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November 15, 2012
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News for geographers

  Geography in Action 
  • Understanding the political geography of the U.S.
    Americans tend to locate near other people who share similar political views, creating a large number of counties that either tend to be reliably Democratic or Republican during election season, writes Timothy Heleniak, director of the American Geographical Society. "The reason that many find the closeness of the election amazing is that over time, we have segregated ourselves geographically into such like-minded clusters, that we are seldom exposed to people with differing political views," writes Heleniak, who suggests that eliminating the Electoral College could expose the country to new ideas. The Hill/Congress Blog (11/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why Canadian farmers are turning to corn
    Farmers in the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta are increasingly planting corn as the climate has changed and the growing season has become longer. "The winters have warmed and shortened dramatically," said University of Winnipeg geography professor Danny Blair. Corn is more profitable than wheat, which the provinces have long been known for growing. Bloomberg Businessweek (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Research, Education and Global Change 
  • Geographer's visualization plots Texas electorate
    Kirk Goldsberry, an assistant professor of geography at Michigan State University, has created a visualization that provides more insight into Texas' electoral present and future. The visualization plots how people vote and how various ethnic groups are distributed across the state. "The work was partly to challenge people's perception of Texas," Goldsberry said. "It's increasingly urban, it's increasingly Democratic, and therefore increasingly blue." New Scientist/Short Sharp Science blog (11/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Developing economies to be bigger than developed within 50 years
    China will overtake the U.S. as the world's largest economy within four years, setting the stage for developing economies to surpass the developed world within 50 years and quadruple the GDP per capita of their citizens, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. "It is quite a shift in the balance of economic power we are going to see in the future," said OECD senior economist Asa Johansson. The Guardian (London)/Datablog (11/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology and Applications 
  • 3D land-use maps empower Laotian villagers
    Three-dimensional topographical maps, complete with familiar landmarks, offer potential for engaging local people in making land-use decisions that will encourage sustainable development. The maps, tested in 28 villages in Laos in 2011, allowed residents to reach agreement on key issues while learning the techniques of negotiation and planning. AlertNet/CIFOR Forests News blog (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Using technology to produce better wine
    Some winemakers are relying on a technique known as "precision viticulture" that involves collecting and mapping data to determine the best way to grow grapes. After gathering aerial images, practitioners form maps and integrate data such as the results of soil samples. "The whole process is guided by a GPS platform. The picking device is guided by GPS programmed for the particular site," said University of Aberdeen geography professor David Green. "The planting of vines is often done by GPS as well." Winemakers can use a geographic information system to analyze their vineyards and how they have changed over time. BBC (11/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • New AAG award recognizes creativity in geography
    The AAG Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography has been established to annually honor an individual geographer or team that has demonstrated originality, creativity and significant intellectual breakthroughs in geography. The deadline to submit nominations is Jan. 22, 2013. The AAG Executive Committee will select the awardee, and the award will be presented at the Awards Luncheon during the AAG Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Conference assistants needed for AAG Annual Meeting
    Eligible members are invited to get involved in the AAG Annual Meeting by donating some of their time as a conference assistant. Student members and AAG members who are unemployed or underemployed are encouraged to apply for this unique opportunity to help offset their meeting registration costs. The AAG Conference Volunteer Application form is available online at The deadline for applications is Jan. 20, 2013. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • SmartBrief will not publish Thursday
    In observance of Thanksgiving in the U.S., SmartBrief will not be published Thursday, Nov. 22. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others."
--Robert Louis Stevenson,
Scottish novelist, poet and essayist

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