cluster map

Monday, October 28, 2013

November Missive

Good Day Geographers!!

I feel I have been falling down on my distillation of geographic information, and teaching strategies. However the revised curriculum and the associated rollout is and will continue to be all encompassing. However, embracing the changed curriculum seems to be a very positive experience for the majority of teachers both at the elementary level and also in Grade 9 . We are still waiting on the 11 & 12, however we will probably not see it until into the spring. With respect to implementation the stance of TDSB and a number of other boards is that elementary implementation is an expectation this year and in grade 9 this year you should be trying some aspects of the new curriculum.  Consider it as a time to try and experiment, especially when it comes to inquiry and concepts of Geographic thinking.

In order to support these I have put together a number of current resources that have come from various Twitter feeds and other sources. I would like to thank all of those educators that have sent in various suggestions for resources and other teaching strategies to help in the implementation of the revised Ontario Geography curricula .

Remember the best source of Geography PD is happening this weekend in Waterloo. The OAGEE annual conference “GEO 2.0” Please come and join us.

Here are a few minds on, strategies and resources

Interactive: The price of passage

Almost 35,000 people have reached the shores of Italy and Malta in 2013 and two-thirds have filed for asylum. Neat interactive resource for migration and refugee units.

Pipeline map: Have there been any incidents near you?

From small to large-scale spills to fires, explosions and worker deaths. Great topical resource from the CBC.

What Do We Know -- And Not Know -- About Fracking?

Fracking is in the headlines a lot these days, and everyone has an opinion about it. But how much do we really know for certain about the oil and gas extraction technique and its health effects? And how do we find out the truth among all the shouted opinions? To help cut through the static, several scientists have put together a multidisciplinary session on fracking and health at the meeting of The Geological Society of America (GSA) in Denver on Sunday.

Why Should I Care About Geography?

Nice little video to show a parents night or for a minds on

There’s a quiet revolution taking place in Indian manufacturing

Interesting take on India’s manufacturing.

The Great Circle Mapper

The Great Circle Mapper allows travelers to visualize a flight path on a Google Map and calculate the great circle distance in nautical miles and kilometers.

Users can select two or more airports anywhere in the world and view the great circle flight path between the selected airports. You can then view the estimated flight time by choosing an aircraft type or entering the cruising speed.

The Great Circle Mapper includes an API that allows developers to return air route calculations and a range of information about individual airports around the world

With more smokers than the population of the US, China tries to cut down

China has one of the world’s highest rates of smoking, with about 320 million people—a fourth of the world’s population of smokers, and more than the US population—lighting up daily. But officials may be getting more serious about helping the country kick its nicotine habit. Increasing concerns over public health and a change in leadership could go a long way in overturning the deeply entrenched role cigarettes play in Chinese business and politics, according to a recent analysis.

No, Bike Lanes Don't Hurt Retail Business

City retailers tend to overestimate the importance of parking to their business. They fail to see the many downsides of free parking (congestion and low shopper turnover, among them). They believe more people arrive at the store by car than actually do. They may not even realize that while driving customers spend more per visit, non-drivers spend as much or more in the long term.

Great use of statistics and Graphs

How 5 Countries Could Become 14

Slowly, the map of the Middle East could be redrawn. Great participatory Problem Based learning exercise for world issues students

10 Team-Building Games That Promote Critical Thinking

Students must be engaged and cooperation must be practiced, and often. The following team-building games can promote cooperation and communication, help establish a positive classroom environment and — most importantly — provide a fun, much-needed reprieve from routine.

Health of oceans 'declining fast'

The health of the world’s oceans is deteriorating even faster than had previously been thought, a report says.

China's geomatics industry output estimated at US$42bn

The annual total output value of China's geomatics industry is estimated to reach 260 billion yuan (US$42 billion) by the end of the year, up 30% from last year, a government statement said on Wednesday.

The geomatics industry has expanded rapidly in the past several years in China, marked by great technological advances and service expansion, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources.

Citing officials with the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation, the ministry statement said China's geomatics industry involves more than 23,000 organizations and 400,000 employees.

The statement forecast the sector to grow at an average rate of 20% for the next couple of years, with total annual output likely to reach 500 billion yuan (US$81.7 billion) by 2015 and 1 trillion yuan (US$163.3 billion) by 2020.

