Friday, 30 July 2010

OS Blog

The OS have recently joined the "blogosphere"
Their blog recently featured me and my shirt...
Nice...

Hard disk "issues"...

Had an emotional few days...
Thought my hard drive had failed the other day... taking with it about 3 months work...
Seems like I've saved most things - a few hundred e-mails disappeared though...
Now backing up EVERYTHING !!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Avast behind...

Yesterday was the big day for the launch of our Mission:Explore London iPhone app.
The app was developed in association with the WORKSHOP.
If you don't have an iPhone / iPod touch / iPad (and if not, why not ?) you can see all the missions on our MISSION EXPLORE WEBSITE and also remember to BUY THE BOOK...

If you have an iPhone, download the app and give us a review / rating please...

We had the Golden Hinde booked for the event.
Here's a slideshow of the first part of the event.
Thanks to everyone who came along and enjoyed the evening...

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Urban Earth... USA ??

Looking not a million miles from Dan Raven Ellison's URBAN EARTH, comes a viral ad for LEVI's Jeans where a man "walks across America...."

The GOOGLE MAP is here.

The shoot took 14 days, and this behind the scenes video explains a little about how the video was put together...



2770 still photographs were put together to create a marvellous video of crossing the country from New York to San Francisco.

Daily Mail article here... watch the "making of" video and see if you can work out how they wrote the article...

Thanks to @KeirClarke on Twitter for the tip-off..

Two years today...

Two years today will be the start of the London Olympic Games...

If you want a tour of the facilities, we are running a full day tour as part of the GA Conference in April 2011.

I am visiting the site in mid-August, and will post some images from there too.

Don't forget that you can visit the VIEW TUBE if you want a view of the work in progress.

Audioboo

Intro to Audioboo from Mark Rock on Vimeo.

Before I got an iPhone, one of the apps that I kept hearing about was Audioboo.
Some great uses of this app emerging...
More later...

Monday, 26 July 2010

Academies debate...

The Academies Bill is being debated. This could well affect hundreds of thousands of pupils and teachers... and look at the turn out of MPs....

The Future of the Countryside


The STATE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE 2010 report has now been published and can be obtained from here.

It is available to download in various combinations from individual chapters to the whole report.

Would be very useful for those preparing to teach about urban-rural interrelationships, or the changes that might happen in future landscapes.

Handily, all the IMAGES can also be downloaded.

KS3 Geography Exemplification


For the last few years, a regular request has been to ask "when is APP for Geography coming out ?": Assessing Pupil Progress has been used in the core subjects for a while.

The Geography resources have been delayed, and have finally emerged on the (presumably soon to be removed) QCDA website.
They have been retitled "Exemplification of standards"

There are a number of case studies that have been prepared by teachers working with KS3 pupils in geography lessons. The KS3 examples feature a range of useful contexts, including wordscape views, which I like.
Level 4 features an enquiry into the location of a chewing gum factory.
Check out the other levels...

I've had a quick look and the materials should provide some clarification on the detail that is needed to provide proof that a student has

What teachers will also find useful are the suggestions for how the students could have raised their level. The issue of progression is a thorny one...
More on this via the GA website...

Simon Armitage: troubadour...

I have long been an admirer of Simon Armitage's poetry. Now he is trying to be a modern day troubadour by walking the Pennine Way: quite a challenge in itself.

He left without any money and to pay for food and accommodation he is doing poetry readings in various locations.

Also reminded of the book he did with Glyn Maxwell about his travels to Iceland: "Moon Country" - will be one of the references I use when travelling to Iceland later in the year...

Fjord the reindeer

A good blog has been set up to follow the adventures of Fjord: a stuffed reindeer.
Fjord is accompanying a group of scientists, who are on a research visit to SVALBARD.
This was a place I studied when teaching GCSE Pilot Geography a few years back, and we ended up with lots of useful contacts and websites.

The scientists are going to be studying aspects of glaciers, and there are already some good images on the blog. This might be a good way in to exploring the nature of this sort of work, and to think about a similar format for recording a school fieldtrip perhaps. Lots of schools are now using website such as POSTEROUS to set up student blog accounts...

Reminds me of some friends of mine who used to take stuffed animals on holiday with them and take pictures of them in locations around the world.
Don't forget to buy your BARNABY BEAR from the GA shop as a perfect holiday travelling companion...
GA members get a cheaper price of course...


Afghanistan Tourism: Climbing off the map...

Thanks to @HodderGeography for this tipoff...

The report is about the re-introduction of tourism in Afghanistan.

