Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

It seems that every other year or so, an organisation or publication tries to come up with a new version of the Seven Wonders of the World in an attempt to replicate the Seven Wonders of antiquity. One of the more notable efforts of recent years is the New7Wonders website, which solicited over 100 million…

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Google Sightseeing: Fakin’ It!

The concept of a Potemkin village dates back to the late 18th century, when tales spread that the Russian military leader and governor Grigoriy Potyomkin (Potemkin) had ordered the construction of temporary, false-facaded ‘villages’ in his territory to impress visiting officials. The areas of the southern Russian Empire under Potyomkin’s governorship (‘New Russia‘, today’s southern…

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The Line of Largest Settlements

What are the northernmost/southernmost cities in the world? It’s a somewhat ambiguous question whose answers depends on how you define a city versus a town versus a settlement and how minute one wants to get. Alert, Nunavut may be the northernmost permanently occupied settlement, but it hardly qualifies as a city. The same goes for…

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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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Conversion to the Latin Alphabet in Post-Soviet Asia

The end of the Soviet Union left its newly-independent republics free to pursue their own linguistic policies for the first time. Four of the five predominately Turkic-speaking countries of the former Soviet Union (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) looked to follow the lead of Turkey, which adopted the Latin alphabet under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk back…

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Google Sightseeing: Standing But Not Operating (Abandoned Theme Parks)

‘Standing but not operating’, or SBNO for short, is the term in the amusement industry for theme parks and rides that remain intact but are no longer in use. In my latest article over at Google Sightseeing, you’ll get a glance at some of these downtrodden wonders. For longtime TBG readers, Japanese Disneyland knock-off Nara Dreamland…

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The Oldest Buildings in the World, Part II: North America, Africa, and Asia

Today is Part II of our look at the world’s oldest buildings by continent. Part I can be found here; Part II can be found here. North America – Cuicuilco Circular Pyramid, 800-600 BCE View of Cuicuilco’s main circular pyramid looking south from the Anillo Periférico freeway in Mexico City. Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CuicuilcoPerifericoDF.JPG. View Larger Map…

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How to Lose World Heritage Site Status

A swath of desert just inland from the Arabian Sea coast and a meandering stretch of a major central European river framed by 18th and 19th-century architecture may not seem as though they would have anything in common, but they very much do. Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary and Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley are the only two…

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