Shifting over the years


I still remember the lesson in Geography in high school. It was about the tectonic shift. I don’t recall any video or other proof that this was real. We just took his word for it, I guess. We probably had a textbook too! All I can remember was thinking that some day we might end up in Lake Huron or something!

But things do change. A few years ago, the annual CSTA conference was i Omaha, Nebraska. I flew into Eppley Airfield. I had been told that it was a quick 10 minute Uber ride to the hotel. It actually was quite quick. But …

As I’m sitting there, I’m taking it all in. I was surprised when I ended up seeing a “Welcome to Iowa” sign. Was my driver taking this foreigner on a long drive?

It actually was a pretty quick drive and there I was at the hotel. I guess somewhere along the line, we’d passed back into Nebraska and I had missed it. Once I caught up with my Nebraska and Iowa friends, I told them about my observation. It wasn’t news to them; apparently, the Missouri River over the years has moved!

All that came back as I read this story this morning…

Interactive map lets you track the location of your hometown as the Earth changes over 750 million years

It’s a wonderful read and explains what’s happening quite nicely. Of course, I had to check it out. The presentation was spectacular. If you’ve used Google Earth, you’ll find spinning and navigation quite easy.

I turned off the cloud layer and brightened it a bit in the settings and then turned the clock back 750 million years.

I guess the plates have indeed moved!

Like most things this interesting, I was down yet another map worm hole. Ever the educator, I couldn’t help but think how much more interesting this concept would have been if it had been available when I was in high school.

It doesn’t stop there, although if it did it could have saved me some time.

The application is tied to a number of databases.

This truly is a fabulous resource.

Make sure that you bookmark it.

Pounding the streets of St. Marys


It couldn’t have happened better if it was planned!

As regular readers know, yesterday I was inspired to look back on My Childhood Community as inspired by Zoe Branigan-Pipe’s Twitter messages on the weekend.  It was a fun look back at things.

Daily, I’m in contact with Former ECOO President Peter McAsh and a while back he shared with me a project that he was working on for the town of St. Marys.  My knowledge of the place actually does go back to my childhood and playing baseball there. We were positive that you could hit a home run over the fence into the quarry.  Our efforts really fell short! A frequent truck that we would see would carried the name St. Marys Cement. That’s pretty much all that I knew although I’ve dropped in to see Peter a couple of times and have taken mini-tours trying to figure out how to get to his place!

Anyway, to the project and why featuring it is a nice followup to yesterday’s post. As Peter had been developing it, I was his ongoing tester.

Along with the help of Amy Cubberley, Peter has constructed a Heritage Walking Tour of St. Marys.

Now, Amy is a Curator & Archivist and that gives her access to a lot of historical and modern images from about the town.  Peter used her assistance to create this walking tour.

All you have to do is visit the site at the link above.  Wander your way around the town and click on the bookmarks to see what they reveal.

Oh, look, a library!

Peter used the free ArcGIS Story Maps utility to create this tour.  Now, it’s online and visible to the world to help promote the town of St. Marys.  Can you find the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum?

Peter has long reminded me that he’s a Geography major as his first choice and he uses his skills here to develop this walking tour.

If you and your class are looking for a social studies / geography project, could this fit the bill?  And, if you’re interested in pounding the streets of St. Marys when all this stay at home stuff is over, bookmark the link.

In the meantime, you can take the tour virtually on this site.

Mapping the Coronavirus


First off …

Today marks a day of rotating strike action by ETFO members in the following districts:

  • Durham
  • Lambton Kent
  • Algoma

Details here.


You can’t turn on the news on radio or television or read any news anywhere that a story about the Coronavirus doesn’t show up. It’s also the source of memes spreading on social media. By itself, that’s a lesson in media.

John Hopkins University has created an interactive map that’s regularly updated to show the spread of the virus. You can access it here.

The opening default centres itself on China where most of the cases have been found.

But, as we know from the news reports, it’s not isolated there.

In the bottom right corner, you can zoom out to get a world-wide perspective.

Beyond the visuals, keep yourself informed by country in the top left scroll box or by specific city/area in the scroll box on the right side of the screen.

Details about the project can be found here.

Sadly, there is no vaccine currently that will cure anyone infected. In the meantime, common sense advice is the best we have.

My, how you’ve grown


Doesn’t it seem like things have grown in your community over the years?

I know that, around here, there are subdivisions where there were once farmers’ fields or forests.

There’s another way to get a real sense of growth and what we’re doing to our communities and indeed, our planet.

It’s called Google Timelapse.  The landing page is the earth and it zeroes in to Miami, Florida.  Across the bottom, there are a number of interesting places to visit and see the growth over time.  In this case, the time goes from 1984 to 2016.

I wanted to test it with a place that I knew had grown so much and so headed to Toronto.  You can search for the location or move the map, just like you would with so many of Google’s mapping applications.

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A little scrubber bar appears at the bottom and you can move the mapping display according to your wishes.  Or, you’ll notice a play button in the bottom left of the display.

Either way, you’ll be wowed with the visual display.

You know that you want to check out your own community.  If you’re like me, you may want to fixate on one subdivision at a time.  I could see the roads being build, expanded, and then houses appearing.

Applications in the classroom should be immediate.

This post originally appeared on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it somewhere else, it’s not original.

Fiddling


Who doesn’t enjoy fiddling about with Google Maps?  It’s just so much fun to explore.  Should you ever get bored with that, click on the Google Earth image in the bottom left corner of the screen.

We all know what happens – your flat maps turns into imagery of the earth and that opens up a new level of exploration.  Who hasn’t explored their favourite wish list destinations.  I enjoy taking a bird’s eye look at Formula 1 race tracks for example.  Or, perhaps even more recognizable, the Eiffel Tower.

I can spend hours playing around with this.  And, then of course, you can zoom in and zoom out just like you’re there.

But what happens when you zoom out?

Way out!

You’ll get imagery like you’ve never seen before.  When you go way, way out.

As I write this post, it’s 7:30ish in the evening in the Eastern Time Zone.  Look what I’m exploring.

How cool is that?

But now, let’s take the earth for a spin.  The astronomy is a blast.

Let’s head over to Europe.  Sufficiently zoomed out, here’s my view.

I love it when I can discover new uses for tools that I’ve used for a long time.  There is the thrill of new learning.

Of course, the classroom becomes much richer immediately.  How can you use this in your own class?