Could it be true that that only a few, other than real estate agents and geographers, understand the importance of location, location, and location?
I asked the students in one of my classes whether they considered
Well, it turns out that the familiarity that the class had about
After pointing out the countries, at the end of the exercise, I directed them to look at
Of course, geography is not about memorizing maps, or random and trivial facts about places. It is about understanding relationships—such as economic or political relationships—between and amongst geographic areas. Such a framework, though, begins with knowing the actual location of a place, and its relationship with its surroundings. After all, if we didn’t know where exactly
The fantastic and fortunate contrast to the disinterest in understanding locations is this: we live in a world in which information is freely and easily accessible. News media often include maps of countries in their reports. A simple Google search brings up detailed maps of practically any area of the world. This ease of obtaining information is all the more the reason educators like me want our students, and the general populace, to understand and appreciate the world.
Information was not so readily available sixty years ago. Which is why I find it simply remarkable how President Franklin Roosevelt emphasized the spatial understanding of the world, when the country was in the midst of one of the bloodiest wars. The author and public intellectual, Susan Jacoby, noted an interesting aspect of
By urging Americans to look at the maps of the theatres of war, Roosevelt was making sure that his fellow citizens knew what the world looked like, even as
In the contemporary world, too,