Thursday, January 31, 2013

Have you put your pin on the PIZZA MAP ?



Help Mark Turgeon with his research...

Black pepper on mine please...

Image: Alan Parkinson

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

GeoTunes

Thanks to Anne Fousse for the tipoff to GeoTunes

This is a feature which you can add to your SPOTIFY account.
I subscribe to Spotify and use it for hours every day. I'm listening to it as I write this post - well, I was, but my daughter just nicked the stream to provide a backing track for her guitar practice.

GeoTunes provides a range of selected tunes and playlists around themes, which are mapped in their locations.
There are some geographical themes in there...
  • Cities
  • Natural Disasters
  • Urban Decay
  • Suburbia
At the moment, it's only been created with the USA in mind, but how about creating a playlist of tunes for your own local area...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Have you joined the GeoLibrary yet ? It's free to enter...

On the 1st of January I started a new 365 project for 2013.
This is called the GEOLIBRARY.


I am planning to put up a blog post each day this year about a book that is on my shelves which I think that geography teachers in particular (although of course they can also be read by anyone else!!) would find useful in some way...

Just over 3 weeks in and we have already put an eclectic mix of books on the shelves of the GeoLibrary, but there is still room for plenty more.

We have fiction and non-fiction, travel books, books on various countries and themes and some cultural history too.
Check out what's already been placed on the shelves of the GeoLibrary

I will be writing a 'librarian's report' at the end of each month and am happy to receive suggestions for other books, or reviews of existing books added as comments (for example) 
We never close....
Check back daily for a new book that can be withdrawn...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Register and Read

Take advantage of a new feature on the JSTOR ARCHIVE.
This is a huge online store of academic and journal articles.

There is usually a fee for downloading PDF copies of articles. This is something that is the mainstay of a lot of academic research, and universities will enable access to this archive for students, particularly via university libraries. In the old days (when I did my degree) there was a library loan service, where I would wait several days (or weeks) before a photocopy of an old academic paper that I needed for my research appeared in my pigeon hole - now articles can be accessed within seconds.

The REGISTER and READ scheme allows readers to sign up for JSTOR, and they can then read articles online, but cannot download or print them. Over 1200 journals are part of the scheme (less than the total) and there are other restrictions.
I registered (for free) and found quite a few geographical journals were available (over 300 000 in fact), including 'Geography'.
Register and Read provides a 'bookshelf' with 3 slots - each article selected must stay on the shelf for 14 days before it is removed, so choose your articles carefully. 
Nonetheless a good research tool for free...

Over 60 000 views

Thanks for visiting and reading the blog...

Shard 360

Thanks to John Lyon via Fred Martin for the tipoff to this excellent 360 PANORAMA created by Will Pearson, who is a professional panorama photographer (another job that wouldn't have existed a few years ago...)

It's taken from the top of the shard (or presumably near the top...) and provides an amazing view of London at dusk.
It's a good ad for the viewing platform which will shortly open in the Shard (which I have blogged about before) - article here about it and the high cost of entry
More here on the VIEW FROM THE SHARD website.
Check the PORTFOLIO on the website for plenty more from around the world too...
View FULL SCREEN...

I reckon the Shard could do with an experienced geography writer to create some materials to help visitors, particularly school groups. interpret what they are looking at, and how it relates to the development of the city and its hidden geographies (which the view will reveal...)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ansel Adams in Greenwich

I hope to get to see this exhibition in the next few months, on an occasion when I'm in London for a reason.

I've been to several exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum and they're always good.

Thought for the Day

From Connie Wyatt Anderson, Chair of Canada Geographic Education..
Follow @CanGeoEdu and @CanGeoMag

What does it do to a sense of national identity when you don’t know where you are on the map and, in terms of human geography, who you are as a people? As a teacher, I’ve seen the difference geography can make in my students. Those who embrace it – who “get it” – develop a “sense of place.” They understand that who they are is determined in part by where they are. Undeniably, geography contributes to a sense of identity on a personal level and collectively as a nation.

