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Not to be dramatic, but I think this interactive sand map that shows changing topography is one of the coolest thin…
dem  geography  gis  terrain  visualization  vr 
november 2018 by aries1988
Jared Diamond: ‘Humans, 150,000 years ago, wouldn’t figure on a list of the five most interesting species on Earth’

It was a painful thought for someone who recalled being told, by an admiring teacher at his Massachusetts school, that one day he would “unify the sciences and humanities”. Clearly, he needed a larger canvas. Even so, few could have predicted how large a canvas he would choose.

1997’s Guns, Germs and Steel – which ask the most sweeping questions it is possible to ask about human history.

Diamond, who describes himself as a biogeographer, answers them in translucent prose that has the effect of making the world seem to click into place, each fact assuming its place in an elegant arc of pan-historical reasoning.

Why? Because 8,000 years ago – to borrow from Guns, Germs and Steel – the geography of Europe and the Middle East made it easier to farm crops and animals there than elsewhere.

vicious jousting between Diamond and many anthropologists. They condemn him as a cultural imperialist, intent on excusing the horrors of colonialism while asserting the moral superiority of the west.

In person, Diamond is a fastidiously courteous 77-year-old with a Quaker-style beard sans moustache, and archaic New England vowels: “often” becomes “orphan”, “area” becomes “eerier”. There’s no computer: despite his children’s best efforts, he admits he’s never learned to use one.

What changed, Diamond argues, was a seemingly minor set of mutations in our larynxes, permitting control over spoken sounds, and thus spoken language; spoken language permitted much of the rest.

It won a Pulitzer prize and has sold more than 1.5m copies in 36 languages. Mitt Romney quoted it admiringly in his 2012 presidential campaign, garbling its message entirely.

he found himself accused of “geographic determinism”: in his critics’ opinion, his arguments squeeze out any role for human agency and decision-making, thereby sparing history’s colonisers – and today’s elites – any responsibility for having created our grotesquely unjust world.

Each of the two books has the unusual distinction of having another book dedicated largely to demolishing it: Yali’s Question, which offers a different answer from Diamond’s New Guinean acquaintance, and Questioning Collapse, which calls the Easter Island “ecocide” a myth.

Whenever I hear the phrase ‘geographic determinism’,” he says, “I know I’m about to waste time discussing with someone who has no right to be discussing [how human societies developed]. Because the fact is that geography has a strong influence on humans. It doesn’t determine everything, but it has a strong influence
bio  book  leader  human  development  inequality  world  history  biology  environment  debate  theory  geography  opinion 
october 2018 by aries1988
水利工程的明珠——灵渠 | 力学园地

漓江和湘江之间的分水岭是南岭山脉(越城岭和海洋山)的高山大岭,兴安县位于南岭山脉的最低处,在兴安县城附近,分水岭降低为一条近南北向的古称越城峤(太史庙岭)的土岭。湘江上游的海阳河与漓江上游的始安水的最近距离只有1.7km,相隔的就是这列宽三百余米,高三十余米的土岭。只要把这座岭挖穿,就可以使海阳河与始安水接通,实现湘江与漓江的连接
china  geography  engineering 
august 2018 by aries1988
Where to download free elevation data for Europe? - Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange
The 3-arc second (~90 meter) SRTM covers all of Europe to 60° N, has good positional accuracy and is part of the public domain
data  explained  geography  md 
september 2017 by aries1988
Travels in Siberia—I
The Ural Mountains, which cross Russia north to south from the Arctic Ocean to Kazakhstan, are the western edge of Siberia. The Urals also separate Europe from Asia. As a mountain range with the big job of dividing two continents, the Urals aren’t much. It is possible to drive over them, as I have done, and not know. In central Russia, the summits of the Urals average between one thousand and two thousand feet. But after you cross the Urals the land opens out, the villages are farther apart, the concrete bus shelters along the highway become fewer, and suddenly you realize you’re in Siberia.

In much of Siberia, the land doesn’t do much of anything besides gradually sag northward to the Arctic. The rivers of western Siberia flow so slowly that they hardly seem to move at all. There the rivers run muddy; in eastern Siberia, with its real mountains and sharper drop to the Pacific, many of the rivers run clear.

Now and then, a passenger train goes by, and, if the time is summer and the weather, as usual, hot, many shirtless passengers are hanging from the open windows with the curtains flapping beside them. Not even the most luxurious car on the Trans-Siberian Railway offers air-conditioning.

