• Where Does an Oasis Get Its Water?

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    For anyone who has ever been in a desert you know how desolate, lonely, and isolated the landscape can be. Life without reliable water sources coupled with the constant need to travel many days between the next water sources have been a theme of trade, travel and nomadic lifestyles for […]

  • How Rapid Urbanization Threatens Human Populations: Three Effects of a Moving World

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    The dramatic shift of the earth’s human population to cities is not only straining urban infrastructures, but also the human population itself. Three significant human threats resulting from rapid urbanization in developing countries are increased intense agriculture from the commoditization of food, rising diabetes and heart disease rates, and brain waste of our global youth.

  • Mapping Carbon in the Amazon

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    The Amazon rainforest has long been considered by scientists as critical to the health of the planet. Deemed the lungs of the Earth, the Amazon helps to keep the global carbon budget in balance by taking in large amounts of carbon dioxide. However, the rainforests of South America are constantly […]

  • Using Interdisciplinary World Map Activities to Connect Your Students to Other Cultures

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    Whether you are a homeschool teacher or classroom teacher, you can connect your students to other cultures while making your lessons exploratory and interdisciplinary with just one prop: a world map! Examples for young and advanced learners alike for how to use a map in math, political history, earth/biological science, and literature are included here to get you started.

  • Why Does Finland Have So Many Lakes?

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    Finland, with over 187,000 estimated lakes, is known as the “Land of a Thousand Lakes”.

Physical Geography

GAP ecological gap analysis map. Map: USGS.

Gap Analysis

Gap analysis is a way of mapping different areas of biodiversity for researchers and conservationists to detect potentially endangered species as well as other political, ecological, and demographic features of the same region. Gap analysis is incredibly helpful for discovering the effectiveness of current conservation efforts as well as determining […]

The Amazon river once flowed out of a eastern mountain range. Then the basin split in two and ultimately the Andes rose so high that the modern Amazon came into being. Source: Geological Society of America.

Rivers that Flow Backwards

Rivers don’t always flow in the same direction. Read about how the Amazon once flowed east to west and how the strength of Hurricane Isaac once change the course of the Mississippi river.

Theory of Island Biogeography illustrated in a graph. Graph: Wikipedia.

Island Biogeography

The biogeography of islands is a fascinating topic that extends to more than just island locations. The ‘island’ part of ‘island biogeography’ can refer to actual islands as well as isolated areas such as mountaintops, valleys, and other secluded spaces of unique biodiversity. These areas, surrounded by unsuitable habitat, often […]

Human Geography

Showing North Koreans a picture on a tourist's camera. Photo: Roman Harak.

Tourism in North Korea

Anyone who has ever caught the travel bug probably understands the allure of the places not many Western travelers get to go, places like Iran, Cuba, and North Korea. Whether this is a reaction to the idea that we aren’t welcome or simply aren’t allowed in, many people go out […]

Pedestrian crossing in Tokyo.

Megacity

Megacities are metropolitan areas that have 10 million or more residents.

Graph of changes in population for France (red) and Japan (blue). Graph: Ryan Chew.

Why is the Population of Japan Almost Double That of France?

Different countries around the world vary in cultures, populations and traditions, which helps make up the wonderfully diverse world we live in. What are the factors that contribute to such a wide variety of facts about each country, though? There are many ways to think of each individual culture and […]


Geography News

On Sept. 19, 2014, the five-day average of Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 20 million square kilometers for the first time since 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The red line shows the average maximum extent from 1979-2014. Image Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio/Cindy Starr

New Record Extent of Sea Ice in Antarctica

The polar regions of the Earth, the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica, are of particular concern to scientists and researchers. In one sense, these areas act much like an air conditioner for the planet because of their cold, icy environments and the fact that like they reflect a high degree of […]

The far left map is the original hand-drawn map, which was used to make the two printed version on the right which were used by Napoleon and his army at Waterloo. In the original map, the Mont Saint-Jean farm is situated to the right of the road, while on the printed versions, the farm is shown as being to the left of the road.

Was an Inaccurate Map Partly Responsible for Napoleon’s Waterloo Defeat?

A French documentary maker contends that a map error ones on the reasons that Napoleon’s army was defeated by the Duke of Wellington’s forces during the Battle of Waterloo.  The documentary by Franck Ferrand entitled, “Napoléon : le défi de trop ?” explores the finding by Belgian illustrator and historian, Bernard […]

Map of the North Atlantic Ocean showing gravity anomalies. Marine gravity model of the North Atlantic (10 mGal contours). Red dots show locations of earthquakes with magnitude > 5.5 and they highlight the present-day location of the seafloor spreading ridges and transform faults. This gravity information shows the details of the plate tectonic history of the rifting of these continents including the subtle signatures of fracture zones that are currently buried by sediment.

