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Introduction to Human Geography. Chapter 1. Key Question:. Why do Geographers use Maps, and What do Maps Tell Us? . Map Appendix A Notes. Maps and their functions Map Scale Map Projections The Grid system Symbols on Maps. What are Maps and what are their functions.

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map appendix a notes
Map Appendix A Notes
  • Maps and their functions
  • Map Scale
  • Map Projections
  • The Grid system
  • Symbols on Maps
what are maps and what are their functions
What are Maps and what are their functions
  • What can maps be used for?
  • In what ways do maps distort?...Why?
  • How do maps show bias?
two types of maps
Reference Maps

Show locations of places and geographic features

Absolute locations

What are reference maps used for?

Thematic Maps

Tell a story about the degree of an attribute, the pattern of its distribution, or its movement.

Relative locations

What are thematic maps used for?

Two Types of Maps:



What story about median income in the Washington, DC area is this map telling?

maps and their functions
Maps and their functions
  • Cartography = The art of map making
  • Reference Map = that used for navigating… ie. Road Map
  • Thematic Map: One used to illustrate a particular them
  • Mental Maps: Those that exist in one’s mind (Cognitive maps)
  • Topographic Maps… use lines to show contour.
map scale
Map Scale
  • Is the ratio between actual distance on the ground and the length given on the map
    • Which scale would show a smaller portion of the earth, 1/1,000,000… or 1/1,000,000?
  • Larger scale = more zoomed in
  • Why are different scales needed in mapping the world?
the grid system
The Grid System
  • What function does the Grid System Serve?
  • What are the key aspects of the Grid system?
grid stuff to know
Grid stuff to know…
  • Parallel
  • Latitude
  • Equator (0º N. or S.)
  • Tropic of Cancer (N)
  • Tropic of Capricorn (S)… 23.5º
  • Arctic Circle
  • 0º - 90º N or S
  • Meridian
  • Longitude
  • Prime Meridian 0º E or W
  • International date line 180º E or W
map projections
Map Projections
  • Why are there different map projections?
  • Which ones do I need to know?
    • Azimuthal
    • Peters
    • Fuller / Dymaxion
    • Robinson
    • Mercator
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses?
  • For what are they most commonly used?
map symbols
Map Symbols
  • Dots
  • Tones/shades/colors
  • Isolines
  • Symbols
Mental Maps:

maps we carry in our minds of places we have been and places we have heard of.

can see: terra incognita, landmarks, paths,

and accessibility

Activity Spaces:

the places we travel to routinely in our rounds of daily activity.

How are activity spaces and mental maps related?

aspects of a mental map
Aspects of a Mental Map
  • Nodes
  • Edges
  • Paths
  • Districts
  • Landmarks
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • List as many type of maps and purposes for maps as you can.
kenya s coffee production
Kenya’s Coffee production
  • Kenya…a nation where food production is low and starvation rates are high… produces and exports coffee on some of its best farm land.
  • Neocolonialism=a relationship of economic dependence where a former colony relies on its former colonizer for economic success through the continual trade of colonial products
A set of processes that are:

increasing interactions

deepening relationships

heightening interdependence

without regard to

country borders.

A set of outcomes that are:

unevenly distributed

varying across scales

differently manifested

throughout the world.

time space compression
Time Space Compression
  • What is it?
  • How Does it impact us?

How are Globalization, neo-colonialism and time-space compression interrelated?

discussion questions1
Discussion Questions
  • Why does Kenya export coffee when its people are starving?
  • How does neocolonialism impact the world… what are consequences?
human geography
Human Geography
  • The study of how people make places, how we organize space and society, how we interact with each other in places and across space, and how we make sense of others and ourselves in our locality, region, and world.
geographers use fieldwork to understand linkages among places and to see the complexities of issues

Geographers use fieldwork to understand linkages among places and to see the complexities of issues

Why do Kenyans grow tea and coffee instead of cash crops?

discussion question
Make a list of the way the world is more globalized than when your parents were in school?

How does globalization impact your life?

Discussion Question

Imagine and describe the most remote place on Earth you can think of 100 years ago. Now, describe how globalization has changed this place and how the people there continue to shape the place – to make it the place it is today.

geographic inquiry focuses on the spatial
Geographic inquiry focuses on the spatial:

- the spatial arrangement of places

and phenomena (human and physical).

- how are things organized on Earth?

- how do they appear on the landscape?

- why? where? so what?

discussion question1
Discussion Question
  • What can be learned by using Spatial Perspective?
  • List examples of geographic questions about spatial alaysis?
spatial distribution
Spatial distribution

What processes create and sustain the pattern of a distribution?

Map of Cholera Victims

in London’s Soho District

in 1854.

The patterns of victim’s homes and water pump locations helped uncover the source of the disease.

five themes of geography
Five Themes of Geography
  • Location
  • Human-Environment
  • Region
  • Place
  • Movement

Sense of place: infusing a place with meaning and emotion.

