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Basics of Geography

Maps & Regions

Geographic Information System [GIS] A system of direct observation using computer tools for processing and organizing satellite images with other information
Latitude Parallels that circle the Earth measuring distance in degrees north or south of the Equator
Longitude Meridians that circle the Earth measuring distance in degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian
Absolute Location The exact position of a place on the Earth's surface as determined by locating that precise spot on the Grid System where a line of latitude and line of longitude meet
Relative Location Location in relation to other places
Directional Indicator A compass rose that indicates directions of north, south, east, west and variations of such as NE, SW, NW, SE; the N/S [latitude] must always come before the E/W [longitude] in a directional
Scale The size of a picture, plan, or model compared to the size of the thing itself
Scale Bar Shows the relationship between map measurements and actual distance on Earth
Cartographer another name for a person who makes maps-a mapmaker
Globe A spherical [round] scale model representation of the Earth that accurately shows area, distance, and direction but few close-up details
Map Projection A mathematical formula used to represent the curved surface of the Earth onto a flat surface of a map which distorts distance, shape, direction and size of land massess
Mercator Projection Accurately shows true direction and shapes of land masses so is good for navigation, but distorts size and distance when moving away from Equator, so distorts Poles
Robinson Projection Accurately shows eastern and western edges of map and continents, but North and South Poles are distorted by flattening out
Polar Projection [also called Azimuthal] Accurately shows the Earth centered in such a way that a straight line coming from the center to any point is the shortest distance, used for maps of the Poles
Physical Map Shows location and topography [shape of Earth's physical features] such as mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, elevation [height of landforms]
Thematic Map Shows a single idea or kind of information, such as imports, exports, natural resources like coal or minerals, or movement of people or animals shown by arrows [flow-line map]
Political Map Shows man-made boundaries of countries, states, cities, towns, state capitols, roads, railroads made by man
Perceptual Region Based on feelings or popular images, such as the "heartland" of traditional values
Functional Region A central place with surrounding areas, such as "Roanoke Valley" includes City of Roanoke and outlying areas such as Roanoke County, Salem, Glenvar, Vinton
Formal Region Has a common characteristic like a product grown there or manufactured there, such as "Corn Belt", or "Rust Belt" where cars are made
Hemispheres divided by the Equator Northern and Southern
Hemispheres divided by the Prime Meridian and International Date Line in Greenwich, England Eastern and Western
30% of Earth's surface Is covered by land; the other 70% is covered by water
Shore of Dead Sea Lowest point of elevation of dry land on Earth
Mount Everest Highest point of elevation on Earth
Renewable Resources Can be replaced naturally or grown, such as crops, wind, sun, animals
Non-Renewable Resources Come from Earth's crust and cannot be replaced, such as oil and gold, so must be carefully managed
6.5 billion Approximate number of people who live on Earth
Amount of Earth's surface that is habitable for humans to live 30%; this is why population is so unevenly distributed because humans can only live on one-third of the Earth's surface
Physical Region Based on physical features [climate, vegetation, and land masses, such as a taiga which is a vast subarctic forest covering most of Russia]
Cultural Region Based on social groups, language, religion, economic systems, such as Latin America
Human-Environment Interaction The study of relationships between people and their environment, such as "cultural divergence" [divisions among people due to differing political, religious, or cultural beliefs]
Created by: poffmoore