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Author Topic: where are you from and how good are you at geography?  (Read 565 times)
« on: November 26, 2023 @675.46 »

sometimes, i see people (especially my peers in real life) say they don't know almost *anything* about basic geography... for example, my science teacher at my old school seriously thought africa was under north america instead of south america for a long time, and never bothered to look up anything until a loooong time... this shocked me a LOT. i live in the united states, for clarity (specifically new england, where education is generally better than in the south). it seems like a lot of the people here especially kids never bothered to learn? which is in my opinion a bit bad, though maybe i am just bias because i have been able to name every single country before (with a sporcle quiz) and i can identify almost every single country outline (i really like geography lol) i still need to work on territories, flags, and capitals more though.
so.. where are you from, and how limited is your geography knowledge? don't worry about being judged.
(side note i added a flag counter on my signature as you can see hehehehehehehe)
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2023 @696.41 »

This is definitely an American-flavored problem. I'm from the southernmost part of the Midwest, and many people in my circle don't know a lot about geography. While that may not be a problem inherently, I think that it also means people are out of touch with how much physical location shapes a culture. This leads to a hell of a lot more ethnocentrism, as well as a general lack of understanding of other cultures.

Personally, I have always been a knowledge sponge, so geography has been one of my many hyperfixations. I took a geography class in high school and one in junior high, but I don't think I took a class in college. I'm much like you in that I learned a lot of new things by first memorizing all the countries, capitals, and flags using Sporcle quizzes in my spare time around age 15/16. It's crazy what you can learn through memorization!

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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2023 @752.19 »

I may be an extraordinary case here because I worked in the tourism industry for a while and frequented a course about tourism and all that.
First of all: I'm from Italy and I lived in an Asian country for 5+ years.

I can point out almost any nation in the world with a certain degree of accuracy, but I don't know all the capitals nor am I interested in retain that info in my memory. I tried, but I'm very bad at memorizing data just because.
I had to study all of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, their history and main attractive points, so yeah, I remember those more than I capitals because for me they're way more interesting and easy to memorize.

Strongest spots: Europe (esp. Mediterranean and Balkans regions), South-East Asia (esp. Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia), North-Africa (esp. Morocco and Egypt).

Weakest spots: China, North-America, South-Africa

I never got to properly learn all of the United States of America. I know them all by names and know some capitals because of movies and media in general, but if I have to point them on a map I get confused fairly often with the middle section (New York city, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle are the easiest to spot. Detroit begins to become more complicated...). I'm sorry, USA people...
Canada, too. I know where Vancouver, Calgary (vaguely) and Montreal/Toronto are. The rest is a mystery. Whoops!

While I'm fairly good with world wide geography, I have incredibly abysmal holes about some Italian regions. The problem with that is that I learned it in elementary/middle school and I didn't really study back then, so some information became quite muddled and I never managed to recover from that. I know where all the regions are and all the main cities, of course, but no more than the average person. Maybe even less so...
I know a lot about the region I reside in (I studied it because I wanted to pass the exam to become a local tourist guide), but other than that I only have those essential information I need to survive and go around a little bit.

This is definitely an American-flavored problem

I kind of disagree with this because working in tourism and knowing people from all over the world opens your eyes about how much people truly don't care about nations that are fairly distant from themselves. That's an universal truth.

The number of extra-European people not knowing that Italy is in Europe (HOW???) or that not everybody in Europe speak fluent English (WE DO NOT. I'm the only member of my family that even understands English) or even that Africa is under Europe and Australia is NOT near the USA is staggering.

For me the main problem with American people and their geographic education/culture in particular is that they think they are the centre of the world.
A concert tour going around USA and Canada and maybe UK or Ireland is called WORLD TOUR. How is that a world tour???

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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2023 @783.52 »

I'm from Canada and my geography education in school was sparse. We learned about the provinces and territories of our own country, and some locations and capitals of other countries in elementary school. But we didn't learn about the locations of the American states, for example. Even when I took a global geography course in high school, it focused mostly on politics and didn't go over the basics of the actual locations of the countries. Most of what I know has been learned by looking things up or studying maps on my own. Even so, I can't name or point out every country and I'm still severely under-educated on American geography. I can understand that some people simply aren't interested in the subject, and if it doesn't come up in their daily lives, why would they bother to learn? I can't really blame people for not having any geography knowledge when the subject is so neglected in public school.

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« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2023 @830.78 »

Iranian here, I myself am be able to locate almost any nations on a world map (except oceania, that one’s a mess) but my knowledge on subdivisions and capitals is much less impressive; my niche in geography was (and still is) flags with their simplicity and standardized patterns and shapes, makes it both somewhat easy and fun to learn and converse about them.

School wise, it pivots towards physical geography more than anything else, but there’s also noticeable lack of global political and cultural geography, local geography is a very clear priority of the school system, so much so that we have an entirely separate textbook that only focuses on geographical aspects of your home province.

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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2023 @987.60 »

I'm from Scotland and I'd say I'm good at Geography, but not so good at any other continent. It's a topic taught here at schools, but there's not much emphasis on it at all. Heck, there are still place in my country I can't locate!

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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2023 @556.60 »

i myself am cockney, but my mother is from massachusetts. my dad is also cockney though. my ancestry is incredibly boring, mostly consisting of englishmen, germans, and the pilgrims that arrived in massachusetts. im very good at geography! i can name and point out every us state, and i can do the same for basically every country. i watch a lot of geography now, so i know a lot about countries

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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2023 @655.56 »

I haven't done much traveling, so my experience with geography is not particularly personal, but my friend group in high school was especially nerdy and we loved quizzing each other about the countries of the world. I find the 'identify this country/state/province from its outline!' quizzes to be very fun. For reference I am from New York, just north of the big city.

There were extensive world history lessons about migrations and conquests throughout Africa and Eastern Europe, but it all ended up getting bogged down in Greek and Roman mythology that everyone seemed to care most about. I'd like to think that geography was still a significant part of my grade school education though.

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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2023 @901.47 »

i'm from england, and haven't traveled much. in my school we had the option to choose between history and geography (not sure why they were mutually exclusive but whatever). i picked history but was put in geography anyway. unfortunately geography here is more like a study on things like population, rock types, volcanoes, erosion, globalisation, tourism, rather than actually learning where places are.

 i would say that i can usually give a rough estimate as to whereabouts a country is, but not really exact. i am especially unfamiliar with the countries of africa, western asia and the middle east, and smaller eastern european countries (though i visited this part of the world relatively recently and learned a little more). i would struggle to name most american states, and i only have a bit of knowledge about south america also. to be honest, it is quite common for someone to name a place in the UK and for me to only vaguely know where it is, and it has happened before that i have no idea.

as to why i don't know much about these... well, it isn't really relevant to my day to day life, and i'm overall not super interested in learning about where places are unless i need to know for if i am going there or whatever. i have some interest in cultures and people, but less interested in locations. well, i think this is why i ended up actually really enjoying geography despite not picking it.

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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2024 @47.89 »

I'm a New Yorker, and as a student I used to participate in National Geographic's geography bee. One year I made it to the national finals, which at the time were televised on PBS and hosted by Alex Trebek. If I had won, I'd have gotten $25,000 for college. It was kind of a big deal in the early 1990s.

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