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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 2014 By Date

5 to 12 January, 2014

Guide to Cartography
A very interesting summary of information on Maps, Map History, and Cartography. Includes links for further information on thematic maps, map design, and famous cartographers, including Eratosthenes and Mercator. Also, there's a helpful page on understanding scales.

12 to 19 January, 2014

David Rumsey Map Collection
An amazingly comprehensive map collection, database, and blog. Over 46,000 historical maps online, categorized in a variety of useful ways -- globes, school geography, children's -- and searchable. Among blog posts are links to an exhibition of historical maps of San Francisco. A site worth bookmarking.

19 to 26 January, 2014

Perry-Castaneda Library
The University of Texas at Austin maintains this library, both as paper maps and online. Their collection is vast, and only about 20% is online, but even so, there is so much here it's unlikely you won't find what you want. You can search by region, read through the FAQ section, learn about and retrieve thematic and topographic maps from around the world, and also browse a very extensive collection of historical maps.

26 January to 2 February, 2014

NASA Blue Marble Earth Studies
NASA studies space and also studies Earth. This site, part of NASA's Earth Observatory, is a collection of images of Earth, taken from space, and assembled into photo-mosaics that show regions and continents and the whole Earth during various parts of the year. Watch Polar ice caps grow and shrink, watch colors change as vegetation changes during the seasons. And be sure to select the tabs for other parts of the Earth Observatory site.

2 to 9 February, 2014

How Far is it
An invaluable service for researchers, travelers, and the curious. This site calculates the distance between two locations, and returns the distance in statute and nautical miles, and in Kilometers, and gives you latitude and longitude, and headings; it also gives you your carbon footprint if you travel between the two locations by car, train, or airplane. Fun and interesting and useful.

9 to 16 February, 2014

The Great Circle Mapper
An amazingly useful resource in thinking about the world, in searching for information. The Great Circle Mapper allows you to enter text -- such as an airport code (or several) -- to get paths, distances, and routes between the locations; it allows you to see a circle showing a set distance from a given location, or you can search for locations by name or by airport code. Enter a city name, and get all the airports in locations with that name, then click on the airport code or name for further infoamation. Amazing detail.

16 to 23 February, 2014

Zip Code and Carbon Footprints
Fascinating stuff here; maps that display average household carbon footprints matched to zip codes in the contiguous US; maps that display household energy use by zip; maps that display average vehicle miles, again by zip. And you can mouse over the map to see the particular data for any zip code. A very complex task, presented in a simple and intuitive way

23 February to 2 March, 2014

Alternatives to Google
Google accounts for a vast majority of desktop and mobile searches in the US, the UK, and all over the world. But there are alternatives, and some are very good. This is a link to a BBC story about alternatives to Google, and when to turn to them. Fun to try some of these. My favorite alternative is DuckDuckGo because of its focus on privacy.

2 to 9 March, 2014

The Degree Confluence Project
An entirely volunteer project -- "An organized sampling of the world". The idea is for visitors to the site to find and photograph the points on land where any degree of latitude and any degree of longitude meet. These 12,789 points are mapped out on the site, and you can volunteer to attempt to photograph any that you care to. There are excellent map resources, and a continually updated list showing possible locations, attempts, and photographs of successlful visits. Even if you never attempt to photograph one yourself, there's still a wealth of geographical information here for you and your students.

9 to 16 March, 2014

The Agropolis Museum
The Agropolis Museum in Montpellier, France, maintains this website as a way to display and extend their different exhibitions around the topics of "food, and the people who produce it". There are four main areas -- "World's Food", comparing production, comsumption and more worldwide; "History of food and agriculture", "Farmers and farming over the world", and the "Banquet of Humanity". Each area brings you some sense of what the exhibit is about, and gives information about the topic. This site is available in French as well as in English, and the French version is by far the richer of the two, as it includes streaming videos, news about the Museum's displays and animations, and more.

16 to 23 March, 2014

Library of Congress Global Gateway
An expansive and fascinating collection of links and information about the world, from the US Library of Congress. At the top, link to collaborative digital libraries (bilingual multimedia digital libraries, built with other libraries around the world), and individual digital collections (searchable collections that focus on history and cultures around the world). Then there are links to all kinds of other LOC work, and a detailed FAQ page.

23 to 30 March, 2014

Planet Quest
Subtitled "The Search for Another Earth", this web site, part of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, explores Exoplanets -- the 1000+ that have been confirmed as planets, and the nearly 4000 "candidates", still being studied to see if they are really planets. There's an amazing amount of information and data here, for teachers, for professionals, for everybody. The images and videos are worth exploring -- some of them are breath-taking.

