Cultural Geography: Thinking Geographically

Geography
What is geography?
The art and science of
describing the Earth and spatial
relationships.
What is the difference between cultural and physical geography?
Cultural Geography is the study of patterns and
processes of people across space,
whereas
Physical Geography is the study of patterns and
processes of the natural environment across
space.
What is a map?
(Be able to list the three parts of the definition of a map and discuss each)
It is a
generalized (doesn’t include everything),
reduced (smaller than reality, but to scale), representation (colors and symbols represent actual features in reality)
of the Earth’s surface.

A map serves two purposes: tool for reference material (where things are located) and tool for communicating geographic information (depicting patterns, human activities, reasons underlying distributions)

What is map scale?
A ratio showing how much smaller a map is relative to reality
What are the three kinds of scale?
Written/verbal scale – “one inch equals four miles”
epresentative fraction – 1:250,000
Graphic – (striped bars)
What is a projection?
Making a round Earth flat.
– Mercator: most common, uses a cylinder wrapped around globe, touching at equator. To scale only at equator (or other line of accuracy). Good for navigation. Shapes of continents good, but size is distorted, especially near top/bottom of map. Rhumb lines are straight.
– Albers: Conic, uses two standard parallels, used for british columbia
– peters: sizes are correct but shapes are horrible
– robinson: a compromise projections, but nothing is accurate. Just get a better ‘picture’ to teach students what earth looks like
What is latitude?
Angular distance north or south of the equator measured from the center of the Earth.
Calculated by the Position of the Sun at its highest point in the year.
One great circle (equator), rest are small circles
Lines are called #th parallel north/south
What are important lines of latitude?
North pole 90″N
Arctic Circle 66.5″N
Tropic of Cancer 23.5″N
equator 0″
Tropic of capricorn 23.5″ S
Antarctic circle 66.5″S
South pole 90″S
What is longitude?
Angular distance east or west of a point on the Earth’s surface, measured from the center of the earth
Lines called east/west meridians
All are great circles
Starting point was arbitrary. measured time to calculate. Compare time in two places, use the difference to calculate longitude
15″ per hour
What are important lines of longitutde?
prime meridian 0″
international date line 180″
what is remote sensing?
The acquisition of data about the Earth’s surface from a satellite orbiting Earth or from another long distance method
What is GIS?
Geographic Information system: computer system that can capture, store, query, analyze, and display geographic data.
What is GPS?
a system that determines the position of something on Earth.
Define distribution.

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