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If: A Mind-Bending New Way of 
Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
David J. Smith
A Mind-Bending New Way
Of Looking at Big
Ideas and Numbers

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This Child, Every Child: A 
Book for Children About the Rights of Children
This Child Every Child
David J. Smith
A Picture Book About
The Rights of Children
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If the World Were a Village SECOND EDITION
If the World Were a Village

David J. Smith

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If America Were a Village
If America Were a Village
David J. Smith
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Click here to see all the hotlinks from Previous Years:

2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1999 - 1998 - 1997 - 1996

Note: links (over 500) are not maintained and may not work.

Hotlinks For 2011 By Date

2 to 9 January, 2011

Earth As Art

From the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, these amazing images -- providing glimpses of the Earth's surface created for aesthetic purposes rather than for science. View images of all 50 states, the voyage of Lewis and Clark, and much, much more. Really splendid and beautiful.

9 to 16 January, 2011

Sporcle Geography Games

An amazing collection of games related to geography (look at the top of the page for other categories from entertainment to sports to language). These are real challenges -- complete a list of European Capitals in 7 minutes, that sort of thing. What is it that Comedy Central says: "time well wasted".

16 to 23 January, 2011

350 Earth

The world's first ever "global climate art project". The object was for people to get together, create a huge public art installation - big enough to be seen from space - and get photos of it from satellites provided by DigitalGlobe. Click on the "photos" tab and see the results. Simply wonderful.

23 to 30 January, 2011

Visualizing Slavery

The 1860 U.S. Census included a look at the South's slave population. After that census was published, the U.S. Coast Survey issued maps of slavery, based on the census data. These maps encapsulate the complexity and vastness of the institution, and used a method for visualizing the concentration of slavery across the U.S. South. The darker the shading, the higher the concentration of slaves. The page linked here is a N.Y. Times blog page, with lots of detail and explanation.

30 January to 6 February, 2011

Topographic Map of the Moon

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is allowing researchers to create the most complete and detailed map to date of the moon's incredible landscape. Good images and explanations here.

6 to 13 February, 2011

Atlas of Remote Islands

Recently released to exceptional reviews, this book gives you close-up views of isolated islands, uninhabited or sparsely-populated. The drawings of each island are accompanied by history, local information, and more. The New Yorker calls it "charming, spooky, and splendid".

13 to 20 February, 2011

Sherman's March and America: Mapping Memory

Historian Anne Sarah Rubin is working on a project about the ways Americans have remembered Sherman's March to the Sea in 1864, and wanted to bring her work to a broader audience. Rather than build an archive of documents, images, and essays, she decided to take a more interpretive approach, and this site is the result. Read the introduction, and then look at the 5 maps: the factual map (the basic events), the Civilians Map (events involving civilians and the African population), the Soldiers Map, the Tourism map, and the Fiction map, which locates places (both real and fictional) that have appeared in novels and films about the march.

20 to 27 February, 2011

A World of Tweets

This remarkable map shows geolocated tweets in real-time, around the world. The map shows you where people are tweeting from during the past hour. The more tweets there are from a specific region, the "hotter" or redder it becomes. There are also charts of the day and of history, and a thorough explanation of the source of the data (the Twitter Streaming API), and how they transform raw data into a moving and vibrant map. Powerful stuff.

27 February ot 6 March, 2011

Antipodes Map -- See the other side of the world

In geography, the antipodes of any place on Earth is its antipodal point; that is, the region on the Earth's surface which is diametrically opposite to it. Two points which are antipodal to one another are connected by a straight line through the centre of the Earth. There is a full article in Wikipedia under 'antipodes'. On the page linked here, if you double-click on or move the original map to set a marker on a desired location, the second map -- the antipode map -- will automatically show it's antipodal location.

6 to 13 March, 2011

Scale of the Universe

A "21st-Century tools" version of the work of Kees Boeke and of Charles and Ray Eames on the relative sizes of things in the Universe. A fun and interesting exploration that allows you to move in and out between the universal modules (atoms and their parts) and the outermost reaches of the universe. Worth a visit.

13 to 20 March, 2011

Human Planet Explorer

The BBC has asssembled clips from its programs about people and the world -- Human Planet, Amazon, Tropic of Cancer, and more -- and made them available here by global category and by human category as well. Learn about how people adapt to living high in the mountains, browse clips from Music Planet that include yodeling, choral singing, and much more. Themes for browsing include evetns, survival, environments, life events, coming of age, the arctic, and many others.

