Frequently Asked Questions

Who are you?

Hello! My name is Geoff Gibson and I live and work in Portland, Oregon. I have a bachelor’s degree in Geography and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University, where I continue to teach in the Geography department today. Geography, cities, and urban forms are a big passion of mine and I’ve been very lucky to be able to grow a YouTube channel that highlights all of these things.

In addition to geography and city planning, I’m also very passionate about design, particularly where it intersects with maps, cartography, and, now, motion graphics for my videos.

I also own Mosaic Maps where I create unique maps in a unique mosaic style. And, of course, Geo Design Studio, my side consulting business. Feel free to reach out to me at either of those websites if you’re interested in those services.

Finally, in addition to all this, I was recently a Lead Contributor to the recently published cultural atlas: Upper Left Cities which compares and contrasts the cities of San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle with hundreds of fun and interesting maps.

What is What If Geography?

What If Geography is a YouTube channel that explores the world through various what if questions. New episodes are released most Wednesday mornings.

Why make “what if” videos about geography?

“What if” is really just a framing device to explore new or old topics in a different light. I’ve always enjoyed pondering on what if scenarios. As a trained and working city planner, it’s kind of my job to think about all kinds of what if scenarios and plan for them, so it made sense to me as a fun framing device for YouTube videos.

Not all videos rigidly follow the what if framing, It really depends on the story being told.

Why did you create What If Geography?

Aside from my love of Geography and really enjoying teaching in the Geography department at Portland State University, making YouTube videos was really just an excuse to learn how to make motion graphics. Since growing as a designer and learning the ins and outs of various programs, I figured my next logical step was motion graphics. In particular with Adobe After Effects, which I’m definitely still learning but is also a huge amount of fun!

Can you make a video about being a country?

Yes! In fact, you can contact me with your idea, I’m always interested in learning about more regions. Just please include a reason why you think it would make for a good “What If Country” video.

I do have a few exceptions for videos that I will never create.

  1. I will never make a what if the confederate states were their own country, or any sort of revisionist American Civil War video.
  2. I will never make a what if Nazi Germany was a country, or any sort of revisionist World War II video.

In general, I’m very wary of creating any video that will have the unintended consequence of empowering of people with views I find disgusting.

I’m interested in sponsoring your show, can I do that?

Possibly! If you’re interested in sponsoring What If Geography please get contact me and we’ll see if we can work something out.

I’m interested in collaborating with your channel, is that something you do?

Depends. Right now making my own episodes takes up almost all of my time (in addition to my day job). So any collaboration would need to be the right fit. But I encourage you to reach out. I’m always interested in talking with other creators!

You’re wrong about <insert incorrect fact>, where can I tell you about it?

It happens. I do a lot of research but things slip through or I’m not able to get the appropriate context. If you do find something the best way to tell me is my contacting me through this website. I simply can’t read all of the YouTube comments these days. Please also include where I can fact check anything I may have missed. All corrected errors will be put in a blog post on this website with proper credit given.

Note: Opinions are not facts. I will not entertain changing content to fit anyone’s opinion.

What is Atlas Explains The World?

Atlas Explains The World is the original name and branding for my channel. Personally I still really like the name, but it was a little too abstract for a YouTube channel. As such I retired it and changed my channel name to What If Geography. I’m still holding onto the name Atlas Explains The World for use in another project… probably an actual atlas!