Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mission Explore: the book


The Mission : Explore book is finally out in print and available from tomorrow....
Buy as many copies as you can !!
Come and see us at the GA Conference

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Very flat, Norfolk

Thanks to those who came along to my lecture last night at Easton College, near Norwich.
It was my Presidential lecture for the GA Norfolk branch, and a joint event with the Royal Geographical Society and thanks once again to the Stannards for their hospitality and organisation.
The presentation I used is below, although you won't get the full story of course without the 50 minutes of me talking over it...

There were some interesting comments after the lecture with respect to the (inevitably) partial nature of the presentation: some areas of Norfolk were not featured to the degree that others would have expected, and perhaps reflects my own knowledge and experiences of the county.
There was little mention of Broadland, and nothing on Breckland, although I passed through both within the last fortnight.
Also some discussion on the political importance of place, and some of the potential future changes in Norfolk's landscape...

Thanks to all those who contributed to the lecture, particularly those who told me their "5 words that they thought of..." the results of that can be seen within the presentation....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Google Streetview goes nationwide

Images copyright Google

Google Street View has gone national
A huge update of Google's photography means that over 90% of the UK is now covered by the high resolution, 360 degree imagery along most roads in the UK
One of the first things that people would do perhaps would be to look at their own house, and the houses where they used to live....

Just done that myself, and you can see the house where I lived between 1977 and 1988 (ish) above, tho' it didn't look like that at the time...

There was a useful post on Simon Haughton's blog which suggested some geographical ideas for how the newly expanded Street View could be used in the classroom. Here are some (more):

1. Previewing a journey that is going to be made / risk assessments for fieldwork
2. Carrying out VIRTUAL FIELDWORK in an unfamiliar area
3. Investigate change over time in a local area
4. Clone Town / Land use surveys
5. Remodelling the models: transects from town centre outwards to test their validity
6. Comparing distant locations (Primary)
7. Taking a trip to the seaside
8. Play the "When were the images taken" game: look at clues in the state of buildings, traffic and people in the area, to see whether you can work out the time of year, or time of day, or day of the week when the cars must have taken the images...
My street was photographed in Summer, on a week-day judging by the images, but further towards the centre of the village the images turn to autumn...
9. Do a N, S, E and W, or 5 minutes in each direction from home etc.
10. Most URBAN fieldwork could be done in a slightly adapted way using the images, perhaps supported with some Flip video filming / audio files ? (remember that this is NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR REAL FIELDWORK which MUST continue....)

I have been updating a presentation I used last year, when Street View was limited to just a few major cities, which provided ideas for geography teachers on how they might use Street View in the classroom. Will share that here when it is complete....

Predictably, there has been a little kerfuffle in the Daily Mail...
Read the article and comments for a variety of views on the role of this sort of technology...

And just to show another feature: the maps can be embedded into blogs...

Drag the YELLOW PEGMAN onto the map in the appropriate place, and the Street View images will appear....


View Larger Map

Can also be viewed on my iPhone, which is remarkable really... The UK in your pocket....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Living Geography

Some wonderful maps drawn by illustrator Christoph Niemann, who provides illustrations for the New York Times and a range of other journals are available HERE.

I particularly like the island below, which would fit well with those in the ATLAS OF EXPERIENCE and fit very well with the idea of LIVING GEOGRAPHY.

Image copyright Christoph Niemann (let me know if you want the image removed and a link added instead)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Icons of England


A new book which is coming out in a month or so...

This is a hymn to what makes England, especially the English countryside, so special, in a collection of passionate, eclectic and thought-provoking pieces. First published as a lavish colour coffeetable book, this new expanded paperback edition includes many new contributions, and features Bill Bryson on seaside piers, Michael Palin on crags, Eric Clapton on Newlands Corner, Bryan Ferry on Penshaw Monument, Sebastian Faulks on pub signs, Kate Adie on deer parks, Kevin Spacey on canal boats, Gavin Pretor-Pinney on clouds, Richard Mabey on marshland, Simon Jenkins on English country houses, John Sergeant on Great Tew, Benjamin Zephaniah on the Malvern Hills, Joan Bakewell on estuaries, Antony Beevor on the north downs in Kent, Libby Purves on Harbour Walls, Jonathan Dimbleby on the beach at West Wittering, and many more.

Sounds intriguing...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mission Explore: on tour..

The Mission Explore crew are going on the road this summer.
You can catch us at the events listed above, with some others still to be added as we take the idea of Mission Explore to a range of audiences.

Mission Explore is coming out soon in book form - I spent some time proof-reading the resources earlier, and they are looking cool. They can be pre-ordered for £6....

You can also help yourself to cool Mission Explore gear via our ONLINE SHOP.

Busy times for the GEOGRAPHY COLLECTIVE

I'll see you at GLASTONBURY - need to hunt out my loon pants....