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Geography Unit 2 Culminating Activity

The Golden Treasure


The Heartlands was an area back in the 1700s in present day United States. There lived the Johnson family. Their ancestors
dated back to the prehistoric times. Their family was so old they had accumulated a fair share of treasures in their time. Their
biggest treasure was referred to as the Golden Treasure and only the Johnson family had the map to it. Even they did not know the
exact location. In the present Johnson family there were four people: Dr. William Johnson, a renowned archaeologist, Mrs.
Cassandra Johnson, a pilot, and their two kids, Amy and Dan.
They had a rival family, the Monroes, who claimed the treasure was rightfully theirs. For this reason, there had been a race
for centuries for each family to find the treasure first. Amy and Dan were also excited to start their very own treasure hunt for the
Golden treasure, but their parents had been too scared that the Monroes would do something to their kids.
But recently, news had arrived to the Johnson home that the Monroes had discovered an ancient clue that could help them
find the Golden Treasure. So, Dr. and Mrs. Johnson had decided that it would be foolish to not start searching for clues themselves.
It was their luck that Dr. Johnson had an important site in the Philippines to go to and Mrs. Johnson had many flights to pilot in the
coming weeks. So, reluctantly and with worry, they had finally told their kids, Amy and Dan, that they would have to do the task of
searching for the Golden Treasure. Amy and Dan had to hurry because the Monroes were already hot on the trail of finding it.
A couple days later, just as Dr. and Mrs. Johnson were leaving to go their separate ways, Amy asked, Dad, do you know how
the Golden Treasure looks or where it might be? No, Amy, I have never seen any pictures or photos of the treasure, but the best
place to start looking for clues or a treasure map would be right here in our house. This house has been in our family for centuries,
and if our ancestors wanted us to find the treasure, they would have hidden clues somewhere around here.
Cassandra came in to the porch with her luggage and she and her husband hugged their kids, kissed them goodbye, and left.
Now, where could that treasure be? Dan asked.

Dan, I have an idea. The best place to hide a treasure map would be in the Map Room. It would be almost impossible to
locate one single map in all that mess. Lets go search in that room. Youre right, Amy, said Dan. What are we waiting for? Lets
go!
Dan and Amy searched everywhere in the Map Room. Literally. They searched every shelf, every nook and cranny. They
searched for over three hours but had no luck in finding the map and were not even one step closer in locating the Golden Treasure.
Amy, maybe, instead of actually hiding the map maybe they organized into one of the areas of the Map Room. What do
you mean, Dan? I think that we should figure out what type of map the Golden Treasure map is, then look for it in that area
because all the maps here are organized according to their type and use. But how do we figure out what type of map the treasure
map is? Amy asked. Lets see, Dan said. The maps in this room are arranged according to two different factors. Half of the room
holds small- scale maps and the other half holds large-scale maps. What are small-scale and large-scale maps? Amy asked. Small-
scale maps are maps that show little detail over a large area. For example, if a map showed the world and showed only countries
and major cities but had no detail, that would be a small-scale map. Its called a small-scale map because the map shows a large
area- one centimeter on the map would equal like 17 500 000 cm in real life. Ill tell you more about scales later. On the contrary,
large-scale maps are maps that show a large detail over a small area. For example, if there was a map of Johns Creek, GA, where we
live, and it showed many houses, schools, parks, churches, etc., then, that would be considered a large- scale map. It would have a
scale of about 1:500. All we have to do is picture a treasure map and figure out if its a small-scale or large-scale map. Lets see.

