Time travel...

Flood Risk web app made with ArcGIS Online

Good work by the Rivers Trust. Shows the area affected by the 1 in 1000 year flood extent.

Chris Watson on Orford Ness

I'm a great fan of Chris Watson's field recordings, and this is a lovely piece of work... there's nothing on TV so why not listen to this instead tonight...

Coming out in early 2017

Looking forward to seeing a copy of this...

I'll let you know when it appears on the GA's website.

A week away... back soon

A week away from blogging, and I'm starting to get prepared for returning to action on New Year's Day.... which is when I need to start work on the Lent Term to-do list...

In the week away I've been reading, drinking, cooking, watching festive telly and travelling. 

We took our kids down to London for two days, and stayed overnight, and took in plenty of art and culture, and enjoyed the sunshine and the Norfolk coast, on days when the freezing fog didn't cling around the village. I've pencilled in plenty of ideas for further reading, and made a start on some ideas for a writing project inspired by Russel Tarr's History Teacher toolkit book, and my visit to Practical Pedagogies.
I've got some CPD resources to write, and a few books to finish in the next week. I'm fortunate to have until the 9th of January off, so have time to think yet...
See you in a few days time...

Christmas blogging break...

I'm about to take my annual break from blogging for a few days... unless something of vital importance happens.

Thanks for reading Living Geography this year.
Managed to write 732 blog posts, which is about 2 a day on average...

Image: Ronald Lampitt, who also illustrated 'The Map that came to Life' and many Ladybird books...

CDRC maps on Industry

What industry do people work for?
The CDRC maps here display the top industry in which people are employed for areas of the UK.

Here's the map for Cambridge - can you guess which industry is shown by the red colour?

The end of coffee?

An NBO piece...
Published on 21 Dec 2016
Scientists predict that half of the world’s coffee could be gone by 2050, wiped out, in part, by a fungus known as coffee leaf rust.

“It was very upsetting because we expected to have a good harvest last year,” said Guadalupe Avendaño, a coffee farmer in Veracruz, Mexico, for more than 20 years. “But it was the worst.”

Coffee rust kills plants by depriving them of nutrients. And in 2014, the disease destroyed up to 70 percent of harvests in Mexico and Central America. It’s been a problem for coffee growers around the world for centuries, but unpredictable rainy seasons caused by climate change have intensified the spread of the fungus and affected farmers of varying means. “You used to make a living from coffee, but not anymore,” Avendaño said.

2016 review

Just about to head into the Christmas blogging break for a week or so, but first the annual look back and forward.

This has been a year that I think a lot of people want to forget for different reasons, but was also one that had its fair share of interest geographically and professionally.

This was the first time that I had completed a full year of full time teaching since 2007, as I left part way through 2008 to join the GA, and have since completed a return to full time due to various circumstances. I've just completed my CPD log for my Chartered Geographer status which reminded me of some of what I'd done this year, which has been a difficult one at times, and that I did perhaps have some successes and made a difference in my own way.
These have included:
  • leading CPD sessions in Hull, Manchester, and at my own school
  • provided a range of extra-curricular opportunities for students at King's Ely including:  fieldtrips to Snowdonia and Norfolk coast, RGS Study Day, Hodder conference, guest speakers, and other events
  • welcoming Benjamin Hennig to do a lecture at the end of a GIS Day, which also included Jason Sawle from ESRI, Darren Bailey from the Ordnance Survey, and Paul Turner, as part of the GI Learner project.
  • leading a workshop at the GI Forum in Salzburg
  • working with Turkish teachers for a week in the 40 degree heat of a Portuguese summer
  • connecting with Professor Shailey Minocha to explore Google Expeditions, and the use of VR in teaching
  • standing in at late notice to MC the Teachmeet at the Royal Geographical Society
  • seeing the publication of Mission:Explore National Parks
  • finally seeing the publication of the CUP 'A' level book I edited and co-wrote
  • finally seeing the publication of the two books and associated materials for OCR 'A' and 'B' published by Hodder
  • helped to produce an online CPD course as part of the GeoCapabilities project
  • wrote resource for British Red Cross on Nepal Earthquake, which I also used with my own students
  • publication of resource with CILT for Geographical Association, and workshop and lecture at GA Conference (along with my Only GeoConnect session)
  • moderated applications for PGQM and SGQM
  • moderated BAC student work at Bedales School
  • served on GA Secondary Phase committee and became secretary
  • attended, and presented at, Practical Pedagogies in Toulouse
I'm also about to head into my 74th term, which means at the end of this year I will have completed a quarter century in the classroom. Will also be 30 years since I completed my PGCE, and 10 years as a Chartered Geographer.