How can Geography be at the centre of your school ?

That is the title of the inaugural GeoEdChat
This will take place on the 6th of February.
In advance of the chat, which will take place across various time zones, David Rogers has posted a think piece for discussion and  debate, and to get people started on their possible contributions to the discussion.

How are you trying to make sure that geography is at the centre of your school ?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Are you 'feeling a little hoarse' ?

An interesting cultural story has been in the news in the UK today.

Horsemeat has been discovered in burgers on sale in a range of supermarkets. There has been a lot of debate about this, even though some meat in burgers is probably preferable to some of the other things that they put in there...
Margaret Visser's work on the cultural importance of food is relevant here of course.

Does it matter if we eat horse ?
Was the presence of pork worse perhaps, given the connection with some religious beliefs ?
Is horse meat used elsewhere ?

Predictably perhaps, social media was full of humorous comments relating to 'quarter pandas', 'my Lidl pony', picture of horses as an 'unexpected item in the bagging area', checking the burgers 'and they're off...' etc.

Any other horse-related puns that are your favourites ?

Perhaps we need to FOLLOW THE THINGS a little more carefully...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dan Raven Ellison - Emergent Explorer...

"Geography is beautiful, it is important and it's really awesome"

An excellent presentation on geography, exploration and guerrilla geography from my Geography Collective colleague Dan Raven Ellison, recorded at a National Geographic Live session.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Everything is related to everything else...

That is Tobler's 1st Law of Geography

Do you know Carl Lee's19th Law of Geography (or indeed any of his first 18....)

Ben Hennig's blog provides more information on a film, which he made with Carl Lee, a lecturer in Geography at Sheffield College, and Professor Danny Dorling.

It looks at the impact of Higher Education on a city,  and was premiered at a special event in the city in September 2012.
You can watch the film here.


As Ben says:

The thinking behind this short film is to show that so much of what is studied in geography is part of a complex, evolving complexity. Individual ‘facts’ can be linked to other information to help build up a wider and better understanding of the world in which we live. Carl starts his new geography students off by suggesting that it is a ‘join the dots’ subject; all those snippets of information whirling around the world waiting to be connected in some way so a more complete understanding can be developed.
However one of the fundamental principles of geography is that ‘Everything is related to everything else (but near things are more related than distant things)’. This is known as Waldo Tobler’s first law of geography. It has been thought that globalisation and particularly the internet would lead to the ‘death of distance’, the ‘Flat World’ propounded by Thomas Friedman. Such thinking is an outright challenge to Tobler’s law. It is true that the distant can now be near; in Sheffield that is increasingly felt by the rapid growth in non-UK students studying in the city. We can Skype, surf and stumble our way through a more complex world than we ever imagined even a couple decades ago and all from our smart phones where-ever we are.
Perhaps more pertinently economic forces that develop far from Sheffield shape the city’s fortunes. Whether that is the Chinese savings that provided a significant amount of the initial capital to fuel the ballooning private debt that has led to Sheffield and the UK mired in economic recession at the present time. Or it may be demand for basic food stuffs from a growing and increasingly wealthy global population that is helping to drive up the price of many staple food in the UK.


Useful resource for exploring ideas of globalisation, networks, urban change and inequality.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Geography...

Happy New Year everyone - after 10 days away, I'm now firmly back in the room....

Join me on the 8th of January at 7pm for a VITAL CPD Teachshare, the first of the new year...
New Year New Geography

It's a chance to look ahead to what you have planned, and what might happen in the world of Geography.

I'll be previewing 13 of the things that I'm planning to get up to in 2013, and some opportunities for everyone to get involved...

