Your textbook defines regions as applying to any area larger than a point and smaller than the entire planet. When we speak about regions, we often speak of several neighboring countries unified together, or many localities within a state or a country. To get into the mindset of regions, think about the five themes. The theme region takes individualy places and clumps them together based on a shared physical or human characteristic. Throughout this presentation, we will further explain regions as being formal, functional or perceptual.
The first type of region is a formal region. Other names for formal regions are uniform or homogeneous regions. This region is one in which every one shares at least one characteristic in common. Sometimes the characteristic is generalized or predominant. These regions can be based on a human characteristic, such as culture. For example, Spanish speaking regions in the United States, or Mormonism in the US. Formal regions can be based on types of economic activity, such as the corn belt in the US. They can also be based on physical characteristics such as climate…Minnesota is in the Humid Continental climate zone, or landforms, such as the Rocky Mountains. Governing units are also examples of formal regions. State, city, county or national boundaries surround formal regions.
This map shows the various climate regions throughout the world based on Koeppen. Keep in mind, the formal region is measurable. We can see where the rocky mountains begin and end. We know whether or not we are citizens of the US or residents of a certain state. We can measure precipitation and temperature to place a city within a certain climate zone.
This is another map showing climate regions around the world.
This map shows predominant religions worldwide. Keep in mind the information or characteristic being shown is indeed measurable and within the red regions of North America the predominant religion would be Protestant.
Note what a change in scale can do in terms of clarifying information. While at the world scale, the protestant faith seems predominant, we can now see that Roman Catholic is much more prevalent than a world map made us believe. We can also see pockets of many other religions perhaps not classified as Protestant.
This map shows world language families; again measurable data.
Another interpretation of world language families…
This map shows the world agricultural practices…how different would a map of US agriculture look on a larger scale map? We’d definitely be able to see more detail and greater variation within the united states. This map is overgeneralized compared to a map of the united states.
The second type of region is called a functional region. Functional regions may also be called nodal regions. The word node implies a central point and functional regions tend to be organized around nodes, or central points. All other points within the region connect to the central point point through whatever function the region is based on. Good examples of functional regions include the television viewing area of a local cable station (think community television), a newspaper circulation area, or the trade area of a department store.
These maps show the functional regions of the various working and proposed lines of the Twin Cities light rail project. The center point or node may be the city of minneapolis or st. paul. You could also view the park and ride facilities used by people commuting in from surrounding suburbs as nodes as well.
The final type of region can be called perceptual or vernacular. This type of region is based on people’s perceptions and often stereotypes. Perceptual regions vary by person…
The next three maps show perceptual regions of students in my classroom based AP Human Geography class. Note the differences and similarities.
Types of regions_08
Types of Regions Ms. Patten 2008-2009
Formal uniform, homogeneous everyone shares in common one or more characteristics can be predominant characteristics or generalizations cultural (language, religion) economic activity (agricultural) environmental/physical (climate) administrative (state, county)
Functional nodal organized around a central point or node and diminishes in importance outward region is tied to this area via transportation, communication, economics newspaper circulation area reception area of TV station trade area of department store
Perceptual vernacular a region people believe exist loosely defined by perceptions different for each person based on mental maps based on individual perceptions based on stereotypes the South the Middle East the Bible Belt