Provincial and Territorial Stereotypes

This morning, I was attracted by the title to this post “Each State’s Biggest Stereotype, According to Google“.  I can just see my teacher-librarian friends shuddering when the methodology for the post was explained.  They used Google’s auto-complete and chose the first option.  They asked “Why is [State] so…”.  It’s not very scientific but it is at least fun.

Then, the Canadian in me kicked in.  Where are the provinces and territories?  I was off to rectify that.

First, I need a blank map of Canada with Nunavut on it.  That rules out the archives here so I went to to get a Free Blank Outline Map of Canada.



Once I had a copy of the map, it was a matter of downloading and bringing it into my editor.  In this case, it was Adobe Photoshop.  The image was encoded to gray 8 so I had to convert it to accept colours.  Then, it was off to Google to see what it had to say about the provinces and territories.  The results were interesting – you can’t make this stuff up – sorry Northwest Territories.



It was fun to have a Photoshop project to do.

When it was over, I remembered a comment from a former Program Department Colleague.  “There’s got to be a workshop in there somewhere.”

I thought of all the things that needed to be done.

  1. Download the map;
  2. Import it into Photoshop.  In Ontario schools, you’d probably use the Ministry licensed Adobe Photoshop Elements;
  3. Do the Google Search to get the content;
  4. Use the text tool to accept your input;
  5. Change the colour;
  6. Type the text;
  7. Move the text so that it’s over the right province or territory;
  8. Rotate the text to best cover the area;
  9. Resize the text so that it’s proportional to the area;
  10. Flatten the image;
  11. Scratch your head about Prince Edward Island;
  12. Type the PEI text and draw an arrow to point to that province.

That’s actually quite a few Photoshop skills for the beginning image editor.

Now, this is a fun little activity using the Google Auto Complete.  You could easily make this more meaningful in a study of provinces and territories by digging into statistics for the topic being taught.  Imports/Exports/Languages/School Completion Rate or whatever you’re studying.  But, it is fun and I would bet enjoyable, all the while learning some editing skills, and undoubtedly sparking some conversation.  “How cold is cold?”  “How flat is flat?”  “How do you know a province is expensive?”


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