It follows the climber Alan Halewood, whose desire to visit an area called the Wakhan Corridor was triggered by a map when he was younger.
Many years later, he is now reporting on a visit to the area.
The firm running tours is based in Dundee.
It is called MOUNTAIN UNITY.

The article is on BBC SCOTLAND area, and is well worth exploring.

"On the Northern Skyline..."

Image by Flickr user Gee Bee under Creative Commons license

Imagine you look out of your window one morning and notice that the view you have been familiar with for so long has now changed because something has been added / been removed.

This sort of thing happens a lot, but it's always a shock when it's outside your own window.

The Trinity Centre Multi storey car park has been a part of the Newcastle skyline for decades.
It became famous for a scene in the film "Get Carter", with Michael Caine.

Today is the day when the process of demolition starts, and a useful article, with that famous scene was produced by the Daily Mail.

There's an interesting quote from the architect of the building: Owen Luder, who said that Gateshead was "losing its front teeth". As parents know, when your children lose their milk front teeth there's a bit of a shock for a few weeks but then they grow up and looking back at old photos a few years later you think "did they really look like that ?"

In the "Mission:Explore" book there's reference to topocide: the factors which help to "kill" a place...
How does the removal of familiar buildings like this affect a place ??

Mange Tout... grown in the UK

Image by Alan Parkinson... of broccoli (couldn't find a mange tout picture in my Flickr account...)

An interesting story via @HodderGeography on Twitter

Back in the days when you closed the curtains and showed a 40 minute video as your lesson plan ... I know... there was an excellent video to stimulate discussion on the role of large companies in the developing world, and the sourcing of our food...

The programme looked at the supply of mange tout to Tesco, from farms in Zimbabwe. This was memorable because of the songs that the workers sang when "the man from Tesco" arrived... and also for the harshness of the quality control and the small amounts of money that the growers earned...

If you search online you can find some (sometimes trenchant) views on the programme.

This story from the Guardian website has the tale of British grown mange tout being sold in supermarkets for the first time...
It's not the first time that mange tout has been grown in the UK of course (I used to grow it in my back garden...) but the first time that a supermarket has sourced and sold it...

Useful for those exercises looking at FOOD MILES (but remember to be critical about the idea of 'far' being necessarily 'bad'....)

There was also that story of a staff meal, Mr. Francis, a bottle of red wine and the mange tout, but I won't go into that here... it's a family blog...

Caroline Spelman speech at DEFRA

I am currently collecting literacy examples for a conference later in the year in Glasgow.
One of the possible sources of text for geography students to use in their work are government departments or agencies.

This speech was delivered by Caroline Spelman at an event hosted by DEFRA earlier this month...

The speech is about the link between food and diet, and the importance of local supplies....
Here's a sample from the speech. How could this be adapted for use in the classroom ?
Also fits nicely with my GEOGRAPHY OF FOOD Online CPD unit...

Food is a incredibly complex subject – both psychologically and physiologically. The way it is grown, traded and consumed has a direct impact on our environment, our economies and our health.

And, as Dalton (Philips) points out in the first chapter of Feeding Britain, cost and supply are increasingly affecting food security abroad and food choices here at home.

Food, in fact, lies at the centre of a very complex web that extends to every aspect of our existence, from the state of our countryside to the length of our lives.

That’s why this coalition Government has made it a priority to support British food and farming and encourage sustainable food production.

Through the recession and – now – in its difficult aftermath, our farmers have shown personal tenacity and economic resilience.

That’s not just good news for the industry, but for all of us.

Ageing Population Visualisation

Thanks to @geoparadigm on Twitter...

A splendid visualisation of an ageing world, produced by insurers GE.
Slide the slider along from left to right to see the changing shape of the population structure...

This links with tonight's Panorama, produced by Joan Bakewell.
It looks at the issue of care for the elderly...

The burden of youth...

Sabah Expedition


My colleague Paul Baker, who does such a great job or organising the GA's CLUSTER GROUP meetings has just returned from Sabah.

For those (like me) who aren't sure where Sabah is, it's Malaysian Borneo. (link to tourist agency site)

The trip, organised in partnership with Digital Explorer, has a great BLOG with a range of images and stories from the students.
Great pictures by Quintin Lake, who also took a few good ones of me at a recent conference.

The students were working with youngsters from Sabah to explore the rainforests. It looks like a great adventure...

Sunday, 25 July 2010

New series of BBC 'COAST'

A new series of the BBC's COAST programme started tonight... the 5th series...

I had the first 3 series on DVD when teaching and used occasional clips to illustrate the connections between people and the environment.
Coming up is the Isle of Arran, and Swanage...

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A resource a day...