Here's a word cloud of some of the things that are already pencilled in for 2017..... along with a whole lot of blogging as well, including my new Geography Vademecum project.
You'll be able to read all about them on here of course, as you have been for the last 8 years...

Performance Teaching

An interesting talk...
Four Thought 

Various knowledges that teachers need... learning how to imitate...
Pedagogical content knowledge
Contextual knowledge - each pupil's strengths and weaknesses
Theoretical knowledge - how memory works (from working memory to long term memory...)

Matt talks about some myths of teaching:
  1. Belief in the myth that teachers are born not made undervalues the importance of teacher training.
  2. If you know something you can teach it.
  3. Teaching is only moderately difficult 
Teaching is "a phenomenal task that takes years to master".... 

The Institute of Teaching gets a plug at the end.

Thanks to Keith Hicks for the tipoff...

Where the animals go...

One for a late order for a Christmas present.

Where the animals go is the latest book which features the work of James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti, who produced the infographic guide to London called 'The Information Capital', which sits on the shelves of my GeoLibrary.
This one explores some of the data and patterns revealed by tracking devices placed on animal species by researchers.

Speaking of late ordering of Christmas presents, I've just followed a DPD delivery driver bringing a much needed ink cartridge to me via the parcel tracking system which allowed me to follow him through 30 other deliveries before he got to me... bang on time.

Thought for the Day

Via Geographile.

One of the greatest TV shows ever, which made a big impact on me when I first watched it, was Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos'. Alongside James Burke's 'Connections.

GA Conference 2017 - programme now live..

It's time to get your booking done for the GA Conference if you want to take advantage of the EARLY BIRD rate. This ends on the 6th of January 2017.

You can see the programme now on the PROGRAMME PAGE too.
Booking is live - I've just booked my place.

I've just had a browse through and there are some real highlights ahead.
Peter Gibbs is giving the public lecture, on his time in Antarctica.
There's not one but two lectures by Margaret Roberts, which are an essential for every person who attends, particularly recently qualified teachers.
There are several research papers, including one from Professor Shailey Minocha, who is working with the Google Expeditions VR headsets.
There's also a range of workshop being presented by SPC colleagues, including one with me and Bethan Laing on how to answer the more challenging new GCSE questions, in a session we called 'No more tiers'. There's a lecture by Danny Dorling, a series of GIS workshops and plenty from Primary colleagues, including Sharon Witt's follow up to Pigeon Geography with some Geo-gnomes. There are also several sessions relating to the GeoCapabilities project I've been involved with for a couple of years.

There's also the Beermeet and Teachmeet on the Friday night... I've signed up to speak on why after 25 years I'm still not a good teacher...

And finally, my workshop on the Friday along with Lucy Tutton of the British Red Cross related to the work I did to write their resource on the Nepal Earthquake as a hazards toolkit.

See you there I hope....

Tom Morgan Jones inking for the John Muir Trust

Tom Morgan Jones has been inking for the John Muir Trust.

Click the link here to download a TMJ inking as a poster.

And here's the book that we (Explorer HQ) did with John Muir Trust which has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times... It's available in Welsh and Gaelic as well as English.

The End(onym) of the year...

