Geographical contexts to everyday situations explained

Asian Tsunami
Bloggers have been proving their value in providing up to the minute reporting and multimedia in the aftermath of the devastation in S.E. Asia.
Check out the GeoBlogs page for some of the links.
Well done to all those bloggers who have helped people in need of information, or who have contributed bandwidth to host the reports.
Don't forget to donate money!

Boxing Day
Sky News and BBC News 24 have been solid today with coverage of the devastating tsunami which has devastated the coast of Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and the Maldives, along with other locations such as Bangladesh and Malaysia.
A year ago it was the citadel city of Bam that was struck.
This puts the UK's concerns about a few centimetres of snow into perspective.
My best wishes to all who have relatives or friends who are resident, or were on holiday, in those locations.
Oxfam are amongst the charities who have an online donation page on their website. Head over to:
and donate...

Geo Blogs

Geo Blogs ‘down London’
Geo Blogs recently returned from the embedding ‘ICT in Geography’ event at the Royal Geographical Society. This was one of a series of roadshows aimed at offering best practice in the use of ICT in specific curriculum areas, and giving teachers advice on where to find help in this respect, and encourage creativity.

6 o’ clock in darkest Norfolk. Coffee and flapjack and a newspaper from station café, and on down through the Fens: Ely Cathedral and Cambridge where commuters slowly joined the train and talked about how they hated their jobs…
Story in the paper about the Malvern Hills, and plans that Coca Cola have to open up a new well and take millions of litres more water from the groundwater in the area.

Do you trust tap water ?
Do you still drink it ?

Landscape changing as it slowly got lighter, garden cities, isolated farms, high rise blocks with some attempt at decoration, Arsenal’s new stadium under construction a football’s kick from the old one…
Out to do battle with the underground, trains delayed, trains switched, lines blocked – adopted a Zen like calm….plotted my course with Harry Beck’s map / diagram and considered that perhaps if I knew the actual surface topography I could maybe get out and walk and it might be quicker, but then again…
Out from South Kensington past the Science Museum – destination of several school trips when I was younger: potted meat sandwiches on the coach, a packet of Spangles, and ‘The Sweet’ on 8 track cassette.… non-interactive exhibits, push the button if you were lucky – consider what we have to do now to hold the attention of a child…
And on to the Royal Geographical Society. Splendid new glass and steel entrance complex sitting comfortably with the older building.
I’d been invited to publicise the work done by Evaluate: a digital learning content evaluation service run by the DfES and ‘The Guardian’: visit, Geo Blogs was mentioned in the latest issue of the Evaluate supplement (more at )

Into the Ondaatje Lecture Theatre for an introduction by Rita Gardner, Director of the RGS-IBG, followed by interesting talk on the work of the Ordnance Survey and their recent work with GIS. This was presented by Steve Erskine, who included some amusing videos showing the growth of instant mapping services such as those provided by Vodafone and 3.
The video is a 1.8 Mb download, and is available from and other sources.

Have you ever thought about the Geographical content of television advertising ?

We’re coming up to Christmas – over 70% of toys are made in China. I often wonder about the bemused looks that must come across the workers’ faces as they see some of the things they are contracted to make.

Why not check out my Christmas Blog from last year, looking at the environmental and social aspects of Christmas… It’s available from the Geo Blogs page. Blog Christmas!
The WWF also have a PDF guide to having a sustainable Christmas.

Through to the Evaluate area. Met up with some of the other presenters for the day.

Noel Jenkins: – has used a piece of software called Inspiration to frame the work he had put together on Bright Ideas in ICT.
David Rayner of was also investigating uses of ICT in Geography lessons.

Have you just bought a new piece of Geography software – perhaps with e Learning credits ? Why not ‘blog’ your experiences with it: from installation to confidence – this could then be used to let other teachers know of the shortcuts to use and the pitfalls to avoid.

Met Judith Mansell, Education Officer at the RGS-IBG, one of the people who had confidence in the potential of Geo Blogs.

One delegate had flown from Scotland for the day. The phrase “it’s a small world” – is it getting smaller ? Is this a good thing ?

Where’s the most remote you’ve been and still bumped into someone you know ? – let us know.

On train home, read book I picked up in second hand shop for £1. “The Great Drought of 1976” by Evelyn Cox. Follows the effects of the winter of 1975 and the following year on a Herefordshire farm and the nearby community, along with snippets on the wider effects in the UK.

When do you use water and how much ?
Why not keep a record of water use. If you have a meter, why not take a reading at the beginning and end of the week to act as a ‘control’, then actively try to save water for the 2nd week, and see how much you can save…

Geo Blogs

Christmas Challenge
Here's a challenge.
Pick up anything that's manufactured and related to Christmas.

Christmas tree lights
Christmas tree decorations

Is it made somewhere other than China ?
You win...

Recently had an e-mail from Michael Wolf re. a website which I featured on GeographyPages. The website features Michael's wonderful installation "The Real Toy Story" which attracted many visitors to a gallery in Hong Kong.
Go to - check it out.
Michael was the artist and the e-mail said how glad he was that I'd enjoyed the exhibition website.

We recently entertained a delegation of Chinese teachers from a Chongqing school. We will be furthering links between our 2 schools during 2005, and some of those will feature here in GeoBlogs.
Do you have an exchange or link with a school outside of the UK ? (or within the UK if you're reading this somewhere else....) - why not blog the progress made with the exchange, or set up a blog for the students to post to.

OK. Time for one of my favourite movies: "Belleville Rendezvous".

Geo Blogs

About me

  • I'm Alan Parkinson
  • From
  • Geographer
    Teacher at King's Ely
    Mission:Explorer with Explorer HQ
    Chartered Geographer
    Hon. FRSGS
    Tivy Education Medal Winner 2013
    OS Award Winner 2008
    Multi-award winning author
    Consultant to the GA
    Primary Geography Champion
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