20 to 27 March, 2011

Live Train Map of the London Underground

Absolutely fascinating. The site explains: "This map shows all trains (yellow pins) on the London Underground network in approximately real time. Click the stations for a local map of that station." How does it work? "Live departure data is fetched from the Transport for London API, and then it does a bit of maths and magic. It's surprisingly okay, given this was done in only a few hours at Science Hackday on 19/20th June 2010, and the many naming/location issues encountered, some unresolved. A small number of stations are misplaced or missing; occasional trains behave oddly; some H&C and Circle stations are missing in the TfL feed.

27 March to 3 April, 2011

Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America

Using data from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey, the US Department of Agriculture has developed a powerful and interesting interactive map of the counties of the U.S., and the challenges and opportunities within different rural communities. From this page, click "Go to the Atlas", and then in the upper right, select "help" to see all the options and variables. Or, just start playing. Fascinating.

3 to 10 April, 2011

Interactive Map of Metabolic Risks

A fascinating and potentially useful interactive map, showing risks, world-wide, for Body Mass Index, Cholesterol, and Blood Pressure. You can mouse over the world map for individual country data, you can select individual countries from the list on the left, you can change year or sex (the default is Male), you can watch an animation of trends over time. And while this particular map only shows BMI, you can quickly switch to Cholesterol, or to a worldwide map showing Systolic Blood Pressure.

10 to 17 April, 2011

Where My Friends Be

A fun mashup, that uses Google Maps and your own list of Facebook friends to create an animated map of where all your friends are located; visualize your network of friends, and share the map on facebook. Probably not that impressive if you have 4 or 5 friends in your own neighborhood, but if your FB friends list is longer, and perhaps a little more global, the resulting map can be pretty impressive.

17 to 24 April, 2011

U.S. Gas Prices
Canadian Gas Prices

The website called Gas Buddy puts together these maps, showing gas prices around the country at a glance. Areas are color-coded according to the average price for regular unleaded (per gallon in the U.S., per litre in Canada).

24 April to 1 May, 2011

BBC Explains Time Zones

This amazing section of the BBC news site does a wonderful job explaining about the history, and the practice, of time zones. An interactive globe allows you to scan around the world, see the size of each time zone, and marvel, for example, at China, a huge country with only ONE time zone, and Russia, a huge country with NINE time zones. Along the way, little sidebars allow you to read about what time it is in space, or in Antarctica; to read about the story of GMT; to read about the International Date Line; and all the strange little quirky places where time changes not by an hour but by half an hour, or even by 45 minutes. A really useful site for any world-minded teacher.

1 to 8 May, 2011

The Twelve States of America

Using income inequality county by county as established by the census bureau, this interactive map allows you to browse each of what the creators call the "Twelve States" of America -- these include "Monied Burbs", "Minority Central", "Evangelical Epicenters", "Immigration Nation", "Boom Towns", "Emptying Nests", and more. You can view each "state" separately, or all twelve together. With each, you can see how median family incomes have changed from 1980 to 2010 -- in "Monied Burbs", for example, it has gone from $55,688 to $59,404, while in "Service Worker Centers", the median income has DROPPED over 30 years, from $55,222 to $41,886. The underlying message from the creators -- you decide if it's true -- "income inequality has fractured the nation".

8 to 15 May, 2011

The Big Map Blog
As the author of this blog explains, "there's always been two things I wanted from a map blog, and rarely got: A.) enormous maps, and B.) access to the full-resolution file. That's what this website is about. Enormous maps, file access, and if I can bang out a couple of paragraphs then all the better." Some great maps here, and some real fun.

15 to 22 May, 2011

Dark Roasted Blend: Maps
Dark Roasted Blend, a web publication of "Weird and Wonderful Things" has a couple of collections of "Unusual and Marvelous Maps". The link above is one of them. Part one can be accessed here These are mostly thematic maps -- comparing, for example, the sizes of different continents, or territorial claims in the Arctic, and so on. Fascinating, and yes, unusual and marvelous.

22 to 29 May, 2011

The United States of Autocorrect
iPhones, iPads, google, and other "smart" tools have the ability to complete, or to autocorrect whatever you start typing. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's scary, sometimes it's downright rude. For this map, the mapmaker started typing each state into Google, and fills in the names of the states on the map with whatever google used to fill in his search term. Thus, for example, the state of Texas is labeled "Texas Rangers". Fun.

29 May to 5 June, 2011

Different Projections Used To Show A Photograph
A very clever and imaginative collection of photos by Seb Przd, called "Flattening the Sphere". He's taken a room photo, and reworked it into 27 different map projections. A really interesting way to come to some understanding about the distortions of different projections. For reference, he includes a link to The Progonos page on Map Projections.