An Endonym is the name that a country gives to itself... some of my students took a while to get used to this idea that because we call a place Finland it means that people who live there agree... they call it Suomi.

These names are now collected on the Endonym map.

GI Learner conference chapter

Earlier this year, as blogged here at the time, I visited Salzburg again, this time to visit the GI Forum, which took place at the University of Salzburg, as part of my work with the schools and universities who are taking part in the GI Learner project, funded by ERASMUS.

This involves my school: King's Ely, and will involve students a little more as we move into 2017, and we finish creating a range of student resources which are shared across the schools.

I presented a workshop at the conference, as part of our double workshop.

We also had a paper presented, with me as a joint author, and this has now been published as part of the conference outputs....

You can download it by following the link...

Cape Farewell updated

Cape Farewell is an expedition which aimed to explore the impact of climate change, by taking artists and scientists to Svalbard.
Here's a newish video introduction to the project, which also has a rather good updated website. I used this first about 10 years ago when teaching the OCR Pilot GCSE. There were some excellent educational materials written by Fred Martin to accompany the project, which involved a young(er) Anthony Gormley and Rachel Whiteread who later filled the Tate Modern Turbine Hall with her 'icebergs'....
The scientists made use of the 'Noorderlicht': a skip locked in ice at Tempelfjorden in Svalbard. This also featured in a Michael Palin documentary as well.

Cape Farewell - An introduction from Cape Farewell on Vimeo.

More recently we have connected with Jamie Buchanan Dunlop on his Arctic Live projects. He Skyped into our Year 9 classroom a few years ago.

Reminder of free GLP course in the New Year

For a period between 2007 and 2013, I ran regular courses for the Geographical Association, including the Living Geography courses, NQT Conferences, GIS courses with ESRI, New Fieldwork courses and plenty of others. In that time, I worked with hundreds of teachers, and learned a lot about my own practice.
When I returned to teaching full time in 2013, I didn't have time to do them, and stopped, and a 'new' generation of presenters has taken over including Catherine Owen, Ben Ballin, Garry Simmons and Becky Kitchen.

Now, I'm back leading an event for the GA in March 2017, with a brand new course, which has the added advantage of being 'my old favourite price': FREE. 
So you can come along for an afternoon discussing technology and global learning, and networking with other colleagues, and leaving with some new ideas for you I hope.

It's being put on in Bury St. Edmunds, so it's a handy location for those in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and S. Norfolk, and perhaps even parts of Essex.

It's on the theme of the GLOBAL LEARNING PROGRAMME, (which is funding the course) and has the context of a global village.

It also connects with an online course which I wrote last year for the GA, and is called Exploring our GLOBAL VILLAGE.

There is a connection with the golden record that NASA attached to the Voyager spaceships before they headed out to the edge of the universe. I was interested in a recent Kickstarter project to create replicas.

I hope to see some of you there...

World Music

"Online radio is this ancient technology in a way. So we decided to use it as a sort of navigational tool."

This is a neat map and music project: Radio Garden.
Click the map and find radio stations all over the world.

Drag the map and hear the static as the radio retunes to the next available station….
This was my local one that it started playing straight away…. Radio West Norfolk.
The website uses ESRIs mapping and was produced by Jonathan Puckey at @studiopuckey

Why not provide a list of cities, and ask students to find them (reinforcing geographical knowledge as to where they are) and also assess the extent to which the music they find there is global and recognisable. What language is spoken by the DJ?
If there is more than one station in a city they are listed in the bottom right, and clicking switches between them.
Where are the 'quiet parts' of the world where there are few stations?
Do they correspond to a map of population density? Use the wonderful CityGeographics map that I blogged about a few days ago.

This Atlantic article also makes the connection with the Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft, which I have used as a motif in my work with the Global Learning Programme. It also describes the idea of connectedness.

