Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Demographic Transition Model

 Image above: The Demographic Transition Model (DMT)

Sites related to GeogSplace  

Spatialworlds blog
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Scoop.it sites for the class


Population change as time goes by

Populations, including the demographic variables of total number of people, age breakdown, sex ratios, birth rates, death rates and rate of growth are not static but change over time as the conditions in a country change for the better or worse. In most countries, such change involves development and the associated improvements in health and social conditions as a result of industrialisation and economic improvements in a country. The following sites attempt to explain the modelling of such changes over time and introduces the DemographicTransition Model (DMT). The DMT is a model that describes a predicted and in most cases expected population change over time. It is based on an interpretation begun in 1929 by the American demographer Warren Thompson, of the observed changes, or transitions, in birth and death rates in industrialized societies over the past two hundred years or so. Although not perfect and as always there ar exceptions to the model (rule), the DMT is used by demographers as a way to look at population change over time.

* Video explaining thedemographic transition model

* Videos explaining the impact of development on a countries population and the Demographic Transition Model (DTM)

* A detailed look at the stagesof the DMT

* A good summary of the DMTstages

* A corny but accurate animation

* Worth looking at the Age-Sex Pyramid animation showing the movement through the stages of  the DMT (from youthful population to the ageing population).

 * Youthful and Ageing populations

* Youthful population video

* Ageing population video

* More animations to aid understanding (simple, a little annoying but useful)

Monday, May 26, 2014


Image above: Short video from Hans Rosling called 'Don't panic, Truth about population.

Sites related to GeogSplace 
Spatialworlds blog

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Scoop.it sites for the class


Don’t panic: The truth about population by Hans Rosling

For many geographers into spatial and visual literacy, the name Hans Rosling resonates as the epitome of creativity, innovation and fascination when talking about all things population.

Hans Rosling (born 27 July 1948) is a Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker. He is Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation which has previously been profiled on GeogSplace. 

Gapminder is used  around the world as an interactive graphic over time application to visualise population & development data. Hans is a bit of a Geography legend and influences politicians, teachers and students all around the world. Check out his Twitter feed to see the sorts of things that he tweets about on a normal day in 'Hans World'.

The ‘Geography for 2014 and beyond’ site uses Hans Rosling’s Don’t panic: The truth about population’ resource has some fascinating exercises for great demographic thinking.  

Harvesting world data

Whilst on about population, these two sites are useful to gather some up to date data on development indicators for some GIS mapping (just add the chosen field to a spatially referenced database of all the countries of the world). The data also provides the latest indicators compared to the 1990's indicators we looked at in class on 'World Guide'.

* Index Mundi: An excellent site with up-to-date statistics on all countries

**** For an excellent summary of a country demographics just replace the country name in this URL.http://www.indexmundi.com/angola/demographics_profile.html   This is the data for Angola.
* Currrent international GDP per capita data

These two sites are interesting examples of visualisations of data.

* A visualisation software called Manyeyes.

A spatial visualisation of London growing over 2000 years
Researchers at UCL's Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis collated vast datasets to map the capital's transformation from first-century Londinium to modern megacity.

Year 12 presentations to look at

Sites related to GeogSplace 
Spatialworlds blog
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Scoop.it sites for the class


 Year 12 Evening presentation

Here are the presentations from the Adelaide University Year 12 Student Evening on 22 August, 2013. They have been posted on the GTASA website. The presentations have been uploaded on Dropbox.

As you remember, the presentations are:

Presentation 22: Asia’s Youth Population: Trends and Issues
A presentation from  Professor Graeme Hugo at the Year 12 Evening at Adelaide University on August 22nd,  2013.

Presentation 23: Ecological Footprints: implications for solving the most “wicked problem” of our time
A presentation by Dr John Tibby at the Year 12 Evening at Adelaide University on August 22nd, 2013.

