Geographical

The monthly magazine of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. Covers a broad range of subjects related to geography in articles on people, places, cultures, adventure, responsible travel, history, science, and the envir

Articles from Vol. 80, No. 9, September

All That Glitters
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] As the world's economic woes deepen, many people will be turning to gold as a safe investment with which to ride out the turbulent times. And, indeed, the price of gold has surged in recent years. But the production of this...
Caught in the Crossfire: As the Maginot Line Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary, John Gimlette Travels to Alsace-Lorraine to Discover a Region That's Often Been at the Very Hub of European Warfare
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] From the Saverne Gap, a vantage point high in the Vosges mountains, it's easy to see why this, the 'left shoulder' of France, has been so bitterly contested. To the east lie the plains of Lorraine,...
Disputed Territory
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The ongoing conflict in the Indian state of Kashmir saw tourist numbers in the region slow to a trickle, effectively destroying the local economy. Recently, however, improving relations between Pakistan and India have given...
Fire and Brimstone
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Sitting on the Ring of Fire, a 40,000-kilometre trail of tectonic activity that surrounds the Pacific Basin, Indonesia is home to more than 150 volcanoes. One of these, Kawah Ijen, located in East Java, constantly belches...
From the Royal Geographical Society: (With the Institute of British Geographers), Otherwise Known as the 'Home of Geography'
There has never been a better or more important time to study geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, geography is one of the most relevant courses you could choose...
Garden Safari: Wildlife Photography Doesn't Have to Involve Trekking off the Serengeti, the Amazon or the Sahara-There Are Plenty of Suitable Subjects Lurking in Your Own Backyard in the Suburbs
Geo photo Late September marks the onset of autumn and receding daylight hours. Deciduous trees start to change colour before shedding their leaves, the last swallows and swifts begin the long journey south for the winter, and eager children watch...
He's a Geographer?
This month, the curtain falls on our long-running In conversation series. In its place, we're starting a new department that we've called I'm a geographer. When I first started working on Geographical, I was surprised by the number of people I spoke...
I'm a Geographer
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When they think of geography, most people think of maps, oxbow lakes and rain-soaked fieldtrips to Wales. But as an academic discipline, geography has made numerous important contributions to human knowledge and continues...
Inuit Sunglasses: Brought Back from the Arctic by the 19th-Century Explorer William Parry
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When the British explorer William Edward Parry travelled to the Arctic in the hope of finding the Northwest Passage (a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans via the Arctic Ocean), he stacked up plenty of new experiences....
Japan
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When the Meiji Emperor ascended to the throne in Japan in 1868, he ushered in a new period of enlightenment for the country. It opened its doors to the world and a tourism boom quickly followed. Photographic souvenirs were...
King the Swingers: Few People Can Say That They've Spent a Night in a Tree 90 Metres above the Ground, Secured Only by Some Ropes and a Hammock. the Canopy of the Tropical Rainforest Is Surely One of the Most Challenging Yet Rewarding Environments to Explore. John Pike Describes Some of the Kit Requirements for This Demanding Activity
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Peering down from my perch 70 metres above the forest floor, I curse myself for Ignoring my own advice. 'Go easy on the water, bring a fleece, and don't switch on your headtorch if you can avoid it.' Now, gently swinging in...
Nauru
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Nauru holds the distinction of being the world's smallest republic. Located in the Pacific Ocean, close to Papua New Guinea, the island nation has a total area of just 21 square kilometres; the Vatican City is twice as large....
Nectar of Allah: Honey Has a Unique Place in Islamic Culture, and Yemen Produces the Rarest and Most Extensive Honey in the World. Prized as a Delicious, All-Powerful Medicine, Beauty Product and Aphrodisiac, It's the Subject of a Thriving Trade
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] It brings wealth to merchants; doctors consider it a universal remedy. Beekeepers speak of it as a gift from Allah. Women believe in its ability to reduce infertility and men praise its aphrodisiac qualities. Its taste, purity,...
Pen Hadow
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] After setting up his own polar travel company, Pen Hadow became the first person to complete one of the last great polar challenges--to walk solo, without resupply, from Canada to the North Pole in May 2003. Since then, he...
Society Celebrates Addition of Eastern Flavor
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) has long had an international outlook: many of the Society's most prominent Fellows have conducted--and continue to conduct--fieldwork across the world's seven continents, from vital...
Solway Coast: Once a Lawless Region Inhabited by Smugglers and Bandits, the Solway Coast, Located in a Largely Forgotten Corner of Northwestern England, Is Still a Wild and Beautiful Landscape of Big Skies and Panoramic Views-And One That Deserves to Be Better Known
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] I'm standing in the middle of the Solway Firth, wearing a pair of waders two sizes too big for me and desperately trying not to topple face-first into the muddy water. The water is already flooding around my chest when a sudden...
The Great Commission: Missionaries and Hill Tribes in Thailand: Two Millennia after Christ Commanded His Apostles to 'Make Disciples of All the Nations', the Hill Tribes of Thailand Are Accepting His Word. but as Their Traditional Societies Falter and Critics Make Claims of Cultural Genocide, Is Jesus' Great Commission Really to Blame?
In a small rural village outside Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, Sunday is the day of noise. Evangelical rock echoes from a new church on the hill and a pickup truck with booming, oversized speakers drives along the dirt road. 'That's the gospel,'...
The Path Ahead
A background in geography, earth/environmental science, land management, climate change, GIS and the like, can really open doors. From teaching and forestry to engineering and digital mapping, the case studies below demonstrate the astonishing diversity...
The Wood for the Trees: On the Island of Puerto Rico, a Group of Researchers Are Undertaking an Ambitious Long-Term Project to Try to Demonstrate That It's Possible to Produce Timber in Tropical Rainforest without Damaging the Local Ecosystem
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 'Data?' 'Ready.' 'Tree J, DBH, 52.' '52. Got it.' 'Data?' 'Ready.' 'Tree K, canopy, east-west, 137.' '137. Got it.' Enveloped in the soothing green of the Puerto Rican rainforest, I listen as the voices...
Top 10 Writer's Reads
Brian Schofield is a British journalist and a committed environmentalist who currently lives in Brighton. His first book, Selling Your Father's Bones, is out now 1. Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen (Pan Books, 6.99 [pounds sterling]) The best work...
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