The Top 8 Best-Selling Music Singles Featuring Place Names

Music and place are inseparable. So many songs have been written about landscapes, countries, buildings, and cities that it’s impossible to look at a record sales chart without finding at least a handful of toponyms. As a geography site, it’s time we examine which toponomically-themed songs have embedded themselves into popular culture by looking at…

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Just Where is U2’s Joshua Tree?

This month, there’s been construction going on in the lot behind Basement Geographer HQ. In and amidst the sounds of hammers, saws, drills, and heavy machinery have been the sounds of the classic rock radio station the construction workers have been playing over their radios. As I headed out for a walk to the store…

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A Geography of Robert W. Service

Today marks the 138th birthday of the author of the most commercially successful body of poetry of the entire 20thcentury.  Robert W. Service was hardly innovative; he was far from academically renowned like other early 20th century English-language poets such as William Butler Yeats, Ezra Pound, E.E. Cummings, or William Carlos Williams; nor did he…

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Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands)

Source: Mariano, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SantaCruz-CuevaManos-P2210651b.jpg.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. If the above image reminds you of souls trapped inside of a wall calling out to onlookers, well, they are in a way.  Those images are handprints and hand stencils left behind by past inhabitants of western Patagonia – 7 000 years…

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The World’s Largest Book

Think of the largest book that you own. Not in terms of pages, but in terms of actual physical size. Chances are for many of you that it’s a large atlas.If you’ve strolled through the reference section at a library, you’ve more than likely seen some monstrous ones that take up entire tables. For many…

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For the Win: Sports Teams With Maps in Their Logos

As a geographer and as a sport fan, I very much appreciate it when the two comes together inside of a team crest or logo, especially when maps are incorporated into the emblem. I’m not counting league or governing body logos, which regularly include maps in them to demonstrate the area their jurisdictions cover; purely team…

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Map Ref. 41°N 93°W

You could say I listen to a lot of music (in fact, you’d have to say that). But in the thousands upon housands of records I’ve listened to in my time on Earth, I’ve only ever managed to find one song explicitly written about the art of mapping and titled with geographic coordinates. The fact…

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The Graffiti of Pompeii

To be on the safe side, I’m putting an adult content warning on this particular entry, so viewer discretion is advised for the meek. Just be glad I didn’t write an entry on Pompeian frescoes. Since the dawn of art, graffiti has been all around us. Ancient pictographs and cave art can be interpreted as…

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