What is the Western Hemisphere?

Have you ever noticed how videoconferencing expands your thinking? How you learn new things every day, even if you’re just hooking up classes to the next place and making sure the connection works?

This week I realized even this even more. I noticed how VCing makes you more aware of how other people define things differently than you might…

We’ve been running MysteryQuest World Geography since 2002. One of the areas of the world we focus on is the Western Hemisphere. I’ve always thought of it as my local teachers do also – that it’s basically North, Central, and South America. Which is also how our textbooks and curriculum seem to define it.

But when the second Canadian teacher submitted the country for Western Hemisphere that wasn’t in one of those areas, I decided I’d better learn some more. So I asked Google and found this from Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

The Western Hemisphere, also Western hemisphere[1] or western hemisphere,[2] is a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies westPrime Meridian (which crosses Greenwich in London, England, United Kingdom) and east of the International Date Line.[3] It is also used, mainly by Americans, to specifically refer to the Americas (or the New World) and adjacent waters, while excluding other territories that lie geographically in the hemisphere (parts of Africa, Europe, Antarctica, and Asia). Thus this is sometimes referred to as the of the American hemisphere, despite the fact that it is by no means a hemisphere.[4]

Sizzle. Pop. Can’t you just hear my understanding expanding? 🙂 Ah, the beauty of videoconferencing!

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