Perusing Radio Garden, you begin to imagine the people listening to music as they make coffee, the people sitting in offices and in waiting rooms, the people dancing at the bar after last call, the people cooking dinner for their families, and the people driving to work before dawn. Some of these people look like you. Some do not. Some of them know different truths and have different values. Some live in the lands of your ancestors, but speak languages you cannot understand. Though you may never meet these people, you can begin to know them this way—by listening to what they hear.

Thanks to Fred Martin for reminding me of the potential of this interesting map project. Find out more about it here.

Ideas for marine artists wanted...

A request from Holly Griffin's A VIEW TO SEA blog.

I remember the whales in Bristol a couple of years ago...

A new blog for 2017 - updating the vademecum

Here's a sneak preview of my 365 project for 2017... as if I haven't got enough to be doing...
After finally completing my GeoLibrary project (there are 365 books for geographers on that blog), this one is based around a book I bought while completing my PGCE 30 years ago (the blog will tell the whole story of that...)

See you on the 1st of January for the start of this new project

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station is an iconic building, which has been undergoing lengthy regeneration after sitting derelict for decades. A few years ago, while in London to present for OSIRIS, I stayed in a hotel near the Elephant and Castle, with a view towards the construction work, and I always try to see what is happening when I pass on the train. It's been undergoing regeneration for a long time, but sat derelict for even longer, as plans came and went, and it started to deteriorate. There were plans at one stage for it to be bought by Chelsea football team who planned to turn it into their stadium.

Apple is apparently planning to become the major tenant at the completed building, and occupying a large part of the newly developed area when it is finished. There are many fascinating stories about the earlier plans and Peter Watts has written a whole book about the plans.

I've been following the developments for some years now. Last year, I worked on a small project with Experian, who produce the Goad Plans, and was fortunate to have some details on the area sent to me, as a possible way to compare with the changing demographic as the development takes shape and eventually comes to a conclusion. I must revisit those documents actually...

I think the area would make a useful context for gentrification and urban redevelopment, and also make a wonderful field trip location for urban geography. It is relatively accessible, and its size and positioning mean that there are lots of opportunities for interesting fieldwork locally.
Another idea I have would be to do a linear transect through London, with Battersea being along the route, or to explore the idea of Changing Places.

Finally, there's a link back to my school in that Aubrey Powell, who was part of the Hipgnosis design team with Storm Thorgerson and designed most of the early Pink Floyd covers, including the iconic poster for their Animals album… is an Old Elean. Some of his album covers were recently on display at school as part of an exhibition of art by other Old Eleans...

More on this to come in 2017...

'Classroom Geographer' journal

Having one of those pottering mornings online, where I could easily look up in several hours and see that it's gone dark outside…
Just following some leads from a conversation I was having about overhead projectors, and what we used to do with them in the classroom in the days before 'interactive' whiteboards.

I went into the archive of 'Teaching Geography', which is handled via JSTOR, and available to all subscribers of 'Teaching Geography' journal, and found the article I remembered using back then to use acetates to teach about contours, and also about the movement of mid-latitude depressions across the UK.

I remember having a roll of acetate, which was where I stored diagrams I needed to use several times.
When I worked for the Geographical Association, I also explored the warehouse where there was a wealth of older resources like this.
I noticed on one of the pages of the journal that I looked at that there was an ad for a journal for 'Classroom Geographer', which was self-published by Neil and Yvonne Sealey from Luton.
I discovered some more about this journal in an article by Jo Norcup. It talked about the Sealey's work before they retired to the Caribbean where it seems they carried on writing textbooks on the Geography of that area for some time.

I'd love to see some copies of this journal, but found out little more from some searching online. Just following up some leads via the Academia website.

Does anyone have any copies or now more about it?


Biko Google Doodle today…. not something I thought I'd see…

I remember seeing Gabriel play this live on various tours in the 1980s, and also more recently… I was a member and slight activist for Amnesty International back then, and also Survival International.

Also check out another powerful song 'Wallflower'


Thanks to So-Shan Au for the lead to this wonderful documentary on the Blue Nile.