The Golden Treasure could be anywhere in the world and we dont need any detail in the map to find it, so the treasure
map is most probably in the small-scale area. Lets head over there and find the map!
When the siblings went to the other side of the Map Room, they discovered that the small-scale maps were further arranged
in three different sections: general-purpose maps, thematic maps, and topographic maps. I know, Dan. We have a general purpose
in mind- to find the Golden Treasure. So, the treasure map would be a general-purpose map, right? Dan pointed out his sisters
error. No, Amy. Thats not what general-purpose maps are for. Let me explain the three different types of maps to you. General-
purpose maps are maps that show many types of information on one map. For example, you might look at a general-purpose map if
you were planning a road trip across the US because it would show major cities, transportation routes, bodies of water, political
boundaries, and major attractions, and parks. Thematic maps are really useful when you want to know very specific information
about an area or place. Thematic maps show one topic or theme and are usually easy to understand. Last but not least, topographic
maps use symbols to show a variety of features in area. They usually have contour lines, which show elevation, and an alphanumeric
grid. These are useful for examining the characteristics of a small area of the Earth. Now, Amy, tell me, which type of map would a
treasure map be? Well, Amy started, A treasure map shows only one type of information and it needs to be easy to understand,
so it would probably be a thematic map. Good job, Amy. Im almost certain that the Golden Treasure map is going to be here.
Amy and Dan carefully looked at every thematic map. After approximately 20 minutes had passed, Amy let out a cheer. Dan,
look, the treasure map. We found it. I cant believe its been under our noses all this time. I wonder what clue those Monroes found
if the treasure map is here. Come on, Amy. Lets take a look at that map. There could be clues hidden on it.
They carefully examined the treasure map. They were very careful as the map was very old and it could easily tear or crumble
to dust. The siblings were very baffled as they could clearly see it was a treasure map but could not see any directions leading to an
x or a treasure chest. Amy, turn the map over. Maybe there are clues on there. Amy carefully turned the map over. By looking
closely, Dan could see something written in small, fine print at the very bottom. Amy, I cant read this small font. Can you go get the
magnifying glass? Amy got the magnifying glass and Dan peered through it to read the fine print.


I can read something, Amy. It says Start at A2. Opposite of NNW for 10 km. Then angular bearing 292.5 for 20 km. Mid of SW and SE
for 15 km.
What does that mean, Dan? What is A2? What is NNW? Whats angular bearing? What is mid of SW and SE? Whoa, whoa, slow
down, Amy. Dont worry. I know what all of this means. Ill explain it to you. First, we need to figure out the scale of the map so well
know how far to go on the map. Usually, scales are in one of three formats. The three types of scales are direct statement, line scale
or representative fraction. A direct statement uses words or symbols to represent how much distance on the Earths surface a
distance on the map represents. Usually it shows distance on the map in centimeters and distance on the Earth in kilometers. For
example, if it said 1cm=5km, that means that every 1 cm on the map represents 5 km on the Earth. A line scale uses a special kind of
ruler divided into equal sections. Divisions on the line show the map distance and units below the line show distance on the ground.
The units are always shown on the right side of the line. Finally, a representative fraction is a ratio or fraction that shows the
distance on the ground relative to the distance on the map. It is important that the second unit (distance on the ground) is the same
unit (usually centimeters) as the first unit (distance on the map). The first unit always has to be a 1. Okay, Amy. Now, find the scale
on the map and tell me which type it is.
Amy found the scale at the bottom left corner of the map and discovered it said 1:50 000. She told Dan it was a
representative fraction. Youre right. This means that 1 cm on the map represents 50 000 cm on the Earths surface. We dont
measure long distances in cm. So, now we have to convert the representative fraction to a direct statement so we can calculate the
distance in cm. Do you know how to do this, Amy? Actually, yes, after you explained the different types of scales, I figured out the
logic. Ill tell you what I know. To convert a representative fraction to a direct statement, you have to change the unit on the right
side (500 000 cm) to kilometers by dividing the value by 100 000. You do this because there are 100 000 cm in 1 km. So, this is how
you change the scale of the Golden Treasure map from a representative fraction to a direct statement:
1: 500 000
1cm= (500 000/100 000)
1 cm= 5 km
To do the reverse and change a direct statement to a representative fraction, you just multiply the right side unit (5 km) by 100 000:
1 cm= 5 km
1: (5 *100 000)
1: 500 000
Good job, Amy. Now that weve figured out the scale, lets get solving the rest of that phrase. It says, Start at A2. This
means we have to draw an alphanumeric grid. The kids copied out the map onto another sheet of paper and drew an alphanumeric
grid over it. They were surprised to find that A2 was exactly where their house was. Okay, Dan. Now what is that NNW and SE
business? Thats the only thing thats left. Amy, to figure that out we need to learn the compass directions. There are 13 compass
directions. The main ones, the cardinal directions, are north (N), south (S), east (E) and west (W). Then, the ordinal directions are the
ones in between the cardinal directions. Theres northeast (NE), southeast (SE), southwest (SW), and northwest (NW). Finally, a final
division between the cardinal and ordinal points leads to 8 more directions: NNE, ENE, ESE, SSE, SSW, WSW, WNW, and NNW.
Angular bearing is degrees assigned to each of the 16 directions starting at 0 for N. They increase by 22.5 for each direction. Let me
draw a compass with directions and angular bearing for you:






