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Friday, July 21, 2017

Kids, Maps and Geography: Social Studies in the Classroom


Asia


The classroom maps can transport children to worlds they never knew existed. They can wander the streets of Istanbul during the height of the Ottoman Empire, sail across oceans with Ferdinand Magellan in search of new trade routes, or scale the Alps with Hannibal during the Punic Wars. Teaching how the world exists far beyond the confines of one's school and neighborhood is the rewarding job of a social studies teacher. Today's teachers have technology at their disposal allowing students to meet others from around the world via the internet. However nothing can replace the role of classroom maps. Maps that show both human and physical geography allow students to see just how vast their state, country, and world truly are. 






Australia

Strong interactive social studies lessons let students engage with maps to see how and why people have migrated, or how and why wars have been won or lost. Maps can provide students with a key to both their history and their future. According to the National Geographic Society, students who develop map reading skills at an early age develop strong spatial-skills.(NationalGeographic.org) 













Antarctica

Understanding migration patterns and relationships in different spaces and regions also allows them to fully comprehend many of the world's issues much better. This enables them to become future problem-solvers, as they are well-equipped to grasp how the many areas of the world are different. Learning geography as well as history and civics allows students to become better global citizens.










 Our classroom wall maps provide access to different states, countries, and even all continents. Our traditional maps can show political and physical similarities and differences among various regions. We also have blank outline maps that students fill out and label themselves, providing them with the opportunity to show what they have learned about a state's or country's cultures, towns, or wildlife areas. It is crucial that students develop strong social studies skills and believe that map literacy is a vital key in every student's education. Please contact us at www.ultimateglobes.com so that we can help your students understand the world better.



Friday, July 14, 2017

Back to School, Back to Class and Back to Classroom Maps

It's almost time to start buying school supplies. Soon it will be time to look at chalkboards and classroom maps. Summer trips are about to come to a grinding halt. Instead of packing suitcases for trips, your little ones will be filling backpacks with textbooks, notebooks and pencils. A new school year is rapidly approaching. Geography will be among the subjects that children are studying this semester. A clear understanding of the world around us provides children with a solid foundation for knowing their places in the world. Maps are one of the most effective tools for conveying to concepts of geography


US and World Notebook Map

Classroom wall maps provide teachers with an excellent tool for instilling a love of geography at a young age. Their colorful, touchable surfaces encourage youngsters to interact. The more comfortable children are, the more motivated they will be to learn more about their world and the people that inhabit it. Classroom maps offer an inexpensive means of achieving that goal. In addition, with geography bees becoming more and more popular, starting geography education as early as possible can give kids a jump on the competition. National Geographic's geography bee, for example, is open to students as young as fourth grade. Pranay Varada, an eighth grader from Texas, was the proud 2017 winner. Might the next winner be from your school?

Picture of Pranay Varada and Thomas Wright and host Mo Rocca
National Geographic Bee

 Geography is an important part of a well-rounded social studies curriculum. Kids.USA.gov provides information for students and educators on developing a sound curriculum. Highlights include sections on maps, current events, and countries and cultures. Kids.gov strongly encourages study of geography via state, country, and world maps. For public schools, private schools, and home schools, instilling a sense of citizenry is vital. By establishing a strong social studies curriculum that includes geography, students learn much more than country and capital names on the classroom maps they study. They learn that they are one part of an increasingly interconnected world, and they learn that places that may seem far away and remote are closer (literally and metaphorically) than they may have previously believed. At Ultimate Globes, we offer a variety of wall maps to suit every classroom. Contact us today and allow our experienced staff to assist you in selecting the right maps to maximize your students' educational experience.

Early Voyages of Exploration

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Modern Day Cartography: The Art of Map Making

 

The Business of Map Making

Cartography is a fascinating and diverse body of work. The production of maps is a huge business these days. Recent reports put estimates for contractors and employees devoted to Google’s digital cartographic presences at over 7,000. That’s 7,000 people who’s primary mission is making sure that Google Maps and Google Earth software and updates run smoothly. With the technological advanced made possible by extensive staffing at Google it is quite easy to forget that very intricate maps can be charted and generated by one individual. Paper maps are very much a part of modern life in the twenty-first century and continue to be reliable sources of guidance for specialized interests such as geocaching, trailblazing or topography. Cellular signals aren’t available every where and every once in a while travelers in remote area find themselves reaching for a paper copy of Rand McNally instead of the reaching for an Android to access Google Maps.

 IMAX Globe


Days of the Early Explorers

Maps have been apart of our lives since the days of widespread global exploration when men like Cristopher Colombus, Prince Henry the Navigator and Ponce De Leon attempted to record the landscape. The Planet that we call home is vast and through different symbols, colors, lines and shapes we have endeavored to capture the topography of Mother Earth. The earliest recorded example of cartography was discovered in Anatolia and dates back to around 6000 BC. A wall painting spanning several feet provides depictions of a small town and several structures including buildings and a volcano.



Google Maps


Modern Day Map Making

Modern cartography represents a convergence of science, innovation, exploration and art. We still appreciate maps made by artisans such as Mercator, however their present function is as valued relics not practical tools to guide a modern day voyage. The modern day discipline of cartography uses advanced tools and software instead of compasses and sundials to chart the earth. Advances in technology have bridged the gap between social networking, communications and travel. Many of us use maps on a daily basis in the form of Google or Apple's apps and operating systems. While searching for a hiking trail or looking for the nearest gas station to refuel, interactive maps available through mobile devices have changed the way we experience navigation. Technological development have also changed the way maps are created. Aerial photography means that sending large numbers of surveyors and mapmakers into the countryside is a thing of the past. Computer assisted design has further enhanced the make making process. The widespread development and application of geographic information systems, global positions systems and satellite sensing devices are all used to create the newest generation of maps.


