GI Learner Madrid Meeting 2 - Day 1

After a fairly poor night's sleep (cities and me don't mix when it comes to sleeping) it was up for desayuno in a local cafe, and then out to the ESRI Spanish Conference in a very large Spanish conference centre near the airport.
We presented our GI Learner project in Spanish, although I recognised my name when it was mentioned and gave the audience a wave.
We headed next to the school where some of the partner pupils who will be joining us are from, and which was providing a meetings room for our visit: in the entrance lodge.
It is known locally as 'El Pilar'.

There was an amazing atmosphere to the place. We had a tour of the school, which can also be seen on this Vimeo video here - commentary in Spanish, but you get a sense for the history and the way that it operates.

We made really good progress on the planning for a student visit in February 2018.
It was then out to visit the accommodation, and start to deal with some logistical planning. The weather continued to be remarkable - sunshine and temperatures in the high twenties. There has been an absence of rainfall, and this has caused problems in some parts of the country. The accommodation is in the Casa de Campo: a large public park to the west of the city.
We sorted out some of the planning and then it was back into the centre of the city to our hotel, and out to an Andalucian restaurant for a traditional sea bass cooked Bilbao style....
Another typical Erasmus day: collaboration, ideas sharing and exploring a new part of Europe...

Image: Alan Parkinson

Hodder OCR B Geography Revision Guide - now published

I am currently teaching OCR B GCSE Geography, and using the book that I helped to write for Hodder Geography. If you'd like to order your copies they can be seen here. They are rather good.

The books are part of Hodder's my Revision notes series.
This is described as follows and the book can be ordered here.
With My Revision Notes every student can:
- Plan and manage a successful revision programme using the topic-by-topic planner
- Enjoy an active approach to revision with clear topic coverage and related 'Now Test Yourself' tasks and practical revision activities
- Improve exam technique through exam tips and formal exam-style questions
- Monitor their knowledge and progress using the answers provided for each 'Now Test Yourself' activity and exam-style question
- Develop geographical understanding and enhance exam responses with case study material
My Revision Notes: OCR GCSE (9–1) Geography B
We will be ordering copies of these books for students - Year 11 students to begin with.
A review of the book, having read it, is available below.

See some sample pages here.

The book will also be available as a Kindle edition from Amazon. 
The website says the end of November for this to happen.

Answers to the activities in the book can be found here. 
At the time of writing they have not yet been added, as the book has only just left the warehouse.

This is going to be a very useful book for me to use in my teaching as well as during revision, as it reminds you of the key elements of the course, which have been skillfully distilled down by the authors, two of whom were involved in the production of the textbook this supports.

GA Conference Early Bird Booking open...

The early bird booking for the GA Conference is now open. I will be attending and presenting a number of workshops. The theme is 'Real World Geography'.

What have you touched today... and what is its story?

Last month, Paula Zuccotti replied to a tweet that I sent a while back. It was about her photography project which documented all the objects that a number of different people touched during a 24 hour period.
From Paula's website:
What's the first thing we touch when we wake up?
How do our favourite things reveal our hopes and fears?
Can objects tell the story of our lives?

 Image: Paula Zuccotti

We have been using the book for a while now in our unit called 'The Geography of our Stuff'. This is taught during Year 8, and is a full term's unit taking around 13 weeks to complete. There is also an assessment at the end.
This draws on work on the GeographyPods website, developed by Matt Podbury, but starts with some ideas from reading I've done over the years, and includes a range of practical and we hope interesting activities which look at commodities, supply chains (including the blazer that the students all wear). I was fortunate to contact a colleague at a local school, which had been visited by the company and he sent me the supply chain details that they had provided him during a talk.

There's a healthy homage here to Ian Cook et al's award winning Follow the Things work too - I helped to create some of the resources a few years ago - if you go to the bottom right hand side of the main page, you can see a series of links including one saying CLASSROOM.

