Archive for 2012

Page 5


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 […]


The Changing Geography of Olympic Medal Winners

The New York Times has created a great information graphic showing the medal winners for each of the modern-era summer Olympics. It is a simple cartogram with proportional circles representing the number of medals each country earned. The color scheme and design are simple and effective. As you scroll across the timeline, you can see […]


Drought Status as of July 2012

The Palmer short term drought index shows a large swath of extreme drought conditions in the Central United States.


Geography, Class, and the Fate of Passengers on the Titanic

GIS software maker ESRI has created a fabulous series of story maps showing how class and geography intersected to influence a person’s odds of surviving the sinking of the Titanic. First class passengers had a 38% survival rate and were largely from the United States, in particular, New York City. On the other hand, a […]


Silver lining in the drought

Macalester College Geography Professor William Moseley recently published an opinion piece in the New York Times on corn and drought in the Midwest. Read it here.