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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall is Data Hunting Season

If you're on the hunt for data, there are many resources available where the data is free for educators. Often the challenge is how to search for it efficiently. Like the rest of the globe, I tend to start with a Google search to see what I get. I thought the folks who need simplicity in searching might like the source, GeoCommons.

They have created two tools, Finder! and Maker!. If you go directly to their "finder," you get a simple search field that delivers search results and other possible tags that might relate. For the items I found today, there was a *.kml, a *.csv and a *.shp for each one. I'm not saying this is the only source, but the folks over at GeoCommons have made it nice and clean for us to get data!

Grab your butterfly net and visit them at for some data!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Maps of the Imagination

If you are interested in mapping and the humanities, then Peter Turchi's book Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer is a MUST read! He writes, "The purpose of a story or poem, unlike that of a diary, is not to record our experience but to create a context for, and to lead the reader on, a journey."(12) "A map may be beautiful, but if it doesn't tell us what we want to know, or clearly illustrate what is means to tell us, it's merely a decoration. The writer's obligation is to make a rewarding both the reader's journey and his destination. Each completed work is a benchmark, an indication of how far we've come."(22)

Run to the library, warm up your Kindle or place an order...and read!

Friday, September 04, 2009

World View from A Different Perspective

If you're not familiar with World Mapper, then you really should check it out. These folks have a cool collection of shape-shifting maps based on the data. For my serious geographer friends, I know that's not the term. :-) For all the teachers out there, you can download the poster versions of each map or the excel data. There are many interesting ways to utilize this data and information!