5 to 12 June, 2011

Where to Live to Avoid a Natural Disaster
From the April 30 New York Times -- a map showing 379 US Metro areas, assessed for risk of natural disasters -- twisters, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and more. Some surprises, such as the earthquake risk in the small area where Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi meet.

12 to 19 June, 2011

Using Data To Learn About the Earth
From a British site -- made by teachers for teachers -- a demonstration of how to use the worldwide Earthquake data from USGS to draw a map of plates, and earthquake zones, around the world. A very clear and easy demonstration, using Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint, and a web browser. Other videos made by this organization can be found in various places, but your best bet may be to start with their blog.

19 to 26 June, 2011

Fantasy Locations
From an Australia/New Zealand map list -- a fun site, with maps of a large number of fantasy locations from all kinds of books. As you read down the list, you can click the red word "map" on the left of each item to see the map.

26 June to 3 July, 2011

Manhattan History
In 1811, John Randel created a proposed street grid for Manhattan. This page, from the NY Times, allows you to compare his grid to modern-day Manhattan, and to see other historic information along the way. A fascinating trip along the social, cultural, demographics, and topography of New York City.

3 to 10 July, 2011

The View From Everest
From NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, this view shows an unclouded and stunningly beautiful view of the entire vista from the summit of Mt. Everest. You need to scroll to the right to see the entire view, since the image itself is so expansive. Spend some time at APOD while you're visiting this page. It's worth the time.

10 to 17 July, 2011

Reykjavik Centre Map
An interactive map that allows exploration of Reykjavik's city centre -- browse categories, click on icons, zoom in or out, pan. Clever and fun art.

17 to 24 July, 2011

Pedestrian Deaths in the US
Transportation for America is a coalition of many national, state, and city interests, taking the long view of transportation in the US, and what needs to change as we move through the 21st Century. This interactive map looks at preventable pedestrian deaths -- in their words: "The decades-long neglect of pedestrian safety in the design and use of American streets is exacting a heavy toll on our lives. From 2000 to 2009, 47,700 pedestrians were killed in the United States, the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing roughly every month. Despite the magnitude of these avoidable tragedies, little public attention, and even less in public resources, has been committed to reducing pedestrian deaths and injuries in the United States.

24 to 31 July, 2011

Migration Around the US
Forbes Magazine tracks all kinds of interesting data; this page shows migration around the US. Data is from 2008 IRS information. Select a county, and the map creates a visualization of net inward and outward movement, showing you what counties people moved from, or to. Fascinating.

31 July to 7 August, 2011

Why Samoa Will Lose a Day in December
A CNN report on the decision by Samoa to change their location relative to the International Date Line -- this action will put them in the same real day as Australia, and no longer 21 hours behind their number 1 trading partner. The night of December 29, 2011, Samoans will go to sleep and wake up to the morning of the 31st. This report has both video and full text.

7 to 14 August, 2011

The Earth At Night
From the Daily Mail in the UK, a collection of photos of various interesting parts of the Earth, taken at night, from the International Space Station. These are incredibly detailed and wonderfully informative.

14 to 21 August, 2011

US States Renamed
Blogger Frank Jacobs loves to play with maps, and maintains a blog called Strange Maps. This page is one of his most visited creations: it is a map of the US, but with each state renamed based on a country with a similar GDP to that particular state's GDP. Fascinating to compare neighbors -- for example, New York renamed Brazil and New York's Eastern neighbor Vermont renamed the Dominican Republic.

21 to 28 August, 2011

Wikipedia Edits
The Wikimedia organization makes this map available -- it shows an animation of the edits done to various wikipedia pages on a random day. The time begins at midnight Greenwich, but by typing "H" you can see various ways to change the interface, to move the clock forward (but not back), to show or hide city names, toggle the background map, and much more. Fun to play with, and to imagine what all those edits are about. Notice that as the day progresses, the centers of activity also change.

28 August to 4 September, 2011

The Selden Map of China
The Selden Map of China was left to the Bodleian Library at Oxford by London lawyer John Selden in 1659 (350 years ago). The map is profoundly significant, showing trade routes of the period and lots of other information for geographers and scholars. A restoration project has only recently been completed, and these pages contain a high-res image of the map, and the story of its restoration. Fascinating.

4 to 11 September, 2011

The NAEP Geography Test
Recently, the National Assessment of Educational Progress released the results of their assessment of geographic knowledge and understanding among US students. The test was designed for grades 4, 8, and 12. Only 25% of the students tested scored "proficient" or better. These pages contain sample questions at all three levels. Test yourself -- or your students -- and talk with students about the test and their scores.

