Unit 1 Study Guide - Mr. Patrick King, MDA

King SS 6
Unit 1 Test: Study Guide
1. Using coordinates (latitude and longitude) to find a location.
2. Give the coordinates of a location.
3. Use relative location to describe the connection between two places.
4. Use a scale on a map to estimate distances between two places.
1. What tools do geographers use and what are they used for(GPS, sextant, compass, chronometer,
globe, map---physical map, political map, thematic map).
2. What is the difference between relative and absolute location?
3. What does latitude measure?
4. What does longitude measure?
5. What caused the rise of agriculture in the earliest human societies?
6. What effects did irrigation have on human society?
Extra Credit:
What are the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World?
Skills #1 and #2 Rip off the Map of Central America from the back of this packet.
1. Go to 9°10’N and 82°. What country are you in?
2. I am at 10°N, 84°10’W. What city am I in?
San Jose, Costa Rica
3. I am at 18°N, 92°W. Where am I?
4. What are the coordinates for Belmopan?
17°5’N, 88°50W
5. What are the coordinates for Guatemala City?
14°20’N, 90°40W
6. Give me a set of coordinates for a location in Honduras.
14°N, 87°W
Skill #3
Describe the relationship between China and Turkey in terms of relative location.
China is east of Turkey.
Turkey is west of China.
Turkey is not close to China.
Where is Turkmenistan in relation to Saudi Arabia?
Turkmenistan is northeast of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is southwest of Turkmenistan.
Iran is between Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan.
Using relative location, explain where Romania is.
Romania is north of Bulgaria.
Romania is northwest of Turkey.
Romania is south of Belarus.
Skill #4 Using a Map Scale (Using the Central American Map)
How far is it from Tegucigalpa to Panama City in miles?
4.8 cm/300 miles = 11.1 cm/ ??
300 X 11.1=3,330
3,330/4.8=693.75 miles
Joseph is going on vacation (leaving from Panama City of course). First, he will fly to Managua. Then
he will ride a motorcycle to Guatemala City. How far will Joseph travel? You can do the calculation in
miles or kilometers but you must label your answer.
Panama to Managua=9 cms
4.8cm/300miles =14.8cm/??
300 X 14.8= 4,440
4,440/4.8=925 miles
Managua to Guatemala City =5.8 cms
Total: 14.8 cms
What is the distance between Belmopan and San Jose in kilometers?
3 cm/300km =10.3cm/??
300 X 10.3 = 3,090
3,090/3 = 1,030 km
Geographer’s Tools
GPS is a modern tool. This is a system of satellites created and launched by the U.S. government. They
are able to give a precise location anywhere on the Earth.
The sextant was a tool created in the 1700s. It measures the angle between the horizon and the moon,
a star, or the sun. Because these objects appeared at different places in the sky depending on where you
were located on Earth, this tool could help sailors determine latitude.
In the 1100s the compass was developed, and it allowed people to determine direction. A compass is
essentially a magnet, and it signals North because that is one side (one pole) of the magnetic field
created by Earth.
The chronometer was created by John Harrison a watchmaker. For many years, no one could calculate
longitude. It took a cash prize and many brilliant minds working to solve this problem. The chronometer
allowed the British to calculate both latitude and longitude, and this was important in building their
A globe is a 3D representation of the Earth’s surface. Because the Earth is a sphere, a globe is the only
representation that does not have distortions (changes in size or shape of objects). However, globes are
not very portable; it is difficult to carry a globe with you everywhere you go.
A map is a 2D representation of the Earth’s surface. All maps are distorted. This means certain objects
appear larger or smaller than they actually are. The shape of some objects can also be slightly changed.
There are several kinds of maps. For now, we will focus on three kinds.
Political Maps represent how humans organize themselves on Earth. Humans separate the
Earth into countries and provinces, build cities, and other structures. You can use this kind of
map to find countries, cites, and monuments/landmarks.
Physical Maps represent the natural features of the Earth. It is valuable to be aware of the
natural features of the Earth such as mountains, valleys, rivers, and oceans. You can use this
kind of map to see elevation, bodies of water, and other physical features.
Thematic Maps focus on one special topic or theme. The theme could be natural (temperature)
or cultural (languages spoken). You can use this kind of map to learn about that specific theme
and how it is similar or different in various locations.
Absolute Location and Relative Location
Absolute location is a precise and specific description of where something is. This could be represented
by latitude and longitude coordinates. It could also be represented as addresses which don’t really exist
in Panama ;). This means that a person could locate the place on a map or by walking without any
additional information.
Relative location is describing where something is by explaining its relationship or connection to another
place. Relative location could be expressed using:
directions (North, South, East, West)
distance (two miles from here, 3 hours away)
prepositions (next to, near, to the left, under)
For our purposes we will mostly be using directions. This is the common way to express location in
Latitude and Longitude
Latitude measures the distance from the Equator. The lines are horizontal (right to left); however, they
measure North or South.
Longitude measures the distance from the Prime Meridian. The lines are vertical (up and down);
however, they measure East and West.
When giving coordinates or looking for locations, it is important to remember that these lines curve.
The Earth’s surface is not flat, and over long distance these lines are curved. Be careful!
The Rise of Agriculture and Early Human Civilization
Human civilizations have always been profoundly affected by geography. Humans need the
environment around them to survive; they especially need resources. The earliest humans were
nomads. This means they moved from place to place with no permanent homes. Agriculture or farming
changed this. The reason people were able to start depending on agriculture instead of hunting or
gathering food was because of natural resources: fresh water and fertile soil.
River valleys provided humans with a source of drinking water, but more importantly it provided
them with water for crops. Additionally, the soil next to rivers was especially fertile (good for growing
crops) because rivers were always moving and flooding carrying new soil with new nutrients to the areas
nearby. As agriculture grew along river valleys throughout the world, more humans began to live in
these areas. There wasn’t enough land for all of the people to farm. This led to another great human
innovation: irrigation.
Irrigation is a man-made system of waterways that carries water to areas that do not have water
of their own. Irrigation systems were the first known example of humans changing the natural
environment to fit human needs. We will see that throughout history and all over the world humans
have done this. These irrigation systems allowed early humans to produce even more food, and soon
they were producing a food surplus. With more food then they needed to survive, humans began
dedicating themselves to new occupations like government, religion, art, and construction. When
people specialize in a certain job rather than producing everything they need for themselves, this is
known as division of labor. Division of labor allowed for more complex societies and led to great
advances and improvements in art and construction. Without irrigation, a food surplus, and division of
labor large, complicated, beautiful projects like the Ancient Wonders of the World could never have
been completed.