An Ocean of Mountains

The ocean comprises a significant portion of the Earth yet it remains a field we know the least about. Humans know more about the topography of Mars than we do about the ocean floor, and our poor knowledge of seabed topography is demonstrated by the ongoing search for missing Malaysia […]

Geography 101

Location in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. Map: Wikipedia.

Examples of Absolute and Relative Location

Here are some examples of the same location described as a relative location and an absolute location. The absolute location of a place doesn’t change such as the address of a place or the latitude and longitude of a place.  Relative location, changes depending on the person describing the location. […]

Coloring Maps

Coloring Maps

These coloring maps are great educational tools to help kids learn about geography.  These printable PDF maps allow children to learn about the countries found within Europe, South and Central America, and Africa.  There is also a PDF coloring map covering the fifty states in the United States.  Lastly, there […]

Times Square by Bert Monroy.

Bert Monroy – An Artist at the Intersection of Geography and Art

As a geographer and photographer, I am always interested in the intersection of art and geography. Many artists rely on digital images and maps of places they may not have ever seen, or visited only once. Bert Monroy is a digital photo-realist artist based in Berkeley, CA. A lifelong artist […]

Maps

Digital attack map.

Mapping Digital Attacks Around the World

Every day, thousands of digital attacks are happening around the globe.  The site Digital Attack Maps shows the leading Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks happening at the moment.  The data is consolidated from more than 270 ISP customers who have agreed to anonymously share their network traffic and attack statistics.  The data […]

Geospatial

GPS sites showing the measured displacement. As the drought deepens in March of 2014, the red dots showed the greatest uplift in the Sierra Mountains. Source: Borsa et al.

Tracking the Effects of Drought in the Western U.S. with GPS

The effects of the drought that has stricken the western United States can be measured with GPS.  As anyone who has lugged around a one gallon bottle of water knows, water is heavy.  Erosion is not the only way that rivers and lakes affect the landscape, now researchers from the Scripps […]

Find Your Way Downstream with Streamer

Find Your Way Downstream with Streamer

Water is essential for life on the planet, and tool from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) makes it easy and fun to trace water flow across the United States from your own computer. The device is called Streamer, and with only a few clicks, users can follow major water ways from […]

Help Find Invasive Weeds in Hawaii

Help Find Invasive Weeds in Hawaii

Tomnod, which previously helped with crowdsourcing the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, has teamed up with the Nature Conservancy to map the location of Australian Tree Ferns and African Tulip Trees in order to better understand how these invasive plants are affecting native forests in Hawaii.  More than 80 percent […]

Geography Career

How Much do Geographers Make?

How Much do Geographers Make?

Geographers find work in a variety of disciplines both in the physical and human geography related fields.  Geographers are employed as cartographers, urban planners, climatologists, natural resource managers, and emergency management personnel; any industry requiring the development or analysis of geographic data will often have a geographer on staff.  The […]

What Can You do with a Degree in Geography?

What Can You do with a Degree in Geography?

Are you a geography major who is working in a job that allows you to apply your educational background?  Fill out the survey linked below.  All survey results will be consolidated and reported back once enough results have come in. Thanks, Caitlin Editor, Geo Lounge Fill out the survey: What […]

Meet a Geographer: Kristina Jacob

Meet a Geographer: Kristina Jacob

Kristina Jacob is a GIS professional working at a local city in Southern California as well as an avid photographer (her work can be found on her site, Kristina Jacob Photography).  She shares her thought about what drew her to both geography and photography.  Kristina has also shared some amazing […]

Geography Fun

The geography game "A Worldly Mind" offers 22 Human Geography elements, for 238 Countries and Territories and over 2,300 Quiz Questions.

A Worldly Mind – Free Geography Game

Doug Hibbeler, President of Response Catalyst, describes a free new geography learning game his company has debuted.   A Worldly Mind is a new smartphone and tablet app to help usually teenagers learn World Geography.  When you look around at the major problems the world is facing, all are better understood […]

For the dapper geographer in your life, try this map bow tie from Etsy.

How to Find a Unique Gift for a Geographer

If you are looking for a unique gift idea for a geographer in your life, avoid offering yet another atlas, globe, or wall map.  Find some ideas here for unique geographically themed gifts. Bespoke Map Clothing Developed by data visualization specialist Rachel Binx, Monochōme is an online clothing store that allows you to […]

Geography of Thanksgiving

Geography of Thanksgiving

The first recorded Thanksgiving in the United States occurred in 1621 and was spread out over three days.  The event was held in the fall to celebrate that year’s bountiful harvest, a tradition that the early pilgrims brought with them from England.  On October 3, 1863, marking Thanksgiving as a national […]