30 March to 6 April, 2014

Mountain Voices
How does development affect individuals in different countries? Oral testimonies have been gathered from mountain communities in ten countries -- in the Himalaya, the Andes, the Sierra Norte, Mount Elgon, the highlands of Ethiopia and Lesotho, China, the Sudety mountains and the Karakorum mountains. Students can learn of the past and present of many native peoples in the world, as well as the realities of the global economy in these regions.

6 to 13 April, 2014

Current Position of the ISS
Where is the International Space Station right now? This little "Astroviewer" will show you. The view is shown as "what the astronauts see right now". You can open a secondary map by clicking the "snapshot" button, or see the larger, whole-Earth map just below the moving map. The map is detailed, and the ISS moves very fast, making a complete circuit of the Earth in about 90 minutes. Fascinating. Even addictive.

13 to 20 April, 2014

The U.S. National Atlas
The National Atlas is going away! The last date that the National Atlas will be in service will be September 30, 2014. After that time, visitors will be directed to The National Map, a different, useful, but much less detailed USGS product. Use the time between now and the end of September to browse and download what you may find useful, including population, economy, infrastructure, natural resources, environment, government, and history of the Nation.

20 to 27 April, 2014

A worldwide news and media guide -- providing access to newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations, and news agencies, worldwide. Very easy to navigate: a site index, and search boxes, allow you to quickly find a news outlet in Maseru, Lesotho, or a TV station in Honolulu, or whatever. They also provide a contact list for different media outlets, plus information on Newspaper and TV and Radio ownership in the US.

27 April to 4 May, 2014

The Internet Archive
A phenomenal archive of everything that is now, or ever has been, on the internet. As they say, "a digital library of internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form... Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, the print disabled, and the general public." My favorite part of this is still The Wayback Machine -- enter any URL, and see what it looked like through its history -- for example, the early days of, or of google. Great fun, and fascinating.

4 to 11 May, 2014

Interagency Fire Center
Wildfire activity blazes across the U.S. throughout the Spring, Summer, and Autumn months. The government agencies charged with control of these fires and minizing the damage they cause are the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture. To help them coordinate their efforts, the Interagency Fire Center has created the Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination website, geoMAC. Among its many features, geoMAC has a near-real-time map showing the location of fires in great detail, and links to all the relevant offices, including National Weather Service, Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

11 to 18 May, 2014

BBC Weather Center
One of the great weather pages on the web, the BBC Weather Center gives you very easy interfaces to UK and World weather, plus quick links to travel weather, sports and events, astronomy, gardening, marine weather, pollen counts, and a large number of special features.

18 to 25 May, 2014

Originally created by Columbia University and now its own independent operation, Bartleby is an online collection of some of the greatest reference books in the world. Free of charge, you can access the complete American Heritage Collegiate Dictionary, the complete Columbia Encyclopedia, the complete Oxford Shakespeare, the complete Gray's Anatomy, the complete 70 volumes of the Harvard Classics, a huge range of poets and poetry, and much more. Best of all, you can use Bartleby two ways: you can browse through Bartleby's online "books" by hand or you can search all of Bartleby's works for a particular keyword or phrase.

25 May to 1 June, 2014

Landsat Science
A profoundly important NASA site -- for teachers, researchers, and for those interested in Earth's condition. In their own words: "The Landsat program offers the longest continuous global record of the Earth's surface; it continues to deliver visually stunning and scientifically valuable images of our planet." One example: the LCLUC, Land Cover and Land Use Change Program, shows land use across time, and changes in how land is used. Fascinating, useful, and amazingly detailed.

1 to 8 June, 2014

Astronomy Picture of the Day
Each day a different image or photograph of our universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is originated, written, coordinated, and edited since 1995 by two professional astronomers, Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell. The APOD archive contains the largest collection of annotated astronomical images on the internet.

8 to 15 June, 2014

World Food Clock
Based on data from the FAO, from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and from the UN Development Program, this amazing site streams all kinds of information relating to food production, consumption and waste. Stunning.

15 to 22 June, 2014

Geography Page at Univ of Buffalo Libraries
This is a link to selected geography and map resources available on the Internet and in the Univ of Buffalo librarys. Links include Maps and Mapping, Map Collections, Satellite Imagery, Gazetteers, and much, much more. There is even a link to the subject librarian, so you can send him a query or a compliment.