I've also since worked on some ideas for Eeva Kempainen's culture busting workshop guide.
I have also made use of the first fanzine created as part of Fashion Revolution's work, this has also included other provocations such as the Eight Storeys film on Vimeo, and the Two Euro T-Shirt experiment. These provoke interesting reactions from the students.
I was fortunate to be exposed to these ideas while teaching, and taking part in the Geographical Association's Young People's Geographies project, where I first met Ian Cook. This introduced me to ideas of supply chains, connections with other places, and trade justice. Ian's paper on the story of a papaya (back in 2004) was the start of his work which has led him to good places, including an award in this year's Royal Geographical Society awards.

Other key sources that I would draw attention to here are to:
- visit - social advertising campaigns / non-profit
- follow Follow the Things on Twitter or Facebook (where they share the latest ideas here)
- find out about the MOCC, which was a feature of the recent RGS conference.

There is a link here with Globalisation too, and the position of fashion companies.

Also, check out the 2nd edition of the Fashion Revolution fanzine, which is now available for pre-order. I use my copy of the 1st edition as a resource.

This has just scratched the surface of the resources that we have related to this topic.

Fab Food - Food waste initiative from Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's have released their new FREE FAB FOOD resources, which are aimed at reducing food waste by introducing students to the idea of an audit, and exploring where savings can be made on a personal and school level.
We explore this issue with Year 7, and these look like a useful addition to our resource bank, as some of the activities are relevant to geography.

Leo Houlding in Antarctica

“It’s 21st-century exploration, at the edge of impossible.”
An excellent article in The Financial Times on the latest expedition of Leo Houlding.
He is planning to conquer a peak called the Spectre.
A few years ago, I heard Leo speak at the GA Conference on a previous expedition to Antarctica, and the logistics of getting there and completing the climb.

My notes and some links from that 2015 lecture are here. 

He will be using Union Glacier as a base: a location which I have used many times before with students as a place to teach about.

The expedition website is here.

Good luck to Leo when he heads off next month... We shall be following progress with students...

Blue Planet II

Caught up with the first episode of the series yesterday, and it's pretty astonishing.
If you haven't already seen it, you can watch it on iPlayer here.

Play the OU Explorer Game here, after you've ordered your free poster.

Happy World Cities Day

GI Learner Meeting - Madrid meeting 1

I've spent four days of this half term travelling to and from Madrid, and having a 2 day meeting to progress the project that involves my school.
It was down to Gatwick, as my EasyJet flight was one of the ones that was cancelled as a result of the recent issues.
From there, a flight to Madrid airport, and the 200 bus into the city. The weather was remarkable for late October, with blue skies and temperatures in the high twenties. I found my hotel easily, and decided to head into the city a little, as I wasn't sure what free time I would get over the next few days. I used to visit the city more often in the past, when friends lived and worked there, so headed for the Retiro, the main park with the boating lake, and enjoyed the autumnal colours.
Image: Alan Parkinson

Back to meet colleagues, and out to a traditional tapas bar for food and cerveza....

Going Beyond with the Water Diaries

The annual Going Beyond Bursary from the RGS-IBG, in association with Land Rover has been awarded to Fearghal O' Nuallain's Water Diaries project.
This bursary has funded a number of fantastic projects in the past, including the Pole of Cold project I wrote the education materials for. Back in the day, Dan Ellison and I and some other colleagues put in a bid for the first bursary... we weren't successful.

Details of Fearghal and the team's journey:

This year, a three-person expedition led by geography teacher Fearghal O’Nuallain will drive across Jordan investigating how the country’s population manages one of its most precious natural resources: water.
With field scientist Dr Shane McGuiness and documentary film maker Temujin Doran, the team plans to study how Bedouin tribes locate and transport water in the Wadi Rum region. They will spend four days living alongside nomads, stopping at a flourishing farm that uses ancient and modern techniques to provide almost all the food consumed in one of the driest places on earth, and meet experts working to save Arabian Oryx from extinction. On a visit to the city of Petra, they will meet archaeologists working at the World Heritage Site. From this ancient civilisation, the Discovery will take the team to investigate an advanced infrastructure project that could bring water security to the entire region – a desalination plant in the Gulf of Aqaba and a pipeline linking the Red Sea with the Dead Sea.
The expedition set off from St Peter’s Catholic School, Solihull. The team will be making regular broadcasts about their trip for school pupils to support their geography studies. It provides students with an opportunity to follow the expedition across the Jordanian desert, and learn about water conservation.