To astronomers, Siberia provides the advantage of skies largely untroubled by light pollution and, in some places, cloud-free for more than two hundred days a year. Looking up at the clarity of the night in Siberia, you feel that you are in the sky yourself. Never in my life had I seen so many satellites and shooting stars.

Exile under the tsars could be a rather mild proposition, especially compared with what the Soviets later devised; during his exile Lenin received a government stipend of twelve rubles a month, which covered room and board along with extras like books. He was able to get a lot of reading done. All in all, Siberia seems to have agreed with Lenin splendidly, and seasoned him as a political thinker.

The first Russian ruler to style himself officially as tsar, Ivan IV (Ivan Grozny, Ivan the Fear-Inspiring, the Terrible), was also the first to add “Lord of All the Siberian Land” to his titles. He was able to do this because he had conquered the Tatar city of Kazan, a Muslim stronghold on the Volga River which had long blocked Russian moves eastward. With Kazan out of the way, Russian adventurers could go beyond the frontiers to previously unexplored lands across the Urals.

(Later, in my more uncertain moods, I wondered if my guides might be Ivan Susanin, and the Polish army might be me.)

Any stop sign in such a rural place in America (let alone a stop sign written in a foreign language) would likely have a few bullet holes.
humor  russia  siberia  travel  story  russian  history  geography  comparison  american 
june 2017 by aries1988
Kuroshio — Wikipédia
Le courant de Kuroshio, en japonais kuroshio (黒潮?, « courant noir »), anciennement orthographié kuroshiwo, est le second plus grand courant marin au monde, après le Gulf Stream. Il débute dans l'ouest de l'océan Pacifique au large de la côte orientale de Taïwan et se dirige vers les eaux au nord-est du Japon où il fusionne avec la dérive orientale du courant du Pacifique nord. Il a un rôle analogue à celui du Gulf Stream dans l'océan Atlantique, transportant des eaux chaudes tropicales vers le Nord et les régions polaires.
geography  comparison  ocean  weather 
march 2017 by aries1988
Le Japon, nouvel eldorado blanc

Une texture inégalable qu’analyse le Suisse ­Samuel Anthamatten, guide de haute mon­tagne et skieur professionnel : « La qualité de la neige japonaise est unique. Humide, puisque ­proche de l’océan, elle reste pourtant très agré­able à skier car il fait froid. » En station, l’hiver, les thermomètres oscillent entre – 5 °C et – 20 °C. « Pour imager, poursuit-il, si je com­parais la neige de chez nous à du yaourt, alors celle du Japon se rapprocherait de la crème ­chantilly ! »

L’Archipel, qui détient le ­record (méconnu) mondial du nombre de stations de ski (573), bénéficie de forts vents froids en provenance de la Sibérie et de la Chine qui soufflent sur la mer chaude du Japon. De leur ­rencontre naissent les précipitations responsables de ces impressionnantes chutes de neige.

La neige promise se savoure dans les innombrables ­forêts, plus ou moins denses, offrant l’occasion de skier entre les pousses de bambou. « Ce ne sont pas les terrains les plus techniques que j’aie connus, mais le ski entre les arbres reste très joueur », analyse Slemett. Sur les pistes, les distributeurs automatiques de canettes chaudes et les télésièges monoplaces ou démunis de garde-corps peuvent surprendre les Occidentaux.

L’esprit freeride des pionniers japonais semble de nouveau planer sur les montagnes blanches du pays du Soleil-Levant.
ski  japan  meteo  geography  snow 
february 2017 by aries1988
梁文道:記住三千種薯仔的名字(薯仔的故鄉之三)

難怪秘魯菜現在會變得那麼有名,他們可用的東西實在是琳瑯滿目,取之不竭。這國家有海拔六千米以上的雪山,有乾旱的沙漠,有漫長的海岸線,有放牧牛羊的草原,更是亞馬遜河的上游,全球三十二種「微氣候」(microclimates),它獨佔三十,物種之多樣舉世罕見。
peru  potato  geography 
december 2016 by aries1988
Generating fantasy maps
I have a programmer's superstitions about always using powers of 2, which are more pleasing to the spirit of the machine.
fun  game  geography  map  cartography  explained  fiction 
august 2016 by aries1988
历史的发展路径已经确定了吗?
以西方的兴起为例,正如伊恩•莫里斯在本书中简洁概括的,所有的解释大抵可以分为两类:一类认为西方的兴起是“长期注定”的,另一类则强调那只是“短期偶然”所导致。前者强调有某个关键因素(人种、地理、文化、政治等)在很久之前(常常追溯到古希腊)就决定了工业革命必然发生在西方;而后者则认为西欧不过是运气较好而已,而且其优势直到1750年代仍不明显,换言之,西方的兴起不仅偶然,而且领先于世界其他地区不过是最近两百多年的现象。