I first heard A Walk across the Rooftops in a bothy on the Isle of Rhum in 1988… just in time for Hats to come out the following year. One of the finest concerts I ever attended was the Blue Nile in Cambridge in 1996.


I'm lucky to live relatively close to the biggest beer shop in the country: Beers of Europe near King's Lynn.
Every now and again, I go and get a small sample from the thousands of beers they stock, and try to get some geographical ones.
These have included The Ridge (named after the Cuillins), Schiehallion, Northern Lights, Nord Atlantic and various others.
My most recent trip included some from the Shackleton brewery and also this one, named Nazca after the tectonic plate which forms part of the coastline of Chile.

What other geographically themed beers have you drunk? Share your pictures...

And remember, drink responsibly, and don't drink and blog...


I've been writing about Everest today, and researching a few new resources to accompany my writing.

This film by Elia Saikaly covers the aftermath of the avalanche which swept through base camp in April 2015 following the Nepal Earthquake. I hadn't come across it before, though I have seen some of Elia's other time-lapse videos on Vimeo.

Everest - A Tribute to the Fallen from Elia Saikaly on Vimeo.

Teachmeet at the GA Conference

David Rogers has revealed the details and signing-up form for the Teachmeet which will be held to coincide the GA Conference in 2017.

The timing is not ideal for some as it is after the Easter holidays, but this remains the essential CPD for teachers of Geography, and is worth seeking special permission to visit.
Hope to see lots of you there.
I'll put myself down as a deputy speaker in case there are gaps, or people who have to withdraw at the last minute. Will be good to see lots of new speakers and attendees.
Also get your ticket from the Eventbrite page if you are wanting to attend.

GA Cambridge Branch events for 2017

Wednesday 1 February 2017

5.00 – 6.30pm

Scott Polar Museum, Cambridge

CPD for Secondary Geography Teachers #2 – Tour of the Scott Polar Museum, followed by a meal in Cambridge (venue TBC)

Wednesday 22 February 2017

5.00 – 6.00pm

Room: DMB GS5, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Sixth Form Lecture #2: Dr Gareth Clay (University of Manchester) – Wildfires in the UK

Wednesday 8 March 2017


Comberton Village College, Comberton

Sixth Form Lecture #3: Sixth Form and GCSE Lecture: Dr Gareth Hughes (Shiplake College) ‘Natural gas – is it all it’s “fracked up” to be?’
Wednesday 12 July 2017

5.00- 7.15pm

Room: DMB GS5, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

CPD for Secondary Geography Teachers #3 – Professor David Lambert (UCL Institute of Education) – Geocapabilities

See the GA website page for contact details

A quick idea that I like...

Russel Tarr's Geography list....

 Russel's list of Geography tweeters is growing.... it's good to be in the top 5... for the time being.

A new Google Experiment: Land Lines

This one appeared in my Twitter feed earlier today, and it's called Land Lines and is described as a Chrome experiment with Google
Check it out. Hard to explain - try drawing and dragging.

Songs from the Cold Seas

Just remembered this album I bought yonks ago by Hector Zazou, and featuring voices from the edge of the Arctic….
A cool song featuring Björk here… Follow the links to the other tracks...

New Nicholas Crane StoryMap

ESRI have been working to produce a StoryMap, using the Cascade template, which has been designed to go along with the new book by RGS President Nicholas Crane.
The book tells the story of the British Landscape, and how it came into being.
Click the tabs at the top of the map to find out more about a range of topics:
  • Edge Land
  • Climate Change
  • Island
  • Altered Earth
  • Fields
  • Forts 
  • Towns
  • End of Wilderness
  • Street Plan
  • Heat Island
  • Into Space
As Nicholas says at the start of the book, to care about a place you have to know its story.
This would be great for GCSE Geographers needing to know more about the distinctive landscape of the UK.

Vote for your favourite GA Journal Article from this year...

You'll need your GA Membership number to register your vote.