Perception of place: belief or understanding of what a place is like, often based on books, movies, stories, or pictures.



of Place

Where Pennsylvanian students prefer to live

Where Californian students prefer to live



Spatial interaction: the interconnectedness between places depends upon:




discussion questions2
Discussion Questions
  • How do the five themes of geography influence the way we study the world?
  • What are some things that might influence the spatial interaction between places?
cultural landscape

Cultural Landscape

Religion and cremation practices diffuse with Hindu migrants from India to Kenya.

The visible human imprint on the landscape.

sequent occupance
Sequent Occupance

Layers of imprints in a cultural landscape that reflect years of differing human activity.

Athens, Greece

ancient Agora surrounded by modern buildings

sequent occupance1
Sequent Occupance

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

African, Arab, German, British, and Indian layers to the city.

Apartment in Mumbai, India

Apartment in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

discussion questions3
Discussion questions
  • How do humans impact landscape?
  • What are some benefits and consequences of the interaction of humans with the natural world?

Geographers who practice fieldwork keep their eyes open to the world around them and through practice become adept at reading cultural landscapes. Take a walk around your campus or town and try reading the cultural landscape. Choose one thing in the landscape and ask yourself, “what is that and why is it there?” Take the time to find out the answers!




a collection of

computer hardware

and software that

permits storage and

analysis of layers of

spatial data.

Remote Sensing:a method of collecting data by instruments that are physically distant from the area of study.

Give a friend or family member a blank piece of paper. Ask the person to draw a detailed map of how he or she gets from home to the place where most of his or her weekdays are spent (work, school). Note the age of the person and the length of time he or she has lived in the place and traveled the route. Analyze the map for terra incognita, landmarks, paths, and accessibility. What does the map reveal about the person’s lifestyle and activity space?


Scale is the territorial extent of something.

The observations we make and the context

we see vary across scales, such as:

- local

- regional

- national

- global

scale is a powerful concept because

Scale is a powerful concept because:

Processes operating at different scales influence one another.

What is occurring across scales provides context for us to understand a phenomenon.

People can use scale politically to change who is involved or how an issue is perceived.

e.g. Zapatistas rescale their movement

e.g. laws jump scales, ignoring cultural differences


Formal region: defined by a commonality, typically a cultural linkage or a physical characteristic.

e.g. German speaking region of Europe

Functional region: defined by a set of social, political, or economic activities or the interactions that occur within it.

e.g. an urban area


Perceptual Region: ideas in our minds, based on accumulated knowledge of places and regions, that define an area of “sameness” or “connectedness.”

e.g. the South

the Mid-Atlantic

the Middle East

discussion questions4
Discussion Questions
  • How does the use of scale assist in learning the world?
  • How does the use of regions assist in the study of the world?

The meanings of regions are often contested. In Montgomery, Alabama, streets named after Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Civil Rights leader Rosa Parks intersect.

Photo credit: Jonathan Leib


Culture is an all-encompassing term that identifies not only the whole tangible lifestyle of peoples, but also their prevailing values and beliefs.

- cultural trait

- cultural complex

- cultural hearth


Diffusion: the process of dissemination, the spread of an idea or innovation from its hearth to other areas.

What slows/prevents diffusion?

- time-distance decay

- cultural barriers

types of diffusion
Types of Diffusion
  • Expansion Diffusion – idea or innovation spreads outward from the hearth
    • Contagious – spreads adjacently
    • Hierarchical – spreads to most linked people or places first.
    • Stimulus – idea promotes a local experiment or change in the way people do things.

Stimulus Diffusion

Because Hindus believe cows are holy, cows often roam the streets in villages and towns. The McDonalds restaurants in India feature veggie burgers.

types of diffusion1
Types of Diffusion
  • Relocation diffusion – movement of individuals who carry an idea or innovation with them to a new, perhaps distant locale.

Paris, France


Photo credit: H.J. de Blij

Photo credit: A.B. Murphy

discussion question2
Discussion Question
  • Why do geographers study diffusion?

Once you think about different types of diffusion, you will be tempted to figure out what kind of diffusion is taking place for all sorts of goods, ideas, or diseases. Please remember any good, idea or disease can diffuse in more than one way. Choose a good, idea, or disease as an example and describe how it diffused from its hearth across the globe, referring to at least three different types of diffusion.

geographic concepts
Geographic Concepts

Ways of seeing the world spatially that are used by geographers in answering research questions.

Old Approaches to

Human-Environment Questions:

  • Environmental Determinism (has been rejected by almost all geographers)
  • Possibilism (less accepted today)

New Approaches to

Human-Environment Questions:

  • Cultural ecology
  • Political ecology

Create a strong (false) statement about a people and their environment using either environmental determinism or possibilism. Determine how the statement you wrote is false, taking into consideration the roles of culture, politics, and economy in human-environment relations.