I’ve just discovered the UN Stat Planet interactive map. It’s Flash-based so isn’t an option for iOS devices, but in all other respects is a superb classroom resource for visualising development data. The Indices and Data page on the UNDP site is a good place for students to start their research.
Combining an interesting visualization of the 400,000 victims of the Darfur conflict, with an original approach to fund raising, the Darfur Wall is a great way of impressing the seriousness of this humanitarian disaster on your students.
While researching a lesson I came across a superb case study example of appropriate technology in the region from the Practial Action NGO.
Ogle Earth has discovered an incredibly useful resource for teaching around the issues of conflict and migration and human rights violations. The Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights project is published by Lars Bromley at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Stefan points to Google Earth technology holding future world leaders to account for the humanitarian outcomes of their actions. For the first time carefully sourced and researched satellite imagery can be used to support lessons about forced migration and similar topics. The images below show the impact of recent attacks on villages in Madoua, Chad.
The Human Rights Google Earth layers cover Chad, Sudan, Lebanon and Israel and Zimbabwe. They take a long time to load in some cases; worth remembering before using them in a class situation. Find the layers here
This post has also been published at Juicy Geography’s Google Earth blog
Gapminder is a BRILLIANT way to analyse development indicators. A range of development data can be plotted on a map or chart and animated over time. Gapminder website
Download an illustrated guide to Gapminder (Word doc) Thanks very much to Val Vannet who produced the first version of this document. This could be printed off and laminated. Thanks also to Alan Parkinson for mentioning the Trails feature in his recent comment. Gapminder also provide an excellent tutorial on the application here.
Correlating development data
Select Chart and compare different indicators, for example Life Expectancy and Income. What correlations can be found?
Students could be asked to try and identify data that gives a positive correlation on comparison (e.g. carbon dioxide emisions and income) or negative correlation (e.g. fertility rate and phone use)
Try choosing Life Expectancy and analysing changes over time (select Time for the x axis.) Track selected countries by selecting them, clicking the Trails box and playing the animation.
In the screenshot I coloured the countries by income , but why has Botswana, a middle income country, seen a dramatic decline in life expectancy in recent years? Students really should know why!
Exploring urbanization trends
Compare Urban Population and Time, and track countries from different income groups. In the screenshot example I changed the circle size to one size and the colour to Income Group.
In a recent lesson, these activities proved sufficient to turn the students into fairly competent Gapminder users.
The map was published in an article by Adrian G White of the University of Leicester. The accompanying text is well worth reading for such gems as:
A recent survey (Easton, 2006) found that 81% of the UK population agreed that the Governmentâ€™s primary objective should be the creation of happiness not wealth. Earlier this year David Cameron, HM Leader of the Opposition, put happiness firmly on the political agenda by arguing that â€œItâ€™s time we admitted that thereâ€™s more to life than money, and itâ€™s time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB â€“ general well-being” (BBC, 2006).
I never thought I’d hear that from a Tory!
Two exciting new overlays to report.
Firstly, Maplecroft Maps have sent an email to their users announcing that a selection of their excellent maps are available for Google Earth. Great news as the screenshot of the world AIDS data shows:
World AIDS data
Meanwhile Frank Taylor and Barry Hunter offer a network link to display the shiny Blue Marble imagery from NASA that dramatically improves the initial look of Google Earth. Added is a link to the near real-time global cloud data. This layer uses the new alttiude feature of Google Earth 4, so you can zoom in past the clouds on your way to the surface. Truly a great network link. Frank hopes that the Google team will implement an official version soon. It makes me slightly worried for the vast number of schools who are constrained by hardware to the older version of Google Earth. Hopefully Google won’t withdraw version 3 any time soon. Head immediately to Google Earth Blog for the network link!
Blue Marble and Global Clouds