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Human Geography Chapter 1. what is geography? “description of the earth” a study of spatial variation –the how and why of physical & cultural differences.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Geography Chapter 1. what is geography? “description of the earth” a study of spatial variation –the how and why of physical & cultural differences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Geography Chapter 1

2 what is geography? “description of the earth” a study of spatial variation –the how and why of physical & cultural differences –location, location, location –observable patterns that have evolved through time

3 - interaction of physical environment and human activity (Marsh, Sauer) - cultural landscape can alter the natural environment

4 evolution of the discipline - mapping/human interpretation Aristotle (384-322 BC) Erathosthenes (276 BC) Strabos (63BC-24AD)/Herodotus (484- 423BC)

5 Ptolemy (2 nd century AD)

6 outside the western world Chinese Scholars Muslim Scholars

7 human geography Where are people? What are they like? What is their interaction over space? What kinds of landscapes do they erect?

8 physical geography attention towards natural landscape –landforms and their distribution –atmospheric conditions and climatic patterns –soils / vegetation associations

9 modern geography….. 1. Climates, patterns, processes of physical environment 2. Rapid development of natural sciences 3. Accurate mapping 4. Data collection / statistics

10 academic geography Earth science Man-land relations Areal differentiation Spatial organization –location –processes –patterns –interactions/relations –distributions

11 three concepts about space Location Direction Distance

12 absolute location Mathematical location –Latitude & Longitude degrees, minutes, seconds –Township & Range (1785 Land Ordinance) Subdivision: parallels & meridians Topographic quadrangle, US Geological Survey –Metes & Bounds

13 latitude & longitude (22° 15' N, 114° 10‘ E)

14 relative location “place” in relationship to surroundings

15 Site –absolute location concept –physical & cultural characteristics Topography, vegetation, water, physical characteristic

16 Situation –external relations of locale –relative location concept –dynamic

17 absolute directions Based on cardinal systems –north, south, east, west –from solar system

18 relative directions Based on cultural & local perceptions –no absolute boundaries or definitions –“down south”, “out west”, “up north”, “down south”, “Near East”, “Far East”

19 absolute distance Absolute mathematical mileage, or measurement of distance

20 relative distance Refers to a more regional spatial relationship –how distance is described MILES MINUTES $$$ & TIME

21 psychological distance Distance lengthened / shortened –first time traveled –night / day travel –safety / danger / excitement

22 size & scale Size of unit studied Scale implies degree of generalization –broad or narrow –Varying sizes local regional global

23 landscapes Natural Cultural Dynamic

24 multi-varied landscapes

25 process of change Before 1970 After development Long Island, New York

26 spatial interaction Accessibility –how easy/difficult to overcome time & space separation Connectivity –how places are connected Spatial diffusion –process of dispersion of ideas or items from a center of origin to more distant points Globalization –Increasing interconnection of peoples and societies worldwide

27 globalization Standardization –$$$$, EU, time, United Nations Containerization –movement of products –outsourcing Intersection of the ‘haves’ & ‘have nots’ –cell phones, internet

28 spatial distribution Arrangement of items on Earth’s surface Three concepts

29 1. density Measure of the number/quantity within a defined unit of areas –proportion arithmetic physiological density

30 2. dispersion (concentration) Amount of spread of phenomenon over an area –1. clustered, agglomerated –2. dispersed, scattered, random

31 3. pattern Emphasizes design rather than spacing –linear (a) – road, river, rail line –centralized (b) – city & suburbs –random (c) Rectangular system of land survey - U.S. –rural: checkerboard, 1 mile squares –cities: grid system

32 regional concepts 1. formal or uniform regions –Areas of essential uniformity Physical or cultural Sahara Desert, “Bible Belt”

33 2. functional region spatial system defined by interactions/ connections Glendale Galleria Newspaper Route

34 3. perceptual regions Less structured & more culturally based The “Valley’China Town

35 cartography – the science of making maps Maps provide a visual tool Maps are subjective Map projections transfer locations on a round surface to a flat surface –some form of distortion always occurs –greater distortion results from larger areas depicted

36 global grid system

37 mathematics of the Earth Aristotle (384-322 BC) discovered the earth to be an oblate spheroid –Equatorial bulge 7926.38 (7924) –Polar shortening 7899.80 (7922) –23.5° axis (tilt)

38 seasons and climate Earth’s rotation & movement around the sun Tilt of the earth’s axis (23.5°) Receipt of solar radiation Re-radiation of energy in the form of heat

39 the Earth’s divisions Latitude lines –Equal distance between lines –Lines become increasingly smaller descending from the equator to poles Longitude lines –Each line is the same exact length –All lines become increasingly close together as they descend to the poles

40 important lines of latitude Equator: 0 degrees Tropic of Cancer: 23.5 degrees North Tropic of Capricorn: 23.5 degrees South Arctic Circle: 66.5 degrees North Antarctic Circle: 66.5 degrees South


42 important lines of longitude Prime Meridian: 0 degrees (runs through Greenwich, England) International Dateline: 180 degrees Time Zones: every 15 degrees of longitude equals one hour



45 maps Scale –the smaller the scale the greater the detail - for example one inch = one mile is more detailed than one inch = one hundred miles 1:1 or 1:100 Legend –interprets map information

46 map projections & distortion Shape Distance Relative size Direction

47 Mercator: preserves direction, distorts landmass Fuller’s: preserves shape and size, distorts direction Robinson: minimizes projection errors Peters: equal-area projection, focus on Africa Azimuthal: oriented to the Poles

48 Robinson map projection

49 Fuller’s Dymaxion projection

50 Topographical map

51 Thematic maps

52 Cartogram map

53 Geographical Information Systems


55 mental maps

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