...over the summer holidays is being promised by Tony Cassidy, radical geographer and fellow member of the Geography Collective. Can you tell which of the missions in Mission:Explore were written by Tony ?
Head over to SHAREGEOGRAPHY and sign up for email or RSS alerts to receive Tony's latest creations...
Keep on sharing...

The first resource was posted today: the first day of the holidays - it's a Living Graph exercise for Global tourism...




This Place...

One of the most useful additions to my daily routines over the last year has been SPOTIFY.

Each day that I work from home, I choose an artist from my old LP collection - mostly sadly in landfill now...
Yesterday was Joni Mitchell day, starting with the 1980s when she made some classic albums with then-husband Larry Klein and various jazz musicians. Sadly, the classic "Shadows and Light" with Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays and Jaco Pastorius isn't in the Spotify catalogue...

I had a chance to listen to the album she made with the Starbucks record label in 2007, and came across the track "This Place".

Song lyrics are part of the range of texts that geography students could use in the classroom.

Here are a few lines from the song: search online to find the rest....
How could you use this song ?

You see those lovely hills
They won't be there for long
They're gonna tear 'em down
And sell them to California
Here come the toxic spills
Miners poking all around
When this place looks like a moonscape
Don't say I didn't warn ya...

Copyright 2007: Crazy Crow Music


How have you used song lyrics in the classroom ?

More thoughts on mapping

A useful article on the nature of MAPPING from the National Geographic blog.
One put here so that I can find it later when planning an event I'm doing later in the year...

Friday, 23 July 2010

National Parks Week

Image by Sally Parkinson featuring a young geographer...

National Parks Week is coming up.
The week beginning the 26th of July is NATIONAL PARKS WEEK.

Many of the National Parks now use Twitter as a way of communicating with potential visitors, residents and staff...
The websites also contain useful information for geographers such as management plans and other information...

Why not get out to your nearest National Park ?

I shall be going to the Norfolk Broads at some point in the week to enjoy a potter...

Here are some of the Twitter feeds that you might want to subscribe to follow....

@uknationalparks

@bbparkwarden

@dartmoornpa

@peakdistrict

@RamblersGB

@visitsnowdonia

@HadriansWall

@2northumberland

Search through the FOLLOWING lists of some of these accounts and you will also identify other useful contacts for geographers, such as people working in the parks, photographers, tourist attractions etc. Another way to 'explore'....

Have I missed any ?

August Geographical Mag

Danny Dorling is interviewed in the latest issue of Geographical Magazine.
There is some additional online content on the website of the magazine, with some great quotes and thought provoking statements to challenge your students with...
Pick up a copy at your local newsagents...

Cultural Geography and condiments...

A lot of blog inches devoted to a cultural faux-pas committed by Prime Minister David Cameron while on a visit to the USA. What was this terrible incident ?

He had a hot dog without mustard ! (or onions come to that...)

Not much said about the fact that he chose to eat something largely made out of the nether regions of farm animals and sawdust... (allegedly)

A reminder that food is an important part of many cultures....

Live and Work Rural


One of my (many) jobs at the Geographical Association is to write online CPD units which can be used by colleagues as a way of introducing new possible contexts for learning, as well as providing some ideas for developing their pedagogy.
Curriculum and pedagogy are separate things of course...

The courses that we write are, hopefully, fun to complete.
They are also maintained, so that if something new crops up, we try to keep them updated. This isn't just making sure that there are no dead weblinks (although we do that too...) - it's about adding new ideas that emerge.
One of the courses that I finished recently was about GEOGRAPHY AND CAREERS.

Came across a new addition to this course today, in the shape of the Live and Work Rural initiative.

The Peak District is a context for one of the units.
Live and Work Rural is a programme aimed at supporting those who live and work within the National Park boundary.

A reminder that National Parks are not just for visitors, and for the protection of the landscape - people live there too...

Google Offices

Some of the Google offices have apparently been decorated by Christoph Niemann - I blogged about his work earlier in the year...
Looks great...

Environmental Agency Data


There has always been a bit of a faff finding river data for the UK to use with students. Most rivers are monitored so that flood predictions can be made, but it's been harder to find where that data can be accessed. I used to make use of the website for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Wallingford, where there was a web area which was a bit hard to find...
The Environment Agency are now making that data easier to find thanks to their new website area.

Could explore the overall levels of flow in rivers in a particular area to consider issues such as water shortages, for example at the moment.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Invention of Geography

I have said before (and also used it as part of my Chartered Geographer update evidence last year) my job is like having 365 days of CPD a year...

I learn things every day from the people I work with, and who get in touch with us. When I'm being asked questions all the time, or asked to present a session on something that I need to be authoritative about, it's a challenge. This requires a lot of reading, and an attempt to keep on top of a huge amount of new thinking on curriculum and pedagogy.

