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Thinking Geographically

Human Geography What is it?

Human Geography: is the study of the interaction between people and their environment. In other words, how do people affect and change their environment?

Key Issue: Why is each point on Earth unique?

What do you notice about Amsterdam?

Toponym name given to any place on Earth.

Can be named for a person.
Can be religious.
Marietta named for wife of Senator Thomas Cobb St. Paul, MN named for Saint Paul. Athens, GA and Rome, GA for that matter. Warm Springs, GA

Can be historical.

Can be descriptive.

Can tell you about the way an area was colonized.

New York York is a province in England so the English named the city in the new land New York. When the Dutch owned it, it was New Amsterdam

Site= physical character of a place.

Includes climate, topography, etc. Important in selecting a location for settlement.



Situation= location of a place relative to other locations.

Helps us find an unfamiliar place by comparing it to a familiar one. Example: The park is one block past the Big Chicken. Helps us understand the importance of a location. Example: Dubai, UAE has become important in world oil distributions bc of its location near the St. of Hormuz.

Mathematical Location = exact or absolute location

Meridians are North/South. Longitude. Prime Meridian= 0 Parallels are East/West. Latitude. Equator=0

Miltons Mathematical Location is

34 6 0 N, 84 20 11 W
( =seconds and =minutes)

Atlanta, Georgia

Place Name: Atlanta, Georgia Site: Lies on the central piedmont which extends to the fall line of the rivers. South of the most southerly of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northeast and north central portion of the state. Above and to the north of the coastal plain, which levels to the coastal flatlands. Situation: Urban Metropolis which is centrally located in the southeast portion of the United States, in an ideal location for trade and travel. Mathematical Location: Location: 33.76290 N, 84.42259 W

Time Zones
International date line is 180 from Prime Meridian/GMT

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Designated by an international agreement, making it the master reference time for all points on Earth.

Warm-Up: 8/18 Choose a favorite city/town that you have visited

Describe the site (as best you can) & situation of your chosen place! Take a look at your notes if you need a reminder on these concepts!

Key Issue: Why are different places similar?

Johannesburg, South Africa
Shanghai, China

Distribution= arrangement of features

3 main properties of distribution:

Density Concentration Pattern

Describing Distributions

DENSITY = the frequency with which something occurs in space; measure of anything within a defined unit of area

The total number of objects or people in an area. (If measuring people, would take # of people and divide by area) A large population does not necessarily mean a high arithmetic density. China is most populous (1.3 billion people, but 140/ vs. The Netherlands which has a small amount of people ( 16 million, but 400/

Number of people per unit area of arable land, (land suitable for agriculture). Higher density, more difficulty the country has feeding its people.

Number of farmers per unit of arable farmland.

CONCENTRATION = extent of a features spread over space; how spread out


If features in an area are close together, they are clustered. If features are farther apart, they are


To compare levels of concentration, 2 areas need to have same number of objects & same size area

Pattern: The geometric arrangement of objects in spaces/regions.

Some features are organized in a geometric pattern; others distributed irregularly

Patterns of MLB teams change as population changes/ spreads. In first picture they are in a concentrated pattern. In second picture they are in a dispersed pattern.

Concentration is NOT the same as density. Two neighborhoods can have the same density, but in different concentrations.
Picture A= 24 houses (lower density) Picture B= 32 houses They sit on the same amount of land, so A has a lower density, but they both have dispersed locations. Picture C has same density as B (32 houses)but distribution of C is more clustered

Rheris Valley, Atlas Mountains, Morocco.

Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

Phoenix, Arizona

Hong Kong, China

Farm Fields near Des Moines, Iowa

Fields near Pullman, Washington

Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, California

Country Profile: the Details

Using markers, crayons, or colored pencils, create a details sheet about your assigned country using the template below. Be creative, as we will hang these in the room for classmates to reference!
Country: ________________________________________________

LOCATION Mathematical Location (for a large country, you could give the lat. & long. of the capital city, or say which points the country is in between): Situation (relative location & importance of location): Time Zone: SITE Climate: Bodies of water: Topography (land forms): Soil: Elevation:

How a characteristic spreads across space from one place to another over time; How connections are made between places/ regions.
Hearth= place where innovation or idea orginates.

Spread of an idea through physical movement of people from one place to another. (ie language, religion, currency, some diseases, etc)

Spread of an idea or feature by a snowballing process. Can be:
Hierarchical Diffusion: spread of ideas from persons/places of authority, power, importance to other places Contagious Diffusion: rapid, widespread diffusion throughout a population without relocation is contagious. Stimulus Diffusion: spread of an idea even if actual characteristic fails to catch on.

