Image above: Just one of the great geography related talks on TED. This one on Rewilding by George Monbiot.
Related links to Spatialworlds
GeogSplace (a teaching blog for Year 12 geography)
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
Where am I??
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'
TED Talks for the geography classroom
TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan: "Ideas Worth Spreading".
TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event. TED addresses a wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture, often through storytelling. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can.
As of April 2014, over 1,700 talks are available free online. By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times. In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million, and on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, TED Talks had been watched one billion times worldwide.
This posting has selected a range of TED talks that relate to the geographical/spatial world and are well worth watching. As short talks they are ideal as stimulus material for the classroom.
* Changing the world, one map at a time
Maps have always been a source of fascination and intrigue. Today's maps, however, can also help to save lives during disasters, document human rights abuses and monitor elections in countries under repressive rule. This presentation explains how today's live maps can combine crowds and clouds to drive social change. The presenter, Patrick Meier is Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi—a non-profit technology company voted by MIT's Technology Review as one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world alongside Facebook. Patrick is also co-founder of the International Network of Crisis Mappers and previously co-directed Harvard University's Program on Crisis Mapping and Early Warning.
"I want to remind this community that geospatial skills can be used to help others. Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action? Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency. Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are hardest hit by natural disasters. Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets made by people like you and me"
* The best stats you've ever see: Hans Rosling
You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world."
* Global population growth: box by box
The world's population will grow to 9 billion over the next 50 years -- and only by raising the living standards of the poorest can we check population growth. This is the paradoxical answer that Hans Rosling unveils at TED@Cannes using colorful new data display technology.
* Making sense of maps
Map designer Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city -- less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places. How can we learn from these mental maps to make better real ones? As a test case, he remakes the notorious Dublin bus map.
* Maps the future of countries
Many people think the lines on the map no longer matter, but Parag Khanna says they do. Using maps of the past and present, he explains the root causes of border conflicts worldwide and proposes simple yet cunning solutions for each.
* For more wonder: Rewild the World
Wolves were once native to the US' Yellowstone National Park — until hunting wiped them out. But when, in 1995, the wolves began to come back (thanks to an aggressive management program), something interesting happened: the rest of the park began to find a new, more healthful balance. In a bold thought experiment, George Monbiot imagines a wilder world in which humans work to restore the complex, lost natural food chains that once surrounded us.
* Geography matters
Leo Landis, Curator at the Salisbury House and Gardens, shares with us a history lesson to show why geography mattered in the past and still matters today.
* The new relationship between geography and culture
If politics and the economy are the world's day, then the Internet and its subculture are its night. In the latest issue of Planets Critic Magazine, pundit Tsunehiro Uno rewrites the relationship between politics and literature, equating society and the individual with day and night in a ringing declaration. Planets began publishing in 2005. From subcultures to politics, Tsunehiro has discussed various topics with the people of the times.
* Overpopulation, the facts: the problem no one will discuss
Actress Alexandra Paul breaks the silence on one of the most taboo subjects of our time: human overpopulation and how to resolve the crisis that is adding 220,000 more people to the planet every day. In this fact filled talk, Alexandra discusses the overpopulation problems of 7 billion humans multiplying at a rate of 1 billion more people every 12 years and offers a simple solution: Transform negative cultural attitudes about the Only Child, and celebrate the short and long term benefits of small families.
Alexandra reminds us that coercion in any form is not the answer to changing cultural and biological norms. Instead, rewiring our biology through strong cultural messaging, education of girls and empowerment of women are the solutions to stopping the current momentum towards 10 billion people on the planet in 40 years.
Alexandra emphasizes that because each American born uses so many more resources than someone from a developing country, it is equally important that wealthy countries have small families. She discusses the economic tradeoffs of a smaller population in a world where capitalism reigns: because the capitalist system depends upon more and more consumers, there are strong forces at work to keep the numbers of people on earth growing. But at what expense?
And since human numbers cannot keep getting larger forever, at what point will we change our ways? When it is too late?
Most controversially, Alexandra believes that, if humans are to survive on this planet, the ideal family has one child and the ideal number of people on earth is 2 billion. "If that is too radical, then it is time for radicalism. Too much is at stake to be polite." This talk is full of overpopulation facts.
* Your health depends upon where you live
Where you live: It impacts your health as much as diet and genes do, but it's not part of your medical records. At TEDMED, Bill Davenhall shows how overlooked government geo-data (from local heart-attack rates to toxic dumpsite info) can mesh with mobile GPS apps to keep doctors in the loop. Call it "geo-medicine.
* Dreams from endangered cultures
With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, which are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.
* Food shaped our cities
Every day, in a city the size of London, 30 million meals are served. But where does all the food come from? Architect Carolyn Steel discusses the daily miracle of feeding a city, and shows how ancient food routes shaped the modern world.
* The worldwide web of belief and ritual
Anthropologist Wade Davis muses on the worldwide web of belief and ritual that makes us human. He shares breathtaking photos and stories of the Elder Brothers, a group of Sierra Nevada Indians whose spiritual practice holds the world in balance
* Mapping history
In a fun and interesting talk, researcher and engineer Frederic Kaplan shows off the Venice Time Machine, a project to digitize 80 kilometers of books to create a historical and geographical simulation of Venice across 1000 years.
* Ecology from the air
What are our forests really made of? From the air, ecologist Greg Asner uses a spectrometer and high-powered lasers to map nature in meticulous kaleidoscopic 3D detail — what he calls “a very high-tech accounting system” of carbon. In this fascinating talk, Asner gives a clear message: To save our ecosystems, we need more data, gathered in new ways.
Not geography but just inspirational - worth a watch - A philosophy for a happy life.