Here is a piece of imaginative writing by my colleague Ben Major, who works on our website, and other projects. It imagines a world where geography had not been "invented"...

The Invention of Geography

Let us know what you think of Ben's piece...

#ME0019

Thanks very much to @LittleWideWorld on Twitter for feeding back on the completion of Mission:Explore Mission #0019

and Flickr set of the images - some great ones here.

Although all our missions are, of course, "collective", this mission was one of mine...
Nice work !!

Newport State of Mind



A nice discovery by Richard Allaway - has gone viral since....

Glastonbury A-Z

Some post Glastonbury resources and news are emerging. These will factor in to some work that I'm doing for a textbook at the moment, which will see the light of day in 2011...

The official GLASTONBURY site has been posting some nice videos, such as the return of the cows to their fields, and a nice A-Z of the festival.

There has also been the addition of a rather wonderful image which shows a before and after showing how the farm has recovered: 1 month after the festival...

Check it out and view large... I can see exactly where I camped...

Local place names...


A friend of mine: Rob Hindle has had a number of poetry collections published. His most recent was called "Neurosurgery in Iraq", and included poetry on a range of locations, including some from time spent living in Spain. A lot of his poetry is to do with place, and memory of place, and the connections with family members.

Some of the places near to where we live have names which would not be recognised by official map makers: they wouldn't be on the OS map... Local people though would recognise the names though... Perhaps it's a field or section of a wood, or a snicket / alleyway between two streets.

Without realising it, you probably do something similar...

The PEOPLE'S PLACE NAMES site has now been launched to try to capture some of these informal or vernacular place names....

It has been set up by Cardiff University.

Thanks to Steven Feldman for the tip-off to this site via Twitter.

Ben Eine in the news again...

Another example of Living Geography getting in with the news early again...
Posted about Ben Eine's excellent A-Z a while back, and now David Cameron has given some of his work as a present to Barack Obama...

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Mission:Explore App on iTunes


A proud day for The Geography Collective and The Workshop...
Our iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad is available on iTUNES - head along there and download it... (ahem) my favourite price...

Oh, and yesterday I ordered my shiny essential purchase...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

FOTE10

FOTE10
The Future of Technology in Education is a free annual event which has always proved very popular.
Last year's event was at the Royal Geographical Society.
This year's event is sold out, but I was fortunate enough to secure a ticket for a colleague. I was all set to go, but the date clashed (inevitably) with a conference that I'm doing instead...
Means that I'll miss Ollie Bray and numerous other interesting speakers...

Free fieldwork in October

Via Edexcel NING
A chance to try the facilities at Leeson House near Swanage.
Use the contact details above to get in touch if you want the chance to be involved - not sure if there are still places available...

More sounds of Sheffield


Have been following up something from earlier today about the sounds of Sheffield....

Steel, Peach and Tozers (or Steelos) as everyone called it, was the place where my dad started work in the mid 1950s...

He was a draughtsman before moving into engineering role, and moved to a number of other mills, including Hatfields (now Meadowhall) before finishing at Aldwarke Works, Parkgate almost 50 years later...

I remember doing a photography project on the area between Rotherham and Sheffield and its dereliction in the late 1980s, after the earlier industrial development, with its attendant environmental implications.

Came across an album called THE SONG OF STEEL. Listen to the album on SPOTIFY if you have access to this...

One of the things that also features on the disc is the mention of "beer notes". My dad used to be one of the people who handed out beer notes which could be exchanged at the Temple pub just outside the foundry (which is now a museum called Magna, and also a training centre where I've presented several times...)

BBC Radio Ballads is a sound portrait, complete with songs from artists including the wonderful timbre of Kate Rusby.
There are loads of interviews with people who remember what life was like back then.

This is a wonderful sound portait of a place, and a lost industrial landscape....

How many countries have you visited ?

You can make a map of the countries that you have visited at BIG HUGE LABS.
A nice simple interface to allow you to create maps where you colour in the particular countries - try it.

Graham Hughes is on an ODYSSEY EXPEDITION, and is aiming to visit every country in the world. He has made great progress so far.

Check the blog to find loads of information on the travels, and the countries that Graham has visited.
He is raising money for WATER AID. Please sponsor Graham !!

An amazing journey, which has a number of important rules that he has to stick to...
  • No flying
  • No driving
  • Only public transport can be used
  • Must stand on dry land in each ccountry...
Visiting the site gives you a real sense for the awe and wonder that there is when trying to see the world in this way, rather than stepping onto a plane and finding yourself in New Zealand or Australia a few movies and a sleep later...
I love the stories that are told here, the encounters that Graham has had, and the progress that he is making: he's over 75% of the way towards his goal. 161 countries down....

