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Articles by Nicholas Baldo

Tower Proposal Draws Ire in Venice

By Nicholas Baldo | August 9, 2012 | 2 Comments

The picturesque Venetian skyline has remained virtually unchanged since 1514, when St. Mark’s Campanile—the city’s largest structure—reached its current shape. Although past its prime in the early 16th Century, Venice remained a center of trade and manufacturing, even ruling directly over Crete, Cyprus and much of the Dalmatian coast.

Egypt’s Storied Wadi Tumilat

By Nicholas Baldo | August 7, 2012 | 3 Comments

Most monuments from Egyptian antiquity are grand, conspicuous, stone-made, and thoroughly impractical. The Wadi Tumilat, a defunct Nile distributary branching East from the delta, boasts no such monuments. In ancient times it was a vital part of the Canal of the Pharaohs, a major feat of ancient civil engineering that linked the Red Sea to the Mediterranean via the Nile. …

Kenya’s New Superhighway

By Nicholas Baldo | |

In recent years, the crippling traffic congestion around Nairobi has prompted calls for higher capacity roadways to knit the region together. Kenya’s first superhighway, which links Nariobi to the city of Thika 42 kilometers to the Northeast, was recently completed to much fanfare.

Roads, Gas, and the Uncontacted People of the Peruvian Amazon

By Nicholas Baldo | July 26, 2012 |

New roads and natural gas exploration in the Peruvian Amazon are making contact between hitherto isolated tribes and the outside world almost unavoidable.

French History and Language in the American Midwest

By Nicholas Baldo | July 18, 2012 | 4 Comments

The history of the American Midwest has a French flavor which hasn’t quite vanished.

A New Panama Canal? Or Two?

By Nicholas Baldo | July 11, 2012 | 4 Comments

As traffic through the Panama Canal rises, Nicaragua and Costa Rica examine alternatives in a charged political atmosphere.

Potential Fishery Collapse in Lake Tanganyika

By Nicholas Baldo | July 6, 2012 |

Africa’s ancient Lake Tanganyika faces a potential collapse of its fishing industry.

Disputed Ruins and Phoenician Heritage in Beirut

By Nicholas Baldo | July 4, 2012 |

A development dispute surrounding the destruction of ancient ruins in Beirut stirs debate and reflection on the nation’s past.

Flood and Political Conflicts in Northeastern India

By Nicholas Baldo | July 3, 2012 |

Flooding in Northeastern India and its sometimes-fraught political backdrop.

Mapping U.S. Disasters

By Nicholas Baldo | July 1, 2012 | 3 Comments

As recently highlighted on the weblog Per Square Mile, amateur geographer Crystal Dorn has mapped county-level U.S. data on official disasters from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and published it as a webGIS. Taking this map at face value, it seems that 54 years has not been enough time for clear patterns to emerge when each county is shaded …

Visualizing California’s Soggy Past

By Nicholas Baldo | June 29, 2012 |

A previous GeoNote highlighted a collaborative effort to map historical changes in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin RiverDelta. In a similar spirit, the fantasy satellite map shown at left, created by Central Valley geographer Mark Clark and noted by Frank Jacobs, imagines what the entire state might have looked like in 1851. Perhaps the map’s most salient feature is massive Tulare Lake, …

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