Exploring the United Nations’ Global Goals with ArcGIS Online

October 7, 2015 Angela Alexander

Are you looking for interactive ways to bring real world issues into the classroom? Find out how you can use ArcGIS Online in your teaching to explore the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development and engage your students today!

Last week I heard about the United Nations’ Global Goals on the radio and thought this would be a great way for teachers to engage their students in the classroom by discussing real world issues and getting them involved. After all, many of these issues, like poverty, healthcare, climate change and quality of life are topics included in curricula across Canada.

This United Nations initiative includes goals that involve a collaboration of public figures, companies and civil society groups uniting to make a change in the world. The three major goals include ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and fixing climate change.

Using ArcGIS Online, you can explore some of these global issues and begin the discussion in your classroom today!

Here’s a list of some of the ArcGIS Online Web applications and Web maps that can be introduced to your students:

Global Development Atlas
This atlas includes global indicators for issues such as literacy, HIV, drinking water, extreme poverty and infant mortality.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions on the Rise
Explore the rise of carbon dioxide emissions globally.

Gender Inequality Index
The Gender Inequality Index (GII) reflects women’s disadvantage in three dimensions—reproductive health, empowerment and the labour market.

Feeding the World
This story map explores the question “Can global crop production meet future demands?”

Students can learn about global literacy and poverty using the Global Development Atlas.

Global Water Access 2010 – Urban and Rural Access
This map explores global water access for rural and urban populations.

Global Poverty Story Map
Using storytelling, videos and interactive maps, this Story Map Journal takes a look at one method of measuring global poverty. This measure, called the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), addresses poverty through an integrative approach.

Global Footprint Story Map
This story map explores the degree to which human consumption of natural resources is exceeding nature’s capacity to renew itself.

Is Canada an ecological debtor or an ecological creditor? Find out by using the Global Footprint story map.

Urban Observatory
Using this Web application, you can compare themes (population density, transit access, housing access) and cities (e.g., New York City, Abu Dhabi and Beijing), exploring their differences and similarities.

The Age of Megacities
In this interactive story map, your students can explore the growth of major cities around the world.

Students can discover how urban extent has changed over time in some of the world’s major cities.

The Age of Humans: The Anthropocene
This story map presents a series of maps showing humankind's profound effects on Earth's natural systems.

For many other engaging classroom ideas, explore other ArcGIS Online resources from the Esri Canada Lesson Planner.

About the Author

Angela Alexander

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Resource Developer on the Esri Canada Education and Research team. She has over six years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela is responsible for producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum specific resources, conducting and creating custom workshops for educators and judging and developing the question for the annual GIS Skills Ontario competition in Waterloo, Ontario. Angela has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Sociology from the University of Western Ontario and completed the Applied Digital Geography and GIS certificate program at Ryerson University.

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