Following Graham on Twitter, you'll find that he is currently in Dubai, trying to get a lift to India...

Soundmap of Sheffield


Sheffield is the first city to be mapped as part of the Soundmap project in association with the British Library and the iPhone app AUDIOBOO...

I have created a few Audioboo files, and am going to be doing some more when I'm next up in Sheffield to add my small contribution to the sound map...
Will capture some of the sounds around the GA HQ on Solly Street.

What's Spanish for 'staycationing'

There has been a lot of talk about the numbers of people who are staying in the UK for their holidays rather than going abroad.

The phrase "staycationing" has been used to reflect this trend... (There are lots of other new terms which have been introduced, and I produced an activity looking at this issue just under a year ago - read the blog post HERE)

Part of this is a response to the "credit crunch" and straitened financial circumstances that many families found themselves in...

There have been some interesting stories relating to the potential financial benefits for the UK economy of these holidaymakers...
I am taking 2 holidays in the UK this summer (although I was never going to be going abroad anyway...)
Will, of course, be posting lots of information and images from these holidays next month...

There are lots of Daily Mail articles from earlier in the month which put some figures onto the scale of the "staying at home", and also introduce the term "greycation" (been on a few of those myself)

Going to be writing something further on the idea of "staycationing" as part of a writing project that is going to occupy a lot of my time for the next few...er... years...

To get back to the original basis for the post, one result of us staying at home is that we aren't going abroad (natch...)
This GUARDIAN ARTICLE forms the basis for this section, as it describes how, in Benidorm, the local tourist industry has been suffering from reducing numbers in local hotels, and being supported by Spanish tourists who are similar staying at home...

Any other ideas on this area ?

While researching this, also discovered that apparently 5

Cycle Hire about to launch in London



When I was teaching the GCSE Pilot Geography spec a few years ago, one of the units that I taught was about Sustainable Transport. Follow THIS LINK to see all the resources that I posted at the time, still available on the blog I created.
One of the contexts for learning was the VELIB cycle hire scheme in Paris, and the extent to which it might work, and reduce congestion on the roads (in comparison to some of the other ways that had been tried..)

This GUARDIAN ARTICLE compares the 2 schemes.

In Paris, the scheme was funded by JC Decaux, an advertising firm, in return for hoardings placed at each of the stations where bikes are stored.

Barclays are also funding a series of "Cycling Superhighways", the first two of which have now opened: from Barking to Tower Gateway, and from Merton to City.

A quote from Albert Asseraf on some of the lessons that London may well learn as the scheme progresses.

"We now give users 15 minutes' free credit if they return a bike to a so-called 'altitude' station. It's little lessons like this that London will need to learn. And London should make sure the stations are well stocked, even during the night. About 15% of all Vélib' journeys occur after the Metro shuts down and people want to get home without paying for expensive taxis. The Vélib' has become part of our lives – Parisians just can't imagine Paris without the Vélib' now."

Also worth remembering the experience of another UK city: Cambridge, where a lot of the bikes were nicked when a scheme was tried a few years ago.

Revisiting the blog, I was reminded of this letter that was published in the Independent at the time:

"Most car journeys are under five miles and a large proportion under two miles. The best solution to our addiction to cars was invented more than 150 years ago: it's called a bicycle. The other part of the solution has been around even longer: walking.Perhaps the heart of the problem is that we've just become lazy. The solutions are not expensive: a reduction of the urban speed limit to 20mph or less, a reduction of town-centre car parking and perhaps a campaign of public ridicule for the idiot who drives two miles down the road in a toy lorry to collect his Independent"

Update: Landscape as brandscape ? Guardian article

Step Map



One of the most frequent requests that I get at the GA is for a site that can produce simple outline maps of counties that you can then customise for your own use. That is now possible thanks to the appearance of Step Map.
Have spent part of today making a guide to using this website, and am discovering even more features as I work through it.
Has a whole host of weather symbols, so could make a weather map...

There are also options to choose a whole range of maps in different colours, with outlines,
shading and backgrounds.
You can even choose to have an image as the background to the map: your face in the shape of a country of your choosing, or a map to show a person or item that is associated with a country.
Other symbols include sets of arrows in various directions and (like Google Earth) custom icons can also be used
Some example to follow perhaps...
Give it a go...
Here's something I produced for my new NICELAND ICELAND blog.