Post Offices threatened

This is the Post Office in my village, on the left of the image...

We're coming up to Christmas, the busiest time of the year for the Post Office, when hundreds of millions of items are posted, with a deadline to get there before the big day. It's also a week when there is some industrial action planned by some Post Office workers.

This article outlines some of the problems for rural communities if their Post Office closes. At the moment, each village Post Office is supported if there isn't another one within a certain number of miles. This support is being reviewed, and the result is that one of the lifelines of a village is its Post Office. The Post Office is one of the hubs of my village, along with the church, the butcher and the pub, and also the Little Chippy...

Rural-urban comparisons, and the way that some rural communities are affected are important to consider, and have previously formed a major part of 'A' level studies. They could also form part of what might be called 'Changing Places'.

Some communities need support from groups like ACRE. 
Some villages have reopened the post office in association with a local hub, sometimes located in a pub or community shop. We've always tried to support our local Post Office.

Image: Post Office in my village (on the left, butcher and church and pub on the right)

World Population Density

A new Luminocity map of World Population Density.
Thanks to Duncan Smith for the tipoff.

This exploratory map shows data from the fantastic Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) produced by the European Commission. Integrating huge volumes of satellite data with national census data, the GHSL has applications for a wide range of research and policy related to urban growth, development and sustainability, and is available as open data. The dataset encourages understanding of the complex hierarchy of human settlement, rather than making simple rural-urban divisions.

This is going to be really useful for those exploring patterns of global population density.

(No more) Ice Road Truckers?

Interesting story via Canadian Geographic that there is a plan to replace the famous ice road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk.

I remember the Tuktoyaktuk peninsula for its famous Pingos, as taught in the old Cambridge 'A' level spec back in the 80's and 90's...

This road is being replaced by an all-year-round road. The local tourist agency is suggesting that this is a 'last chance to drive' the road, which is described as one of the world's great experiences. This is a changing landscape, and one that I would love to visit at some point.
Image: Alan Parkinson

National Library of Scotland exhibition

'You are Here' is the name of an exhibition at the National Library of Scotland: a journey through Maps.
Thanks to Brendan Conway for the report on the exhibition and his personal perspective on his favourite maps.
A reminder that you need to head down to the British Library to catch their map exhibition if you haven't already seen it.

Blog Awards - a week left to vote...

Just under a week left to vote for LivingGeography in the UK Blog Awards - it would be nice to get into double figures :)
Thanks to those who've tweeted that they've voted for me already.

Iceland Photography project

Good to see this photography project based in Iceland, which was carried out by the photographer Simeon Patarozliev from Bulgaria.

On his website, he describes how he hitch-hiked and camped to save money, and travelled hundreds of miles around Iceland.


A few weeks ago, partly coinciding with Practical Pedagogies (see recent posts), I came across a really nice idea using emojis.
For a while, we've had an emoji sheet by the classroom door where students can choose a quick feedback on what they felt about the lesson that had just finished.
This post used the emojis as a resource and a stimulus for discussion during a lesson, and reflection on themes, by providing a symbol with several meanings - a simple semiotic stimulus...

It was the work of Jonathan Taylor, who tweets at @HistGeoBritSec. He'd shared his ideas for megacities.

There are plenty of posts on the twitter feed, and quite a few teachers seem to have been using the idea following Jonathan's session at Practical Pedagogies.

I created a bespoke set of emojis to related to the work we are doing on the Nepal Earthquake. This goes alongside the resource that I wrote for the British Red Cross, which has been well received by lots of people.

I decided to try it with this context, and came across this website where you are presented with a list of emojis and selecting a particular symbols adds it to a tweet box, which can then be sent, and therefore screenshotted...

There's also the Emoji Copy website or Get Emoji, which allows you to build up a list by copying and pasting the icons into a box once again...

A few colleagues then tried the idea having seen it on my twitter feed, and had the idea of perhaps building up a 'library' of emoji boards for use in Geography.
And I came up with the name of 'emojiography' for this sort of activity....