The increasing interconnectedness of different parts of the world through common processes of economic, political, and cultural change. The economic, cultural, and environmental effects of globalization are highly contested.

Panama, 1997

End of Slides

Steamship Routes, Circa 1900

End of OneWorld Alliance Direct LAX Flight Map, Slides 2010

Distance Decay

The farther away two groups the less like they will interact Contact diminishes with distance and eventually disappears... This is distance decay . Can be cultural group or econ activity example people will only travel so far for a convenience store, but will travel a long distance for a superstore.

Diffusion of culture and economy has not been equal this is known as uneven development.
Three core Hearth Regions
United States Western Europe Japan


Those less developed countries in the periphery.

Ethiopia Pakistan Haiti

Key Concepts: Core-Periphery

Core (Devoloped Countries) Periphery (Less Developed Countries) U.S., Europe, Japan, Australia Poor Wealthy Dependent upon Core countries for: Powerful Education Control Media and Technology Finance Media Technologically advanced
Military Equipment Financing

The possessions of a statistically average U.S. family.

Photograph by Peter Menzel. 1994 U.S. Stats

Population: 292 million Population density: 29 people per sq. km. Total fertility rate: 2.0 children per woman Population doubling time: 116 years Percentage urban/rural: 78% urban, 22% rural Per capita energy use: 8,148 kg. oil equivalent Infant mortality: 6.7 deaths per 1,000 births Life expectancy: 74 (male), 80 (female) Adult illiteracy: 3% (male), 3% (female) Internet users: 165 million

The possessions of a statistically average Indian family.

Photograph by Peter Menzel.

1994 India Stats Population: 1.0 billion Population density: 318 people per sq. km. Total fertility rate: 3.0 children per woman Population doubling time: 36 years Percentage urban/rural: 28% urban, 72% rural Per capita energy use: 494 kg. oil equivalent Infant mortality: 66 deaths per 1,000 births Life expectancy: 62 (male), 64 (female) Adult illiteracy: 32% (male), 55% (female) Internet users: 7 million

The possessions of a statistically average Japanese family.

Photograph by Peter Menzel.

1994 Japan Stats Population: 128 million Population density: 336 people per sq. km. Total fertility rate: 1.3 children per woman Population doubling time: 289 years Percentage urban/rural: 79% urban, 21% rural Per capita energy use: 4,316 kg. oil equivalent Infant mortality: 3 deaths per 1,000 births Life expectancy: 78 (male), 85 (female) Adult illiteracy: 1% (male), 1% (female) Internet users: 56 million

The possessions of a statistically average Malian family.

Photograph by Peter Menzel.

1994 Mali Stats Population: 12 million Population density: 9.1 people per sq. km. Total fertility rate: 7.0 children per woman Population doubling time: 23 years Percentage urban/rural: 26% urban, 64% rural Per capita energy use: 22 kg. oil equivalent Infant mortality: 118.7 deaths per 1,000 births Life expectancy: 48 (male), 49 (female) Adult illiteracy: 64% (male), 84% (female) Internet users: 30,000

Answer the following questions when you have read Documenting Diffusion
What types of things have routes of diffusion that cant/arent documented? What stops are mentioned in tobaccos diffusion paths? Where did hybrid corn originate? Explain reverse hierarchical diffusion in your own words. What are other examples (besides Wal-Mart) of things that spread with reverse hierarchical diffusion?

Give at least one example of a geographical characteristic, & at least one cultural characteristic for each of the four regions shown. (Ex. The South, hot climate, southern accent)


Apply to a larger area rather than a specific point. Gets its character from the cultural landscape. Assumes people are the most important agents of change to Earths surface.

Why is Each Point on Earth Unique?

Regions Areas of Unique Characteristics

Formal Region
Uniform region everyone shares one or more common characteristics. Whole area shares essential uniformity across the space How are the following formal regions?

Functional Region
Organized around a node or a focal point. The characteristic chosen is strongest at the center of the region and diminishes outward into hinterland. (Newspapers, economics, etc)

Region that people perceive they believe it exists as part of their cultural identity. If I asked you to draw a mental map of the south what would you draw????

Vernacular Region

Culture What people care

about. What people take care of. Cultural ecology= study of human environment interaction.

Culture is learned behavior that is passed on by imitation, instruction, and example.

Culture is almost entirely relative. Proper behavior shifts from culture to culture. U.S. current problems: 1) little shared culture 2) no one is teaching culture.
For example: sex education - Home? School?

What is CULTURE?

Note: experiencing another culture is useful for gaining perspective on your own.
Candidate for harshest punishment in history? Banishment in so-called primitive cultures.

