THE WORLD OF INDUSTRY
3 Year Geography
Social Studies Department
1. THE SECONDARY SECTOR
The secondary sector includes the
economic activities that transform raw
materials into other products in order to
meet human needs.
This activities are:
Industry is the biggest activity
within the secondary sector. It
transforms raw materials into finished
products, for direct consumption, or
semifinished products, which are
used as materials in other industrial
Mining is the process of
locating, extracting and refining
the rocks and minerals that are in
the ground. To carry out this
activity, the following steps are
• Extraction techniques, which
vary depending on whether the
minerals are found in open-air
deposits or in underground
deposits known as mines.
• Refining systems, to separate
the usable mineral (ore) from the
surrounding rocks (gangue) which
are of no commercial interest.
Energy production transforms
fuel into forms of energy, such as
heat or electricity, which make
it possible to do work.
Major investments and large
facilities are required to produce
energy, for example power
stations*, which are specialised in
each type of energy source:
thermal power stations, wind
power stations, solar power
stations, hydraulic power stations.
Construction creates different
types of structures (buildings) and
infrastructure (roads, bridges,
dams*, etc.). This activity
requires construction projects and
materials, such as steel* and
concrete*, which are the most
used today. Construction has a
great impact on the environment.
2. INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY USES
A. RAW MATERIALS (Materias primas)
Depending on the origin they can be:
• Plant raw materials
come from agriculture like
cotton or linen, and
forestry like cork (corcho).
• Animal raw materials
come from livestock
farming like wool or
leather, and fishing
activities like fishing for
the canning industry, oils
• Minerals which can be used
to extract metals (iron, lead*,
aluminium, copper*, zinc,
uranium), precious metals
(gold, silver) and also
nonmetallic materials (glass,
precious stones and
• Rocks, such as granite, clay*,
limestone* and marble, are
used to manufacture
(cement, concrete, ceramics)
• Fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural
gas), which we obtain energy
INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY ALSO USES
B. ENERGY RESOURCES (Fuentes de energía)
Which can be classified into:
Geothermal Nuclear fusion
All of these resources are
because they are being used
at a much faster rate than
they can be replaced, which
means that in the future
they will run out.
Oil is the most
followed by natural
gas (23%), coal
and nuclear (7%).
used to describe
sources of energy
that could replace
energies in the
They are also
3. HOW HAS IT BEEN THE
EVOLUTION OF THE
First we must talk about:
Before the middle of the 18th century almost all
industrial work was done by hand, using traditional
instruments and low level power sources, such as
animals and wood fires.
Production was very low and as each worker made the
product entirely by hand, each one was unique.
People worked in small workshops, which were owned
by a ‘master’. These workshops were found all across
the country in towns and cities.
Modern industry was introduced
Things began to change in Great Britain in the First Industrial Revolution
(1770-1850) and developed even more in the Second Industrial
Revolution (1850-1950). Machines were used which were driven by more
powerful sources of energy, such as coal, oil and electricity.
Production increased dramatically and because it was done using
machines the items were uniform and much cheaper. People built larger
factories near areas rich in raw materials, sources of energy or in large
driven by new
specialised in a
From the middle of the 20th century to the present day, industry has been
developing due to what is known as the Third Industrial Revolution. Today,
work tends to be automated, and incorporates new energy sources
(nuclear, alternative energies), new technologies (microelectronics,
telecommunications, IT) and industrial robots.
Production consists of short production runs of diverse, cheap products,
made in factories which can be located anywhere in the world
because of the use of new technologies and cheap transport.
4. INDUSTRY ACTIVITY CREATES
Different types of industries such as:
• BASIC INDUSTRIES (Industrias de primera elaboración o de base). They
include the iron and steel industry and the petrochemical industry, which
produces chemical products.
• EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY (Industrias de equipo). Examples are
machinery, industrial equipment and railway, naval and construction
materials. These are also considered heavy industries (industria pesada)
because of the high consumption of energy and materials.
• CONSUMER INDUSTRIES (Industrias de bienes de uso y consumo). This
kind of industry makes finished products aimed directly at the consumer,
such as foods, textiles, chemical products, etc. All of them are light
industries (industria ligera), as they consume less energy and raw
5. INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY ALSO
INDUSTRIAL SPACES SUCH AS
1. Industrial Estates: (Áreas industriales)
They are different sized spaces for traditional
industries. They have the appropriate
infrastructure for industrial activity.
2. Technology parks: (Parques
They are similar in size to the industrial estates,
but contain high-tech industries.
3. High-tech zones: (Zonas de alto
These are large areas where high-tech industries
are concentrated, many of these are innovative
companies and R&D centres. (Research and
6. FINALLY INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY
GIVES RISE TO :
• United States, Japan and the European Union
have high concentrations of industry which benefit from
advanced technology and large markets for their
• Some regional powers, such as Russia, Australia,
New Zealand, South Africa and the oil exporting
countries, owe their high levels of industrialisation to
the exploitation of their abundant natural resources.
• Emerging countries in Asia, such as China, South
Korea and India, or in Latin America, such as Brazil and
Mexico, have developed industrially because of
globalisation. Many multinational companies have
transferred* some of their factories to these countries .
The least industrialised areas of
the Earth are in developing
countries. The reasons why they
have little industry is because they
lack of resources or the capital to
exploit them, the absence of
markets and poor transport and
What are the reasons why some
areas of the Earth are least
REGIONAL POWER EMERGING
THE INDUSTRIAL AREAS IN
The industrial areas in Europe are
• Western Europe, and the EU, is the most industrialised area.
In this area, traditional industries are having serious problems
new industrial spaces for high-technology industries are growing
rapidly near the large metropolises.
• In Eastern Europe, the main industrial areas are located in
Ukraine, in the Donets basin, and in Russia around Moscow and
in the Ural Mountains. They are specialised in traditional sectors
and are currently having serious problems.