Amy and Dan followed the directions on the map and found a little shack a few kilometers away from their house. No way,
said Dan, The Golden Treasure is here? They walked in to the cottage and were astounded to see their mom and dad talking to
their lifetime rivals, the Monroes. They were holding a map of some sort. It had latitude and longitude lines all over it. Mom, Dad,
how are you here? Amy and Dan asked at the same time. Oh, Amy and Dan, come on, do join us, were burning hot on the trail of
the Golden Treasure. The ancient clue the Monroes found led them to here and told them to work with the Johnsons or they cannot
find the Golden Treasure. And now youre also here. Dan and Amy, do you know how latitude and longitude works? Not really,
Mom, they both replied. Dont worry, Ill tell you. Come here, you two.

Their dad started explaining latitude and longitude. Lines of latitude run east and west and are measured north and south of
the Equator (0) to a maximum of 90. They are also called parallels because they never meet. Important lines of latitude are the Equator (0),
the Tropic of Cancer (23.5N), the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5S), the Arctic Circle (66.5N), and the Antarctic Circle (66.5S). Lines of longitude run
north and south and are measured east and west of the Prime Meridian (0) to a maximum of 180. The Prime Meridian (0) becomes the
International Date Line (180) at the opposite side of the world. Okay, kids. Theres something written in fine print at the back of the map. Any of
you have a magnifying glass, by any chance? Actually, there was fine print written on the back of the treasure map back home that helped us
find this shack. I brought it along in case we needed it. Here you go. Dan gave the magnifying glass to his dad. His dad peered through the glass
and read the fine print on the back of the treasure map. The Johnson girl shall explain the satellites to redeem the Golden treasure. Amy
gasped. The Johnson girl? But thats me! Explain the satellites! I know nothing about them. What am I going to do?
Dont worry, Amy, me, Mom, and Dad will teach you everything about satellites. All you have to do is recite it to the guard of the
Golden Treasure. Its all up to you, Amy. Instantly, Dan vanished from the place and everyone noticed more words appearing on the map, now
in big, giant letters. I am Dan, Amy read. I am the guard of the Golden Treasure. Info on satellites is now inputted into your brain. If you want
me and the Golden Treasure back, you must recite it. Go.
Everyone froze. What was Amy going to do? What was happening? Instantly, Amy started reciting the info on satellites. Remote
sensing is studying Earth by using images and photographs taken by satellites above the Earth. One type is photographs is taken by aircraft and
the other is taken by satellites. Satellites are placed in two orbits above Earth. Weather and communications satellites are in geostationary orbit
36 000 km above the equator. They remain over the same spot because they have a rotation period equal to that of the earth. Satellites in near-
polar orbit follow a fixed north-south orbit as earth rotates below them. They are able to make different parts of earth with each orbit. Since the
1960s different types of satellites have been launched to take photos and collect info about the Earths surface. The US has developed Landsat,
Europe has developed SPOT and Canada has developed RADARSAT satellites. The data collected by satellites are received by ground stations on
Earth. In order to make Earths geographical patterns and features more clearly visible, scientists add false color to the images. The many uses of
remote sensing include:
- Studying weather and climate
- To manage agriculture (crop yields, growth, harvest time)
- To classify land cover and manage forests (monitor cutting, assess forest fire damage)
- To make up to date maps (to determine legal boundaries, help to manage natural resources
- To monitor the environment (damage of pollution)
- To study the impact of geologic events (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis)

As Amy finished, Dan came back with a flash. Dan, youre back. You were the guard of the Golden Treasure? By the way, where is the
Golden Treasure? Weve gone through so much for that? Where is it? Youre wrong, Amy, Dan, the guardian of the Golden Treasure said.
The Golden Treasure was always with you. And I knew it. There really never was a Golden Treasure. I guard nothing. I am the Golden Treasure.
We all are. We all need each other. Your family is the real treasure. All I ever wanted was to take you on a geographic journey. There was no
treasure, but the real treasure is knowledge, and you did learn a lot today. I love you, Amy. Everyone hugged each other. Even the Monroes.