Geography Awareness Week November 11–17, 2007

Building Geographic Literacy

My Wonderful WorldSince 1888, National Geographic has worked to build and spread geographic knowledge. Geography Awareness Week began in 1987 as celebration of the importance of geography in our lives. In 2006, National Geographic began a five-year campaign called My Wonderful World, to help people experience the power of geography.

Learn About Asia

Be sure to visit My Wonderful World for seven days of virtual tours, videos, and other activities during this very geographic week

Bring Asia to life in the classroom. Take a virtual journey to Asia and see how GIS technology opens doors of understanding to the vast and complicated Asian continent by watching Layers of Asia – A GIS Journey Through Our World. Visit India to see how geography and climate have influenced history, visit the Himalayas to see how mountain climbers use GIS to plan routes, and visit China to see how mega cities will emerge in the 21st century.

Layers of Asia: A GIS Journey Through our World [Video]

ESRI produced the video in support of National Geographic Society Educational Foundation’s Geography Awareness Week. ESRI is a coalition member of National Geographic’s My Wonderful World geographic education initiative.

The following lessons are part of ArcLessons, a collection of GIS lessons created by teachers for use in the classroom. You can contribute your lessons or lessonPaks to ArcLessons for other educators to use.

  • To the Farthest Reaches of Asia [PDF]
    —What are the extremes of Asia’s landmass? Asia is, after all, the world’s largest continent, covering over 8 percent of the Earth’s surface, and nearly 30 percent of its land area, with over 60 percent of the world’s population. Take a circular trip around the entire continent, exploring the extreme boundaries of Asia, using National Geographic’s MapMachine, an online GIS. These places represent not only the extreme boundaries of Asia, but also extremes in climate, population, ecoregions, and landforms. (MapMachine)
  • Asia: Land of the Highest Highs and the Lowest Lows [PDF]
    —What are the extremes of Asia’s elevations? Asia has not only the highest point in the world, but the lowest. Take a trip to these places, and explore their population, climate, landforms, and ecoregions, using National Geographic’s MapMachine, an online GIS built by ESRI. (MapMachine)
  • Asia: Land of Extremes [PDF]
    —What are the extremes of Asia’s climate? Challenge what you think you know about the hottest and coldest places in Asia through spatial analysis. Explore the population, climate, landforms, and ecoregions of these places using National Geographic’s MapMachine, an online GIS built by ESRI. (MapMachine)
  • Investigating World Continents and Asia's Land and Population [PDF]
    —We all know that Asia is the world’s largest continent in terms of both land area and in population. However, Asia is a wonderfully diverse continent, with a tremendous variety of people, climates, landforms, animals, plants, ecoregions, and countries. These characteristics vary across space and through time. What if you could use a Geographic Information System (GIS) and the spatial perspective to investigate Asia’s land and population? Using a GIS called ArcExplorer Java Edition for Education (AEJEE), you can! Using your GIS, be an investigative geographer, following the steps in this activity en route to your final report about the land and population throughout the World and in Asia. (AEJEE)
  • Analyzing Asia's Population Using a GIS [PDF]
    —Asia’s population is wonderfully diverse, with a tremendous variety of countries, regions, cities, and rural areas containing a wide variety of people of different cultures—customs, languages, religions, and more. These characteristics vary across space and through time. Use a GIS and the spatial perspective to investigate Asia’s population. What you find may challenge what you knew before and open a new world to your studies for Asia and beyond.(AEJEE)
  • Analyzing Asia's Time Zones Using a GIS [PDF]
    —Exploring time zones is an excellent way to learn about the world, including culture, politics, spatial relationships, scale, size, distance, and Earth’s movements. This lesson invites spatial inquiry of the patterns of time zones with an emphasis on Asia. (ArcGIS)
  • Investigating Asia's Minerals Extraction Using a GIS [PDF]
    —With these data sets and activities for South Asia, you have the opportunity to investigate the spatial distribution of minerals, oil, and gas related to countries, geology, cities, and other features. The distribution of these quarries, wells, and mines may challenge what you think you know about the physical geography and geology of South Asia. What is the impact of the extractive industries on the location of pipelines, railroads, roads, and cities? What is the relationship of these quarries, wells, and mines to major lakes and to the geologic units of the region? (ArcGIS)

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