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Articles in Geographical Education

American Geographical Illiteracy and (Perhaps) the World’s Worst Atlas

By Martin W. Lewis | April 30, 2014 | 22 Comments

GeoCurrents has long been concerned with geographical illiteracy. The depth of ignorance continues to be revealed, most recently in a Washington Post piece that indicates that only 16 percent of Americans can locate Ukraine on a world map. Most distressingly, a significant number of respondents placed Ukraine in central Greenland. Other reports indicate that geographical ignorance is widespread even at …

Iran Map Overlays in Keynote and Powerpoint

By Martin W. Lewis | September 13, 2013 | 4 Comments

Dear Readers,
You can now download the maps of Iran discussed in the post of September 11 here. They are available in both Keynote and Powerpoint formats.
Additional map overlays of other places will be periodically added in the coming weeks.
 

Simple Map Overlays of Iran Using Presentation Software

By Martin W. Lewis | September 11, 2013 |

Yesterday’s geo-quiz was answered correctly by several readers very quickly: the cities indicated are indeed found in Iran. The point of this exercise, however, was not so much to test knowledge but rather to introduce a simple manner of making and using map overlays, appropriate for elementary and secondary schools across the world. Sophisticated and georectified GIS (Geographical Information Systems) …

Gujarat to Ban References to Caste in the Classroom?

By Martin W. Lewis | June 15, 2012 |

The Indian state of Gujarat has recently decided to amend its educational curriculum by removing “all the derogatory or implied references to surnames, castes, religion, profession, region.” The reforms go so far as to prohibit the use of students’ surnames—a caste “give away”—in the classroom.

Geography Teachers Assaulted for Not Allowing Students to Cheat

By Martin W. Lewis | May 12, 2012 | 12 Comments

Geography classrooms are not normally associated with violence, but that is not necessarily the case in Pakistan. Just this week, classrooms at Government National College in Karachi were ransacked and several teachers were beaten after they refused to allow students to cheat at the annual examination of a course on commercial geography.

GeoCurrents Master Map

By Martin W. Lewis | July 21, 2011 | 11 Comments
Sample of GeoCurrents Master Map

Thanks to the skill and effort of GeoCurrents technical expert Kevin Morton, an interactive map linking to previous blog postings is now available. You can access the GeoCurrents Master Map here, or by clicking the banner at the top of each page for future convenience.

Clickable GeoCurrents Base Maps Available for Free Download

By Martin W. Lewis | | 3 Comments
Free Download of GeoCurrents Base-Maps

GeoCurrents has been inactive recently, as I have been working on a non-state-based atlas of economic and social development that will appear on the blog later this summer. This project has been demanding, in part because all the information necessary to construct the maps is gathered by, and organized around, states!

Uses and Misuses of the Mercator Projection

By Martin W. Lewis | December 10, 2010 | 8 Comments

The World Bank is not the only organization to misemploy the Mercator projection for basic world maps. In a Google image search of “world map,” roughly a third of the initial set of maps returned greatly inflate the high latitudes. Not all, however, grotesquely exaggerate Greenland; one particularly unsightly map, reproduced above, solves

How Many Continents Are There?

By Martin W. Lewis | March 4, 2010 | One Comment

The main problem with the continental scheme of world division is its mixture of physical geographical criteria (continents are defined as landmasses more or less separated from each other by waterways) with human geographical criteria (Europe is separated from Asia not by the physical landscape but by historical and cultural features). Intellectual coherence calls

Nonsense about Continents

By Martin W. Lewis | March 3, 2010 | 5 Comments

Basic geographical education in the United States remains, in a word, pathetic. As students are required to learn virtually nothing about the world, we should not be surprised that few young Americans have any idea where Iraq or Afghanistan are located. And the one locational lesson in global geography that young students are required

Geo-Trivia: Enclaves, counter-enclaves, and (the world’s only) counter-counter-enclave

By Martin W. Lewis | December 22, 2009 |
Sovereign states (or countries) generally appear on the map as solid, contiguous blocks of territory, and they are certainly conceptualized as such. But exceptions abound. Many countries, for example, have separates “annexes” located at some distance, technically known as exclaves (think of Alaska). Bits of territory within the boundaries of one state that
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