Pittsburgh Wall Map


Check out our collection of maps, globes and atlases to learn more about geography
at www.ultimateglobes.com



Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day April 22, 2017- A Day to Learn, A Day to Grow


April 22, 2017 marks the 47th Anniversary of Earth Day, a global initiative to demonstrate a commitment to environmental conservation efforts. Various issues of political and social concern have come to the forefront with pressing matters such as climate change and global warming in recent years. This year Google has revealed their plans to release a new version of Google Earth especially for 2017. 

Environmental Protection Agency and Policy Changes

Environmental science and conscientious consumers have joined forces over the last 40 plus years to create a sort of counterculture in the Western World, concerns about air and water quality have turned the Environmental Protection Agency into a household name.  In 1962 Rachel Carson' New York bestseller Silent Spring was published and this was a catalyst for increasing public awareness regarding the correlation between pollution and public health. That first Earth Day in 1970 gave a tangible voice to the need to protect the environment. 1970 saw the creation of United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. 

Global Activism and Cooperation

Fast forward to Earth Day 2000 and by this time Earth Day blossomed into an international grassroots activist endeavor. Citizens around the world united to express a desire for decisive action on issues impacting global warming and clean energy. In 2010, Earth Day Network brought 250,000 people to the National Mall for an the largest environmental service project to date. A Billion Acts of Green, a global reforestation campaign that has developed into The Canopy Project. Earth Day celebrations and initiatives have grown and developed to include over 192 countries and has become the largest secular day of observance.

Oregon Scientific Smart Infinity Globe

The Oregon Scientific Smart Infinity

There is one planet that we all call home and it requires a join responsibility to maintain clean air, water and food to sustain its citizens. One of the best ways to instill respect and appreciate for the planet is to teach kids about different places and cultures. A globe like the Oregon Scientific Smart Infinity is a great way to teach your kids about the world around them this Earth Day. This globe overs wireless exploration with the accompanying Smart Pen. A local supplemental map for geography lessons as well as Apps for interactive learning and a connection to a PC for updated, current information. This device includes over 30 fun and educational activities and a Micro SD car provided content memory storage. Audio notes can be recorded with the Smart Pen. At 13-inches x 11inches x 15 inches this is the perfect size to fit in a child's lap or be taken on a road trip. The  Oregon Smart Infinity Globe can help children develop a sense of global consciousness. An understanding that Planet Earth is home to many different people, animals and other life forms helps encourage a respectful and responsible attitude. Respect for the planet is about simple things like not littering. There are so many simple steps a person can take to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Check out our website for more information about this and other globes



Friday, April 14, 2017

Daylight Savings, Time Zone and the Prime Meridian


A Different Way to Look at Geography

When you think about time zones you probably don't think about globes but here is a new application for geography. All around the world there are different time zones. Time zones aren’t something that you think about very much unless you travel or have friends or relatives in other parts of the world. The biannual confusion associated with Daylight Savings Time is a reminder of this fact. The most familiar time zone is Greenwich Mean Time, Greenwich Mean Time sets the standard for all other time zones. The Prime Meridian serves as a guideline for navigation, commerce, shipping and transportation. The concept of Greenwich Mean Time was first established in 1675 by the Royal Observatory, to assist navigators and explorers while at sea. By using different navigation instruments experienced seamen could identify their location while in the middle of the ocean.

Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian 

Before the Greenwich Mean Time was established, the time of day would be calculated with a sun dial using solar time. The time in each location would be different, but using the sun dial provided an accurate representation of local time. Throughout the 17th -19th centuries mechanical clocks and watches began to increase in popularity, sun dials weren’t exactly something you could transport. As technology increased additional methods of establishing time were developed. This lead to official time zones all around the globe, these time zones were determined by the Earth’s orbit around the sun and the 24-hour periods which we call a day.  Each time zone covers approximately 15 degrees of width on the map or globe. Technically there are 24 time zones, the International Date Line is considered to be Time Zone by some, that is up for scientific debate.

 Daylight Savings Time and the International Date Line

Just like with Daylight Savings Time, there is not a universal consensus regarding the implementation of time zones. The International Date Line is not an exact, straight line, rather it is a general guideline that helps travelers know when they have crossed gone forward or backward a day. This is an imaginary line that exists at about 180 degrees east or west of the Greenwich Meridian.


If you take a globe or map and look at the Prime Meridian that can help you determine where the different time zones lie. Not only is a globe a great way of learning about countries and various landmarks. A globe can be used to help figure out what time it is in a different part of the world.


A One of a Kind Globe, the Starlight

Check out a globe like the Starlight below and brush up on your knowledge of different places. You will gain a better understanding of time zones, landmarks and the ever-changing world around you. 
This stylish and unique globe features black oceans, which are a striking contrast to the brightly colored continents. The Starlight features a 12 inch sphere with jet black oceans mounted on a satin chrome finished metal stand. A full swing meridian and geopolitical boundaries and description in raised relief complete this one of a kind look. The combined height of both sphere and stand reach 16 inches. What a great conversation piece for a desktop or coffee table!


Starlight