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Geography: The Basics. What you should remember from the 6 th and 7 th grade !!. The 5 Themes of Geography. THEME - 1 : LOCATION "Where are we?"   is the question that the theme Location answers. Location may be absolute or it may be relative . 

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geography the basics

Geography: The Basics.

What you should remember from the 6th and 7th grade !!

the 5 themes of geography
The 5 Themes of Geography
  • "Where are we?"   is the question that the theme Location answers. Location may be absolute or it may be relative. 
  • An absolute location is an exact location, for example, latitude and longitude (a global location) or a street address (local location).  
  • Relative locations are described by landmarks, time, direction or distance from one place to another and may associate a particular place with another. ( 2 blocks past McDonalds or 100 miles North of Lexington.)
Theme 2 : PLACE
  • What kind of place is it?  Places have both human and physical characteristics, as well as images.
  • Physical characteristics include mountains, rivers, soil, beaches, wildlife, etc...  
  • Places have human characteristics also.  These characteristics are created by the ideas and actions of people and result in changes to the environment such as buildings, roads, clothing, and food habits.
  • How do humans and the environment affect each other?  We change the environment and then sometime Mother Nature changes it back.  For example, floods , Hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes.There are three key concepts to human/environmental interaction:
  •  Humans adapt to the environment.  Humans modify the environment.  Humans depend on the environment. People depend on rivers for water and transportation.   People modify our environment by heating and cooling buildings for comfort.   People adapt to the environment by wearing clothing that is suitable for summer and winter; rain and shine.
  • How have we adapted to or changed our landscape?  For example, in the desert even though everything is seemingly barren people and animals have adapted to a hot, dry climate and have learned to farm and raise animals.
Theme 4 : MOVEMENT
  • The movement of people, the import and export of goods, and mass communication (phones, internet, etc…) have all played major roles as people interact.  They travel from place to place and they communicate. People interact with each other through movement.  Humans occupy places unevenly on Earth because of the environment but also because we interact with each other through travel, trade, information flows (E-Mail) and political events.
  • Not only do humans move but also ideas and culture move. Things and ideas such as fashions, fads, music, technology move.
  • A region is the basic unit of study in geography.  A region is an area that displays a clear unity in terms of the government, language, or possibly the landform or situation.  Regions are human designated that can be mapped and studied.
  • There are three basic types of regions.
  • Formal regions are those defined by governmental or administrative boundaries (i. e., United States, Lexington, KY).  These regional boundaries are not open to dispute, therefore physical regions fall under this category (i. e., The Rockies, the great lakes).
Functional regions are those defined by a function (for example, Leestown school district, or a newspaper service area).  If the function ceases to exists, the region no longer exists.
  • Vernacular regions are those loosely defined by people's perception (i. e., The South, The Middle East, The bluegrass).  
maps and projections
Maps and Projections
  • Map projections are attempts to portray the surface of the earth or a portion of the earth on a flat surface.
  • Some sizes or shapes may be distorted, or stretched unrealistically.
mercator robinson projections
Mercator & Robinson Projections
  • The Mercator Projection is excellent for navigation because it shows direction clearly. The Mercator Projection, however, has a great deal of distortion. In order to get the parallels and meridians to cross at right angles, Mercator stretched the areas further away from the poles and squeezed the areas closer to the equator.
  • The Robinson projection is unique. Its primary purpose is to create visually appealing maps of the entire world. It is a compromise projection; it does not eliminate any type of distortion, but it keeps the levels of all types of distortion relatively low over most of the map.
latitude and longitude
Latitude and Longitude


  •       Any location on Earth is described by two numbers--its latitude and its longitude. If a pilot or a ship's captain wants to specify position on a map, these are the "coordinates" they would use.
  • On the globe, lines of constant longitude ("meridians") extend from pole to pole.
  • On a globe of the Earth, lines of latitude are circles of different size. The longest is the equator, whose latitude is zero.


modern mapmaking
Modern Mapmaking
  • Early mapmakers used stories and information from sailors to make their maps.
  • Modern maps are made with the help of satellites like “Landsat”.
lands and climates landforms of north america form 7 major regions
Lands and ClimatesLandforms of North America form 7 major regions.
  • Pacific Coast
  • Intermountain
  • Rocky Mtns.
  • Interior Plains
  • Appalachian Mtns.
  • Coastal Plains
  • Canadian Shield
weather and climate
Weather and Climate
  • Weather – What the condition of the atmosphere is like at a specific time.
  • Climate – The average weather over a period of 20 – 30 years.
  • There are many varying climates in North America that may run from hot to cold and dry to wet.
  • Physical landforms, distance from the equator, and distance from coasts are important factors.