他的结论是:“生物学和社会学能解释全球范围内的相似之处,而地理学则能解释区域差异。从这个意义上讲,是地理学解释了西方为何主宰世界。”在他看来,是地理这一非人为因素致使中西方走上了不同道路,这是因为第一,中国“无法拥有属于自己的地中海”,因而就缺乏廉价和便捷的水运通道,导致贸易活动只能局限于相对较小的范围内;其次,地理因素使西方人比东方人更容易到达美洲。他反复强调,“明朝的中国永远也不可能创造一个西方后期大西洋经济的东方版本”,因为对中国人来说“地理是一个极为不利的因素”。
book  history  comparison  development  academia  debate  geography  fate  future  explained  question 
june 2016 by aries1988
Persian (or Arabian) Gulf Is Caught in the Middle of Regional Rivalries
This may be among the most minor of the disputes, but it speaks to the level of hostility and competition between the two, and is taken quite seriously by many with an interest in the region — including the United States Navy, which, for fear of alienating its regional allies, uses the term Arabian Gulf.

Persian Gulf has been used throughout history, in maps, documents and diplomacy, from the ancient Persians, whose empire dominated the region, to the Greeks and the British.

“It is commonly understood to be a friendly gesture of solidarity and support for our host nation of Bahrain and our other Gulf Cooperation Council partners in the region to use the term they prefer,” Commander Stephens wrote in an email.
geography  geopolitics  middle-east  name  conflict 
january 2016 by aries1988
The Dream World Of ‘The Good Dinosaur’ Is Based On USGS Surveys
“When Arlo’s in danger, you feel in danger. The environment is really the antagonist in the film.” Believe it or not, Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” — which cente…
geography  animation  data 
january 2016 by aries1988
Wheat People vs. Rice People
In America, we say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. In Japan, people say that the nail that stands up gets hammered down.

For example, Americans are more likely to ignore the context, and Asians to attend to it.
In May, the journal Science published a study, led by a young University of Virginia psychologist, Thomas Talhelm, that ascribed these different orientations to the social worlds created by wheat farming and rice farming. Rice is a finicky crop. Because rice paddies need standing water, they require complex irrigation systems that have to be built and drained each year. One farmer’s water use affects his neighbor’s yield. A community of rice farmers needs to work together in tightly integrated ways.

Not wheat farmers. Wheat needs only rainfall, not irrigation. To plant and harvest it takes half as much work as rice does, and substantially less coordination and cooperation. And historically, Europeans have been wheat farmers and Asians have grown rice.

The authors of the study in Science argue that over thousands of years, rice- and wheat-growing societies developed distinctive cultures: “You do not need to farm rice yourself to inherit rice culture.”

As we enter a season in which the values of do-it-yourself individualism are likely to dominate our Congress, it is worth remembering that this way of thinking might just be the product of the way our forefathers grew their food and not a fundamental truth about the way that all humans flourish.
fun  agriculture  character  society  food  determinism  geography  asia  europe  comparison  china 
december 2014 by aries1988
Quiz Map
RT : Check out our recently launched website for the next step in quiz apps:
quizapp  trivia  quiz  geography 
october 2014 by aries1988
TileMill | Mapbox
Whether you're a journalist, web designer, researcher, or seasoned cartographer, TileMill is the design studio to create stunning interactive maps.
via:vneyroud  cartographie  infographics  geography  cartes 
march 2014 by aries1988
Map of discoveries of European explorers.
In recent decades, respect for European explorers, such as Christopher Columbus, has waned, likely because these once-romanticized swashbuckling adventurers killed people, eradicated cultures, and “discovered” places that people (for example, the natives) already knew about. They did make some discoveries, though—lands never inhabited or where the inhabitants were already dead before Europeans made landfall.The map above, from historian and cartographer Bill Rankin, shows those places and the country that discovered each.
history  geography  europe  comparison 
august 2013 by aries1988
【更新】云南昭通山体滑坡已致44人遇难
据云南省地质调查局的专家介绍,昭通市地处云、贵、川三省结合部,地貌上属滇东北高原峡谷区。由于昭通市被金沙江及金沙江一级支流小江、牛栏江、盐津河深切割,造成山高坡陡、构造多、地质环境复杂,区域内分布有五莲峰、洒渔河、大关等活动断裂带,中强地震活动较为频繁,因此属于云南省地质灾害极易发区。
geography 
january 2013 by aries1988

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