Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Google Earth as Political Tool?

As always, one excellent blog pointed me to another (http://www.digitalgeography.co.uk) which put me at this post. I confess I've not heard of this Sea before, have you? The Aral Sea? I'm feeling pretty illiterate at this point for NOT knowing about it, especially given what you'll see if you watch the movie on that post or try it yourself in Google Earth V 5.0 and the Historical Data feature. (I'll embed his video in here to entice you to check this out.)

More than the video, I liked what the blogger, Noel Jenkins, says about how governments are not able to lie and hide from the truth as much any more, when the proof is so readily available. This is a good page on the USGS site that explains what is happening and why. And here is the wikipedia page about it. The images are horrifying.

But I love this line from Noel, "Google Earth isn’t just an essential resource for teaching the Aral Sea issue, it’s a powerful political tool and students should be aware of this. Governments are becoming increasingly accountable in the face of unequivocal evidence from the Google database which has revealed slum clearance in Zimbabwe and genocide in Darfur."

Send this to your favorite science teacher who teaches about earth science and conservation, etc. There's a great lesson in here that could be co-taught by your science teacher and the social studies teacher, don't you think?

Here's the video:

Shrinking Aral Sea from Noel Jenkins on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Noel Jenkins said...

Hey Jim. Thanks for your comments about the Google Earth history feature.