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. Mapping the World
By Heart
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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:

2015 - 2014 - 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 2016 By Date

3 to 10 January, 2016

New Earth Views
Japan's new geo-stationary satellite Himawari-8 takes one photo every ten minutes; when these are streamed, you see the systems of the Earth at work -- weather moves, storms develop and die, and more. A true "living portrait" of Mother Earth.

10 to 17 January, 2016

Great Ed. Tech Tools
From the Global Digital Citizen Foundation, a remarkable list of 50 Education Technology Tools that "every teacher should know about". Categories include Social Learning, Learning, Lesson Planning, and Other Useful Tools. A great collection; something for every teacher here.

17 to 24 January, 2016

Climate Change Lesson Plans
From the US Government's Environmental Protection Agency, a "Student's Guide to Global Climate Change"; it's a list of hand-on, interactive lesson plans to make us of the EPA website and other sites. The lessons are linked to the National Science Standards

24 to 31 January, 2016

Language Distribution Mapped
A fascinating article and map from the UK Telegraph; different colors show the diversity of languages in different countries and regions, and a graph shows the ten countries with the greatest diversity of languages. Note that there are two errors at the start of the article: the Oxford Atlas of the World's Languages says the number of spoken languages is around 6000, not 7000, and "almost seven billion speakers" is also a mistaken characterization of the world's population, which the US Census Bureau puts at 7.2, and the Population Reference Bureau puts at 7.3 billion. Nevertheless, the map and graph are useful and important.

31 January to 7 February, 2016

USC Library Auto Club Collection
The University of Southern California has a number of remarkable digital collections; this one is an archive of maps and photos from the Automobile Club of Southern California. The archive consists of 92 maps of Southern California maps, plus all kinds of images; a truly historical look down memory lane.

7 to 14 February, 2016

The History of Advertising Trust
An amazingly comprehensive and wide-ranging archive of British advertising and marketing -- famous brands and their development, images as they change over time, and all kinds of campaign messages. Not *really* geography, but a great look at one important part of global history.

14 to 21 February, 2016

To Scale: The Solar System
On YouTube: On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build a large scale model of the solar system, with planetary orbits; on this scale, the sun is a ball about 150cm across, and Saturn is a mile out, while Neptune is 3.5 miles away from the center -- the entire model is 7 miles across.

21 to 28 February, 2016

The Largest Galaxy in the Universe: IC 1101
On YouTube: a five minute video with narration about the sizes of galaxies, and of the largest galaxies we've ever seen. Very thoughtful commentary, with detailed clearly explained. This is part of the Deep Astronomy channel on YouTube.

28 February to 6 March, 2016

National Library of Australia Map Resources
The National Map Library of Australia has digitized in high-res format about 25% of their map collection, with more to come. Start here, at the search page, insert the place(s) you'd like a map of, and where it says "Add Limits" select MAP. Most impressive with maps of Australia modern and not so modern, but you'll find other map resources here as well. Fun to explore.

6 to 13 March, 2016

World Health Statistics 2015
From the World Health Organization, this site has links to the annual compilation of health data for WHO's 194 member states; you can download the full report, or sections, such as Global Health Indicators, and Progress Toward the Millenium Development Goals. Lots of very good reading here.

13 to 20 March, 2016

A fun site to explore; interesting people doing interesting things with maps. From their "About" page: Living Maps is a group of researchers, educators, environmentalists, artists and community activists who are committed to developing new ways of designing, reading and using maps for public outcomes. Our aim is to develop a community of practice to co-create participatory mapping projects. These can be digital, paper-based, multimedia or public installations. They combine original research with education work and, where appropriate, the organisation of walks, trails and public events. Our approach is interdisciplinary, travelling across ethnography, cultural geography, social history, graphics and digital media arts. Living Maps is supported by a network of associates who have expertise in urban planning, filmmaking, oral history, urban trail design and digital media.

20 to 27 March, 2016

Deep Sea Vents
This interesting site is a section of the Curriculum Collections at the American Museum of Natural History. It explores what they call "Earth's last undiscovered frontier". Fascinating looks at deep sea vents, and the communities around them, and what it takes to get down to those depths without being squashed by the pressure.