Have you tried this? Share an emoji board...

Image: Alan Parkinson - example of student work

Christmas Trees

Real or artificial? This classic will come out again next week for the next 'generation'... This is the tree in Ely Cathedral, which is lovely as always.
Image: Alan Parkinson

Permafrost video

This would have been useful back in the 1990s and 2000s when I used to teach about permafrost and peri-glaciation to 'A' level students and there were very few resources around.
Thanks to Richard Waller and Bob Lang for the tipoff...

An Interdependent World

An interdependent world from The Geographical Association on Vimeo.

Getting satellite images into Google Earth

Earlier today, was contacted by Mark Brandon, who let me know about a workflow that he had put together to get satellite imagery into Google Earth.
Mark wanted to explore getting satellite images into Google Earth, and used Worldview as the data source.
Mark has provided a really helpful step by step guide, and even made a short film, which can be seen below:

Return to Ommadawn

Regular readers of this and other blogs will know the importance of Mike Oldfield 
There is a new album coming out next month which returns to some of the themes of one of his greatest albums: Ommadawn.

Please say thanks by supporting Claire :)

I hope you're finding this blog useful for your teaching, curriculum development, resource gathering, personal CPD or just general entertainment. It's been on the go since 2008, and it's now getting quite close to 7000 posts...

I'd like to ask a favour to help support my friend, mentor and colleague Claire Kyndt who supported me back into the classroom, and continues to provide inspiration for me. Claire is going to be running the London Marathon in 2017 for Mind.
I know as teachers we are the occupation that is among the most generous of them all.

If you've found this blog, or any of my other work and resources helpful in any way, I'd be really grateful if you could contribute perhaps £1 (or whatever you're comfortable donating) to Claire's total, so that she can get closer to reaching her target.
This blog, and my other resource sites have always been free, so I've not made a habit of requesting money from anybody, particularly in a time of austerity, but this is a great cause. Think of it as a running equivalent of those "buy me a coffee" buttons you see on some websites.

Click here to visit Claire's Virgin fundraising page.
Thanks for reading...

Thanks to those wonderful people who have sponsored Claire already since I added this post. You're very kind, and Claire sends her thanks too, particularly if you donated anonymously.

UK Blog Awards - vote for Living Geography

This blog has been nominated for the UK Blog Awards in the Education Category.

The next stage of the process is the Public Vote, which begins Monday 5th December from 8.00am, and runs until Monday 19th December at 10.00am.

I have no chance of winning of course, but if you fancy voting for this blog to win, you can do it by CLICKING THIS LINK to go to my individual voting button.

And unlike other previous winners of various categories, judging by scrolling a few of them, I have blogged regularly every week (almost every day) for over ten years... and will continue to do so...

Ta :)


I was asked recently about my various blogs… other than this one.
Here they are, for those who are interested in following other examples of my writing...

The main blog is this one: Living Geography, which has well over 6500 posts and has had over 2.1 million views (still a lot less than my classic GeographyPages website) - I started this in 2008 on hearing that I had been successful in getting a job with the Geographical Association: at the time, the Living Geography 'brand' with the leaf logo was starting to be developed and shared... I also "live" Geography every day of course, as does everyone.

The second blog that I write regularly these days is GeographyTeacher 2.0 which is my teaching blog for my current role as Head of Geography (now) at King's Ely Junior. This has a growing range of posts from the last three and a bit years that I've been at the school - time has certainly flown by since I joined as a part timer, teaching a few days a week to dip my toe back into the classroom alongside my writing and freelance work.

The next blog to mention would be my CULTCHA blog, which captures my idea of Cultural Geography. This predates the present interest in cultural geography as part of the Changing Place, Changing Places units of new 'A' level specifications. It dates back to the time when I was teaching the Pilot GCSE Geography course, and there was a Cultural Geography element to it. It was this, less 'formal' and repetitive course which rekindled my interest in teaching in the mid 2000s. Thanks to Phil Wood from Leicester University for the impetus to get this one started.

