Visit the EarthView web site to meet the team and learn about the project.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Tragically, tornadoes are very much in the news this week. We will have more about this topic on the EarthView blog soon, but meanwhile we want to let teachers, parents and students know about two important resources for understanding the geography of these storms.

U.S. Tornado Climatology is a report from NOAA that explains why tornadoes are more likely in certain places and at certain times of the day or year.

The Tornado History Project is a geographic database of 54,000 tornado maps, covering U.S. events from 1950 to 2010.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

W.H. Galvin Middle School, Canton -- April 29

42° 10' 05" N71° 07' 57" W

Learn more about Lat/Long

The EarthView team is pleased to be meeting with seventh graders at the William H. Galvin Middle School in Canton, where one of our own BSU Geography alumnae is part of the excellent social studies team. For some reason, we have not included W.H. Galvin in the blog previously, but we do know that Galvin students are always well prepared to show off what they know about geography!

Canton, Massachusetts is named as the result of an interesting but common geographic misconception. Originally known by the Algonquin name Punkapoag and later part of the town of Stoughton, it became a separate town in 1797. At that time Elijah Dunbar suggested that it be named for Canton, China, which he thought was on the other side of the earth. The common misconception that North Americans could "dig to China" was thus immortalized in the name of the town.

In reality, Canton, China -- now known as Guangzhou -- cannot be on the opposite side of the earth from Canton, Massachusetts, as both are in the northern hemisphere. Guangzhou is at 23°N and 113°E, so it is close to the correct longitude, but nowhere near the correct latitude to be considered the antipode.

Learn more about true antipodes from Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's antipode article on Environmental Geography. Find the true antipode of Canton -- or anyplace else -- at the Antipode Map web site.

From here ... to there?

Canton is known for many other things, including two factories built by Paul Revere (one for gun powder and another for brass and copper rolling), its famous viaduct, and Dunbar's founding of the oldest choral society in the United States, which remained in Stoughton. 

As a former location of Equal Exchange, Canton is the first of many places that EarthView team member Dr. Hayes-Bohanan had a chance to visit a coffee company!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Biggest Seas

One of the major lessons of EarthView is that "Earth" would more appropriately be called "Water," since more than 2/3 of the planet is covered with water -- at an average depth of about 3 kilometers! The Pacific Ocean, of course, is the largest body of water, and also the oldest, with the crust in some areas is 200 million years old. (Pretty old, but less than one-tenth the age of the planet!)

Writing for Our Amazing Planet, Remy Melina has created a countdown of the ten largest oceans and seas, with imagery and fun facts about each. Which one do you suppose is shown above? What bodies of water do you think made the top-ten cut?

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Islands Discovered!

Gurupi Islands -- Google image from
The title above is attention-grabbing and a little inaccurate ... on purpose. Read the details on Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's Environmental Geography blog.

Monday, April 11, 2011

State House Coverage

The EarthView team has had the privilege of setting up EarthView in the Massachusetts State House twice - first in June 2010 and most recently this April 4. Each time, students from the Geography Club at Quabbin Middle School in Barre have been part of the effort, asking visitors questions about their knowledge of geography.

Those visitors have included a variety of state senators and representatives and their staff members, as well as tourists who happened to be visiting the State House (a grand, historic building that attracts visitors from near and far).

Boston Globe photographer David Ryan was fascinated by the giant globe filling Nurses' Hall, and enjoyed photographing EarthView and the people in and around it. In addition to a cover photo on the next day (click at left to enlarge, but the digital version remains a bit fuzzy), two short articles appeared in the paper. John Ellement's Global Silhouette piece features two of our BSU students showing the world to legislative staff.   Saving the World for Geography by Katherine Landergine features one of our Massachusetts Geographic Alliance colleagues who ensured that the hand-painted globe did not scrape against a marble banister. Her article also mentions SB 182, which Senator Brewer's introduced to promote geography education in the Commonwealth.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

SciGirls Expo - April 9

41° 44' 30" N
70° 37' 20" W

See the Steve Morse lat/long finder to look up other addresses, or read the EarthView lat/long article for much more graticular information

The EarthView team is delighted to be part of the SciGirls Expo being held at Mass Maritime. The campus is an excellent model of innovation in sustainability, with many leading-edge projects to reduce greenhouse emissions through the use of wind, geothermal, solar, and tidal power!

The Expo is meant to cultivate another great source of power: the mind! High school girls considering STEM -- that is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math -- careers will be learning about all kinds of career possibilities in science, including geography.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

McCall Middle School, Winchester: April 8

42° 27' 01" N
71° 08' 05" W
See the Steve Morse lat/long finder to look up other addresses, or read the EarthView lat/long article for much more graticular information!

The EarthView Team is visiting McCall Middle School in Winchester, one of several adjacent or neighboring "W" towns just north of Boston. We have already been in adjacent Woburn, for example. The Massachusetts city/town map reveals that it is possible to travel considerable distances north and west of Boston without ever leaving places that start with either "W" or "M."

Winchester's early development was fostered by the 1803 opening of the Middlesex Canal, whose path through the town seems largely to have been obscured, except in a few locations along Palmer Street. Geographers tend to be fascinated by canals, which are like rivers in some ways and railroads in others. 

Geobiblio Stunt

The Library History Buff blog recently posted what it calls the Best Library Cover Story Ever. It is a good geography story, too! It is the story of a very special letter mailed in 1952.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

State House: April 4

The EarthView team is pleased to be returning to the Massachusetts State House on April 4. The photo to the left is from our previous visit in June 2010. We met a number of enthusiastic legislators, staffers, and tourists during that visit, and we are looking forward to another great day in the People's House.

We will be in the State House from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Throughout the day, geography students from Bridgewater State University will be on hand, along with students from the British School of Boston, Quabbin Middle School, and teachers from the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance.

Many thanks to Senator Steve Brewer of Barre for organizing this visit, and to the other champions of geography education in the Massachusetts General Court.

Mass Geo Blog

When we are not in our own community spreading the good news of geography, members of the EarthView team enjoy visiting other parts of the global community. We know that we are very fortunate that our work and leisure have taken us to many places -- more than 50 countries among the three "senior" members of the team.

Dr. Domingo is currently adding at least two countries to that total, as he spends part of his academic sabbatical teaching and learning about water resources in Malaysia and Cambodia. As time and internet connectivity allow, he has been posting short updates on the blog of the Massachusetts Geographic Alliance, one of our Project EarthView partners.

The Mass Geo blog is not just about our travels, though: the main purpose of the blog is to provide a place for educators to share ideas about the teaching of geography in Massachusetts. We therefore invite all of the teachers and volunteers we meet through Project EarthView to follow the Mass Geo blog for news, lesson ideas, and -- yes -- the insights of traveling geographers!