Geography Notes

Geographer’s Tools

  1. Projecting the Earth
    1. Globes
      1. A scaled down 3D model of the earth
        1. Scale is the relative size
      2. A globe has the most accurate and precise projection of the earth’s features
      3. Disadvantages
        1. Difficult to handle
        2. Not portable
        3. Not detailed
    2. Maps
      1. A flat representation of the earth
      2. Has the potential to distort images of the earth
        1. Makes the image different than it is in reality
      3. More portable and easier to read than a globe
    3. GIS- Geographic Information Systems
      1. GIS gives information about geographic locations (google maps)
  2. Using Maps
    1. Absolute location- the precise and specific location on a map
    2. Relative location- the location of one place compared to another
    3. Map Titles and Symbols
      1. Title
        1. Tells us what a map shows and the type of information
      2. Compass Rose
        1. Informs us what direction the map is portrayed
        2. Shows the Cardinal Directions; N, S, E, W
      3. Legend/ Key
        1. Shows us what different symbols or colors mean on a map
      4. Scale
        1. Shows us how small the map is compared to the real object
    4. Latitude and Longitude
      1. A grid system that helps us identify absolute location on a map
      2. Latitude- horizontal lines that run from E to W
        1. Equator- the horizontal center of the earth
        2. These lines measure distance N and S
      3. Longitude- vertical lines that run from N to S
        1. Measure distance E to W
      4. Measured in number of degrees
  3. Types of Maps
    1. Mercator
      1. Increases the distance between Lat. and Long. lines to show the distortion of a flat map
      2. Areas further from the center look bigger than they actually are
    2. Equal Area Projection
      1. The map is split into curving points to show the land at the edges in the proper size
      2. There are gaps in the map
    3. Homolosine Projection
      1. Separates the map into cut sections
      2. Prevents distortion, but is difficult to read

Earth’s Human Geography

  1. Population
    1. Population Density
      1. average number of people per square mile
    2. Birth Rate and Death Rate
      1. number of births/deaths each year for every 1,000 people
      2. Must maintain a rate of 2.36 children per parents to sustain population
    3. Population Rise
      1. World population has grown significantly in the last 300yrs
        1. Expansion in the world (Americas)
        2. More efficient farming tools and techniques
        3. Medical advancements
        4. Safer water collection
        5. Waste management
  2. Migration
    1. People’s movement from one place or region to another 
    2. The push-pull theory
      1. Something pushes immigrants to leave their home and pulls them to a new country
  3. Culture
  1. The way of life of a people; Beliefs, customs, practices
  2. Effect of Environment on Culture
    1. All culture are affected by the place that they live
    2. Cultural Landscape
      1. The parts of a people’s environment that they have shaped and the technology that they used
  3. Development 
    1. Civilizations- advanced culture that are organized in cities and use writing
    2. Culture develops into a civilization over an extremely long period
      1. First people began hunting and gathering
      2. Then they raised crops and domesticated animals
        1. Domestication is the process of training and breeding an animal to perform a task
      3. Trade developed and required the formation of governments and written language
  4. Institutions
    1. Customs and organizations with social, educational, and/or religious purposes
    2. More advanced groups for accomplishing specific tasks
  5. Society
    1. A group of people who share a culture
    2. Organized by a social structure
      1. A pattern of relationships among a society
      2. Helps people to work together and meet basic needs
    3. The family is most important part of any society
      1. Responsible for the basic education of children
      2. Pass culture from one generation to the next
    4. Social Classes
      1. Grouping people by rank or status
        1. rank /position may come from wealth, land, ancestors, or education
        2. Different cultures allow different amounts of movement from one class to another