Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Earth in Vision

A few years ago, I was invited to be involved with the Earth in Vision project as a teacher advisor of some kind (my memory is hazy) but was unable to get involved due to my teaching commitments. The project has been developing throughout that time, with assistance from other teachers such as Lauren Otoo, and earlier this week the website went live.
It was one of a number of projects involving Joe Smith, the new director of the RGS-IBG.

The project explores content from the BBC Archive, and collects that which has an environmental relevance for educators.
There are three special eBooks which have been (or are being) produced as part of the project.

One of them is of particular interest: a book by George Revill which explores how BBC programming has helped shape how people see the landscape in the way that it is (re)presented.
This can be downloaded in various formats from this page.

Bostin' Brum

Produced by Katie Hall, using ESRI StoryMaps

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Childhood's end...

In the Lands of the North, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold sea, in the dark night that is very long, the men of the Northlands sit by their great log fires and they tell a tale...
Another part of my childhood disappeared today with the sad death of Peter Firmin. His collaborator Oliver Postgate died back in 2008. They produced some of the most authentic and memorable TV for young people ever made: Ivor the Engine, Bagpuss, Pogle's Wood, Noggin the Nog and the Clangers amongst them.

Back to 1959...

One of my first ever forays into websites, in 1999ish was a Tripod page I made called 'Noggin the Nog's guide to Glaciation' which was quite short-lived.
My wife went to art school with Peter's daughter Emily... the Emily from the opening scenes of 'Bagpuss'....
I may have to get out my Noggin the Nog DVD later... You can also hear some of the music from their shows on Spotify if you search for John Faulkner or Vernon Elliott...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

World Cup. It's all kicking off...

Just as England opened their World Cup campaign, Milan from the Geographical Association pressed the publish button on a new set of resources that I have written for the GA website.

There are so many additional geographical stories emerging each day that the World Cup happens of course, so keep an eye out for them, and if you spot something interesting let me know and I'll add it to the post here as an update.
There's an extra Teachit Geography resource here, which was flagged up on their Facebook page.

There's also this useful set of ESRI StoryMaps.

And you also need to be a bit careful of some of the stories of course.
There were some stories about an earthquake that was triggered by Mexican fans.

The wording has now changed, and it's more like the fact that perhaps there were some sensors which noticed some movement. The New York Times explained it more accurately...

I liked this story too:

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Bastille #urbex

Some Urbex style images on the new BASTILLE album, part of my daughter's CD collection... Any other geography-related album cover images that you know of?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Anthony Bourdain RIP

It's many years now since I read 'Kitchen Confidential' by Anthony Bourdain. It described life in kitchens, and exposed how they worked, and introduced the underbelly of life for many chefs.
He sadly took his own life earlier this week.
A nice piece by Tony Quartaro on his work and legacy.
He describes him as a 'culinary geographer' which considering his travelling and documentary work which introduced many to the food cultures of those countries is certainly true.

I would say he was definitely a cultural geographer too as a result of that.
And this was a super tribute...

Also good to see Jamie Oliver dedicating a recipe to him on Saturday Kitchen this morning...

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Iceland - impact of tourism on the landscape

An interesting website which explores the growing pressures on Iceland. It's written by Ellis Quinn, who writes on the Eye on the Arctic website.

When most people think of Arctic economic development, things like resource extraction are usually first to mind. But northern regions and chambers of commerce are increasingly touting tourism as a key economic tool.

It’s seen as an industry that creates jobs for a variety of education levels, promotes small-scale entrepreneurship, reinforces and promotes local cultures, and creates the sustainable development lacking in many of the expensive and hard-to-get-to regions of the North; whether the remote Indigenous communities of Arctic Canada and Greenland, or the villages of Finnish Lapland and northern Russia.

But tourism is far from the benign industry it’s often made out to be.

As Iceland has discovered, mass tourism in the North can have social and environmental impacts as profound as those of the mining or drilling industries.

Yet successive governments did nothing to prepare for any of it. Instead, Instagram and Justin Bieber inadvertently ended up doing most of Iceland’s tourism planning for them.

Now, not everyone is sure they’re happy with the results.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Google Earth Tour Creator

A new tool from Google, which has been trialled by a few folks. It's the Tour Creator.
Apparently it's easy to make 3D tours from my computer, so let's see...