11 to 18 September, 2011

The Other Side of the Earth
Have you every wondered which part of the other side of the earth is directly below you? Find out using this map tunneling tool. Two maps are shown; line up some point on the left-hand map (point A) with the cross, and the cross on the right-hand map then shows you the place on the Earth?^?^?s surface you would get to if you went from point A through the center of the Earth and out the other side. Very interesting.

18 to 25 September, 2011

State Boundaries Revised According to Call Data
Looking at current US political boundaries based on Call Data "commmunities", we see some really interesting ties between areas that we don't normally think of as having close ties. This map reconfigures state boundaries to show call data "communities". Very interesting.

25 September to 2 October, 2011

Education In Rural America
Almost one-third of American schools are rural, and more than 40% of students in those schools are living in poverty. Roll over a state to see how many of its rural students live below the poverty line. Explore the site for other interesting links.

2 to 9 October, 2011

Samoa's Plan to move across the dateline
On December 31, Samoa will leap ahead 23 hours, moving into the same time zone as New Zealand, and thus aligning themselves with this important trading partner. Instead of being a day behind, they will now be in the same day as their markets in New Zealand and Australia. This is not the first time countries have adjusted the dateline, but it may be the most well-covered in the media. Here's a good article from The Guardian about the move.

9 to 16 October, 2011

Daylight Savings Time has a really interesting collection of information on world time, calendars, weather, sunrise and sunset, and more. This link will take you to their page on Daylight Savings Time around the world -- who Springs Forward, and when, is surprisingly complex, based on geography and politics

16 to 23 October, 2011

"Global Health, Local Knowledge". Put in and search for any disease, and see where the latest outbreaks are reported -- a remarkable Google Maps Mashup, and very useful for those who travel, for those who are worried about recent food security issues, and more.

23 to 30 October, 2011

Travelers -- for business or pleasure -- are always looking for reliable, unbiased travel advice. This is the website of the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and it is full of useful information. Click on Travel Advice By Country and read the latest updates on travel throughout the world. Worth bookmarking.

30 October to 6 November, 2011

How Far Is It?
Enter two places; the processor uses various government data to find the latitude and longitude of the two places, and to calculate the distance between them. You do have to wade your way through some advertising, but the information is accurate and nicely displayed.

6 to 13 November, 2011

Project Visa
Originally called "The Embassy Page", this website now helps travelers and others determine the visa information they need for travel or work in other countries, plus full embassy information. Very simple interface, loads of information.

13 to 20 November, 2011

Sunrise and Sunset Computer
Choose a format for your location -- by airport, by city name, or by latitude and longitude, and then enter your location, and click 'compute'. The server returns Latitude and Longitude, Local time at the moment, time of mid-day, time of Sunrise and Sunset, and more. Depending on the location, other data may be supplied, such as flight and FBO data and aerial photos.

20 to 27 November, 2011

Google Map Basics
The Knight Digital Media Center at USC provides all kinds of helpful and interesting tutorials and workshops on digital media. This one will show you how to create, retitle, and embed a Google map. Follow other links at the end of this tutorlal to see many of the best Google Map mashups online, and to view their Web Mashups page.

27 November to 4 December, 2011

Fourmi Lab Earth View
A very powerful image generator. You can view either a map of the Earth showing the day and night regions at the moment, or view the Earth from the Sun, the Moon, the night side of the Earth, above any location on the planet specified by latitude, longitude and altitude, from a satellite in Earth orbit, or above various cities around the globe. You can also view the Moon from the Earth, the Sun, the night side, or named points, or even as a map showing day and night.

4 to 11 December, 2011

Bartleby is a vast compilation of reference books, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including the famous 5-foot shelf of "Harvard Classics", plus the Columbia Encyclopedia, the American Heritage Dictionary, Strunk and White's Elements of Style, Stearn's Encyclopedia of World History, Roget, Bartlett and other quotation books, Gray's Anatomy, Robert's Rules of Order, the whole Oxford Book of English Verse, the King James Bible, and much more.

11 to 18 December, 2011

Breathing Earth
Breathing Earth is a "real-time" simulation that displays the CO2 emissions of every country, plus their birth and death rates. Scroll down off the page to read all about it, including what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint.

18 to 25 December, 2011

Princeton Int'l Networks Archive
A Princeton Univ. project, looking at globalization and what it means through the lens of Network Analysis. (Read the "About" page for details). Very interesting analyses -- arms, books, drugs, tourism, and much more.

25 to 31 December, 2011

FedEx "Connect" Topics
Admittedly an ad for FedEx, but also a quite remarkable source of information -- maps, graphs, data about how the world really works, divided into 8 topics: Global Trade, Sustainability, Workforce, High-Growth Markets, Free Trade, Tech, Supply Chain, and Connectivity. Worth a visit for the richness of the content. ***

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