Geography: The Basics

Dr. Ted L. Goudge Department of Geography Northwest Missouri State University
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Geography - (p. 2-3)

The study of the earth’s surface as the space within which the human population lives. The word comes from the Greek geo, the earth, and graphein, to write or describe. Literally geography means ‘earth description’. A study of geography begins with knowing where things are located on a map. But more important, it requires a knowledge of why things are located in particular places and how these places influence our lives.

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Why Geography?
Every day we hear about people and places in distant lands. Newspapers, radio, television and on-line news sources tell us about the complex issues that characterize today’s world. We are a nation with worldwide responsibilities and involvements—yet we remain poorly informed about our world. This has a direct effect on our well-being as individuals and on our strength as a nation.

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regional. and world issues fully—much less to solve their associated problems.  Northwest Missouri State University . it is impossible to comprehend these local.Why Geographic Education? Can you imagine a farmer trying to tend his fields with no knowledge of the productive capacity of the land?  Or an ambassador to a foreign nation with no understanding of that country’s peoples?  Or a peace negotiator with no background in the lands and cultures in which the conflict developed?  Without geographic education.

Armed with that kind of knowledge. It gives meaning to location and establishes a context for understanding the connections among places.What is Geography?     Geography deals with the physical and cultural realities of the world. Northwest Missouri State University . we can see how decisions made at one location or place might affect the well-being of the population and environment of another. It helps us understand the varied and complex environments of the Earth.

 Such a person is able to make intelligent decisions about issues that are best understood in a geographic context. need to be prepared to meet the future in a complex world.  Northwest Missouri State University . all of us.  And. because an informed citizen must have a fundamental knowledge of geography.How Important is Geography? Vitally.

3. 5.Five Fundamental Themes (p. 2. 4. Location (absolute & relative) Place Human-Environment Interaction Movement Region Northwest Missouri State University . 16-17) 1.

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3-5)  Ancient [ended w/ fall of Roman Empire]  Middle Ages [circa 401-1449]  Age of Discovery [1450-1750]  Period of Consolidation [1751-1950]  The Modern Period [1950-present] Northwest Missouri State University .Development of Geography Over Time: Five Periods (p.

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geography is.e. places and any phenomena distributed over the earth’s surface. i. Northwest Missouri State University . above all else. the essential dimension and the basic concept of all geography.Space:  The area or volume occupied by an object or the lateral distances intervening between locations. concerned with spatial distributions and spatial relationships.Basic Geographic Terms.

ideas. information. 11)  The interdependence of areas. etc. Northwest Missouri State University .spatial. pertaining or relating to space. spatial interaction. goods.(p. the movement of people. capital.(p. between places. 5-6)  Of.

area.)  describes the movement of physical processes. they are point. in order of increasing complexity. and ideas within and among regions. line. and time.spatial interaction (cont. Northwest Missouri State University . volume. Interaction between people and the environment can occur at five dimensions in space. human activities.

the further you are away from some place the less likely you’ll interact with that place.(p. Northwest Missouri State University . – Or. 244)  The amount of interaction between two places or objects decreases as the distance between them increases.distance decay.

Northwest Missouri State University .intervening opportunity The existence of closer sources of supply or markets. The number of movements from an origin to a destination is proportional to the number of opportunities at that destination and inversely proportional to the number of intervening opportunities between the origin and the destination.

accessibility refers more to the ease of movement and communication between activities. it is fundamental to the economic objectives of seeking to minimize the costs of distance and contact. 11)  the ease with which a location may be reached from other locations. As such. The more routes converging on a settlement.accessibility-(p. In an economic sense. the greater its accessibility. Northwest Missouri State University .

)  The term is also used in a social context in the sense of the degree to which different social groups are able to obtain goods and services (for example. Northwest Missouri State University .accessibility (cont. the poor have much less accessibility to good housing and luxury goods than the rich).

so that the former may be used to provide a good indication of the latter. Northwest Missouri State University .(p. It is thought that a correlation exists between the degree of connectivity shown by a nation’s transport network and its level of economic development.connectivity. 11)  The degree to which a network is internally connected.