Val at SAGT

I posted a few days ago about the SAGT Conference in Glasgow. If you're thinking of going, and haven't booked seminars, it's worth noting that Val Vannet: SAGT Vice President was missed out of the original booklet. She is going to be doing a session on the SAGT Flickr site.
If you haven't already checked out the site, visit the FLICKR PAGES here.
There are hundreds of pictures which would be of particular value to those studying landscapes and environmental themes, although there are also plenty of Urban images.

As well as a recent addition of some tourist management images from Northumberland, there is a wonderful set of images of Thorsmork and the Gigjokull in the area around the volcano that caused so much trouble recently... Amazing images here...

Monday, 19 July 2010

Hoppala

Augmented Reality is something that I've been wanting to develop for a while since getting my iPhone....
Have had a look at JUNAIO, and today via @electricchalk on Twitter, was directed to HOPPALA.

This integrates with LAYAR.

There's a video which makes it look quite straightforward...
Not sure whether it's as easy as they say, but will give them both a go...

Jonsi and Latitude


Spent the weekend Mission:Exploring at the Latitude festival in Suffolk.
Here's the blog post I wrote last night on returning, via the GEOGRAPHY COLLECTIVE blog...

The Geography Collective's summer of festivals has been continuing with a trip to Suffolk for the Latitude Festival, where the tent went up in the Kid's Field as showers came and went, and then the heat on the final day triggered dust devils in the straw... Micro-climates and major crowds... Mating damselflies, and flower garlands...
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We had a stream of young explorers keen to experience the festival in different ways, armed with our mission sheets, prismatic viewers and active imaginations. Once again, we had wide-ranging discussions with the grown-ups about the nature of geography and exploration, and also met our competition winners, and some Twitter friends.
Once the exploring workshops were over, members of the collective were free to enjoy the music and the cold beers. Latitude is known for having a thriving range of literature, comedy, theatre
and other cultural events as well as the music.
I enjoyed sitting in the sun listening to Mumford & Sons, Yeasayer in the Word tent, and some comedic action. The highlight by far was meeting Jonsi, and his 45 minute set in the evening which was ecstatic, soaring and symphonic. Next stop... The Secret Garden Party !!

Check out this YOUTUBE channel for some videos that give some sense for the atmosphere at the concert, but not the physicality of it...

Friday, 16 July 2010

The app gets nearer...


Our Mission: Explore London iPhone app is launching in a few weeks time with tremendous support from the good people at The Workshop.

We are having a launch event at the Golden Hinde on the 28th of July

Check out the GEOGRAPHY COLLECTIVE's BLOG for more information...
Get in touch if you'd like to be there...

Remember that all profits from the sales of Mission Explore go on buying extra copies to put into the hands of children who can't afford their own copy...

HELP US GET MISSION:EXPLORE INTO MORE PLACES....

If you can please do one or more of these things starting from the 26th of August:

1. Buy it. Ideally order it through a physical or online bookshop. If you have bought a copy, buy another and give it as a gift to a young (potential) explorer or an adult who wants some creative dates. You could do this guerrilla fashion, slipping it into a bag or through a letter box without them knowing who you are.

Explore, discover and attempt missions using the map screen.2. Email your friends and family suggesting they get copies and download the app when it appears on iTunes in the next week or so (you'll hear about it here first...)

3. Tweet, blog or write a story onMission:Explore. You might be interested in the press release on the app and website for this.

Spatial Inequality

There have been a number of very useful items on Spatial Inequality that have caught my eye in the last day or so.

The Spectre of Ghettoisation on an interesting article in the NEF blog, which considers the impact of changes in housing benefit and how they might impact on the nature of the South East.

One of the great joys of living in London is its social and economic diversity. One minute you can be walking past million pound mansions in Kensington and the next you will find yourself in the middle of a housing estate populated by a mix of native London working classes and first or second generation immigrants from all over the world. Get on a bus or a tube and a similar mix confronts you.

Its quite a different story in other European cities, where poorer residents and immigrants in particular are often ghettoised in to particular areas of the city. In Paris, the poor are located in 'Les Banlieues', grim, grey and endless blocks with high levels of crime and racial tension.

The other interesting video is by Danny Dorling, and is a presentation at a book launch at a Marxism event earlier in the year.

It's included as part of an archive of presentations which can be viewed HERE.

Life in a Day : 24th of July



Get involved and film your day and submit it....

Christian Nold

I am accumulating map links in advance of a lecture / workshop type thing that I am doing later in the year.

This came from an exploration of some of the right hand columns of blogs, where the blogroll is located...
I came across a rich vein of EMOTIONAL MAPPING.
Christian Nold was a name that cropped up, and just realised that he is part of the Geography Collective's line-up for the SECRET GARDEN PARTY.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

SurveyMapper

New from Digital Urban

GA Merchandise....

