Geographer`s Tools Power Point 1



Unit 1A

Chapter 1



Thinking Globally

 “Geo”-earth

 “graphy”-to write

 Geographers ask “where” things are and “why” they are there

 Geography-The study of the distribution and interaction of physical and human features on the earth.


 Physical Geography-focus on natural environment.

 Human Geography-focus on people.

 The earth’s natural phenomena, like soil, plants, climate and topography.

 This is what most think of when they think


 Processes, and locations of the earth’s human creations and their interactions.

Looking at the earth

 Continents

 County

 State/province/territory

 Islands

 Oceans

The World

The Science of Mapmaking

 Cartographer-A person who makes maps

 How do you know where things are without a map?

Maps and Map Symbols

 Scale

 Compass Rose

 Symbols

 Title

 Key/Legend

 Color


 Maps-a two dimensional or flat scale model of the earth’s surface

Globe-scale model of the earth

Great Circle Route-shortest distance between 2 points on the earth

Types of Maps

During the course of the year we will look at all types of maps, here are a few:

 Thematic

 Flow-line

 Chloropleth

 Dot Density

 Proportional

 Symbol thematic

 Reference

 Isoline Thematic

 Cognative or mental maps

Map Projections

 Projections are the scientific method of transferring locations on the Earth’s surface to a flat map.

 Think of a projection of making the skin of an orange lay flat.

Four types of distortions can occur:

1. shape of an area is distorted.

2. distance between two points may increase or decrease.

3. relative size of different areas may be altered.

4. Direction from one place to another can be distorted.

Classes of Maps

 Cylindrical (compromise)-shows true direction but loses distance.

 Planar-shows true direction and examines the earth from one point.

 Conic-cone over the earth, loses direction but keeps distance intact.

 Oval-combination of cylindrical and conic

Contemporary Tools for Mapping



Systems (GIS)

• Information on a location is stored in layers.

• Layers can be viewed individually or combined.

Remote Sensing

• Remote sensing satellites scan the earth.

• Google maps

Global Positioning

Systems (GPS)

• Accurately determines the precise position of something on earth.

• Originally designed for aircraft and ships, now available for autos.

Get out your notebook

 Put yourself in groups of 3. HURRY! DO THIS


 Analyze your picture:

 What do you see in the picture?

 What do you think is "different" in the picture?

 Does this look like everywhere else in the world?

 What affects the “look” of this place?

 Is the location of this place important?

 If I were trying to get to this place, how I might I travel there?


Describe Manvel High School using the 5 Themes of

Geography- there should be a characteristic for each


Five Themes of Geography

 Location

 Human/Environment


 Regions

 Place

 Movement


 How do Geographers know where things are?

Absolute Location : refers to a position on the global grid.

Relative Location : a location as described in relation to places around it.

Absolute or Mathematical Location

 Mathematical location-location described by meridians and parallels, otherwise known as latitude and longitude.

Absolute location is unique for each place on earth.

 The absolute location of the ACC radio tower.

 Latitude: 29-24'02'' N

Longitude: 095-12'14'' W

Latitude and Longitude

 Meridians or longitude

 Parallels or Latitude

Prime Meridian

 GMT-Greenwich Mean Time

International Date line

 Equator

 Hemispheres

Latitude and Longitude

Place-Unique location of a feature

Why is each point on Earth Unique?

Four ways to identify a place on earth by it’s location.

1. Place name

Toponym or name to distinguish them from others.

Some names reflect history—New York

Some reflect the founder-Alvin-Alvin Morgan

Some are reflective-Three Rivers



2. Site- physical character of a place


Topography soil water resources

Vegetation elevation


3. Situation-location of a place relative to another place.

This characteristic refers to relative location.




People and their environment.

Environmental Modification

 Changes to environment to suit people.


 Interconnections between areas

 What connects people and places

 How do people move from one place

To another?


The organization of the earth’s surface into distinct areas that are viewed as different from other areas.

Types of regions

 There are three types of regions:




Formal region

Functional Region

Vernacular or perceptual region

Formal Region

 Other wise known as uniform or homogeneous region.

 Everyone within the region shares in common one or more distinctive characteristics.

 Creation of a state or province is a formal region

Formal regions

 The North America Wheat Belt is a formal region.

 Persons in the USA who vote Republican or

Democratic .

Functional Region

 Functional or Nodal Regions are organized around a core, node or focal point.

 Geographers use functional regions to display information about economic areas.

 Newspaper circulation

 TV Station reception area

 People in our are who follow the Texans.

Functional region

 The core area has distinct characteristics that lessen in intensity as one travels to the periphery, or the region’s margins.

 Traveling West from Denver persons will venture to the periphery of Salt Lake City.

Perceptual or Vernacular Regions

 They are places that people believe to exist as part of their cultural identity.

 The reflect feelings and images more than any objective reality.


 Emerging mega regions of the USA


 A force or process that involves the entire world and results in making something worldwide in scope.

 Human activities are rarely confined to one location.

 Multinational Corporation-located in more than one country. Can affect the culture of other nations.


 Distribution -the arrangement of a feature in space

 Density -frequency in which something occurs

 .

Distribution, cont.

 Concentration-the extent of a features spread over space.

 Are they clustered (close together)?

 Are they dispersed (far apart) ?

 Concentration is not the same as density. You can have the same density but different concentrations. Think housing in communities.

Distribution, cont.

 Pattern-the geometric arrangement of objects in space.

 Some are geometric-houses on a street are linear.

 Some are random and irregular


Spatial interaction

 Historically-settlers, explorers created interaction between locations

 Today- Airplanes, computers, Television, internet

Distance Decay-the farther away one group is from another group, the less likely they are to interact with each other.

Electronic communication

Has lessened this concept.

Diffusion of culture and economy

 North America, Western Europe and Japan are the centers of global culture and economy.