Image credit: RGS-IBG

You can sign up to register your interest in having a visit from the Land Rover and the team on the main Water Diaries website.

This is not good news...

Via the BBC News...

Arctic Ocean and borders...

Via Ben Newbury

The Antarctic is an area which has a delimited area protected by an international Treaty.
The Arctic Ocean hasn't got the same 'protection' or legal boundary to it...
This is a useful film which explores that issue.

It looks like it's also worth exploring other VOX Borders films in this new series of documentaries.

Tinned Tomatoes... another food story

There are Tinned Tomatoes in many people's cupboards.
They are a kitchen staple. Many of them come from Italy.
The Guardian has an interesting article which suggests that there are some employment issues with their production which is worth bearing in mind the next time you make a bolognese sauce.

Geography Fieldwork Academy - a new option for geography fieldwork

Image: Alan Parkinson : Southwold from the Pier

One of our favourite places as a family is Southwold, on the Suffolk coast. This is just over an hour from home, and always a lovely day, with good food, fine Adnams ale, a quirky Under the Pier show, and a wander into town for retail therapy and the lighthouse.

The Geography Fieldwork Academy is a new opportunity for those needing to offer fieldwork for all age groups, and is based in Southwold, operating out of various buildings in the town, and offering a number of options for Geography fieldwork in an attractive location with no shortage of tourists and locals to interview, or coastal processes to measure. It was started in July by Chris Webster, a local geography teacher who has had a lot of experience in supporting colleagues with their fieldwork provision, and has now taken the plunge, and created this new venture. He has had a lot of support from local businesses and relevant organisations such as the Environment Agency. A pool of tutors is developing with plenty of experience in teaching and examining.

Here's the description from their new website.  I think these are excellent aspirations for fieldwork providers. The courses have been trialled and run over the last few months, and it sounds like they are adaptable to individual schools' needs, particular with respect to the NEA. They are also using some cutting edge GIS tools, which is great to see.

A successful field course requires lots of thought and logistical planning. Where will we go? How will we get there? Where will we park? Where can the students go to the toilet? What if it rains? Where will we hide if that black cloud turns out to be thunder and lightning!? That’s before you have even considered what issues you will investigate; how will students collect their data, have you got all the necessary equipment? Will the methods used generate appropriate data which can be interpreted and presented? And... does the investigation link with the new curriculum!! Above all, you hope that your fieldtrip is educational and engaging for your students!!

The Geography Fieldwork Academy is here to help. We have spent months developing high quality field courses for KS3, GCSE, AS and for the new NEA at A-level. We have linked all field courses to the new curriculum and can tailor each to specific exam boards. We have worked with local partners to develop unique courses which break from the norm, including our sustainable energy course with Adnams brewery. We have worked with the Environment Agency to build an archive of secondary data and we will demonstrate modern GIS packages such as ArcGIS and Datashine.

We provide follow-up assessments at KS3, detailed A3 summary organiser sheets for all GCSE courses and at A-level our student log-in area enables students to customise their own data collection methods and fieldwork booklets before your field course.

Finally, our vision is to make high quality fieldwork affordable. With courses starting from as little as £8!! Your students will benefit from courses delivered by tutors who are not only active Geography teachers, but in many instances, Geography examiners.

This looks like offering an affordable fieldwork option in a lovely location which is relatively easy to get to from across East Anglia, and Essex and Suffolk in particular. I'm considering the options for taking my own students there, as it's accessible from Ely. Southwold is a compact and safe place to take students, and the local community looks like it's really supportive.

I wish Chris and the gang all the very best for their new endeavour...

Follow on Twitter
Also a Facebook page. 

Suffolk may not have the same number of waterfalls as Iceland, but the fish and chips are cheaper...


I've been in Spain for the last 4 days, to participate in the latest meeting of the GI Learner project.
Many thanks to all my colleagues, and to those institutions that hosted us...
I'll be posting more on this over the next few days, as there are some new resources and ideas which I'd like to share with you.
This was one of the treats awaiting us in a typical tiled tapas bar near Cautro Caminos...
Image: Alan Parkinson

Madrid and GI Learner

Currently in the middle of a trip to Madrid for the latest meeting of our GI Learner partners over the next four days.
The GI Learner project is coming to the final phase, with just under a year to go. You can follow the project by visiting the website, or following us on Twitter.
We are developing materials for K7-12 to develop geospatial thinking.
As part of the meeting, we attended the ESRI Spanish Conference, where we talked about the project, and some of the materials.
More to come on my return. Hasta luego....

