Geography, Maps & GPS
History of the World: 3200 BC to 2016 AD
The entire history of the World from the rise of civilization to the present day.
There are a number of takeaways from this compelling video...
. While humans had migrated to most regions of the earth, including the Americas, well before 3200 BCE, large scale "organized humanity" covered only a small portion of the planet until relatively recently.
. Many of the major civilizations over the centuries are never mentioned in K-12 history classes.
. Things change. Sometimes very quickly.
What insights can your class glean from this video?
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National Geographic's Interactive Map Maker includes topo, satellite, terrain, and ocean maps. You can layer on data values and save the results.
How GPS Works
This Discovery News segment from 2013 describes the GPS network, where it came from, how it works, and how it it being upgraded with a new generation of satellites.
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When looking for interesting geography facts, World Geography For Kids found some really fun continent facts and interesting facts about the world's countries and people.
See how many questions you get right.
Trilateration - how to convert time into location
GPS uses trilateration, not triangulation, to figure out where you are. The actual math is complex, but this video shows how GPS uses three satellites to sort out exactly where you are.
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What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. This video shows what geocaching is, how it works and how you can become a part of it.
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This is the link to the GeoCaching site.
You can do something similar in your own school or neighborhood by creating caches and providing directions. A great way to get your students outdoors.
This site has digitized one of the greatest historical atlases, Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright's Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. This digital edition reproduces all of the atlas's nearly 700 maps. Many of these maps are enhanced here in ways impossible in print, animated to show change over time or made clickable to view the underlying data.
Google Earth has expanded to run on just about any platform (desktop, browser or mobile device) and now includes the Moon, Mars and the nighttime sky. innovative software application for 3D imaging of the ENTIRE EARTH. You can zoom in on a nearby building or explore galaxies millions of light years from Earth!
Using this technology, you can see mountain passes and other topography and make history and earth sciences classes come alive.
With the advent of the smart phone, just about everyone now has access to a high quality GPS receiver. There are a wide variety of GPS apps available to view and use that information, from Google Maps to specialized apps for hikers and boaters. GPS Test is an example of a simple, free app that can be used to determine your place on the earth – latitude, longitude and altitude – and to show how GPS works. Who knew there were that many GPS satellites overhead.
The CIA World Factbook includes maps of each country in the world as well as high resolution regional and global reference maps. Then entry for each country includes detailed geographical and historical data.
The goal of Confluence is to visit each of the latitude and longitude integer degree intersections in the world, and to take pictures at each location. The pictures, and stories about the visits, have been posted on this site. You can drill in by country, state and confluence point to view the pictures and some remarkable "getting there" stories. There may be one earth, but this drives home its wide diversity.
Everyone is invited to help by photographing any one of these places. There is a confluence within 49 miles (79 km) of your location. Field trip?
Geographic Information System covers all the classical dimensions of geography, including weather, fluvialization, etc.
In most countries outside the United States geography is treated as a separate school subject--distinct from general social studies or history. The controversial issue of learning concepts and facts in geography does not emerge in many other countries--it is an educational "given".