s map center from 10am-12pm. 

Source: maps.bpl.org

Providence’s Cityscapes

The Providence Journal featured this video recently.  As stated in the article, “PVD Aerial Productions is a local production company that uses drones – better known in the industry as ‘quad-copters’ – to film and shoot land and cityscapes in Providence and surrounding towns. 

PVD Aerial’s use of piloted quad-copters creates amazing footage for the viewer and captures what the average photographer cannot; shots at eye-level with structural bridges, looking down at the Battleship Cove, and even soaring above the Rhode Island Statehouse create an immersive viewing experience.”

Source: vimeo.com

Event: Geography Awareness Week

We are pleased to announce an exciting professional development opportunity for both this upcoming Geography Awareness Week (Nov. 16-22) and GIS Day (Nov 19). This year’s Geography Awareness Week has the theme of “The Future of Food.” Given that the global population predictions have recently been revised upward to reach 11 billion, the geography of food becomes all the more critical. We will have speakers and presenters sharing a variety of perspectives on the geography of food, local food issues, GIS, Google Earth resources, and other topics to celebrate Geography Awareness Week.  We’ll have a big announcement about Rhode Island lesson plans, some pizza to munch on, and as a special bonus for Geography Awareness Week, the Alliance would like to donate a class set of reversible world maps (see below) for all Alliance members who attend this event.  Come join us and reserve your class set of maps!  RSVP by sending an email to rigea@ric.edu with the subject title “GAWeek event.”

WHEN: Nov. 19th, 4pm.
WHERE: RIC, Whipple Hall rooms 105 and 106 (Directions)

Source: rigea.org