2009 from the Big Picture

 As the school year has closes here in Australia, we are looking back at the year 2009. Pictorial records are great and one site that I have always found interesting to look at is The Big Picture (Boston Globe), news stories in photographs.  The editors have begun to look back at 2009 in pictures.  This post is one of 3 dedicated to telling history of 2009 through pictures. There are some great shots, from humorous to poignant, breathtaking to “normal’ but from a particular point-of-view, frightening to reassuring. There will be 120 images in total over the three posts.

The year 2009 is now coming to a close, and it’s time to take a look back over the past 12 months through photographs. Historic elections were held in Iran, India and the United States, some wars wound down while others escalated, China turned 60, and the Berlin Wall was remembered 20 years after it came down. Each photo tells its own tale, weaving together into the larger story of 2009. This is a multi-entry story, 120 photographs over three days. Please watch for part 2 and part 3 tomorrow and the next day.

Another Big Picture highlight is the Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2009. The Hubble Telescope images are added to each day. It is well worth taking a look at these amazing photographs and reading the paragraph of explanation about each. If you become fascinated you can also go back to the Hubble Advent Calendar 2008 via a link on the page.

From NASAImages - BigPicture

There are also links from each photograph to more information and to Google sky (to help understand the position of the object in outer space. At the bottom you will find other links to further information:

Explaining information with maps

I like maps, always have. They are fascinating and allow for a lot of information to be viewed in a graphical way. They can also offer a means for comparison.


Worldmapper is a wonderful collection of world maps that allows viewers to see various types of information in a graphic way, ie. as a map. I found a reference to this site on the blog, Using ICT in education, and had to have a play.

The site has 366 complete world maps and about 600 in total. They keep adding more. The maps and data files”cover mainly United Nations member states, plus a few others. The maps are cartograms and each maps ” territories that have are re-sized according to the variable being mapped.” Continue reading

The US Presidential Election: in maps

We have all heard the quote “lies, damned lies and statistics” (from a politician no less) but what happens when they are mapped. 


Flickr05112008 by Rex Chen flickr.com/photos/upshine/3003544989/

The US Presidential election was covered at length on the Web, and I will not comment further but here is an interesting site that looks at the different ways you can map the US voting trends.

The site: Maps of the 2008 US presidential election results shows some quite fascinating visualizations of the different ways you can look at the voting results. The states are colored red and blue to indicate votes for the Republican candidate, John McCain, or the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, respectively. The maps are then played with by using various scalings. The maps are fascinating and I have included 2 examples below.


There is a link to maps of the 2004 elections, and an FAQ section as well.