The GA is thinking of increasing its range of merchandise.
Why not head over to our new(ish) FACEBOOK page, and become our friend, and then tell us what you would like us to stock in our new shop.

What would you want to buy ?
What wording or designs would you like ?


Blue Plaque Mapping project

Blue Plaques mark the location of buildings which are linked with people of historical importance.
The new BLUE PLAQUE GUIDE project aims to produce an interactive map, which maps the hundreds of buildings which have received a plaque, with the aid of your help...

You can make your own BLUE PLAQUE at this BLUE PLAQUE GENERATOR site...
Here's one I made earlier...
Following text with thanks to the Historical Association website, which describes the project nicely....

The idea of erecting plaques to commemorate the link between famous people and buildings in which they lived or worked first took root in the mid nineteenth century. The first appeared in 1866, put up by the Royal Society of Arts. Since 1986 the scheme has been overseen by English Heritage.
The plaque guide site includes a map display where users can click on the location of each plaque, be immediately linked to a biography and view details on the plaque itself. The use of Google's StreetView means users can also ‘step into the map' to see the plaque in its real life environment.
If someone is interested in people from a particular background, they can also search. The site does not yet have total coverage. Plaque Guide has 230 of the city's plaques but the site's creator, David Coughlan, is now asking the public and children in particular, to help him complete the rest.
Coughlan hopes people will see the invitation to add the location and details of the outstanding blue plaques as an irresistible challenge, much like other ‘crowd sourced' projects like OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia. Adding the location of a plaque is as easy as clicking on the map itself, while a smartphone app is planned for later in the year to enable ‘plaque tagging' on the move.


If you're based in London why not get mapping, and get your students mapping. Would make a good summer project. Who can map the most plaques ?

192021

I have blogged about 19-20-21 before.
The basic premise of the site's rationale is that there will be 19 cities with a population over 20 million in the 21st Century

The site forms part of Richard Saul Wurman's keynote at the ESRI User Conference earlier this week.

He starts by talking about the "city of the future" model at the World's Fair in 1939... and the ability to see cities through the information that can be collected about them... Some cool mapping and comparative information.
Waiting to see how it develops...

GIS a job...

Details are starting to appear on the Geographical Association's website of a series of GIS courses which will run between October 2010 and June 2011. They will be run by the GA and our strategic partner: ESRI UK.
I will be leading some of the courses: which ones have yet to be decided, and we are currently putting together the course materials and activities.

Please note that these are courses using true GIS software, rather than visualisation tools...
Digital Worlds is built on the ARC GIS engine, and offers some of the analytical tools that allow for greater investigative power...

There was recently an ESRI User Conference at San Diego, California.
I couldn't attend the event in person - maybe next year - but was able to follow the events thanks to a number of people who were tweeting at each session (in fact there was a special area of tables with power supply for the bloggers and tweeters.
Some excellent images and quotes, and this is obviously an exciting time to be involved in GIS.
More to come in time...

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

One Goal TV

One Goal TV was set up at the Coopers Coburn school in Essex and is a rather impressive website which aims to raise awareness of the importance of literacy. An impressive website...

Wycombe High School

Over the years that I taught 'A' level Geography, one web resource that I kept coming back to was that produced by the Mothersoles and colleagues at Wycombe High School.
They very kindly shared high quality materials which helped my students over the years.
The website has now been 'reborn' as a Moodle based resource, and has been developed in the same thorough and engagingly presented way as the original website was.
I would recommend a look at the Year 7 and Year 8 content, which includes some very nice ideas and downloadable sheets. I liked the exercise looking at the family connections and locations.
Nice work...

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Brown signs...

There are apparently 93 different brown signs as shown on maps and roadsigns. They denote locations which are of tourist interest. I know this because I've been following the Brown Sign Way...

AMANDA HONE's BROWN SIGN BLOG is going to document visits to as many Brown sign locations as possible.

Why not explore the BROWN SIGNS in your local area - once you start noticing them, you'll find them everywhere (although I might have an advantage living in a tourist area of Norfolk...)

In the village where I used to live there was an interesting labelling. The brown sign used the generic "FARM PARK" to point to the attraction, which was actually called "PARK FARM": some locals assumed the sign had been made with the words the wrong way round...

One of my nearest brown signs.... picture by Alan Parkinson

Follow Amanda's progress on TWITTER and check out the blog.

And watch out for a forthcoming article in Ordnance Survey "Mapping News"...