Spatial distribution has three important properties: • density • concentration (dispersion) • pattern Northwest Missouri State University .(p. 13)  The occurrence or regular arrangement of a phenomenon across Earth’s surface.Spatial Distribution.

rivers or virtually any other object. The phenomenon being measured could also be AIDS victims. We often think of population density (people per square mile) as an example. Northwest Missouri State University .density The frequency of phenomena per unit of area. The number of times with which something exists within a given unit of area. plants. dwelling units. telephones.

concentration (dispersion) The spread of something over a given study area. Example of major league baseball during the 1900’s. If the objects in a given area are close together. If they are relatively far apart. Northwest Missouri State University . they are considered clustered. they are considered dispersed.

A regular pattern suggests that causal factors may explain the observed arrangement. while others are distributed randomly.pattern the areal arrangement or geometry of phenomena. Northwest Missouri State University . or geometric. Some phenomena are organized in a regular . pattern.

Spatial diffusion. 12)  The process of spread of a feature or trend (a new product or idea) over time from its hearth or node (point of origin) across Earth’s surface.(p. technology) Northwest Missouri State University . The rate and extent of acceptance is affected by distance (also.

Globalization (p. and environmental processes and patterns of change becomes international in scale and effect. 12)- The increasing interconnection of all parts of the world as the full range of social. political. economic. Northwest Missouri State University . cultural.

Types of Regions •Formal •Functional •Vernacular Northwest Missouri State University .Regions (p. 13-15)  Earth areas that display significant elements of internal uniformity and external differences from surrounding territories.

Formal Region Northwest Missouri State University .

Functional Region Northwest Missouri State University .

Formal or Functional Region? Northwest Missouri State University .

Vernacular Region Northwest Missouri State University .

Vernacular Region Northwest Missouri State University .

01 1.15 .37 .58 1.83 to 1.02 .06 .70 .76 .68 .41 National Norm = 1.42 1.84 .21 .73 1.45 1.22 .41 to 0.35 DC=1.71 0.44 2.76 .07 .Vernacular Region known as the Pigskin Cult Blue Chip Players Per Capita .71 .00 .72 .83 .71 .26 .65 .19 .09 .74 .77 1.00 .94 .93 0.71 to 0.12 .56 .83 0.53 .70 .93 1.08 .96 .22 .77 .48 .21 1.78 1.88 1.96 2.22 0.17 .2.08 2.65 1.03 .02 to 0.79 1.56 .41 .

Northwest Missouri State University .Maps-Tools of Geography  Map – a symbolic portrayal of reality  Cartography – The art. science & technology of mapmaking.

000 City map with streets Smaller scale shows more area less detail Map of the distribution of the World’s Deserts Northwest Missouri State University .000 = 1:1.Scale (p. 9 & 28-29)  Representative fraction (RF) – One unit on the map = X units on the ground (earth) 1 1.000.000 Larger scale shows more detail less area 1 1.

The Effect of Scale on Area and Detail Northwest Missouri State University .

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Inc.6 Northwest Missouri State University 2-7 . Permission required for reproduction or display. Distortion on the Mercator Projection Figure 2.

Permission required for reproduction or display.7 Northwest Missouri State University 2-8 .Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. A Simple Conic Projection Figure 2. Inc.

8 Northwest Missouri State University 2-9 . Inc. The Polyconic Projection Figure 2.Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Permission required for reproduction or display.

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.

The Planar Equidistant Projection
Figure 2.9

(b) Missouri Copyright State 1977, Brooks and Roberts; with Permission. Northwest University 2-10

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.

The Gnomonic Projection
Figure 2.10

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Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.