27 March to 3 April, 2016

UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme
An education program built around UNESCO's World Heritage sites, and the UN Convention Converning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Its aim is to involve youth of all ages, from all over the world, in preservation of world cultures and structures, and to promote enthusiasm towards preservation. Lots of useful and valuable information here.

3 to 10 April, 2016

David Rumsey Map Collection
One of the great archives of cartography, the David Rumsey Map Collection has over 30,000 images, and on this page, the "view" page, you can browse the entire collection, or search for particular images by keyword. A new feature is the Georefencer, which allows the user to overlay historic maps on either modern maps or on other historic maps, to look at topographic changes and at growth and distribution over time.

10 to 17 April, 2016

NOAA has produced a great educational resource called Sea, Earth, Atmosphere. This would be a valuable resource for any teacher who wants to teach about Earth Sciences to Primary and Middle School students. Lessons and materials are ordered by grade level, by state and national standards, and by media type. I was impressed by the presentations (there are 65 of them), and children will enjoy the Interactive Games section.

17 to 24 April, 2016

The World From The ISS
A couple of years ago, David MacLean, a GIS instructor in Nova Scotia merged Commander Chris Hadield's aerial photos fomr the International Space Station into a very user-friendly Interactive Online Map. It's easy to locate and view all the photos that are archived here. Fun and interesting.

24 April to 1 May, 2016

The NOAA Photo Library
A gigantic archive of photographs -- NOAA calls it a PhotoEssay. They refer to it as "spanning the oceans and atmosphere and landforms of the Earth, from the surface of the Sun to the bottom of the oceans, across centuries." I found the search facility particularly useful -- just about every search term I entered turned up a collection of photographs. Worth a vist.

1 to 8 May, 2016

The Wave Pilots
From The New York Times Magazine of March 20 -- a long article about the wave pilots of Micronesia, who centuries aga navigated across vast expanses of open ocean, and passed their knowledge and skills on through teaching and then a very difficult test. Ultimately, the article looks at our own ability to navigate, and the role of GPS and of the hippocampus in that complex challenge. A fascinating read before you next turn on your Garmin or your TomTom.

8 to 15 May, 2016

Library of Congress YouTube Channel
Millions of recordings, from the earliest Edison experiments with film to the present, here's the entire free resource. I personally like "Playlists"; everything is collected thematically -- teacher resources, law, history, and much more.

15 to 22 May, 2016

The Map Room Blog
Jonathan Crowe, of Shawville, Quebec, is a map fan, and writes about map websites and map-related news in this blog. He finds wonderful resources, and shares them, with his own poignant commentary. In the "about" section, he explains that he is "not a professional, not an expert, not an insider", just "an informed observer". He uses his remarkable skills in explaining and interpreting maps and map controversies to inform his readers.

22 to 29 May, 2016

Vital Signs of the Planet
Everything you want to know about how our planet is doing, sponsored by NASA and featuring all kinds of special areas. You can read articles, see images, and explore all kind of interactive features, including a climate time machine, a global ice viewer, a tour of the sun, "how hot is the Earth", and interactive quizzes. A wonderful, comprehensive site for all levels of interest.

29 May to 5 June, 2016

Global Map of Weather Conditions
A breathtaking visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers in Japan, and updated every three hours. The only way to see how this works is to explore -- you can actually move the Earth around to see other aspects, not just the Pacific, which appears to be the top page. Worthwhile in many respects.

5 to 12 June, 2016

Google Earthview
Google maintains this amazing site -- a collection of very beautiful or striking or strange or mind-boggling images of the landscapes and seascapes of the Earth. The collection includes about 1500 images, which you can view at this link, or, if you have Chrome, you can get the free extension from the Google store and explore more deeply.

12 to 19 June, 2016

USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer
Just what it says -- use the "find a place" field to go to the location you want to explore, and then click on a specific place; if topographic maps from different periods are available, a timeline appears, with maps that can be downloaded. Great fun to play with. You won't find every kind of historic map -- just the topos that the USGS has stored on its server, so the earliest Boston map, for example, is 1893, though there are many earlier maps of Boston available elsewhere on the web. Even so, this is intuitive and fun to explore.

