Happy Geography Awareness Week! At Oxford University Press, we’re celebrating by highlighting the interesting, inspiring and/or contentious places of 2012. The longlist, launched last month, took us from Iran to Cambridge, NY, the home of pie à la mode. We explored 29 places on Earth, but we couldn’t resist an extraterrestrial trip to Mars. Thanks to your votes in the most tightly watched election this year, we narrowed down the nominees to a shortlist.
Below, you’ll see the 10 places that most intrigued you this year. Check out some reasons why these places deserve the recognition, and make your final vote with the voting buttons below. Your votes, combined with the opinions of Oxford’s geography experts, will determine the Place of the Year on December 3rd!
(1) Arctic Circle. As ice melting accelerates in the region, nations are jockeying for access to newly exposed resources. So long arms race, hello Arctic territorial race. True to form, National Geographic gets to the heart of the matter through gorgeous and insightful photography.
(2) Calabasas, CA. Millions out there can’t resist the inside scoop into Calabasas’ most prominent clan in Keeping up with the Kardashians.
(3) CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), Switzerland. Two words: Higgs boson.
(4) Greece. Eurogedden? Greece’s move towards an austerity plan draws mixed reactions.
(5) Istanbul, Turkey. Sign us up! Istanbul is now the 5th most popular tourist destination, behind London, Paris, Bangkok, and Singapore. Additionally, Turkey has its eyes on and hands in Syria as Syria’s civil war continues, with varying reactions in Istanbul.
(6) London, England. Between the Queen’s Jubilee and a breathtakingly successful Olympics, shall we let London celebrate a POTY victory as well?
(7) Mars. Eyes have been tuned to NASA’s Curiosity Rover since it landed on Mars in August. Even Britney Spears wants to know more, and the Curiosity Rover delivered insights.
(8) Myanmar/Burma. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was elected to parliament in April, one of the many significant moments in the country’s history this year as it begins to democratize. Julia Moskin of The New York Times writes “discovering Burmese food is the adult equivalent of finding a new playground, right in your neighborhood.” Agreed.
(9) Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands, contested by Japan, China and Taiwan. Tensions are reaching a boil over the Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands. Is a bloody regional conflict in the mix? Arguments vary as to who rightly should control the islands. Han-Yi Shaw, a scholar in Taiwan, explores China’s argument that Japan stole the island chain as war booty. Takayuki Nishi, a Project Assistant Professor at the Global Center for Asian and Regional Research at University of Shizuoka, Japan, presents Japan’s side.
(10) Syria. In Syria, the Arab Spring manifested itself as a violent and costly civil war. Every day, the conflict shifts. Syria’s geography makes the country ripe for conflict. If the rebels succeed, what can we expect for a post-Assad Syria?
We don’t only want your vote, we want to see what you see!
Enter for a chance to win the newly updated 19th edition of Atlas of the World. Send in a photo of one of our shortlisted places for our panel of judges to review. It could be a street in Calabasas, CA or a panorama of Istanbul, Turkey; send us what you see. The best photo for each place will be included in a slideshow on the OUPblog on 26 November 2012. The best photo of the Place of the Year 2012 will be included in our Place of the Year 2012 announcement on 3 December 2012. If your photo is selected as the best photo of the Place of the Year 2012, then we’ll send you a copy of the Atlas of the World. Read more about the competition and enter here.
Oxford’s Atlas of the World — the only world atlas updated annually, guaranteeing that users will find the most current geographic information — is the most authoritative resource on the market. The Nineteenth Edition includes new census information, dozens of city maps, gorgeous satellite images of Earth, and a geographical glossary, once again offering exceptional value at a reasonable price.