Parkdale schools mourn deported Roma students

Interesting take on Immigration and refugee policies

World Bank Says Sub-Saharan African Tourism Key for Jobs

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s fastest-growing tourism industry as the continent attracts hotel investments to cater for foreign visitors and African travelers with rising incomes, according to the World Bank.    Interesting take on tourism and economics

Venice's Gradual Sinking Charted by Satellites

A new study using modern satellite data has shown the amount that Venice is sinking with an unprecedented level of resolution, allowing scientists to tease apart the influence of natural causes of the sinking, due to compaction of the sediments on which the city is built, versus man-made ones, such as building restoration. Great Use and application of Satellite photography

Data shows ‘lots’ of people live in New Zealand after census workers get sick of counting

Census data released by Statistics New Zealand today has shown that the country’s population has increased by an uncertain amount to “lots”, but says it will not be issuing an exact figure, as its employees got bored counting.      There can be humour in data

Parag Khanna: Mapping the future of countries

Interesting TED talk—Check out the comments section –with leadership will drive interesting World Issues class

A World Without Water

This is in other places but well done albeit long – good to be chunked and discussed

Why girls are more at risk during natural disasters

A Plan International report analyzes discrimination against girls in times of flood, hurricane, earthquake and drought — their vulnerability to rape, prostitution and child marriage.Why girls are more at risk during natural disasters

Typhoon, Hurricane, Cyclone: What's the Difference?

The Top 15 Hottest Careers for College Grads

How many use Spatial technologies?

Every Country In The World Is Really Good At Something (INFOGRAPHIC)

Which country in the world has the most deaths by lawnmower? The longest marriages? The most shark attacks?—fun annotated Map

Central Park as you've never seen it before


  • This incredible interactive panorama that lets you fly through Manhattan from your sofa
  • Unique image was created from panoramic pictures of New York electronically stitched together
  • Sergey Semenov, the Russian amateur photographer who created it, this week won a major photography prize for the incredible image
  • Image is just one of several incredible panoramic images to triumph at the Pano Awards for panoramic photography


National Geographic calls Geography Literacy: “the ability to use geographic understanding and geographic reasoning to make far-reaching decisions”.

Many of the familiar arguments but it just helps to re-enforce it

Take enviro lessons from First Nations, Suzuki says

Obsession with economic development will lead to a “dead end” for the planet, and First Nations people can help educate others about sustainability, environmentalist David Suzuki told a group of First Nations leaders.

The Official Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart (humour -I Guess?)

What Can Google Do With Geography?

Google and geographers explain how geography combined to technology is beneficial to us. If you want to know more about geography and visualization technology - See more at:

Read more GIS and mapping articles


The Daily Diets of Different Nations, Squeezed Into One Awesome Chart

What world cultures consume the most meat and eggs? Where are people more likely to munch on "starchy roots"?

The answers to these questions can all be found in this crazy visualization, which shows the daily diets of different cultures in a way that wouldn't look out of place in a modern-art museum. The impressive graphic was whipped up by Knoema, an open-data platform with physical headquarters in Washington, D.C., using information released in 2010 by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization. Countries are ranked according to 2009 gross national income per capita, with First World powers like the United States and The Netherlands stacked near the top.

The Importance of Spatial Thinking Now

In its 375 years, Harvard has only ever eliminated one entire academic program. If you had to guess, what program do you think that was and when was it killed off?

The answer: Harvard eradicated its Geography Department in the 1940s, and many universities followed suit.

Great article on the rational of geography and spatial skills from a very reputable source


Maptia is a beautiful way to tell stories about places. It is a new platform designed for thoughtful, inspiring stories that make us want to get out there and explore the world, and each story has its own unique map- their words but it is an interesting Spatial Blog

Hamilton City set to release 34 sets of geographic data

But that's about to change. The city has identified 34 data sets it plans on releasing within weeks — including information that pinpoints locations of parks and parking lots, rivers and bikeways, hospitals and cemeteries. (See for the complete list.)All of what's being released in this first round is GIS data (Geographic Information Systems), which is useful for mapping information, but more data is on its way, according to the city's Mike Kirkopoulos.

8 of the World's Most Endangered Places

Ranking the world's most endangered places isn't easy. Humans have encroached upon nearly every habitat on the planet, and climate change threatens places from coastlines to glaciers worldwide. A great minds on for grade 7 and other classes


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




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