19 to 26 June, 2016

NY Times "TimesNachine"
A wonderful opportunity to explore the NY Times archives, from volume 1 number 1, September 18, 1851, through to today. In the "select an issue" field, pick a month, day, and year, and ou'll be able to view all the pages from the NY Times for that day. I enjoyed browsing the ads from the 1800's, the other stories in the news on days of very important events, such as D-Day or the Moon Landing or the assassinations of the '60's and later. Click on the magnifying glass to see all the occurrences of a particular name or event or place. The site says it's only for subscribers, but at least for now, it seems to be available to all.

26 June to 3 July, 2016

Historic Films of Hawai'i
An area of YouTube with an archive of remarkable old films of Hawai'i from 1940. "Historic Old Oahu" is worth a visit, but scan down the right sidebar to find other views -- other places, other times -- including Hawaii as early as 1906, and early views of Tahiti, and even the Duke Kahanmoku episode of This is Your Life. If you like or care about Hawai'i, you'll find this area has value and meaning.

3 to 10 July, 2016

Artificial Sky Brightness
This movable, zoomable map shows places where stars and constallations are difficult, or impossible, to see because of ambient light. Light pollution in urban centers creates a sky glow that can blot out the stars. The brighter the area in this map, the harder it is to see stars and constellations in the night sky. “One third of humanity cannot see the Milky Way,� said Fabio Falchi, a researcher from the nonprofit organization Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute in Italy. “It is the first time in human history that we have lost the direct contact with the night sky.�

10 to 17 July, 2016

BBC Country Profiles
This is the full BBC archive of Country Profiles -- select a continent, and then a country or territory, and read about the history, the politics, the economics, and more, or your selected place(s). There's also a list of 14 International Organizations that you can read about. Many of these also include audio and video.

17 to 24 July, 2016

I love this site! Create a username and password, and then start creating maps. Pleasant surprise -- in the first couple of days, folks from MapMe will email you and ask how they can help. You can tell a story, you can collect all the important places in your life, you can track people's travel, you can locate all the important confluences, or all the locations of the greater spotted didapper, and you can connect a photo, video, words, and maps to each spot along the way. Fun and powerful. Here's my first effort

24 to 31 July, 2016

Virtual Globes Museum
This is the English version of a Hungarian site that does something remarkable. They have collected globes from throughout history -- starting from 1507 -- and the site allows the user to select a globe, and then rotate it in any direction to see any particular place on that particular map-maker's map of the world from that time. Globes include celestial charts as well as world maps, and there is a lot to be learned by comparing the world of, say, 1645 to that of 1945, or Europe before and after WW1 or WW2, etc. Very good information on the globes, the other collections available here, and how to make best use of it all.

31 July to 7 August, 2016

99% Invisible
99% Invisible is a podcast about all the thought and effort and creativity that goes into all the things we don't think about -- in their words, "the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world". Why did Freud choose a couch over an easy chair? How did the Fortune Cookie start? Best to begin by clicking "About" and reading the history, and seeing what hints they have for taking advantage of the resource. Then click through the episodes.

7 to 14 August, 2016

Boston By Streetcar 1906
A very extensive view of Boston streets in 1903, first shown at a theater in 1906. Taken from a streetcar, it shows vehicles, pedestrians, shops, public buildings. An amazing sense of the time and place.

14 to 21 August, 2016

India's Dying Mother
An extensive report from the BBC about the Ganges -- "one of the greatest rivers on Earth... but it is dying". Great detail about how it is being poisoned, and the efforts to reverse pollution from factories, farms, cremations, and human waste.

21 to 28 August, 2016

Our World in Data
From Oxford University, an online blog/publication that presents an in credible array of data to help viewers understand the changes that we see in the world, what drives them, and what the consequences of these changes are. Select from 16 categories, ranging from population growth to media and culture; you can see raw data, you can see it in graphs, you can run comparisons. Very powerful site.

28 August to 4 September, 2016

The Periodic Table
The Los Alamos National Laboratory has put together a remarkable resource for teachers and students, and anyone interested in the good old periodic table of the elements. Select an element, and read a page about it -- its history, sources, properties, and uses, and more. And sidebars contain lots of news about the elements, including new names, news stories, etc. Worth a visit.

