Building a Better Subway Map

GEOGRAPHY Maps and mongrels and metros, oh my! Researchers at an MIT lab have devised a way to determine how well commuters can comprehend a subway map—in a glance. (Fast Company, great article!) Use our resources to better understand public transportation, and how to map it. Discussion Ideas Look through our GeoStory “Public Transportation,” which provides maps for buses, trains, and metros. (Maps are not … Continue reading Building a Better Subway Map

Adam Schwartz- NYC’s Livable Streets Initiative

Adam teaches at the Academy of Urban Planning in Bushwick, Brooklyn. in addition to teaching Global Regents, he co-teaches Urban Geography, an interdisciplinary class (History, Science, Geography) that analyzes the urban environment. A major focus of the class is Geographic Information Systems and other geospatial technology. Adam is in his 3rd year of the NSF funded City as Lab program with Brooklyn College, which assigns PhD students to his class to support inquiry and project learning. If you are interested in getting involed, please get in touch with him at

Geography can take us to distant places and help us to understand the processes occurring around the world. But geographic awareness has the firmest grounding in our immediate surroundings, especially for students will a limited experience of other places. The way our city is shaped affects our student’s lives intimately on a daily basis, most readily in its streets.

So this Geography Awareness Week, we had the pleasure to work with NYC’s Livable Streets Initiative. Working together with Rebecca Jacobs, director of Street Education, we set out to get our kids active in transport planning.

There are few experiences more real and visceral than almost being hit by a car, an experience our students are very familiar with. In a pre-survey of experiences and attitudes (shown below), 75% report a near miss with a car. One out of every five of our students report bring hit by a car. Almost 90% of them know someone who has–there were many harrowing stories shared in class to back up these statistics. This is clearly an area where students have a great deal of concern, if not a complete understanding. But that is a great place to start a unit!

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Five Ways to Beat the Heat

I haven’t been following the national forecasts as closely as I should recently—how’s the weather in your corner of the country? In D.C., it’s been pretty steamy this past week. Literally, like a sauna. So, on my way to work this morning, I challenged myself to think cool thoughts. And—voilà—the perfect blog post materialized. 5 Ways to Beat the Heat [geographically] 1.    Investigate “cool” offers … Continue reading Five Ways to Beat the Heat

Future on the Fast Track

Do you get frustrated on the morning commute? How about at the airport? Both of those questions are ridiculous for this reason: I already know that your answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Everybody gets frustrated at one point or another while commuting in rush hour traffic or getting hassled at the airport. Personally, it is difficult for me to maintain my composure when it takes me 1.5 hours to drive 22 miles. I can ride a bike faster than that!

Is there a better way to get around besides driving a car that is expensive to maintain, pollutes, is noisy, etc? How about better than flying? One solution could be high-speed rail.


A Japanese Shinkansen Train Rockets along the Rails

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