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Investigating links in geography using KnowledgeBase Builder

Geographers see connections in the world, how things interact and inter-relate. Making links in geography involves examining relationships within and across themes. An understanding of these links supports students in seeing how the world is interconnected.

One strategy to encourage students to investigate links could involve the use of concept maps. However, before your students attempt their own concept maps it would be useful to live model links with them. Enter KnowledgeBase Builder.




Available for Windows, Android, IOS and Mac OS, KnowledgeBase Builder is a remarkably easy tool to map out curriculum content then investigate links. In the example below, we have produced a simple map the characteristics of the tropical rainforest (for demonstration purposes, there’s lots more that could be added). The characteristics are grouped under headings including vegetation and climate etc. This could be achieved by students contributing key features based on prior learning.

Characteristics of tropical rainforests

Characteristics of tropical rainforests

Next, it’s time to investigate links between the different characteristics. Simply drag a connection between two elements, give it a simple title and an explanation of how the two are connected. Below is an example of a link between buttress roots and emergents.

Making a link

Making a link

Once an explanation has been added in the description box, simply click the link to display the explanation as shown below.

View the link

View the link

You can view your map in a range of ways including as a table which shows the main characteristics as shown below.

Information presented as a table

Information presented as a table

You can also view the map in 3D. Which looks pretty fancy! It is possible to save the 3D graphic as an animated gif.




There are several options for exporting your finished diagram. Below is an example of an exported image.

The information can also be exported as an HTML file (web page).

Other features included in the software to explore include:

  • adding images
  • reverse links where flows/links go in both directions
  • adding hyperlinks
  • embedding Wikipedia pages

In this example we have explored links within a theme, however, we can just as easily develop a map over time and explore synoptic links in geography.

Hornsea Slumping 3D Model

The 3D model below shows mass movement, in the form of slumping, to the south of coastal defences at Hornsea on the Holderness Coast. The image shows a 50m section of boulder clay cliff adjacent to the caravan park slumping. At its widest point 8m of the cliff top was lost. Click play to explore the model.

Hornsea Slumping
by Internetgeog
on Sketchfab

The aerial images were captured using a DJI Mavic Pro. These were then rendered into a 3D model in Photoscene then uploaded to Sketchfab.

Christchurch Earthquake Animated Map

Christchurch earthquake map is a fantastic resource for illustrating the swarm of earthquakes that occurred on February 22nd 2011, when 185 people were killed as the result of a magnitude 6.3 quake.

To access the resources head over to the Christchurch earthquake map

Christchurch Earthquake Animated Map

Christchurch Earthquake Animated Map

Next, click February 22, 2011 under quick links (on the left of the page). The animation will start automatically. The magnitude and depth of the earthquakes are illustrated using coloured proportional circles.

2011 Christchurch Earthquake Map

2011 Christchurch Earthquake Map

You can speed up and slow down the animation using the media controls to the top right of the page.

We’ve recently added Christchurch earthquake case study resources on Internet Geography.

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