ALE and the Summer season

We've been following the work of ALE: Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions for some years now. 

We have enjoyed their work, shared in the Union Glacier on Vimeo which has amused and educated hundreds of King's Ely students now since it was first put on the channel four years ago.

The Twitter feed shows that they are now gearing up for the new summer season. We will be following...

The world's newest country?

This is an awareness-raising campaign by LadBible, which I came across via one of my top 5 websites: Osocio, which shares not-for-profit advertising campaigns.

It involves Al Gore, and is connected to the Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Trash Isles is the nation (which isn't a nation yet of course) and this might be an interesting resource and way in to exploring the issue of Ocean Plastics.
Here's the currency from the campaign.
Ross Kemp is involved too...

To Hull and back... again...

I went to Hull yesterday, travelling up to the University over the Lincolnshire Wolds, to work with this year's PGCE cohort. On the way, I passed this bungalow on Ferens Avenue, which was the building where I trained as a teacher with the late Vincent Tidswell, and also had my interview to get a place on the course, where Vincent said I was probably a little too quiet and self-effacing to be a teacher, and grab a group's attention last thing on a Friday (to be fair, he was probably right...)

There are some resources that I used on Slideshare from previous visits. I updated my presentation as always. Also had a chance to rehearse my Teachmeet again, which I will be doing at the RGS Teachmeet in a couple of weeks.
Nice feedback following the session:
Image: Alan Parkinson

What and where is HOME

Blue Planet II - order your free poster

Go here to order your free poster for the forthcoming Blue Planet II series, narrated by David Attenborough.

Jigsaw: immigration campaign

Interested to see the new campaign from clothing retailer JIGSAW.
It explores the importance of immigrants to the fashion industry.
This Independent article outlines more on the story.

The campaign explores how 'there's no such thing as 100% British' and is also a response to the Brexit result.

I'll also be posting a review of the new Primark Education website shortly, as I now have my teacher e-mail confirmed, and my account has been approved.

Unequal Scenes

Just adding this here in advance of a session I'm doing on Monday with Hull PGCE colleagues. It's a project involving drones being flown in various locations, including South Africa, and flagging up social and spatial inequalities.

Lego Countour Lines

I liked this activity suggested by the family behind Get Out with the Kids, one of the Ordnance Survey's Outdoor Champions for this year.
It explores how Lego bricks can be used as part of a range of navigation activities to teach how to use a map and compass.


We used the phrase 'Topophilia' in our first Mission:Explore book.
It means a love of places... and a special pull to particular places.
This Guardian article suggests that places make us happier than objects.

The notion of place, and the study of places is central to geography.

“With meaningful places generating a significant response in areas of the brain known to process emotion, it’s exciting to understand how deep-rooted this connection truly is.”

Here's one of my special places: Lyme Regis

Image: Alan Parkinson

New Risk Analysis tool from MunichRe

Every year, insurance companies pay out billions of pounds following natural disasters. As this is a significant loss, they employ analysts to identify the nature of the risks that face particular locations, in order to be able to reduce their losses, and set premiums accordingly. This data is also being made more widely available so that these risks are more transparent, and clients can ensure that they are being fairly treated too.

Munich Re's 2016 report is now available. This replaces the previous 2015 report which would have been the most up to date document before that time. Visit the website for lots of other suitable resources which are up to date.

The 2016 report is also accompanied by a new analysis tool, to add to the Nathan Light tool, that I mentioned in the activities in the Nepal Earthquake resource.

This is called NatCatSERVICE

Munich Re’s NatCatSERVICE is one of the world’s most comprehensive databases for analysing and evaluating natural catastrophes. In the past, it has been possible to download standard information, but now our new online tool provides greater access to this store of knowledge. Users of the NatCatSERVICE can now produce analyses that meet their own needs.

