79 terms

Chapter 1 Geography vocabulary Holt McDougal


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is the study of the distribution and interaction of physical and human features on the earth.
Geography word origin
The word geography comes from the Greek word geographia, which means "to describe the earth."
are visual representations of a portion of the earth.
"Where is it?" refers to location. Geographers describe location in two ways. Absolute location and Relative location
Absolute Location
the exact place on earth where a geographic feature, such as a city, is found.
Relative location
describes a place in comparison to other places around it.
Each half of the globe

Because the earth is round, a hemisphere can be north and south, or east and west.
the imaginary line that divides the north and south halves.

The equator is designated as the zerodegree line for latitude. Lines north of the equator are called north latitude lines, and lines south of the equator are called south latitude lines
Prime Meridian
the imaginary line dividing the earth east and west. Sometimes this line is called the Greenwich meridian line because the line runs through Greenwich, England.
Latitude Lines
A set of imaginary lines that run parallel to the equator. To locate places north or south.
Longitude Lines
a set of imaginary lines that go around the earth over the poles. mark positions in the east and west hemispheres. The prime meridian is the zerodegree line for longitude.
To find an absolute location using the grid system
you need to find the point where the latitude and longitude lines cross. For example, the absolute location of Melbourne, Australia, is 37° South latitude, 145° East longitude.
relative location
describes how a place is related to its surrounding environment.
"What is it like?"
Place includes the physical features and cultural characteristics of a location. All locations on earth have physical features that set them apart, such as climate, landforms, and vegetation. Other features are the product of humans interacting with the environment, such as by building dams, highways, or houses. S
"How are places similar or different?" refers to region. A region is an area of the earth's surface with similar characteristics. Regions usually have more than one characteristic that unifies them. These may include physical, political, economic, or cultural characteristics.
Types of regions
Geographers categorize regions in three ways: formal, functional, and perceptual regions
Formal Region
formal region is defined by a limited number of related characteristics. For example, the Sahel region of Africa is a d esert area characterized by specific climate, vegetation, and land use patterns.
Functional region
A functional region is organized around a set of interactions and connections between places. Usually a functional region is characterized by a hub, or central place, and links to that central place. For example, a city and its suburbs may form a functional region. Highways, commuter railroads, subways, and bus lines move people from the suburbs to the city for jobs and other activities. Because the city and its suburbs are connected by a great deal of movement back and forth, they form a functional region.
Perceptual region
A perceptual region is a region in which people perceive, or see, the characteristics of the region in the same way. However, the set of characteristics may not be precisely the same for all people. For example, although many people are familiar with the region called the American Midwest, they sometimes differ on how that region is defined. Some people believe the Midwest begins in Ohio. Others believe the region begins in the middle of Illinois.
Human-Environment interaction
The question "How do people relate to the physical world?" refers to the relationship between humans and their environment. People learn to use what the environment offers them and to change that environment to meet their needs. They also learn to live with aspects of the environment that they cannot control, such as climate.
he question "How do people, goods, and ideas move from one location to another?" refers to movement. Geographers are interested in the ways people, goods, and ideas move from place to place. Think about the clothing you wear, the music you listen to, or the places you go for entertainment. All of these things involve movement from one place to another. Geographers analyze movement by looking at three types of distance: linear distance, time distance, and psychological distance.
Linear Distance
Linear distance simply means how far across the earth a person, an idea, or a product travels. Physical geography can affect linear distance by forcing a shift in a route to avoid impassable land or water.
Time Distance
Time distance is the amount of time it takes for a person, an idea, or a product to travel. Modern inventions have shortened time distances.
Psychological Distance
Psychological distance refers to the way people view distance. When you were younger, some locations seemed very far away. As you grew older, the distance to these locations probably seemed to shrink.
5 themes of geography
Place Location Region Movement Human-Environment Interaction
geographers tools include
maps, globes, and data that can be displayed in a variety of ways.
oldest known map
The oldest known map is a Babylonian clay tablet created about 2,500 years ago. The tablet is about four inches high and shows the Babylonian world surrounded by water.
a three-dimensional representation of the earth. It provides a way to view the earth as it travels through space. But since the earth is a sphere, we can see only one half of it at any time. For certain tasks, globes are not very practical because they are not easily portable.
which are two-dimensional graphic representations of selected parts of the earth's surface. Maps are easily portable and can be drawn to any scale needed. The disadvantage of a map is that distortion occurs as the earth's surface is flattened to create the map.
map projection
a way of drawing the earth's surface that reduces distortion caused by presenting a round earth on flat paper.
three types of maps
reference maps, thematic maps, and navigational maps.
topographic map
a representation of natural and man-made features on the earth. also a kind of general reference map.
Thematic maps
emphasize specific kinds of information, such as climate or population density.
navigation maps.
Sailors and pilots use
The first step in making a map is to complete a field survey. Surveyors observe, measure, and record what they see in a specific area.