Goode’s Homolosine Projection
Figure 2.11

Copyright by the Committee on Geographic Studies, University of Chicago. Used by Permission. Northwest Missouri State University 2-12

12 Copyright-Florence Milwaukee.Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Permission required for reproduction or display. Wisconsin. Inc. University 2-13 . New York Map Showing Artist’s Conception Figure 2. Northwest Missouri State Thierfeldt.

Dent. Map Showing Airline Cost Distance from Atlanta Figure 2.Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. 1989.12 Map Copyright Borden D. Permission required for reproduction or display. Northwest Missouri State University 2-14 . Inc.

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Northwest Missouri State University 2-14 .12 Map Copyright Borden D. 1989. Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display. Dent. Map Showing Airline Cost Distance from Atlanta Figure 2.

Permission required for reproduction or display. Department of Commerce. 2-19 From 1987 Census of Agriculture. p. Agricultural Atlas of the United States.S. Part I. U. June 1990.18 Northwest Missouri State UniversityBureau of the Census. Cotton Acreage in 1987 Figure 2. 159. 2. . Inc. Subject Series.Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Vol.

1988 Figure 2.S. Ports. Liner Shipping Volume for U.18 Northwest Missouri State University 2-20 . Inc. Permission required for reproduction or display.Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Proportional Symbol Map D-III College Football Average Home Attendance 2008 Northwest Missouri State University .

538 60.999 40.999 Source: NCAA Football.Major College Football Average Home Attendance 2000 12 12 21 45 19 75.999 20.000-74.000-39. 2001 .999 10.000-19.000-59.000-106.

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Population Distribution in Washington. Permission required for reproduction or display. 1950 Figure 2. Inc.19 Northwest Missouri State University 2-21 .

Language Regions of Africa Figure 2.Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Permission required for reproduction or display. Inc.20 Northwest Missouri State University 2-22 .

21 U. Choropleth Map Showing Senior Population Figure 2.Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Inc.S. Bureau of the Census Northwest Missouri State University 2-23 . Permission required for reproduction or display.

Choropleth Map Div-III Football Players Per Capita 2009 Northwest Missouri State University .

23 0 .78 .83 .19 .82 .73 1.00 .64 1.41 .75 1.16 .30 .03 1.90 1.67 DC= .35 .95 .74 1.81 1.82 .95 .98 .73 1.25 .87 .39 .77 1.26 .43 2.78 1.78 1.30 .75 2.20 1.33 .12 .Div-I Football Players Per Capita .15 1.64 .48 1.38 .18 1.53 1.95 1.39 .06 .08 .23 .73 .95 .24 National Norm = 1.00 .

09 .78 1.56 1.41 to 0.08 1.68 .79 .42 1.26 .53 .58 .00 .15 .74 .37 .77 1.06 2.83 .22 0.70 1.70 .93 0.93 .83 0.22 .72 1.84 .71 0.01 1.41 .21 2.Blue Chip Players Per Capita .71 .45 1.96 .94 DC=1.48 .73 1.77 .76 .71 .22 .19 .88 .02 to 0.21 .03 .35 .56 .83 to 1.44 2.76 .00 .2.07 .17 .96 1.12 .65 .08 .65 1.41 National Norm = 1.71 to 0.02 .

Permission required for reproduction or display.Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Census Bureau Northwest Missouri State University 2-24 .22 U.S. A Cartogram Figure 2. Inc.

Copyright © The McGraw-Hill Companies. Inc. Two Flow-Line Maps Figure 2.23 Northwest Missouri State University 2-25 . Permission required for reproduction or display.

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Remote Sensing (p. 38) Detecting the nature of an object without direct contact with the ground. eyes cameras aerial photography satellite sensors Northwest Missouri State University .

Geological Survey .S.20 Northwest Missouri State University U.Topographic and Orthophotomap Maps of Georgia Figure 2.

21 electromagnetic spectrum (you tube) More Serious Even More Serious Northwest Missouri State University .Wavelengths of the Electromagnetic Spectrum Figure 2.

For more information on GIS visit: http://www.gis.com/ Northwest Missouri State University .

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