The tool is flexible, easy to use and fast. The data on natural catastrophes go back to 1980, and periods of five years or more or individual years in isolation can be analysed. Also possible are hazard-specific analyses, for example for tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons, or earthquakes.

The clearly presented charts and diagrams can be shared directly via social media channels or downloaded as pdfs.

When I was writing the Nepal Earthquake resource for the  British Red Cross I made use of the NATHAN LIGHT mapping and this is just as useful, if not more so.

A great tool for teachers who want to explore global hazards mapping.

Tour de France 2018

The Route in 3D - some interesting elements. Look forward to watching it....

Loving Vincent

Over to Norwich today to see 'Loving Vincent'. It is an impressive piece of work which was hand-painted by over 100 painters and animators. There is a good cast of actors and an interesting story which explores the last few weeks of Van Gogh's life. Interesting narrative, and fascinating visual look to the whole piece, and ending with a version of Don Maclean's classic...

I am an immigrant...

More to come on this in the next few blog posts....

Public Service Broadcasting...

Over to UEA tonight to see Public Service Broadcasting touring their latest album 'Every Valley'. The album has the theme of the decline of coal mining in the South Wales coalfield, and the staging was evocative of that, with pit heads, mining lamps descending from the roof and plenty of archive footage. Good sound, and visuals, and they also played all the great tunes, ending with Everest (which can be seen here) - the Brassy Gents were fun as always...

Journey of a Mango - from farm to plate...

Proctor and Gamble's new Fairy liquid bottle...

Proctor and Gamble are going to be producing a limited edition Fairy liquid bottle in 2018....

What makes the bottle 'special' is that it is made from ocean plastics... although to be fair there may well be a few Fairy liquid bottles languishing at the bottom of the ocean...
The bottle will be made available in 2018 and sets an interesting precedent for other companies making special versions of popular products, or removing plastic packaging perhaps.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) already uses an average of 40% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic content across 491 million transparent washing-up liquid bottles globally, but the Fairy Ocean Plastic bottle will be made from 90% PCR plastic and 10% ocean plastic.

Using Survey123

We will be using this for our GCSE data collection. Had a good planning meeting today.

IAPS Geography Conference

I was asked if I wanted to go on this IAPS conference today. I'm not able to attend, but it may be of interest to other colleagues. There are plenty of interesting presenters and sessions here...

Second Fashion Revolution magazine / fanzine

I use my first Fashion Revolution fanzine as a resource when teaching about the Geography of Stuff resource.
A second edition has now been launched, and like the first one is being crowdfunded.

The theme this time is making your clothes last.... by loving them more.
An interesting connection with the previous post.

Primark Education Resources

I knew these were coming as I saw them trailed a while back.
There are some useful resources here, which I will consider adding to my
You will need to register to download the materials.

 A useful video below to get you started...

What Dan said...

Click the link in the tweet to see the article that Dan has written, and see below for the header for our King's Ely Geography section of the school website. 
 As Dan says in the article:
 "Teachers have the power to inspire other teachers, parents and the wider community to give children the time, space and permission they need to play and learn outdoors. It is advocating for 90 minutes of playtime in every school around the world. Everyone can do something to make sure children experience the benefits of being outdoors. Parents can encourage their child’s school to get involved and take steps towards more time outdoors at home. Anyone who cares about childhood can help spread the word about the importance of outdoor play and learning.
With no freedom there’s no exploration and with no exploration there’s no discovery, so let’s free and teach children to become explorers."

What is Permafrost?

Thanks to Richard Waller for the tipoff to this video.

As permafrost around the world starts to lose the 'perma' bit, and also the 'frost' bit, this is helpful in identifying the nature of this material, which results in interesting landscapes... I remember teaching thermokarst back in the day....

Geogshare - support for Edexcel students (and teachers)

Geogshare is a site that has grown dramatically since I first came across it.
Jessica Rice has created an excellent site, and has been very generous in sharing a whole range of materials for Edexcel 'A' level and Edexcel 'A' GCSE. Worth checking out for any spec though....