Back in 2006ish I started my Google Earth Users Guide project, which accompanied an Innovative Geography Teaching Grant that I received from the Royal Geographical Society. This began life following a session that I ran up in Dundee for the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers conference.

There's also the GeoLibrary project, which I started in 2013 and eventually finished earlier this year after a slight delay when finishing. This has a book a day for a whole year that I think Geography Teachers need to have in their library.

The blog which started my whole GeoBlogs name has now been largely archived and I don't post to it anymore, but you can find some of my early, rather brief, posts there.

The first of my websites and blogs has disappeared, but you can still find GeographyPages on the Wayback machine - follow the link from the holding page.

Another blast from the past was the OCR Pilot GCSE Geography blog which I spent two years on while teaching the course through in the early 2000s. This still gets visitors as it has plenty of teaching ideas, although the resources are lurking somewhere.

There's also the blogs related to some of my projects, which I only post to occasionally, such as I-USE, and others I started while working for the Geographical Association. A few of them are now "cobweb"logs in that I don't post to them very often...

Vertically challenged...

My latest read, which I've had to start before my traditional Christmas reading period when I take a short blogging holiday to refresh and refuel with inspiration is Vertical by Stephen Graham, and so far it is astonishingly good, and packed full of vertical geographies.

Here's the publishers' description which gives a flavour for what to expect...

A revolutionary reimagining of the cities we live in, the air above us, and what goes on in the earth beneath our feet.
Today we live in a world that can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map, but must now be understood as a series of vertical strata that reach from the satellites that encircle our planet to the tunnels deep within the ground. In Vertical, Stephen Graham rewrites the city at every level: how the geography of inequality, politics, and identity is determined in terms of above and below.

Starting at the edge of earth’s atmosphere and, in a series of riveting studies, descending through each layer, Graham explores the world of drones, the city from the viewpoint of an aerial bomber, the design of sidewalks and the hidden depths of underground bunkers. He asks: why was Dubai built to be seen from Google Earth? How do the super-rich in São Paulo live in their penthouses far above the street? Why do London billionaires build vast subterranean basements? And how do the technology of elevators and subversive urban explorers shape life on the surface and subsurface of the earth?

Vertical will make you look at the world around you anew: this is a revolution in understanding your place in the world.

Order from Verso books direct for prompt delivery at half price! I did....

Plastic Pollution

Iceflow Game

The IceFlow game has been launched by the University of Exeter.
The aim is to model how changing conditions can change the growth and decay of ice sheets, partly as a way of communicating the importance of these processes, but also to connect with the value of studying them.
You will need a browser like Firefox for it to work - or at least that's what I found when using it on my MacBook.
It models real research on two ice sheets in the Antarctic.

Fashion Revolution Fanzine

I've been using the work of Fashion Revolution for some time in my teaching, as part of our work on the Geography of Stuff - which is coming up again after Christmas in fact.
This is a unit focussing on the Geographies of what we own and consume, and discard, and I make use of some of Matt Podbury's resources (as always) and the work that I did with Professor Ian Cook for Follow the Things.

Fashion Revolution's key enquiry question is "Who made my clothes".

They have now launched a new publication which they are calling a fanzine. They are apparently printing 300, and need to have that number ordered to put the magazine into production. I'm all for this sort of publication: the Weapons of Reason publications so far have been amazing resources for geographers, so have this one ordered, and hope the project comes to fruition.

You can order a copy here.

Reimagining the City

A good tipoff from Ben Hennig of a programme on Reykjavik in the BBC Radio 4: Reimagining the City.

Google Education on Air

This event started at 10am today in the UK.
Sessions from Australia and New Zealand are available on demand, and US sessions start later today (and if you're reading this after the 3rd of December they're all available on demand)

Click here for the agenda.
Looking forward to Richard Treves later today...