Paul Salopek, a slow journalist with National Geographic, is walking the world by foot over the span of a decade, specifically following the paths of our first ancestors who, during the Stone Age, walked out of Africa and into the rest of the world. He seeks the human experience in relation to our Earth. This website is his public journal. Every form of media is bundled up to best represent the human experience. Using ESRI to map his journey and publish dispatches regularly, Paul Salopek essentially connects raw geographic coordinates to stories of individual people and experiences.
The Incident Information System (inciweb.nwcg.gov) allows people to find information about wildfires and report new fire incidents. By searching a state, one can find any wildfires in the area and read about the situation’s status, coordinates, fire type and size, and view related news articles and photographs in a full report on the incident. The ability to file reports and have all relevant information in one place is valuable in an effort to prevent wildfires and inform the public on fires in the United States. It can also be useful to scientists conducting research on topics like climate change where abundant country-wide information on wildfires would be beneficial.
Discover Life is a website which aims to map the distribution of species across the globe, as well as help biologists ID species that they find. You can use the search feature to search for plants or animals, finding a map of their distribution, identification pictures, ID guides, scientific name, references, and more for the species. One of my favorite features at the top of the website is the IDnature guides. If you click on IDnature guides, you can check select general traits of what you are trying to ID. Try clicking through the check boxes with a specific animal in mind, and then click “search” next to the trait. On the left side of the screen, an updated list of species with all the traits you’ve searched for are available. click “simplify” (towards the left of the screen, above the potential species) once you have a few traits selected, and the questions will become more specific to sift through the remaining animals. Eventually these questions will key out one species! If you are using this to ID something, it is incredibly helpful because it refines itself to only present relevant questions. A picture of this feature is attached to the bottom of this post.
This website gives frequent updates about the Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti happening currently. You can watch videos, read comments, or look at a map of the migration route of these Wildebeests on this website. There are updates almost daily from people that are watching this migration in person and observing where the animals are going and how they are fairing in their migration journey.
Figure 1: Map of the Wildebeest Great Migration (https://www.discoverafrica.com/migration/map/)
Through looking at this website you can learn about the travel of species and why those species would want or need to migrate around, including climate or predatory reasons. There is also a live feed of the migration and maps of the path of migration for every month, as well as general information about Wildebeest migration patterns.
GEOLOUNGE is an informational and interesting website. It has information about physical geography, human geography, maps, and more. Under the physical geography tab, they have tabs for biogeography and climatology. After learning about both biogeography and climatology in our class, I was intrigued by the different articles that I found. I wanted to share this article, “These Wolves in Minnesota are Very Very Territorial” that is posted on their site because it relates to our class. The article discusses how researches have used GPA collars to track the movements of 7 wolves at Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. The data that was collected on the wolves locations is being used to understand pack boundaries and for the Project’s predation research. The screenshots I have included below show the travel paths for each of the wolves. The travel paths show how each pack adheres to territories with little overlap with other packs in the area. I thought GPS tracking of the wolves is an interesting concept and could be used to track more animals and possibly provide insights about animals travel habits which could be used to make better protected conservation areas.
After reading this article, I clicked on a related link: “Using Remote Sensing for Mapping and Counting Animals.” This took me to GISLOUNGE, which is also another interesting and informational site, related to GOELOUNGE.
This website is an interactive site created by the United States Geological Survey that shows global crop production. Specifically, it produces visualizations of cropland extent/area, crop types, irrigated versus rainfed agriculture, cropping intensities, and cropland change over space and time. The data is projected using 30-meter resolution derived with Landsat imagery and examines over 1.8 billion hectares (12.6 percent of global terrestrial area) of cropland. It also has a feature that shows where human settlements are located which is interesting because it can show disparities of food production and brings into question how certain places became large settlements. It relates to our class because of its use of Landsat, but also because of the interaction of the lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere that create the biosphere and dictate where crop production occurs. (https://www.usgs.gov/centers/wgsc/science/global-food-security-support-analysis-data-30-m?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects)
For those interested in learning more about the biosphere, National Geographic’s page on the Biosphere provides a plethora of useful information. This could be a tool utilized by geographers as a reference, particularly for those who either are just beginning In their field or those who are interested in becoming geographers. The page begins by defining the biosphere, which is made up of the parts of earth where life exists. The webpage is broken up into three parts. It begins with an introduction, followed by information regarding the origin of the biosphere, and concluding with information regarding the biosphere reserves. Another useful tool the site provides is a vocabulary tab, which defines various key words which are used throughout page.
Shark Attack Data is a cool website that complies human and shark interactions around the world. It logs shark attacks by either provoked, unprovoked, fatal, or non-fatal. It describes each attack by date, location, type and size of shark, and the activity the person was doing at the time of the incident. The main goal of the website is to increase understanding, and to promote informed discussions on shark attacks. The data comes from the Global Shark Attack File and is compiled by the Shark Research Institute. The website helps you understand where and how shark attacks occur and how they have changed over time on a global scale. You can click on any country to find their statics and data on shark attacks. However, there are some gaps and missing information in some of the logs, but regardless it still provides useful information.
Interested in visualizing how the earth has changed over time in terms of sea temperature, air quality, or flood hazard? NASA’s interactive website, Worldview, uses satellite imagery taken over the past 40+ years to help communities visualize the changes that have taken place over time.
Worldview was created using NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) to create 800 satellite imagery layers, allowing individuals to view time-stamped changes in critical focus areas such as wildfire management, volcanic eruptions, tropical storms, and more. Layers are categorized based on topic, as shown below. Users can even view layers based on ‘Science Disciplines’– which separates layers into categories such as Atmosphere, Biosphere, etc.
Worldview also allows users to interpret data using different scales! While global data may be valuable for some users, others may benefit from more smaller, more localized scales. Worldview’s zoom capabilities allow users to visualize data from the scale that meets their individual need!
Check out Worldview yourself: https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov