Archive for August, 2012

The Geography of Political Donations

MinnPost, a fabulous non-profit online journalism project aimed at raising the level of public discourse in Minnesota, has done some excellent work in visualizing spatial data. In preparation for election season, they’ve created an interactive map of political donations to presidential campaigns. If you zoom in and hover with your mouse you can get valuable […]

Google Street View Goes to Nunavut

Google is using a tricycle-based camera and gps system to capture images of the remote Inuit village of Cambridge Bay in Nunavut. The town is only accessible by airplane or by barge during the couple weeks of summer when the bay is ice-free. The program is part of Google Earth’s outreach program. One of the […]

The Distinctive Look of a City

A fascinating article in Atlantic Cities explains how data mining of Google Street View images can identify the distinctive visual elements of a city. For Paris the computer identified the distinctive elements as street signs, ornate 19th Century windows, cast iron balconies, and decorative street lamps. You can’t see the rooflines on a Google Street […]

The Visual Image of a City

Thomas Sigler, a former visiting assistant professor of geography at Gustavus, has authored a fun piece in Atlantic Cities entitled, “What Your Skyline Says About Your City.” Thomas points out the difference in skylines for cities featuring urban living, the dominance of a few key industries, proximity to the beach, and so forth. Where does […]

Why We Need More Globes

A recent New York Times Sunday Review opinion piececelebrates the old fashioned globe. Pilot and writer Mark VanHoenacker reminds us of the many advantages of globes. Globes are probably the best way to understand distances across polar regions, to teach earth-sun relationships, and to convey the sense of living on a single, shared planet. Globes […]

Ethiopian leader dead at 57

Meles Zenawi, the prime minister who ran Ethiopia’s dictatorship for nearly two decades, died this week at the age of 57. Gustavus Geography Professor Lencho Bati says that Meles was “a tyrant who ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist and engaged the international community through deceit and cunning. His departure will create a chance for political […]

Summer research on historical Haiti land use maps

Land use change, especially deforestation, is a global concern that directly impacts biodiversity, climate change, and human livelihoods and communities. Gustavus junior geography major Meg Wika (right, in photo) worked with Prof. Anna Versluis this summer on a study that involved digitizing and georeferencing historic maps of land use change in Haiti. These maps were […]

Are droughts the new normal?

Geographer Chris Williams, Professor at Clark University, and two other guests discussed the possibility of future mega-droughts this morning with journalist Tom Ashbrook on his radio show On Point. You can read about it and download the podcast here.

Geography Alumna Designs New Sesquicentennial Plaza

Krisan Osterby-Benson ’79 and Laura Lyndgaard designed the new Sesquicentennial Plaza that connects the chapel with the new West Mall. The design features an amphitheater, outdoor skating rink, two major sculptures, plantings, Kasota stone boulders, and engraved stones commemorating important events in the life of Gustavus Adolphus College. Kris and Laura are with the Minneapolis […]

Presidential Elections in Blue and Red, 1920-2008

Instead of a standard county-level choropleth map of election results,David B. Sparks created an isarithmic or contour map of the data. He used the centroids for each county and election results to create a surface. Essentially the height measures the strength of Republican or Democrat support. Then, he interpolated between elections to create a video […]