Geographic Importance of Culture

Geographers study culture because it

leaves dramatic imprints on the earth, both physical and cultural.

Language: a crystal ball into culture. Religion: strongest determinant of ethics. Nationalism and Borders Material Culture: tools, clothes, toys, etc. Architecture: Suburban garages vs. earlier porches

Place and Sense of Place

Every place is unique. Imagine where you lived as a child. What made that special?
Sensory Architecture Symbolic

Humanistic Geography - values the individual perspective. Place and Placelessness (Relph, 1978)

What kinds of cultural values are reflected in each of these American houses?
Gated community?

The Cultural Landscape

The result of the natural environment and all of the changes to it as a result of a particular culture. (Carl Sauer)
Environmental Determinism: environment is primary determinant of culture. Possibilism: humans are primary determinant of culture.

Environmental determinism
how the physical environment caused social development.

The physical environment may limit some human actions, but people have the ability to adjust to their environment.


Environmentally Determined?

What about Bali, Indonesia?

Regions of Milton High School

With your group, draw a map of Milton (or your former Middle School). Draw classrooms, offices, the cafeteria, gym, playing fields, and any other prominent areas/features. Come up with names for different regions of the school. You cant just call them classrooms & offices. Some examples might be fun & games for the field/gym, or trouble for the principals office. Write your region names on the school map. Indicate using a symbol of your own design which regions students use most & least frequently, and which regions are the most & least interesting to students. Also indicate which regions are used most & least frequently by teachers and other staff members.

After everyone has finished, be prepared to share!

KEY ISSUE: How do geographers describe where things are?

Lets think

What can maps tell us?

Physical Geography

Map: A map is a flat scale model of the real world. Cartography: The science of map making.

What is a map?
Examine some of the images on the following slides. Are they maps? Yes or no?

So, Have you decided yet?

A map serves two purposes: a tool for storing reference material and a tool for communicating geographic information.
Do these maps tell us geographic information, or where to find something? Do they tell us something about the area that is being mapped?

All of the images, though from vastly different sources, with vastly different uses are maps. First, we will look at each image and see WHY it is a map. Then, we will look at some maps made in the past few thousand years (dont worryI didnt say wed look at a few thousand maps)

(okay- it still needs labels to be a TRUE map, but he cant write!) This image, drawn by a 4 year old stores both reference material and geographic information. If he could spell, and there were labels, it would be more convincing! Black = scary ride (Pirates, Peter Pan) Green= good ride (Tree House, Buzz Lightyear)

Map of Disney World

Ga-Sur 2500 B.C.

This is the oldest know map, drawn on a clay tablet in Ancient Babylon. The line drawing is a clearer image of the map, which explains the position of the town on a river, in a valley.

What makes this a map?

You are likely most familiar with this sort of image, from Mapquest. Why is it a map? Reference Material? Geographic information? Both?

The London Underground

The Tube map from London is one of the most famous maps from the 20th century. The color coding and geometric lines make reading the map and riding the tube very simple. However, it is a TERRIBLE indicator of where things are on ground level!

Early Mapmaking
Babylonians Earliest Surviving 2300BC Aristotle Spherical, Shadows, Stars Erasthosthenes= father of geography. Think about 1571 vs. today and Satellite Imagery

How Have Maps Changed?

Why do maps matter?

1st Goal of the AP Exam in HUG is to test students ability to use and think about maps and spatial data. All Maps attempt to show a three dimensional object as a two-dimensional one Therefore, all maps distort the Earth in some fashion; none are a perfect replica of the globe itself

SCALE: a comparison of distances on a map to distances on the earth


Verbal Scale = written statement

Fractional Scale = representative fraction

Map Scale
relationship of a features size on a map to its actual size on earth.

Scale: The

Presented 3 ways: Fraction 1/25,000

Verbal Bar Scale

In other words 1 unit on the map = 25,000 of the same unit on the ground.

What kind of scale?

One inch to 5 miles

Verbal scale

What kind of scale?

1:316,800 or 1/316,800
Fractional Scale

What kind of scale?

Graphic Scale

Large Scale = small area, greater detail

Small Scale = big area, less detail

Are the following large or small scale?

What is missing? Any reference to map scale. Here are three maps in one all produced at a different scale. Yet, a scale is shown on none of them.

Scale: One of the map essentials!

An advertisement (Conde Nast Traveler) from 2007. When scale is not shown on a map beware! On this map, Peru has clipped off Alaska so as not to show the Pacific Ocean at scale. The Japanese are wealthy enough to be world tourists (and they have historical connections with Peru). Their trip across the Pacific to Peru seems only as long as Europeans trip across the Atlantic.