Google Earth 4 Degrees

A very exciting new Google Earth layer was launched this week.
The layer has been produced in association with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and shows information about a possible 4 degree rise in temperature

A range of YOUTUBE videos are available for use with the layer.
The Tyndall Centre were involved in its creation, which was largely down to old friends of Living Geography: Jamie Buchanan Dunlop and Digital Explorer.

Don't forget the Teachers TV programmes which I was involved in, which has a focus on a poem looking at various degrees of warming and the potential impact on the UK, specially written by Mark Cowan...

And if you want to see

BSF in Norfolk

There were a lot of unhappy people last week when the new coalition government announced the cancellation of a large number of projects which were intended to transform learning...
Some local schools were disappointed...
This was the front page of my local paper.

BSOG

Image by Alan Parkinson

'Farming Today' this morning had a brief feature on the BSOG: the Bus Service Operators Grant for community transport.
The idea of this is to subsidise bus services in some of the more remote rural locations that may otherwise have bus services operating at a loss due to the small number of people on them.

This would form an interesting context for some work on transport, or on rural change and challenge.

These bus services are essential for a growing number of people, and there is also the issue of an ageing population in many rural areas such as Devon, when people find that they can no longer afford to run a car, or are forced to stop as they reach a certain age, or standard of health.

Living in a remote part of Norfolk as I do, I did a bit of research on my local bus routes, just in case...
I travel to the GA in Sheffield once a week (sometimes more often...)
It takes me around 2 hours and 30 minutes, setting off at around 5.40am to avoid the worst of the rush hour traffic (although the last 20 miles of the journey takes me longer than the first 50...)
If I wanted to use public transport I would have to set off at 7.10 on the first bus of the day which would get me to King's Lynn at 8.35 (1 hour and 25 minutes for a 16 mile journey)
I would then have time to wander across to the railway station and get a coffee from the friendly folk at the cafe before taking the 8.59 train to Ely - I'd have 20 minutes to get a sandwich there before catching the East Midlands train from Ely to Sheffield, which takes 2 hours and 46 minutes...
I'd arrive in Sheffield at 12.38 and then have a 20 minute walk to the office, arriving around 1pm.

The bad news is that I wouldn't be able to get home that same day even if I turned round and set off back straight away...

Of course, it's my choice to live where I do (and to work where I do), but that's not the case for everyone in the village, and personal circumstances change over time...
What other factors can you think of that could feed into a student enquiry on the funding of such services...

[ A sideline to this was the discovery of a series of maps showing the designated Olympics routes for 2012. Might be useful for those of you planning to teach about the Olympics, and the associated infrastructure... ]

Also reminds me of the quote often (wrongly I believe) attributed to Margaret Thatcher that any man who finds himself on a bus over the age of 30 can count himself a failure...

Monday, 12 July 2010

Top Trumps

I'm a child of the 70's when one of the most exciting things to do was have a game of 'Top Trumps'... The game has been resurrected before, but the New Forest National Park website has a nice game of Top Trumps which also has the advantage of introducing some of the major features of the New Forest landscape.

Which factor would you choose above for Salt Marsh ? I'm going with 9 for WOW FACTOR...

Plenty of Top Trumps templates online to make your own packs....

Why can't fish count ?

...because I've got their fingers in my freezer....

A couple of fishy stories here, which came via a few of the usual sources.

The first relates to some work carried out by old 'friends' of the blog: the New Economics Foundation.
An article in the BBC's MAGAZINE section references their work on the day when we go into FISH DEBT: when we begin to consume more fish than we should be taking from the oceans.

There is a useful calendar image to compare the day that different countries go into fish debt.
For the UK alone, we have another few weeks yet.

Also, via the PLASTIKI twitter feed comes a link to the artist Steve McPherson, who makes art from the plastic waste that is washed up on the shores of the UK, particularly Kent.

Flooding

Flooding continues to be a major issue for many householders, despite the current hosepipe bans in some parts of the country.

The LANDMARK group has just produced a resource which relates to the work of the NATIONAL FLOOD FORUM, and the very useful KNOW YOUR FLOOD RISK page.

I have mentioned the latter before, for their very useful Twitter stream of flood news, which is well worth FOLLOWING.

There is a useful video for higher secondary pupils here, relating to the risk of flooding, and the possible impact on businesses, and also the individual tasks that can be taken to mitigate the impacts of a possible flood.
This would be worth watching by GCSE or A level students....



MapTube

MapTube has been mentioned here before. It's a project of the CASA team at University College London.
There is a range of maps here which would find a use in the Geography classroom, either to demonstrate or to enquire into something.
For example, there is Dan Vickers' very useful map which allows for the exploration of spatial inequalities using the Output Area Classification (OAC) - as seen above, centred on Norwich...
Some useful crime maps too....