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Thinking Geographically

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  1. Thinking Geographically

  2. Why is each point on Earth unique? • Place: Unique Location of a Feature • Toponym is the name given to a place on Earth • Site is the physical character of a place. Includes climate, water sources, topography, soil, vegetation, latitude, and elevation

  3. Site:Lower Manhattan Island Fig. 1-6: Site of lower Manhattan Island, New York City. There have been many changes to the area over the last 200 years.

  4. Why is each point on Earth unique? • Situation is the location of a place relative to other places. Situation helps us find an unfamiliar place by comparing its location with a familiar one. Situation, also, helps us understand the importance of a location.

  5. Situation: Singapore Fig. 1-7: Singapore is situated at a key location for international trade.

  6. Downtown Singapore

  7. Why is each point on Earth unique? • Mathematical location or in other words latitude and longitude.

  8. World Geographic Grid Fig. 1-8: The world geographic grid consists of meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude. The prime meridian ( 0º) passes through Greenwich, England.

  9. World Time Zones Fig. 1-9: The world’s 24 standard time zones each represent about 15° of longitude. They are often depicted using the Mercator projection.

  10. Ptolemy: wrote Guide to Geography; first to codify the basic principles of mapmaking Eratosthenes: first to record the use of the word geography Aristotle: first to say earth was spherical

  11. Map Scale • Scale refers to the relationship of a feature’s size on a map to its actual size on earth. • It is represented in three ways: • A ratio or fraction • A written scale • A graphic scale

  12. A ratio or fraction: • This shows the numerical ratio between distances on the map and Earth’s surface. • 1:24,000 or 1/24,000 means that 1 unit (usually an inch) on the map represents 24,000 of the same unit on the ground. • This is also called the RF scale or representative fraction.

  13. A written (verbal) scale: • Describes the relation between map and Earth distances in words. • 1 inch equals 1 mile

  14. Map projection: • Scientific method of transferring locations on Earth’s surface to a flat map. • Different projections show distortion in: • Shape • Distance • Relative size • Direction

  15. Direction

  16. U.S. Land Ordinance of 1785 -divided the country into a system of townships and ranges to facilitate the sale of land in the West

  17. Township- square composed of 6 miles/side • Principle meridians- north-south lines separating townships • Base lines- east- west lines separating townships • Section- township is divided into 36 of these, 1 mi by 1 mi • Quarter-section- .5 mi by .5 mi or 160 acres, considered a homestead to pioneers

  18. GPS Global Positioning System AKA System that accurately determines the precise position of an object or location on Earth • 3 elements… • Satellites in predetermined orbits by US military (24 in operation and 3 in reserve) • Tracking stations to monitor and control the satellites • A receiver that can locate at least 4 satellites, figure out distance to each, and pinpoint its location

  19. GPS Satellite Tracks

  20. Remote sensing Acquisition of data about Earth’s surface from a satellite orbiting Earth or from other long-distance methods Primary use is environmental, often used to map the distribution of urban sprawl and agriculture practices. It can sense objects as small as 1 meter across

  21. GIS Geographic Information System AKA A computer system that captures, stores, queries, analyzes and displays geographic information

  22. The ability to add layers also allows geographers to calculate whether relationships between objects are significant of coincidental

  23. Value besides making maps? Determine relationships between two different types of info… • Abnormally high cancer rate • layer of nearby factories • layer of run off areas, drainage ponds • layer of water supply locations for the area

  24. Why is each point on Earth unique? • Regions: Areas of Unique Characteristics • A region derives its character through the cultural landscape- a combination of cultural features such as language, and religion, economic features such as agriculture and industry, and physical features such as climate and vegetation.

  25. Why is each point on Earth unique? • Types of Regions • Formal, also called a uniform region or homogeneous region, is an area within which everyone shares in common one or more distinctive characteristics.

  26. Formal and Functional Regions Fig. 1-11: The state of Iowa is an example of a formal region; the areas of influence of various television stations are examples of functional regions.

  27. Why is each point on Earth unique? • Functional Region- also called a nodal region, is an area organized around a node or focal point.

  28. Why is each point on Earth unique? • Vernacular Region, or perceptual region, is a place that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity.

  29. Vernacular Regions Fig. 1-12: A number of features are often used to define the South as a vernacular region, each of which identifies somewhat different boundaries.

  30. Why are different places similar? • Scale: From Local to Global • Space: Distribution of features • Density is the frequency with which something occurs in space • Concentration is the extent of a feature’s spread over space • Pattern is the geometric arrangement of objects in space

  31. Distribution:Density, Concentration, & Pattern Fig. 1-18: The density, concentration, and pattern (of houses in this example) may vary in an area or landscape.

  32. Density and Concentration of Baseball Teams, 1952 & 2007 Fig. 1-19: The changing distribution of North American baseball teams illustrates the differences between density and concentration.

  33. U.S. Baseball Teams, 1952 Fig. 1-19: Baseball teams were highly concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest in 1952.

  34. U.S. Baseball Teams, 2007 Fig. 1-19: By 2007, U.S. baseball teams were much more dispersed than in 1952, and their number and density at a national level had increased.

  35. Why are different places similar? • Connections between places • Spatial Interaction *distance decay-the farther away one group is from another, the less likely the two groups are to interact

  36. Diffusion *relocation-the spread of an idea through physical movement of people from one place to another *expansion-the spread of a feature from one place to another in a snowballing process *hierarchical-the spread of an idea from persons or nodes of authority or power to other persons or places *contagious-the rapid, widespread diffusion of a characteristic throughout the population