Monday, November 25, 2013

America's Military Intelligence Agency Realizes Geography Matters

Groups like the Defense Intelligence Agency, the pinnacle of military intelligence in the United States, are best known for analyzing opposing military forces.  The "bean counting" of other military can be world changing, such as Winston Churchill's investigations into Nazi Germany's military buildup.

However, the Defense Intelligence Agency realizes that greater geographic factors drive the foundations of cultures and can be a great advanced warning for future threats.  Watch the first half of this promotional video and see what the Defense Intelligence Agency thinks the main things to look out for are.

Interestingly, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, promoted cultural geography in understanding and defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan. (Hat tip: Z-Geographer)

Communist China New Air Defense Map Stakes a Claim to the Senkaku Islands

The People's Republic of China, the Republic of China, and Japan all lay claim to the Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu in PRC/Tiaoyutai in ROC).

View Larger Map

The islands are part of the chess game going on in the China Seas.  However, until now there have been only small talk of indirect threats.  Now, the PRC has issued an air defense map in which the PRC claims it has the right to shoot down foreign aircraft.

This is a very dangerous development.  These islands are administered by Japan and it will not stand by as its territory to slowly cut apart.  The PRC's land claims nearly lead to war against the ROC, twice in the 1950s and once in the 1990s.  The risk of conflict is approaching the same level.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Geography Awareness Week: Why Geography Matters to Certain Professions

National Geographic's Education wing has made a good infographic on why geography matters to diplomats, operations managers, fashion designers, park rangers, pilots, sustainability directors, ecologists, weather forecasters, urban planners, and agriculturalists.

Click to enlarge
Meanwhile I also recommend I am a Geographer, Hire Me

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gettysburg Address: 150 Years Late

As true today as 150 years ago.  Actually pay attention to the words and meditate on them.  This speech has a whole new life for me since I returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Geography Awareness Week 2013: The New Age of Exploration

Happy Geography Awareness Week 2013!  This year's theme is meant to emphasize the new age of exploration.  I believe exploration stays at home and if you have not explored it before it is new to you!  So I will be trying to find new, unique ways to explore this world of ours.  For today I recommend you look at previous do-it-yourself geography activities and previous GAW posts to share with friends, family, students, or just try it yourself.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Poor Infrastructure Adds to Typhoon Haiyan Diaster, Political Geography Makes it Even Worse

Slate has a breakdown of why such horrible disasters in the Philippines are made worse by human issues.  Despite recent economic gains the Philippines suffers from poor infrastructure and many poor people forced to live in areas that are easily flooded, eroded, or at risk of earthquakes.  Because of the poor living conditions, the Philippines leads the world in disaster fatalities.

Meanwhile TDAXP pointed out that political tensions with China over rocks in the middle of the South China Sea has destroyed the feeling of sympathy Chinese may have for Filipinos and Chinese tourists in the Philippines.  A blog post about Chinese tourists stuck in the disaster area has lead many Chinese commentators on the ChinaSmack blog to call these tourists 'traitors" who deserve whatever happens to them.  I do not expect China to offer any aid to the Philippines because of their on-going dispute.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Placing Literature: Crowd Source Mapping Where Books Take Place

Placing Literature is an effort to crowd source map where books take place.  So far over 1,074 places have been mapped.  One can use social media tricks like gamification to "check-in" to places and compete against others.

Quick Note:  Who knew Duluth, Minnesota is so popular in literature?

Monday, November 04, 2013

November 2013 Monthly Travel Photo: Bridge over the Potomac at Harpers Ferry

Photo by TDAXP

Now a regional tourism destination and the half way point along the Appalachian Trail.  In the past the meeting of the two "wild" rivers of the Shenandoah and Potomac near the capital of the United States helped destine Harpers Ferry to being a flashpoint for Civil War.