Geography used to be associated with memorizing mind-numbing facts. Not any more! Objectives and tools of world regional geography Chapter 1
1.1 Welcome to World RegionalGeography What is “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” Branches of the Discipline Physical Geography Human Geography
1.1.1a 6 Essential Elements of Geography The World in Spatial Terms Places and Regions Physical Systems Human Systems Environment and Society Uses of Geography
1.1.1b Five Themes of Geography (NCGE) Location Place Human-Environment Interaction Movement Region
Ground Zero LOCATION: Lower Manhattan, New York MOVEMENT: City Before 9/11, daily comings and goings 40°42’43” N 74°00’49” W of office workers in WTC; on 9/11, diversion of airplanes to target the buildings; after 9/11, flow of mourners, tourists, construction crews to site. PLACE: Formerly, office buildings at heart of one of world’s great financial centers; now, a place of historical significance and collective grief REGION: for Americans. Situated in region of U.S. known as the Northeast, in a humid continental climate region.HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION:Lower Manhattan occupies low-lying ground that was oncemarshy swampland. Construction of the twin towers of theWorld Trade Center required special foundations to keepthe Hudson River’s water from pouring in.
1.1.2 Human-Environment Interaction So many of Earth’s most pressing problems (climate change, population growth, hunger, etc.) involve the coupling of human and environmental systems Important early geographers Alexander von Humboldt (German) Carl Sauer (American) Founded landscape perspective in American geography Study the transformation through time of a natural landscape to a cultural landscape Landscape Physical and human features on the Earth’s surface Culture underlies decisions about use of landscape System of values, beliefs, and attitudes that shapes and influences perception and behavior
1.1.3 The World Regional Approach This text divides the earth into 8 world regions People create and draw boundaries around regions that share relatively similar characteristics. A region is simply a convenience and a generalization. Types of Regions Used by Geographers Formal Region (uniform / homogeneous) Population shares a defining trait(s) Functional Region (nodal) Spatial unit characterized by a central focus on some activity Vernacular Region (perceptual) Exists in the minds of many people Various interpretations of theAmerican South as a vernacular region
1.1.4 Objectives of This Book To understand Earth’s problems and potential solutions for these problems To develop a habit of synthesizing information to understand the world To understand current events To develop the ability to interpret places and “read” landscapes
Reading the LandscapeWhere is this place?What clues on the landscape or in theman’s appearance might tell you whereyou are?
1.2 The Language of Maps A map is a representation of various phenomena over all or a part of the Earth’s surface, usually rendered on a flat surface such as paper or a computer monitor. Maps are essential tools of geographers Help in understanding the spatial context of things Cartography Art and Science of Making Maps Map Elements Scale Coordinate Systems Projections Symbolization
1.2.1 Scale Scale The size ratio represented by a map Representative Fraction 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 Scale Large Representative Fraction (ex: 1:10,000 or 1:100) Small Area Shown in More Detail Small Scale Small Representative Fraction (ex: 1:1,000,000) Large Area Shown in More Generalized Terms
Comparison of Map Scales Small-Scale Map Large-Scale MapSmall Representative Fraction Large Representative Fraction Portrays Large Area Portrays Small Area
1.2.2 Coordinate Systems Location Relative Defines a place in relationship to other places Absolute Provides a unique address for each place Coordinate System Grids of horizontal and vertical lines covering the globe Intersections of these lines create the addresses Latitude and Longitude most commonly used Measured in Degrees (°), Minutes (’), and Seconds (”) 1 Degree is made up of 60 Minutes 1 Minute is made up of 60 Seconds
1.2.2 Coordinate Systems - Latitude 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 Important Latitudes North Pole 90.00° North Arctic Circle 66.56° North Tropic of Cancer 23.44° North Equator 0.00° Tropic of Capricorn 23.44° South Antarctic Circle 66.56° South South Pole 90.00° South
1.2.2 Coordinate Systems - Longitude Meridians of Longitude Straight lines connecting the poles Converge at the poles; 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 Separates two consecutive calendar days
Latitude vs. LongitudeParallels of Latitude Meridians of LongitudeRange from 90°N to 90°S Range from 180°W to 180°E Equator at 0° Prime Meridian at 0°
Hemispheres: Half Worlds Apart Land Hemisphere Water Hemisphere80% of the World’s Land Area 20% of the World’s Land Area90% of the World’s Population 10% of the World’s Population
What are the approximate latitude & longitude coordinates for these European cities?
1.2.3 Projections Map Projection 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: Azimuthal Plane, Polar Regions Cylindrical Cylinder, Areas around the Equator Conic Cone, Middle Latitudes
1.2.4 Symbolization Maps and Symbolization Cartographic Abstraction No map is a complete record of an area Symbols used to represent a selection of certain important details All maps must “lie” to some degree to inform their readers Reference Maps Concerned with locations of various features of the earth’s surface and their relationships with each other Thematic Maps 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 MapInstead 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.
1.3 Geographic Technologies and Careers Recent technological advances in geography have been dubbed “The Geospatial Revolution” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Computer-based tool that allows people to create, view, manipulate, analyze, and store geospatial data Spatial data stored in “Layers” Soils, Hydrology, Road Networks, Demographics, etc. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Remote Sensing (Earth Observation) Science of acquiring information about the Earth’s surface without being in direct contact with it Data Sources Aerial Photography Radar LIDAR
1.3.1 Careers in Geography US Department of Labor identified geospatial technology as one of the most important emerging and evolving fields in the technology industry Anticipated 20% job growth through 2018 in jobs for geographers, geoscientists, cartographers, urban and regional planners, and other geographic professionals “We are living in the era of the geographer.”
Transportation Planner USGS Water Specialist GIS Analyst Natural Science TeacherNature Conservancy Geospatial Preserve Manager Engineer Cartographer Geography Professor