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Chapter 1: Basic Concepts

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1 Chapter 1: Basic Concepts
The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography

2 Defining Geography Word coined by Eratosthenes Geo = Earth
Graphia = writing Geography thus means “earth writing”

3 Contemporary Geography
Geographers ask where and why Location and distribution are important terms Geographers are concerned with the tension between globalization and local diversity A division: physical geography and human geography

4 Geography’s Vocabulary
Place: unique location or position on Earth Region: combination of cultural/ physical features Scale: portion of the Earth compare to the whole Space: gap between two objects Connections: relationship btw people/objects

5 Maps Two purposes As reference tools As communications tools
To find locations, to find one’s way As communications tools To show the distribution of human and physical features

6 Early Map Making Above: oldest map (Turkey) 7th century BC
Below: Babylon (Iraq) 6th Century BC Figure 1-2

7 Maps: Scale Types of map scale Projection
Ratio or fraction: numerical ration btw distances on Earth’s surface 1:100 Written: written word form of ratio Graphic: bar line to show distance Projection Distortion: 4 types Shape: appears more elongated Distance: distance, more or less Relative size: altered size Direction: distorted

8 Map Scale 1) Washington State 1:10,000,000 (1 in = 10,000,000 inches or 158 miles) 2) Western Washington 1:1,000,000 3) Seattle 1:100,000 4) Downtown Seattle 1:10,000 As the area covered gets smaller, the maps get more detailed. 1 in represents smaller distances Figure 1-4

9 2 Types of Uninterrupted Maps
Robinson Map: shape distortion/ more ocean Mercator Map: accurate shape/ distorted poles

10 U.S. Land Ordinance of 1785 Township and range system
Township = 6 sq. miles on each side North–south lines = principal meridians East–west lines = base lines Township: T1 (distance north or south on a particular baseline Range: R1 (distance east or west on a particular meridian line Sections: each township is divided into 36 sections, each of which is 1 mile by 1 mile.

11 Township and Range System
TL: north-south lines = meridian lines (red lines). East-west lines = base lines (green lines). TR: West 6x6 miles/ East 6x6 (then divided into 36 1x1 mile subsections BL: scale of 1:24,000 or 1 inch = 24,000 inches (2,000 ft) Figure 1-5

12 Contemporary Tools Geographic Information Science (GIScience)
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Remote sensing Geographic information systems (GIS) fig 1-7 Figure 1-7

13 Figure 1-8
A Mash-up Figure

14 How Do Geographers Describe Where Things Are?
END of Key Issue 1 How Do Geographers Describe Where Things Are?

15 Why is Each Point on Earth Unique? pg13 - 28
Key Issue 2 Why is Each Point on Earth Unique? pg

16 Place: Unique Location of a Feature
Location: 4 ways to identify Place names Toponym: Site: the physical characteristics of a place Situation: location of a place relative to other places (helps locate a location) Mathematical location:

17 Place: Mathematical Location
Location of any place can be described precisely by a numbering system Meridians (lines of longitude) 74W Prime meridian (Greenwich, England) Parallels (lines of latitude) 41N The equator

18 The Cultural Landscape
A unique combination of social relationships and physical processes Each region = a distinctive landscape People/Culture = the most important agents of change to Earth’s surface

19 Types of Regions Region can apply to any area larger than a point but smaller than the planet. Regional Studies: approach to geography that emphasizes the relationship among social and physical phenomena in a particular study.

20 Types of Regions Formal (uniform) regions
Example: Florida or Red vs Blue state. Functional (nodal or focal point) regions Example: the circulation area of a newspaper Vernacular (cultural) regions rather than a scientific model Example: the American South

21 Vernacular Region by Mental Mapping
American South Middle East South America Miami Florida State University Hawaii Weston

22 Spatial Association Spatial distribution of a region can be constructed to encompass an area of widely varying scale. i.e. – cancer rates vary according to cultural, economic, and environmental factors

23 Culture Origin from the Latin cultus, meaning “to care for”. Body of customary beliefs, material traits, and social forms that distinguish a group. Two aspects: What people care about Beliefs, values, and customs Three identifying factors of culture derive from: Language, Religion, & Ethnicity. What people take care of Earning a living; obtaining food, clothing, and shelter -

24 Cultural Ecology The geographic study of human–environment relationships Two perspectives: Environmental determinism: Possibilism Modern geographers generally reject environmental determinism in favor of possibilism because humans have the ability to adjust to their environment/ resources Determined by a group’s values Crop selection determine by environment Vegetarian vs Non-vegetarian Cremation versus burial

25 Physical Processes determined by human activity/ 4 types
Climate: Tropics, Dry, Warm, Cold, Polar Vegetation: Forest, Savanna, Grassland Desert Soil: 12,000 soil types Landforms: flat to mountainous

26 Modifying the Environment
Examples The Netherlands Polders: creating land by drainage The Florida Everglades Not so sensitive environmental modification/ unintended environmental/social consequences Figure 1-21

27 Why Is Each Point on Earth Unique? Pg 13 - 28
Key Issue 2 Why Is Each Point on Earth Unique? Pg

28 Scale Globalization Economic globalization Cultural globalization
Transnational corporations Cultural globalization A global culture?

29 Space: Distribution of Features
Distribution—three features Density Arithmetic Physiological Agricultural Concentration Pattern

30 Space–Time Compression
Figure 1-29

31 Spatial Interaction Transportation networks
Electronic communications and the “death” of geography? Distance decay Figure 1-30

32 Diffusion The process by which a characteristic spreads across space and over time Hearth = source area for innovations Two types of diffusion Relocation Expansion Three types: hierarchical, contagious, stimulus

33 Relocation Diffusion: Example
Figure 1-31

34 The End. Up next: Population

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