22 to 29 June, 2014

Most spoken languages state-by-state
On, this page has several maps that show very interesting language facts about each state -- most widely-spoken language other than Enligh, other than English and Spanish, native languages, Scandinavian languages, African languages. Fascinating. Would you believe that Vietnamese is the third language of Washington, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas? Great maps here.

29 June to 6 July, 2014

National Flags From Foods
As part of a promotion for a food festival in Australia, an Ad Agency designed flags of 18 nations using food that is commonly associated with each country, and matching the colors of the flag. Fun

6 to 13 July, 2014

Global Weather Visualized
A remarkable animation and visualization of global weather, showing ocean surface currents, ocean surface temperatures, atmospheric pressure, wind speed, and more. Begin by reading the "about" page here.

13 to 20 July, 2014

Maps that May Change the Way You See the World
A number of interesting maps -- not at all apolitical, and with some strange spelling errors, but still fascinating.

20 to 27 July, 2014

NASA's Visible Earth
The ultimate archive of NASA images of the Earth -- still images and animations. An astonishing resource.

27 July to 3 August, 2014

North American Numbering Plan
This site provides information about the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) and its administration. The NANP is the numbering plan for the Public Switched Telephone Network for Canada, the US and its territories, and some Caribbean countries, including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks & Caicos. There is a good chunk of useful information here. Even if you're not curious about NPA relief planning, or CO prefixes, this is at least a good place to find out where all those new area codes are located.

3 to 10 August, 2014

Population Reference Bureau
One of the very best sources for global population information, the Population Reference Bureau maintains a site which is incredibly rich and deep, with information about hundreds of population-related topics, easily navigated and ready to use. From the top page, you can navigate to regional information, or to information on a variety of topics.

10 to 17 August, 2014

Country Rankings
A collection of over 400 ranking tables -- everything from future population projections to carbon footprint, military, government, and more. Some of the data is outdated, but the site identifies that data very clearly. In their words: "In certain cases current data is not available. For example, the World Health Organization's ranking of the world's health systems was last produced in 2000, and the WHO no longer produces such a ranking table, because of the complexity of the task. Country rankings in the main categories, Population, Geography, Economy, Transportation| Communications, Military, Government are derived from the current CIA world factbook."

17 to 24 August, 2014

Geographic Names
The official repository of U.S. domestic geographic feature names information. The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, contains information about physical and cultural geographic features in the United States and associated areas, both current and historical (not including roads and highways). The database holds the Federally recognized name of each feature and defines the location of the feature by state, county, USGS topographic map, and geographic coordinates.

24 to 31 August, 2014

Can You Tell A Book By Its Map
From the pages of the Guardian from June 9 of 2014, this interesting quiz. 10 maps are shown, each one the map of the locations in a work of fiction. You are then given four books; pick the one you believe the map refers to. When you click "submit" at the end, you get your score. Very interesting, and since some are books you may have read a long time ago, or never read, some of these are challenging.

31 August to 7 September, 2014

World War One
The British Library has done an outstanding job collecting and making available a vast array of historical sources on World War 1 from all across Europe. My favorite part has to be the Teaching Resources -- 40 sections, from how advertisers used the war to promote their products, to daily life in the trenches, to how different nations depicted the enemy, and much more. An amazing resource.

07 to 14 September, 2014

Online Weather School
This marvelous site from NOAA offers a chance to learn all about weather -- everything from the atmosphere to lightning and tsunamis is covered here, in a clear and effective manner. The whole structure is carefully designed to be instructive, beginning with an overview, going through all the aspects of the chosen weather phenomenon, and ending with a quiz. Adults and children will all enjoy this, and learn from it.

14 to 21 September, 2014

Outline Maps
You need outline maps for your lessons or for review? This site has them. Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the site offers a vast number of maps that may be printed and copied for personal or classroom use. Included here are a variety of world maps, all the continents, the U.S., and an selection of historical maps. Well worth a visit.

21 to 28 September, 2014

Mapping Our World
Designed for primary or middle school students in the UK, this site helps users understand about maps and globes, map projections, and most important, how different map projections and orientations influence our view of the world. Some very good material here for homeschools and for teachers in primary and middle schools.

28 September to 5 October, 2014

Map Lessons
This page, at education world website, provides five lessons for teaching about geography, maps, landforms, and more. Contents include Create a Country, Global Economy, Comparing countries, Memorable Maps, and Earth at Night. Lots of useful content here.