The other 21 presentations on the website are also of relevance and interest to Year 12 Geography (http://www.gtasa.asn.au/resources-resources_for_students)

I suggest you have look at the presentations to revisit some of the great points made on the night about population and ecological footprints.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Development through data visualisations

Sites related to GeogSplace 
Spatialworlds blog
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Scoop.it sites for the class


Investigating development geography through data visualisations

This posting is about two excellent data visualisation sites that can be used to identify the stage of development of a country and/or region: WorldMapper and Gapminder. Both of these sites have been around for over 6 years, but they continue to be amazing free and user friendly tools for you to study development geography.

Firstly let's look at the concept of development and the branch of geography called development geography.

Development geography is a branch of geography with reference to the standard of living and quality of life of its human inhabitants. In development geography, geographers study spatial patterns in development. They try to identify development status of a country/region by looking at economic, political and social factors.

Development indicators are numerical data on the characteristics of a place which can be associated with development of a country. They include:
  • Economic indicators include GNP (Gross National Product) per capita, unemployment rates, energy consumption and percentage of GNP in primary industries. Of these, GNP/per capita statistics are the most used as they measure the value of all the goods and services produced in a country, excluding those produced by foreign companies, hence measuring the economic and industrial development of the country. GDP per capita is also a useful data source.
  • Social indications include access to clean water and sanitation (which indicate the level of infrastructure developed in the country) and adult literacy rate, measuring the resources the government has to meet the needs of the people. Indicators such cars/TV/radios per thousand may also be use as social indicators. 
  • Demographic indicators include birth rate, death rate, life expectancy, natural increase and fertility rate and age structure. Health indicators include nutrition (calories per day, calories from protein, percentage of population with malnutrition), infant mortality and population per doctor (indicate the availability of healthcare and sanitation facilities in a country). The GDI (Gender-related Development Index) measures gender equality in a country in terms of life expectancy, literacy rates, school attendance and income
  • Environmental indicators include how much a country does for the environment. A more developed and wealthier country has the luxury to spend some of it's money on protecting the environment.
The HPI (Human Poverty Index) is used to calculate the percentage of people in a country who live in relative poverty. In order to better differentiate the number of people in abnormally poor living conditions the HPI-1 is used in developing countries, and the HPI-2 is used in developed countries. The HPI-1 is calculated based on the percentage of people not expected to survive to 40, the adult illiteracy rate, the percentage of people without access to safe water, health services and the percentage of children under 5 who are underweight. The HPI-2 is calculated based on the percentage of people who do not survive to 60, the adult functional illiteracy rate and the percentage of people living below 50% of median personal disposable income.

With development geography there are a range of classifications of development. The most popular are the classifications of:
  • Undeveloped/Underdeveloped/developing/less developed/developed
  • Rich and poor countries
  • The haves and have nots
  • High to low human development (based on the HPI)
  • 1st/2nd and 3rd world (rather unpopular classification today)
  • The North/South divide (see below)

No matter what the classification, when we view the indicators it seems that countries group into various development categories in a consistent way.

Now for the two sites:

* Worldmapper
Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to a chosen criteria. Criteria relevant to development include: demography, income, wealth, poverty, health, education, death exports etc.

* Gapminder
Gapminder is a great visualisation over time which plots on a dynamic graph a range of criteria (many being development indicators). There is also an excellent section for teachers with ideas on using the site.

*Check out this data on the countries today


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Everything is connected

Image above: Yellowstone National Park, the place of a trophic cascade involving wolves.

Sites related to GeogSplace 
Spatialworlds blog
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Scoop.it sites for the class


How wolves change the physical geography of an area by causing a trophic cascade 

This amazing short YouTube on the re-introduction of wolves to the Yellowstone National Park is a fascinating example of the importance of the Interconnection concept in Geography. 

"The concept of interconnection emphasises that no object of geographical study can be viewed in isolation."

In particular the Australian Curriculum: Geography involves holistic thinking that involves studying the interconnections between phenomena and processes within and between places. The clip outlines how the re-introduction of wolves into the park has not only made massive positive changes to habitats and animal life but also changed the nature of the rivers in the park though a process called trophic cascading. A great positive biogeography story based on interconnection and interdependency.