For an early look, and a link to some examples, Richard Treves has been quick off the mark, and posted here.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Culture influencing place

A lovely Tweet with some details I hadn't heard before.... I wonder if there are other places that have similar road naming schemes, other than the usual prime ministers and trees. I remember doing a Mission:Explore Lowestoft project, where I found an estate where the streets were named after bird species, and put together a birdwatching / twitching mission you could do while sat on the bus...

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Worldmapper: help support this essential tool

The new Worldmapper website was launched at the GA Conference following months of investment of their own time and money from Ben Hennig and Tina Gotthardt. It is used in classrooms around the country (and beyond) and would be great to support them at this time. I'm amazed no geospatial company hasn't wanted to be involved in ensuring this remains free for all educators to use forever. The new mapping makes this an even more useful site, but as someone who used to run a website knows (albeit rather less useful), bandwidth and server costs aren't free...
Let's see if as many geography teachers as possible can donate the price of a pint, or a skinny latte (or more) to help payback for all the maps we've used over the years.

As it says on the Worldmapper site:

The new website is proving more popular than ever before. Unfortunately this has led to repeated server outages in recent days since the fresh new design and functionalities have considerably increased demands on the webserver that is hosting the Worldmapper homepage.
With this GoFundMe campaign we want to raise the necessary funds that pay towards the running costs for an upgraded server that we would like to switch to, to allow more reliability of Worldmapper while it keeps growing, and maintain the archive as well.

All maps shared under CC license. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Isle of Dogs

I've been telling everyone I've seen for the last month that they have to go and see Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs'. This is still showing in some cinemas as I write this blogpost, and is a real tour de force of creativity and filmmaking. It's a stop-motion animation which involved hundreds of people for a year and a half, and the creation of tens of thousand of bespoke props and different methods of filming at different scales.
The story concerns the cat loving Kobayashi dynasty, and the fate of the Mayor's son and his dog, alongside a group of other dogs who have been exiled to Trash Island.
My son and I visited the exhibition of sets and figures from the film, which had just opened at the time, and we were able to go in, and collect some memorabilia.
We went to see it at Store X on the Strand in London, which was a temporary space. The exhibits, like the plane crash site above, were incredibly detailed and I loved the Taiko drummers who open the film.We also loved the full sized noodle bar, and the scale of Megasaki city and the temple in the opening shots.

Try to see the film. Thanks to my colleague Claire for sourcing an American copy of the screenplay for my son too.

Images: Alan Parkinson - CC licensed

Thursday, April 12, 2018

When a city runs dry... IB Geography Conference preparation

These are anxious times for the residents of Cape Town. They have been counting down to Day Zero: the day when the taps were due to be turned off, and they would have to rely on standpipes and rationing of water. There has been a drought for three years in this area of the Eastern Cape, and most of the major sources of water have been depleted, or are at very low levels.
Channel 4 news had a number of reports on the crisis, which in January had set the date of April for Day Zero to arrive.

Thanks to a lot of efforts by residents to cut down on their water since then, and this has now been put back to later in the year, and possibly now into 2019 if current usage levels are maintained.

There will be a focus on this story for my workshops in Geneva on Saturday.
July was previousy the date when the water was predicted

I will be sharing all the work from my workshop at the ECOLINT IB conference, which has been organised by Richard Allaway here, during and after the event itself.

The Cape Town City Council website is a very useful place to go for further information, as they provide guidance for residents and visitors on how to reduce their water usage.

An interactive by National Geographic has been featured here before, and here's the link.

I shall also be using some ideas from our rather fine Mission:Explore WATER resource which some of you may not be familiar with. This includes some of Tom MJ's wonderful inkings. It's 78 pages long, and the 5Mb PDF can be yours to download by clicking here.

Thanks to Jo Payne for sharing some work she had done, and also to Ben Hennig for consultation over some maps. Also, though not linked to Cape Town, check out the WATER DIARIES resources on Jordan for more watery inspiration.

Illustration copyright: Tom Morgan-Jones

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Iceland to remove all Palm Oil from products

The supermarket not the country...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Cunk on Britain

Diane Morgan's creation has always been a favourite of mine, and I loved this programme. Laugh out loud and some excellent jokes on the creation and early pre-history, and great questions for the talking heads as well. She travels the breadth and width of the country...

Keep an eye out for it on iPlayer, and also the next issue, which is shown tomorrow.

On the Bayeux Tapestry: “It’s just like being there, but in wool".

NB: NSFW warning - a little sweary ...