1. Why not start a 365 project (if you're reading this before the first few weeks of the year are over you have chance to catch up...
I'll talk about my 365 projects past and future...
This year, I'm going to carry on Blipping, and also do a literacy blog at GeoLibrary 2013
I'm also going to be opening the archives (see previous blog post on that ) and have also created some new Pinterest boards to hold those images.

2. Blogging
I'm going to be hopefully breaking through the 5000 post barrier on LivingGeography.... and heading towards a million viewers....

3. Project 1
I USE Stats in Education is underway, and I will be going to Europe at least twice this year, and also spending time creating resources and sharing them as widely as possible. The theme is statistical literacy, which is of great relevance to geography, although this is a project that has relevance across the curriculum.
I'll also continue to be involved in another EU project called digitalearth. The first course, in Salzburg at the end of February is confirmed, and I am also going to Stockholm and Helsinki at the start of February too.

4. The Geography Collective
We're going to have a fairly big year this year. Watch this blog for more details as they emerge...

5. Writing
I am going to be writing another couple of books (at least) this year for a number of publishers, including Collins. I'm looking forward to it... More details here as they emerge - I still have a few contracts to sign. You still have chance to spend your Christmas book tokens on the books I wrote last year. I've also got an idea for another book that I'm writing a proposal for at the moment...

6. CPD
I am going to be working with OSIRIS for the first time, and also leading several courses for the GA as always. I'll be visiting various universities, CPD courses, schools (including Charterhouse) and doing the Independent Schools' conference in Oxford in March. I'm also heading for several cities. I still have plenty of space in my diary (at the moment) so get in touch If you'd like me to work with you...

7. Still High and Dry
Since I was asked to do my GA lecture on flooding last year it hasn't stopped raining and there's certainly few subjects that are more topical at the moment. If you have a good flood story, get in touch and I can squeeze it in there...

8. VITAL Work continues...
I shall be creating materials for the VITAL Geography portal until at least the end of March. The portals are continuing beyond then, but looking forward to continuing this strand of support for colleagues. There were some special codes tweeted by Peter Twining over the Christmas and New Year period for free access. These might still be live....

9. Discovering the World
I have been working on a booklet for Discover the World with John Sayers, Helen Steer and Tom Morgan Jones. It's coming soon....

10. Personal Development
This is the 6th year I will have been a Chartered Geographer. This is coordinated by the Royal Geographical Society. As part of the deal, I have to submit a CPD log which means I need to evidence my involvement in CPD: my own as well other people's. To that end, there are a few things I've got pencilled in to develop my own practice...

11. Photography
As well as my Blipoto album, I'm going to try and reach a total of 10 000 pictures shared on my Flickr account this year.

12. I'm going to get out more, and do more cycling....

13. Winds of Change
Fingers crossed that we won't be unlucky in bidding for a big project that could see me working (almost) full time for a year on a major science-based project involving real-world data.... I'll let you know if and when that happens...There's also a big project bid in

Join me over on Living Geography to read it all - don't forget to subscribe to / follow the blog... or follow me on Twitter: @GeoBlogs

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

400 000 visits...

Not to this blog... but that's the number of people who visited Geography Pages during 2012. Geography Pages was set up in 2001 as one of my early websites. It started out on the free Tripod hosting service in 1999-ish, as Mr. P's Geography Pages, then moved to a proper host. The original idea was that at the time, there was something called the Yellow Pages (remember this was in the days when you had to look in a book to find what you wanted...) which was where you went to find a phone number. The plan was that if you wanted a geography resource you went to the Geography Pages. In its time it was a top 5 website for Geography in the UK, getting more visitors than almost all others (apart from that pesky David Rayner's)

If you have a mind, you can check out the original site, which is still around. There's still plenty of interesting stuff there... Everything I've done since could be said to stem from the thousands of hours I put into building the site....

Bear in mind that I haven't updated it since 2008, when I joined the Geographical Association, so there's probably a few dead links there now...


And if anyone wants to buy the domain name, I'm open to offers....

Happy New Year !!

.... and we're back in the room....