The data gathered includes information such as elevation, differences in land cover, and variations in temperature. This information is recorded and converted to a gray image.
remote sensing
the gathering of geographic information from a distance by an instrument that is not physically in contact with the mapping site. These data are gathered primarily by aerial photography or by satellites.
a series of satellites that orbit more than 100 miles above Earth. Each time a satellite makes an orbit, it picks up data in an area 115 miles wide. Landsat can scan the entire Earth in 16 days.
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES)
a weather satellite system. The satellites fly in orbit in synch with Earth's rotation. By doing so, they always view the same area. They gather images of atmospheric conditions that are useful in forecasting the weather.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
allow geographers to solve problems by combining geographic information about a location from several sources.
A terrain map
is selected to identify all areas flat enough for landing airplanes
A land use map
shows areas that have few homes.
composite map
showing possible sites for the airport.
base map
shows where roads are located so that the airport can be reached and safety concerns are handled.
The newest tool in the geographer's toolbox GIS stores information about the world in a digital database. GIS has the ability to combine information from a variety of sources and display it in ways that allow the user to visualize the use of space in different ways.
Global positioning System (GPS)
A familiar tool of geographers is GPS or Global Positioning System. It was originally developed to help military forces know exactly where they were on the earth's surface. The system uses a series of 24 satellites called Navstars, which beam information to the earth. The exact position—latitude, longitude, altitude, and time—is displayed on a hand-held receiver. Hikers, explorers, sailors, and drivers use GPS devices to determine location. They are also used to track animals.
other tools geographers use
tools including photographs, cross sections, models, cartograms, and population pyramids. These tools help geographers to visualize and display information for analysis. They are looking for patterns and connections in the data they find.
Map making depends on
Mapmaking depends on surveying the earth's surface. Until recently, that activity could only happen on land or sea. Today, aerial photography and satellite imaging are the most popular ways to gather data.
provides the absolute location to the user
Nigerian surveyors use a theodolite, a type of surveying instrument. It precisely measures angles and distances on the earth.
Magnetic compasses
introduced by the Chinese around the 1100s helped to accurately determine direction
The title explains the subject of the map and gives you an idea of what information the map conveys.
The Compass Rose
The compass rose shows you the north (N), south (S), east (E), and west (W) directions on the map. Sometimes only north is indicated.
Labels are words or phrases that explain features on the map.
A Legend or key lists and explains the symbols and use of color on the map.
Lines Of Latitude
These are imaginary lines that measure distance north or south of the equator
Lines Of Longitude
These are imaginary lines that measure distance east or west of the prime meridian.
A scale shows the ratio between a unit of length on the map and a unit of distance on the earth.
Symbols represent such items as capital cities, economic activities, or natural resources. Check the map legend for more details.
Colors represent a variety of information on a map. The map legend indicates what the colors mean.
Ratio Scale
This shows the ratio of distance on the map compared to real earth measurement. Here, 1 inch on the map equals 30,000,000 inches (500 miles) in actual distance on the earth.
Bar Scale
This bar shows the ratio of distance on the map to distance on the earth. Here, 1 inch equals 500 miles.
Small Scale
A small scale map shows a large area but without much detail. A small scale is used to see relative location in a region or between regions.
Large Scale
A large scale map shows a small area with much more detail. A large scale is used to see relative location within a region.
The grid system uses two kinds of imaginary lines:
• latitude lines, also called parallels because they run parallel to the equator • longitude lines, also called meridians because, like the prime meridian, they run from pole to pole
Global Grid
Absolute location can be determined by noting where latitude and longitude lines cross. For more precision, each degree is divided into 60 minutes.
A projection is a way of showing the curved surface of the earth on a flat map. Because the earth is a sphere, a flat map will distort some aspect of the earth's surface. Distance, shape, direction, or area may be distorted by a projection. Be sure to check the projection of a map so you are aware of how the areas are distorted.
Planar Projection
A planar projection is a projection on a flat surface. This projection is also called an azimuthal projection. It distorts size and shape. To the right is a type of planar projection.
azimuthal projection
shows the earth so that a line from the central point to any other point on the map gives the shortest distance between the two points. Size and shape are distorted
Conical projection
A conical projection is a projection onto a cone. This projection shows shape fairly accurately, but it distorts landmasses at the edges of the map.
Conical projections are often used to show landmasses that extend over large areas going east and west.
Compromise Projection
A compromise projection is a projection onto a cylinder. This projection shows the entire earth on one map. Included here are three types of compromise projections
In the compromise projection called Mercator, the shapes of the continents are distorted at the poles and somewhat compressed near the equator. For example, the island of Greenland is actually one-eighth the size of South America.
The compromise projection called homolosine is sometimes called an "interrupted map," because the oceans are divided. This projection shows the accurate shapes and sizes of the landmasses, but distances on the map are not correct.
Robinson Projection
A robinson projection is a type of compromise projection, commonly used in textbooks. It shows the entire earth with nearly the true sizes and shapes of the continents and oceans. However, the shapes of the landforms near the poles appear flat.
Physical Maps
Physical maps help you see the types of landforms and bodies of water found in a specific area. By studying the map, you can begin to understand the relative location and characteristics of a place or region. On a physical map, color, shading, or contour lines are used to indicate elevation or altitude, also called relief.
Thematic Maps
focus on specific types of information. For example, in this textbook you will see thematic maps that show climate, vegetation, natural resources, population density, and economic activities. Some thematic maps illustrate historical trends, and others may focus on the movement of people or ideas. These maps may be presented in a variety of ways.
Qualitative Maps
Qualitative maps use colors, symbols, dots, or lines to help you see patterns related to a specific idea.
In a cartogram, geographers present information about a country based on a set of data other than land area. The size of each country is drawn in proportion to that data rather than to its land size.
Flow-line Maps
Flow-line maps illustrate movement of people, goods, ideas, animals, or even glaciers. The information is usually shown in a series of arrows.