Geography is the study of the earth, its inhabitants, its features and its phenomena. The word Geography is Greek meaning to draw or write about the earth and the subject is divided into two parts, physical geography and human geography. Physical geography studies the natural environment focusing on continents, seas, rivers and mountains with phenomena such as tides, winds and earthquakes. Human geography takes into account the human environment including populations and economies of countries. Other subjects for physical geography include climate, land formation, rocks and soil and further subjects relating to human geography include agriculture, land use, industries, pollution and energy. The topic is closely connected to the Earth Sciences as well as cartography, meteorology, pedology, climatology, geodesy and biography. The oldest known maps date back to Babylon in the 9th century and through the ages there have been many notable geographers each making a contribution to the history of the subject. Below are the best ten sites on the Internet containing information on the topic; some of the sites are world institutions, some are famous and some are learning establishments, but they all have two things in common. They all demonstrate great resources and they are all listed together in one place.
National Geographic is famous the world over for its magazines and programmes on Geography. The magazine can be viewed on the site and there are articles, photos, videos and blogs containing fascinating information. Special sections are dedicated to children, television, travel, adventure and games with facts on education, science and maps. An animal section explores endangered species and animal conservation and the environment section looks at global warming, habitats and natural disasters. There is an online shop for buying books and DVDs and subscription to the newsletter is encouraged.
The Geography Site contains illustrated articles and facts on Geography with categories such as environmental, human, physical, countries, citizenship and skills. There are special sections for teachers with an image library, online lessons, links and guest map. There is also an online bookstore and advice on revision for students can be found. Geography Site promotes gap year trips to Uganda and full details are available on the site.
World Atlas is a giant map of the world where individual continents and regions can be selected to reveal the countries, famous natives, flags, weather, travel information, longitude and latitude, facts, links and statistics relating to the chosen area. There is a description of each region with photographs and there is the facility to find the time anywhere in the world along with travel aids to assist you with your holidays. Featured videos are available to view and a prize quiz can be entered.
This is an agency who promotes the development, sharing and use of geospatial data within the U.S.A. Full details about the organisation can be found on the site along with the business plan. A library is available for research where white papers, articles, fact sheets, workshops, seminars, presentations, newsletters and the archives can be searched for information. Further publications and resources are available in the Metadata section and a calendar of news and events can be found.
About.com has an in-depth section on Geography with many topics to be viewed including maps, county information, cultural and physical Geography, climate change issues and population statistics to name a few. Illustrated articles are given with ‘must-reads’ being emphasised and a special section is dedicated to flags of the world. Further sections explore the physical and cultural side to Geography and there is a newsletter that can be received stating geographical facts and statistics with a quiz for testing your Geography knowledge.
Cool Geography is exactly what the name suggests. This is a bright and colourful site aimed at making Geography fun for learning. There are sections for, 7 year-olds, 8 year-olds, 9 year-olds and GSCE and A Level pupils with homework assistance, videos, animations, games and Geography movies as well as maps, teaching resources and ‘how-to’s’. Links are provided for revision and sections for older students include coastal zones, population and tourism. Exam dates are shown and a special section is dedicated to fieldwork.
Georesources has been designed especially for Geography teachers with the focus on GCSE and AS Level exams. Free teaching resources are available in tutorials and assessment packs with links to exam boards. The links are organised by age groups and digital photos tours can be taken on rivers, coasts, sand dunes and towns. There are sections for virtual fieldwork and case studies which gives detailed notes and photographs of volcanoes, oil spills, national parks and earthquakes. A photo gallery can also be found showing satellite images and maps are available to assist with homework and studies.
Google Earth is one of the most widely known and used websites on the Internet giving virtual journeys to any place in the world. Images, terrain and 3D buildings can be explored and cities, places and local businesses found. An upgraded version called Google Earth Pro is now available with additional options, measurement tools and high-definition printing. Full details about Google Earth can be found on the site and a blog is available for further information.
Worldmapper is a collection of world maps with territories re-sized according to subject of interest. There are over 700 maps which are also available as PDF posters. Maps can be selected from the A-Z index or thumbnail index and categories include land area, population, births, elderly, food, manufacturing, poverty, wealth and disease to name a few. Reference maps or animations can be chosen with the facility to buy Worldmapper books. The information is available in Chinese and Spanish and help is offered on the site.
For those amongst us who really want to make a difference and save the environment, then this is the web-site for you. The organisation has its headquarters in San Francisco and an administration office in Tokyo and has thousands of volunteer scientists, students, teachers and concerned citizens from around the world as members. The campaigns are hard-hitting and the slogan for the movement is ‘environmentalism with teeth’. Full details about the network can be found on the site and donations are welcome to preserve the natural environment for future generations to enjoy.