Get outside this Thursday

October 12th is Outdoor Classroom Day UK and Ireland.
The website offers a range of useful resources for those who want to go beyond four walls.
Mission:Explore Outside the Classroom is a set of resources which are made available as part of the package of resources and materials. They were authored and illustrated by the Geography Collective.

Step outside of the four walls of your classroom for at least part of Thursday and let us know how you get on....

Getting outside

A lot of blogs, Instagram accounts and twitter feeds focus on the grand adventure, and the exotic. They share images and stories of far-off places, and feats of physical endurance.
When I spend time outside it's a bit more modest...
There's plenty of interest within 10 minutes of where you're sitting right now if you head out...

The 2018 BBC Countryfile calendar had the theme of "the call of the wild"
The picture that was chosen by the public to be the front cover picture is shown below. It was taken by Jarek Kurek, and wasn't taken in a wilderness area or National Park (well, not yet anyway....)
It was taken in Bushy Park, in London.

Our work with Mission:Explore (and our award-winning books) was a reminder that there is plenty of interest on your doorstep. We worked with National Geographic in the USA back in 2013, to produce a guide for young people to explore their neighbourhood and complete some challenges to earn 'badges'. These played with ideas of scale and travel, and story-telling. This was part of the US version of Geography Awareness Week.
Follow the link to make sure that you buy your copy of the Countryfile calendar - proceeds to Children in Need.

There is plenty to look at in your local area, and that includes the place where you might work or go to school.
- Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the last part of your journey
- Rather than dining al desko, head out for some fresh air at lunch time
- Go home a different way to usual - take the unusual turning, and try going down that road you've never been down before but driven past a hundred times...
- Take your dog for a walk, or let it take you for a walk (and borrow a dog if you don't have one)
- Head out to take a photo of what is one minute to the N, S, E and W of where you are

There are plenty more ideas of course, in the Mission:Explore books and elsewhere...

And if you fancy it, there is still time to apply to be an Ordnance Survey Get Outside Champion for 2018..

Takk for å besøke

A special thanks to the thousands of Norwegian visitors I've been having over the last few days...
Not sure what's drawn you here. Was it my posting on the closing of the Pulpit Rock perhaps, or some other posts from the 7000+ that I've written that struck a chord?

 You're all very welcome anyway.

Island Story

Writer J D Taylor spent four months on a bike a few years ago, travelling around Britain and seeing it in a way that many other travel writers have failed to do. The value of cycling is that you see the world at a slower pace, and are actually in the environments you are travelling through.
The author has created a very useful blog to follow the journey, and includes a whole range of additional resources and ideas that underpin the journey including some additional writing.

You can follow the journey with images and text from each stage of the journey.
The book is fantastic to, and I've just been reading it.
A part of this journey was a search for the UK's identity as the Brexit vote approached.

This is excellent for older students exploring such ideas as Changing Places, and also the GCSE unit on UK in the 21st Century.

There is a New Statesmen article here by the author, which identifies some of the themes in the book, which is certainly political in its nature.
I was also interested to read on the blog about his next book, helped by a grant he has been awarded, which will also explore the idea of place:

Titled Where Are We Going?, the next book takes the form of eleven narratives about a specific place and the people I meet, through which I document the effects of forces shaping British politics, from health and social care to deindustrialisation, the ‘gig economy’, farming and rural poverty, to immigration, class, identity and housing. I’ve begun preparing the book this year...

Countryside in our DNA

I have lived in cities, villages, towns and hamlets. 
I've lived in suburbia, inner cities and rural isolation.

Mark Hedges writes here about the way that the UK countryside helps define us as a nation.

He has written on a similar theme in the latest issue of Country Life, which also features a nice piece on puddles by Tristan Gooley.

How does where you live, and where you want to live, shape you as a person...

Vocabulary and 'powerful knowledge'

There is a growing debate about the relative importance of knowledge in curriculum planning compared with concepts or skills...
One aspect of knowledge is vocabulary and knowing how to use it.
We talk about geography having a vocabulary, and a 'grammar' in the act of curriculum making.

Robert MacFarlane has written extensively on the way that the vocabulary of the landscape and nature is being lost to young children.

