World Regional Geography Chapter 1: Objectives and Tools of World Regional Geography
Term was first used by the Greek scholar Eratosthenes in the 3rd Century B.C.E. Literally means “Description of the Earth” Best summed up as “the study of the earth as the home of humankind” 1.1 Welcome to World Regional Geography One of the accomplishments of Eratosthenes was that he was able to get in the ballpark in determining the circumference of the Earth
Branches of the Discipline
1.1.1. Six Essential Elements of Geography
The World In Spatial Terms
Subfields of Geography
This text divides the earth into 8 world regions Each region starts with a thematic profile Then, in the modules, each region is examined in greater detail through an investigation of the geographic qualities of its subregions and/or individual countries 1.1.2. The World Regional Approach Definitions of a vernacular region, the American South
Types of Regions Used by Geographers
Profile of World Regions
To understand important geographic problems and their potential solutions To learn to make connections between different kinds of information as a means of understanding the world To understand current events 1.1.3. Objectives of This Book
To develop the ability to interpret places and read landscapes
Reading the Landscape Where is this place? What clues on the landscape or in the women’s appearance might tell you where you are?
Maps are essential tools of geographers Help in understanding the spatial context of things 1.2 The Language of Maps
Art and Science of Making Maps
The size ratio represented by a map A map with a scale of 1:10,000 means that 1 linear unit (e.g., inch or cm) on the map represents 10,000 such real-world units on the ground Large Representative Fraction (ex: 1:10,000 or 1:100) Small Area Shown in More Detail Small Representative Fraction (ex: 1:1,000,000) 1.2.1 Scale
Large Area Shown in More Generalized Terms
Comparison of Map Scales Small Scale Map Small Representative Fraction Portrays Large Area Large-Scale Map Large Representative Fraction Portrays Small Area
Relative Defines a place in relationship to other places Absolute Provides a unique address for each place Grids of horizontal and vertical lines covering the globe Intersections of these lines create the addresses Latitude & Longitude most commonly used Measured in Degrees (°), Minutes (’) and Seconds (”) 1 Degree is made up of 60 Minutes 1.2.2 Coordinate Systems
1 Minute is made up of 60 Seconds
Equator has a latitude of 0° The equator and all other latitudinal lines are parallel to each other, which is why they are called parallels Divides Northern and Southern Hemispheres Arctic Circle 66.56° North Tropic of Cancer 23.44° North Tropic of Capricorn 23.44° South 1.2.2 Coordinate Systems - Latitude
Antarctic Circle 66.56° South
Straight lines connecting the poles Converge at the poles and are farthest apart at equator Prime Meridian has a longitude of 0° Runs through the Royal Astronomical Observatory in Greenwich, England Divides Western and Eastern Hemispheres International Date Line has a longitude of 180° Halfway around the world from the Prime Meridian 1.2.2 Coordinate Systems - Longitude
Separates two consecutive calendar days
Latitude vs. Longitude Parallels of Latitude Range from 90°N to 90°S Equator at 0° Meridians of Longitude Range from 180°W to 180°E Prime Meridian at 0°
What are the approximate latitude & longitude coordinates for these European cities?
Way of depicting the curved surface of the earth on a flat surface such as a piece of paper Metric Relationships on the Globe Area, Shape, Distance, Direction A flat map cannot replicate all of these simultaneously Most projections can preserve only one of these Inevitably, there will be distortion on a flat map Common Map Projection Families 1.2.3 Projections
Cylindrical Areas around Equator World
Common Map Projections Azimuthal Projection North Pole Azimuthal Equidistant Cylindrical Projection Mercator Conic Projection Albers Equal Area Conic
No map is a complete record of an area Symbols used to represent a selection of certain details Concerned with locations of various features of the earth’s surface and their relationships with each other 1.2.4 Symbolization
Show the distribution of a particular phenomenon
Thematic Map Choropleth Map Each country is filled in with a distinguishing color representing its Per Capita GNI PPP.
Thematic Map Isarithmic Map Instead of using political boundaries, shading is applied to areas having similar amounts of the variable being mapped, in this case population density.
Thematic Map Graduated Symbol Map Symbols can be scaled proportionally to the quantity of the data being mapped. In the cartogram above (a specific type of graduated symbol map), the countries have been resized based on relative population.
1.2.5 Mental Maps
Each of us has a personal sense of space and place and associations with them
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Computerized system designed to help people analyze, manage, and visualize geographic data Spatial data stored in “Layers” 1.3 New Geographic Technologies & Careers
Soils, Hydrology, Road Networks, Demographics, etc.
Geographic Information Systems at Work
What Do Geographers Do for a Living?
Specialty Groups of the AAG