Thursday, December 31, 2009

Celebrating The Baltic Way in 2009

Hello and Happy New Year!

At the close of 2009, I would like to remember that this year was the 20th Anniversary of the 1989 Eastern European independence movement known as 'The Baltic Way.' It was also the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A topic that interests me in geography is the cultural landscape made up of  people living in physical space,  but are restrained in one way or another by artificial boundaries.

The Baltic Way was a peaceful poltical demonstration that took place on August 23rd, 1989. Beginning in Lithuania, a human chain of some 2 million protestors stretched from Vilnius, through Riga, Latvia and ended in Tallin, Estonia. In an effort to promote their independence, the chain connected the capital cities of the then Soviet Socialist Republics that were occupied by the Soviet Union since 1940. On a side note, I am interested in geographic datums- which are brass reference plates that are often placed infront of Cathedrals as a marker to measure relative distances. This marker, 'Stebuklas' (Miracle) was placed at the Cathedral Square in Vilnius that marked the beginning of the Baltic Way human chain.

This was a very significant event in Baltic history, and is geographically relevant as it connected three countries over space with a common idea- a peaceful movement toward independence. The Baltic national identities were brought together in this effort, and just six months later, Lithuania was the first to declare their independence!

Happy New Year!

By: Frankie Harrison

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Verizon vs. AT&T

Happy Holidays --

I just want to point out that unfortunately I have been watching a lot more television since school has ended. Something which has caught my eye though has been the constant battle between Verizon Wireless and AT&T -- and maps are at the forefront of this competition. The maps show the cellular coverage across the United States, and Verizon seems to be winning as far as the maps say. However, AT&T has put out their own map, which looks nothing like the one in the Verizon commercials. The entire thing is really entertaining.

Take a look ...

Apparently, AT&T lost to Verizon Wireless in court, and the Verizon maps were completely valid.

This is just another way in which geography and maps is a critical force in advertisement, and that it really does make a difference!

I am a Verizon customer, for the record.

Happy Holidays again --

Written by: Megg

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Landmine Assistance in Peru - December 3

Michael Lundquist is a BSC graduate who is CEO of the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. On Thursday morning, December 3, he will be speaking to students in Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's Geography of Latin America course, meeting from 9:30 to 10:45 in Science 128. Afterward, he will meet informally with students who are participating (or have participated) in the January 2009 and 2010 study tours in Nicaragua. Mr. Lundquist will actually be joining part of the 2010 study tour, which includes Polus Center projects in Leon: PLUSAA, Walking Unidos. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Ben Linder Cafe, which is the inpsiration for the seond Ben Linder cafe proposed for the new Science and Math Center.

On December 3, however, his focus will be on his recent visit to Peru, where he began preparations for victim assistance and development. Community Announcements for more information.

See the Geography Department Blog and the Polus Center Website for more information:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cartograms and Geography

Cartograms are maps in which some thematic mapping variable is substituted for land area. For the years that I have been at Bridgewater State College, as a Geography major, I have really come to love and appreciate cartograms for the dramatic message that they send. At this point in my life, my education has defined me as a person, and will shape all my decisions hereafter. Looking at the cartograms Tertiary Education and Women Not in Tertiary Education remind me of how fortunate I am to have access to higher education. Geography really can help you to see the world differently, as well as your place within it!

Tertiary Education (Above)

Women Not in Tertiary Education (Above)

These cartograms are taken from It is a great site to use for cartograms, which has many different mapping themes, as well as new population cartograms for the countries of the world.

Written by: Megg Goodrich