Western Samoa The Cradle of Polynesia 1995 How could there be a reference to scale on this map. Samoa is made to look larger than the USA. There are other problems, too: directional relationships are not true.

Western Samoa The Heart of Polynesia 1995 A pattern develops, lying with scale (lying with maps) is something that all small island nations do why? Here is the second example from Western Samoa.

Projection: The scientific method of transferring locations on the Earths surface to a flat map.


Drawing a round shape on a flat surface, causes distortion. What problems do you notice here?

3 types of projections
Planar - Project the Earth onto a plane that touches or, technically, is tangent tothe globe at a single point, and you get a planar projection. Because this projection, also known as an azimuthal projection, ismost accurate at its center, it is often used for maps focusing on one of the Poles. Conic - Cap the globe with a cone to achieve a conic projection. Cut open the cone, and the basis of a map emerges. The map will be least distorted along the line where the cone touches the sphere. Conic projections are handy for portraying the United States, which fits nicely within the resulting smile-shaped map. Cylindrical - Swaddle the globe and project its surface onto a cylinder. Slit the cylinder and flatten it into a map. This projection is most accurate near the Equator and greatly distorted near the Poles. The most famous cylindrical map is the Mercator projection, perfect for navigation but poor for teaching geography. Peters is also cylindrical.

Mercator Projection

Mercator Projection
Cylindrical designed for European sailors - useful for finding directions/charting sailing course severely distorts the size of the extreme north and south countries example: Greenland and Africa

Robinson Projection

Good for viewing oceans, but in turn distorts land areas (makes them smaller).

Winkel Tripel Projection

Winkel Tripel Projection

In 1998 replaced the Robinson as the official map of the National Geographic Society It is claimed to be the best overall wholeearth map projection known, producing very small distance errors, small combinations of ellipticity and area errors, and the smallest skewness of any map.

Peters Projection

Peters Projection
The Peters Projection is known as the equal-area cylindric or cylindric equal-area projection Changes also include moving the Bering Strait Projection was largely associated with disparaging the Mercator projection as biased towards 3rd world countries, and promoted itself as a more appropriate map

Map Projection
Problems Spherical Nature of Earth Globe 3-D Distortion Shape Distance Relative Area Direction

Equal Area Projection Map

Thematic Maps
A map that demonstrates a particular feature or a single variable. Four types of thematic map are:
Dot maps Choropleth maps Proportional symbol maps Isoline maps

Dot Maps A thematic map in which a dot is used to represent some frequency of the mapped variable. A simple dot map of commercial wireless antennas in the USA.

Choropleth Map: A thematic map in which ranked classes of some variable are depicted with shading patterns or colors for predefined zones

Proportional Symbol Map: A symbol (usually a circle) is place in a location to represent a proportional scale of some sort of category.

Isoline Maps: Continuous lines join points of the same value

Mental Maps
Maps are not always printed. Everyone has a mental map a map in their mindthat has developed over years of looking at wall maps, atlas maps, and maps in books, magazines, and newspapers. Peoples perception of places and regions is influenced by their individual mental maps as well as printed maps. Since one's perception of different places is a combination of general information, personal experiences, and what is called "hearsay" in the legal profession, that perception is not always accurate.

They are also known as Cognitive Maps

One mental map of how America sees the world

Map in which a theme is substituted for land area mass Themes could include GDP, Population, political influence

Population Cartogram

Land Ordinance of 1785

Divided much of the country into a system of townships and ranges to facilitate the sale of land to settlers in the West. Townships
6 miles on each side Principle Meridians: run N/S Base Lines : rung E/W 36 Sections (1mile x 1mile)

T22N, R1W is Township 22 north of baseline, Range 1 west of principle meridian.

Contemporary Tools
Beyond The Map
GIS Systems Remote Sensing GPS Systems

GIS (geographic information system): A computer system the stores, organizes, analyzes, and displays geographic data.
Layers of information can be used to determine and compare relationships Can be used separately or together

Remote Sensing:

Acquisition of data about Earths surface from a satellite orbiting Earth or from other longdistance methods.
On the LIDAR image above the following colors correspond with the following elevations relative to mean sea level.
COLOR Dark Green Value (meters) -9.272 to 0 Value (feet) -30.42 to 0

Yellow Magenta Red

0 to 30
30 to 100 100 to 150 150 to 201.19

0 to 98.43
98.43 to 328.08 328.08 to 492.12 492.12 to 764.59

GPS (Global Positioning System)

GPS: A system that determines accurately the precise position of something on Earth through a series of satellites, tracking stations and receivers. Location is usually accurate to +/- 5 centimeters. 9/08/12/eod.gps.maps.cnn