A globe present the most accurate depiction of geographic information such as area, distance, and direction because it is round like the Earth. However, it shows little close-up detail. Maps can show small areas in great detail.
Because Earth is curved a straight line on a map is not always the shortest distance between two points. So to find the shortest distance between two places stretch a string around a globe from one point to the other. Ship captains and airline pilots use great circle routes to reduce travel time and save fuel. On a flat map the great circle distance appears to be longer. Tokyo to Japan is about 315 miles shorter using great circle route.
Geography is said to begin with the question Where? The basic tool for answering this question is location. Lines on globes and maps provide info that can help locate places. The lines cross one another forming a grid system which helps you find exact places. Hemisphere is one of the halves into which the Earth is divided; this helps geographers classify and describe places on Earth. Most places are located in two of the four hemispheres.
Every place has a global address or absolute location and that can be identified by naming the latitude and longitude lines that cross exactly at that place. E.g., Tokyo is located at 36°N latitude and 140°E longitude.
Title tells what kind of info map is showing; key list and explains symbols, colors, and lines – sometimes called a legend; scale bar shows relationship between map measurements and actual distances on earth; compass rose indicates direction; cities are represented by dots; capitals are often represented by a star w/I a circle; boundary lines on political maps highlight borders between countries and states.
Physcial maps show location and topography or shape of Earths physical features. Relief is differences in elevation or height.
Political maps show boundaries and locations of political units such as countries, states, counties, cities, and towns. Many features on political map are human-made.
Thematic maps empahsize a single idea or particular kind of information. Many different kinds such as ones that show climate, natural vegetation, population density, economic activities, etc.
Different sources GIS collects data from: maps, satellite images, printed text, statistics. With GIS each kind of information on a map is saved as separate electronic layer. GIS technology allows cartographers to make and change maps quickly and easily.
Intro to world geography skills
INTRO TO WORLD GEOGRAPHY:
Mrs. Minks Social Studies
On an index card, answer the following questions:
1. Name the seven continents.
2. Name the four oceans.
3. What is the highest mountain in the world?
4. What is the largest desert in Africa?
5. What is the longest river in the world?
6. What is the largest river in the United States?
FIVE THEMES OF GEOGRAPHY
• Location – describes where something is
• Place – describes physical and human characteristics that make a
• Regions – areas that share common characteristics
• Movement – explains how and why people and things move and are
• Human-Environment Interaction – describes relationship between
people and their environment
WHAT TOOLS DO GEOGRAPHY SKILLS
• Methods for us to understand relationships between people, places,
• Helps in community decisions
• Where to build a new school
• How to solve problems of air and water pollution
• Helps us make personal daily decisions
• Where to buy a home
• Where to get a job
• How to get to the mall
• Where to go on vacation
GLOBES AND MAPS
• A globe is a scale model of the Earth (3D)
• A map is a symbolic representation of all or part of the planet (2D)
• Who makes maps?
A Great Circle is an imaginary line that follows the curve of the Earth.
Great circle is one of the important differences between a map and a
• To create maps, cartographers project the round Earth onto a flat
surface making a map projection.
• Distance, shape, direction, or size may be distorted by a projection.
• The purpose of the map usually dictates which projection is used.
The three basic categories of map projections are:
• Planar Projection
• Cylindrical Projection
• Conic Projection
• A planar projection shows the Earth centered in such a way that a
straight line coming from the center to any other point represents the
shortest distance. Also known as an azimuthal projection.
• It is the most accurate at its center and if often used for maps of the
• A cylindrical projection is based on the projection of the globe onto
a cylinder. This projection is most accurate near the equator, but
shapes and distances are distorted near the poles.
• A conic projection comes from placing a cone over part of a globe.
Conic projections are best for showing limited east-west areas that
are not too far from the equator. For these uses, a conic projection
can indicate distances and directions fairly accurately.
On an index card answer the following:
How many hemispheres are there and what are they?
Of latitude and longitude, which one’s lines are parallel?
• Grid system
• Latitude: circle the Earth parallel to the Equator and measure the
distance north or south
• Longitude: meridians that circle the Earth from Pole to Pole and
measure distance east or west of the Prime Meridian at 0° longitude.
• Northern hemisphere – everything north of Equator
• Southern hemisphere – everything south of Equator
• Eastern hemisphere – everything east of Prime Meridian
• Western hemisphere – everything west of Prime Meridian
READING A MAP
• Scale bar
• Compass Rose
• Boundary Lines
• Water features
• Relief and elevation
• Boundary lines
• Human-made features (boundaries, capitals, cities, roads, etc.)
• Physical features (mountains, rivers, etc.)
• Non-subject area – for context
• Single idea
• Particular kind of
• Each serve different need
(climate, vegetation, etc.)
• GIS designed to accept data from different sources
• Converts data to digital code, arranges in database
• GIS can process data and produce maps