In this Guardian piece he references some research on how children are more likely to know the names of Pokemon characters than some natural features. In this, they are diminished in their ability to understand the world in which they live.
What do we want students to 'know' as a result of our geography lessons? What is it important to introduce them to?
Illustration copyright: Jackie Morris

Monopoly Money...

Alexandra Sims has written in Time Out about the growing property values in London, and how they have risen.

In the 1930s, the makers of Monopoly placed 22 iconic London streets on their game board for wannabe property tycoons. Eighty years on, however, the price you’d pay in Monopoly money to own a slice of the capital hardly reflects the twenty-first-century reality.
Giving the game a 2017 reality check, London Fox Lettings has used data from Zoopla and the Government’s London Rents Map to show what you’d be paying IRL to rent and own property on the classic game’s streets. To give things an added flavour of authenticity they’ve even replaced the £200 you get for passing 'go', with the £27,531 average London salary, which is growing at a snail’s pace compared to rapidly rising house prices.

Here's the infographic....

What Would The Monopoly Board Look Like Today? – An infographic by the team at Splitrent


This is a beautiful film by Al Humphreys who has produced a range of videos and books related to the theme of exploration.

It explores the idea of access to land, which in some Scandinavian countries is a 'right' open to all men (and women). They have free access to land and can camp or walk across it.

“Don’t disturb – Don’t destroy" is the mantra here.

In the UK, there was recently an expansion of the right of access to include CROW land (Countryside Right of Way)

Allemansrätten from Alastair Humphreys on Vimeo.

Allemansrätten is the right, in much of Scandinavia, for every man and woman to roam the countryside.
But with rights must come responsibilities too.
Should there be an expansion of this type of rights in the UK?

I met Al quite a few years ago now, when he was keynoting the SAGT conference that I was also speaking at, up in Glasgow.

I took advantage of this some years ago, when camping in Norway for several weeks and travelling up the coast with a friend.
In Finland, which I've also visited they have a similar right.

The worry would be that people might be happy to accept their right, but not their responsibilities?

Twitter QR links

If you login to your Twitter account on the Twitter app, you'll see a small QR icon on your profile. Press this, and it will create a nice image which will link people through to your Twitter account - useful to add to business cards, or web pages.

Scan the one below to visit my Twitter account: @GeoBlogs
Or scan the one below and you'll be taken to my departmental Twitter account where I share some of the work that goes on in my classroom: @KingsElyGeog

El Nino pop-up

Thanks to Ben Newbury for producing and sharing the El Nino pop up here at the TES site.
I used it last week, and it went down very well and we had some great results from it.

You need to download the presentation and the accompanying template.

I had to re-print the two sides of the template as it was not quite aligned when it was printed off. This should be done on card to keep the rigidity in the final pop-up element. The powerpoint is very useful in providing all the steps required.
The students really enjoyed the activity, and there were some great outcomes within an hour. Here's one of them:

Soils and Runoff book on ISSUU

Thanks to Ben King for the lead to this book which has been published online. When I used to teach the Soils and Hydrology Unit of the old Cambridge 'A' level back in the day this would have been perfect. This sort of complexity has been lost from many modern specifications, but for those who want to see why soil matters, this is a good read.
It explores the role of natural flood management, and the importance of the topsoil and good soil health in maintaining a healthy drainage. Great for higher level students in particular.

Click here to read online.
It's produced by the East Devon Catchment Partnership

Using Earth Null School for Global Circulation

I've been using Cameron Beccario's excellent Earth Null School visualisation to teach about hurricanes and other things for some years now.
It occurred to me that it might also be possible to see the movements associated with Global Atmospheric Circulation, which I'm teaching at the moment.
This article has some useful information on the development of the tool and also provides some guidance on the importance of changing certain parameters to explore the upper layers of the atmosphere.

Here is a Skitch grab showing the flow of air at the surface along part of the equator, showing the expected Trade Winds blowing towards the equator, but actually 'meeting' in an area of slack winds just to the north (current position of ITCZ - the inter-tropical convergence zone.

Air pressure is measured in millibars and shown on visualisations as isobars.
The Windy website has just added these as a new feature.
This helps identify areas of LOW and HIGH pressure.

There are data for Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies too (SSTA) which might help show the possibility of El Nino and La Nina events.