Put Into Perspective


Ontario is a big province.

How big do you say?

Let’s say you wanted to do a little driving.  So, I hop in the car and ask Google Maps to get me to Kenora.  From Amherstburg, there are a couple of alternate routes.  All of them involve crossing at the Ambassador Bridge and going through the US. I’m going to extend the rules a bit…I want to stay in Ontario.  I’ll add a via point of Barrie and that keeps me in the province.

Google estimates it to be over 23 hours driving.  We know that time is probably not realistic – you’ve got to get through Toronto and up Hwy 400!  Still, it’s a huge drive.  Yet, that doesn’t get us into the expanse that is Northern Ontario.  Let’s see how about getting to Polar Bear Provincial Park.

Anyone who has driven to Thunder Bay knows that Highway 11 is about as far north as you can get on a well paved highway.  Of course, there are the 500s, but that’s a stretch.  Any way you cut it, the drive is huge.

In school, we learn about Australia.  While we know about the animals and major cities, that’s sadly about it.  It’s typically a pink country/continent in the bottom right corner of the map.  We also learned about map distortion.  But, for Australia…just how big is it?  The Australian Government sheds some light here.  But, it’s always good to discover and explore for yourself.

Enter Overlay Maps to help out.  The concept is very simple.  Through selection, you overlay one part of the earth onto another.  To get a sense of how big Australia is, I’ll try to overlay Ontario (which I know is huge!) on top.

Wow!  What a way to compare the two and, holy cow, is Australia ever big!

I wonder – “A Mari Usque Ad Mare”?

Sans the northern-most islands.

What a wonderful tool to compare the known to the unknown!  Perhaps Australian people would reverse the map?

One of the activities that I like to do when introducing Google Maps is to spin it so that South is at the top of the screen and then ask people to get their bearings.  It is difficult when we get locked into a particular mindset about how things should be.

I look to this application to provide further inspiration into an inquiry all about perspectives.

Can you find a country in South America the same size as Ontario?

What sorts of activities can you create when you compare one location with another by overlaying?

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OTR Links 11/19/2013


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.