5 to 12 October, 2014

Map Lessons
The people at Rethinking Schools provide a number of thoughtful and well-designed games on their website. This one is a geography game -- you're given a map of North Africa and Southwest Asia, and all you have to do is drag the names to the correct countries. For most people, some are easy, some dificult. Fun to do a few times, and by repetition to learn some new names on the map. You'll find a few other activities and downloadables at their games and more page.

12 to 19 October, 2014

40 Maps That Explain the World
In August of 2013, the Washington Post published these fascinating thematic maps -- everything from a political map of the world around 200 CE, to where people are most and least welcoming to foreigners, to major religions, to a 1908 Missionary Map of Africa, to tolerance, to where people smoke the most and the least, to global crop yields, and much, more more. Spend some time here.

19 to 26 October, 2014

Worldmapper Cartograms
This remarkable site contains around 700 maps that show a huge range of subjects of interest. The maps are cartograms, where the size of each country is increased or decreased according to the subject. From this page, click on "A-Z Map Index" to start exploring. Really addictive.

26 October to November 2, 2014

Where the poorest will live
The OECD Development Assistance Committee made this map, projecting where the world's poorest people will live next year, and compares it to 10 years ago. Half the world's people will be living on less than US$1.25 per day. These, and other infographics from the OECD are valuable resources and lessons.

2 to 9 November, 2014

Where Americans Moved
The International New York Times has created a truly amazing series of charts showing migrations within the US. State by state, and even over time from 1900 to 2012, you can see migrations in and out of each of the 50 states. You can select a state, or just browse; you can easily toggle between migrations to and from each state. The first screen you'll see will be those born in each state, but a click on the gray box to the right allows you to switch to migrations. Fascinating.

9 to 16 November, 2014

Malaria Indicator Surveys
This website, funded by USAID, serves as a home for numerous Malaria Indicator Survey datasets and documents. This first page is a collection of links to organizations working on eliminating malaria. You can browse individual country surveys, and view the useful toolkit. Individual country surveys can be viewed online, or can be downloaded after a simple registration process.

16 to 23 November, 2014

Living Planet Index
Global wildlife populations have halved in just 40 years as measured by the Living Planet Index. This Index is an online portal from the London Zoological Society, measuring biological diversity on our planet, based on thousands of monitored data-collection sites around the world, describing all the pressures on the Earth's natural resources. The continued decline on the world's wildlife highlights the urgent need for sustainable solutions to humanity's increasing demand on our natural resources. Read the report and search data at this site.

23 to 30 November, 2014

How far is it?
One of my fallback sites, a great place to go for distances around the globe. Put in two locations -- from and to -- and it serves you distance in miles and kilometers and nautical miles, plus the heading from one point to the other, plus latitude and longitude of your places and, for US places, the population. Because the site is built around promotions for travel to Bali, there are ads for hotels and websites in Indonesia, but they do not interfere with the main job.

30 November to 7 December, 2014

Project Visa
In their own words, " The aim of is to share visa and travel information for all people from all countries." Do you have travels coming up that might require knowledge of visa information, the location of embassies, or other global information? This is a good place to start. Select a continent or country, and the server gives you information on visa requirements for different passports, and embassies in the country, and embassies of the country.

7 to 14 December, 2014

EarthCam live webcams is a global collection of links to scenic webcams and offers a complete searchable database of interesting places and views from around the world. You want to see the weather on the New Jersey Shore, or check out traffic in Athens? It's here.

14 to 21 December, 2014

The TSA Blog
In their own words, "The purpose of this blog is to communicate with the public about all things TSA-related. Check in regularly for TSA Travel Tips and the end-of-week TSA Week In Review posts on Fridays." If you travel at all within the US, there's lots of helpful information here for understanding and navigating airport screening. "This week in review" for November 7 is headlined "37 Loaded Firearms, a Claymore Mine Replica, and other items of note".

21 to 28 December, 2014

Global Climate Change
Created by the Earth Science Communications Team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, this website aims to provide the public with accurate and timely news and information, including web links, about Earth's changing climate, and along with that, all kinds of current data and visuals. Above the fold, the latest data tells you about changes in carbon monoxide, global temperature, and more; you can see imagery of retreating glaciers, read articles, review solutions for both mitigation and adaptation, and explore all kinds of resources.

28 December, 2014 to 4 January, 2015

The Lick Observatory
The Lick Observatory is a research unit of the Univ of California, located east of San Jose, on the 4200 foot summit of Mt Hamilton. This site inclues all kinds of information for observers, from weather to remote observing, as well as a wealth of information of general interest, and a remarkable feature -- a group of webcams with both Earth and Sky cameras. A fun place to visit.


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