The Five Themes of Geography gives us a way to look at the world spatially. Location • Absolute location allows us to pinpoint the exact location of any point on the surface of the earth using latitude and longitude or a grid system Location • Relative location refers to the way a place is perceived and how that place relates to other places. – Can be measured in terms of time-• “twenty minutes away” – Important for decision-making. Alaska is closer to Russia than it is to the “lower 48,” but that is not how we perceive it. Relative location of Detroit--Why there? English descriptive notation (absolute location) Decisions about where to move are based on relative location. Absolute Location Relative Location Our perceptions are based on relative location. Apply the concept of relative location to the following situations: • A college student deciding where to live in the coming year • Deciding where to locate a new grocery store • Deciding where to locate an automobile manufacturing plant • Deciding where to place a new elementary school Place • Physical characteristics of place: – Topography Place • Physical characteristics of place: – Climate Place • Physical characteristics of place: – Vegetation Place • Human characteristics of place: – Agriculture Place • Human characteristics of place: – Architecture Place • Human characteristics of place: – Religion Place • Human characteristics of place: – Economics livelihoods Levels of development Region • The region is the basic unit of geographic study • Criteria for defining regions depends on the geographer’s purpose. • One place can be part of several different regions. Texas, US, and World culture regions Region • Formal regions are based on some common feature. The Corn Belt Where Islam dominates Political entities Region • Functional regions (also called nodal regions) are created by movement. Austin metropolitan area Amazon River Basin Eanes attendance area Region • Perceptual regions exist in people’s minds. Human-Environment Interaction • Humans adapt to their physical environment. clothing styles Building materials Human-Environment Interaction Humans modify their environment. Open-pit mine Terracing for rice farming Human-Environment Interaction Human interaction with the environment can have important consequences. Movement • Physical processes, people, goods, and ideas move across the earth’s surface. • The geographer is concerned with the effects of this movement. What is important to understand about the Five Themes? • They give us a “geographic lens” through which to view the world. • Every unit of study this year will focus in some way on these themes.