4 to 11 September, 2016

Ken Fielding on Flickr
A former airline employee, Ken Fielding lives near Manchester, in the UK, and has a huge collection of aircraft photos, over 13,000 at the moment. You can view them by location, by type of aircraft, by livery. Incredible fun for people who love travel and airplanes.

11 to 18 September, 2016

Population Education
Population Education is a great source for curriculum and for professional development in the area of human population, human geography, and the effects of population trends on society and on the environment.

18 to 25 September, 2016

Visualizing 19th-Century New York
From the Graduate Center at Bard, a remarkable website, built around visual images of New York City in the 19th Century. Some of these images are breath-taking -- from the top page, click on "Behind the Scenes" and see, for example, a cross-section of the storefronts and showrooms of NYC. A great site for wandering, and for wondering.

25 September to 2 October, 2016

Life in One Cubic Foot
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has a remarkable initiative -- setting up areas of one cubic foot (.0283 cubic meters) as a "Biocube", and placing these cubes everywhere -- in fields, rivers, oceans, coral reefs, anywhere. Then the task is to document the biodiversity found there. This page will get you started, and there are plentiful links for more information, including setting up biocubes with your students.

2 to 9 October, 2016

Auto Blue Book Archive
For as long as they have existed, Auto Clubs, like AAA, have published "Blue Books" to help drivers find their way around. These include maps, notes, lists of hotels and sights, and ads. This link will take you to the Newberry Library's archive of these Blue Books -- from the earliest part of the 20th century. Pick any one, and explore -- the maps and "time en-route" are vastly different fron today, as are the advertisements. Helps us understand just how much the world has changed in 100 years.

9 to 16 October, 2016

Global Library Cats Map
Many libraries all over the world have one or more resident cats. This is a guide to finding those library cats. Begin with the map, click on a region or a country, and narrow the search down. I learned, for example, that Royal Roads University Library, near me in Victoria, BC, has three resident cats, and that the Luftwaffe museum in Berlin has a cat named Mauschen. A fun way to find something unexpected near home, or in the next place you're planning to visit.

16 to 23 October, 2016

GPS Disasters
A news site from the GPS industry maintains this strangely amusing list of the Top 10 GPS disasters -- from people driving into a lake, or down a flight of steps, to following directions to turn on to a railroad track, or to drive into the wrong country. Worth a visit. There are other sites with lists like this.

23 to 30 October, 2016

UN AIDS Populations Atlas
UNAIDS has created this Key Populations Atlas to help people understand the breadth of the challenge of AIDS. An interactive world map allows explorations of a number of topics, and makes it easy to gather specific data on any particular country. For each of nine main topics, you can look at maps that show detailed information country by country, and a click on any country brings you specific data. Fascinating and very informative.

30 October to 6 November, 2016

Halloween Around the World
From and the History Channel, a brief survey of the different ways in which the end of October and the begninning of November are celebrated around the world. From Trick or Treating in the US, to All Souls' Day and Day of the Dead in Latin America and Spain, to the lead-up to Guy Fawkes Day in the UK. Many other sites tell about these and more traditions; worth Googling.

6 to 13 November, 2016

What $100 USD can buy
A US dollar does not really have the same value in every state in the US. This survey, by the NY Times, shows the dramatic differences in what a dollar can buy, state by state, from the price of a house to the cost of a cup of coffee. Fascinating reading.

13 to 20 November, 2016

Current Operation Status for US Airports
Lots of data and statistics here; the top page gives you a snapshot of current operations, and then a map that you can use to toggle between a weather map of the US and a map of airport delays. Very interesting to explore.

27 December, 2015 to 3 January, 2016

Exploratorium "Snacks: Page
In case you don't know of it already, the Exploratorium is a San Francisco science museum for children, with all kinds of activities and displays and things to build and do. This "snacks" page takes you to collections of hands-on science activities to do at home or in the classrom, explorations using "common, inexpensive, readily available materials". Each "snack" has instructions, advice, and hints, and a list of materials. Pretty much everything here is great fun.


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