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Chapter1- Studying Geography
 Section 1- Themes and Essential Elements
 What is Geography?
 Study of everything on Earth, from rocks and rainfall to
people and places
 Study of physical, biological, and cultural features of
Earth’s surface
 Look at how the natural environment influences people,
how they affect Earth, and how the world is changing
 Perspective- the way a person looks at something
 Use a spatial perspective- looking at where things are
and how they are arranged
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Two main branches: Human and Physical Geography
 Human Geography- characteristics of people
 How we live, work, way of life
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Physical Geography
 Focuses on Earth’s natural environments
 These include earth’s landforms: water features,
atmosphere, animals, plants, soils and the processes
that affect them
 Who uses Geography?
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Everyone, every time we decide where to go and how to
get there
Subfields of Geography
 Cartography- study of maps and mapmaking
 Meteorology- study of weather, forecasting the weather
USGS ( US Geological Survey)
 Produces detailed maps of the whole country
 How do we study Geography?
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Region- is an area with one or more common features that
make it different from surrounding areas
 Cities, states, countries, and continents
 Defined by their physical and human features
 Physical features: kinds of climate, river systems,
soils, and vegetation
 Human features: languages, religions and trade
networks
 3 Types of Regions
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Formal Region- has one or more common features
 Based on any feature: population, crops, rainfall, etc
 EX. Rocky Mountains, Browerville, United States
Functional Region- places that are linked together as a
unit
 Organized around a central location
 EX. A city transit system, subway system, Airport
Perceptual Region- reflect human feelings and attitudes
 EX. Back home, Midwest, The South, Up North
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Five Themes of Geography
 Location- exact or relative spot
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Place- physical and human features of a location
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Human environment interaction- ways people and
environment interrelate with and affect each other
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Movement- how people and things change locations
and the effects of these changes
 Region- organizes Earth into geographic areas with one or
more shared characteristics
 Six Essential Elements
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The world in spatial terms- use of maps
Places and regions- physical and human features
Physical systems- Earths features
Human Systems- people and their activities
Environment and Society- human actions
The uses of Geography- helps us understand the relationship
among people, places, and environments over time
Section 2- Skill building: Using the
Geographer’s Tools
 The Globe
 scale model of the earth
 Grid- circle lines going east and west and north and south
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Latitude- lines drawn east and west
 Measures distance north and south of the equator
 Called parallels
 Range from 0 (for places on the equator) to 90 N and 90 S for
North and South Poles
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Longitude- lines drawn North and South
 Called meridians
 Measure distance east and west of the prime meridianimaginary line from the North Pole through Greenwich,
England to the South Pole
 Range from 0 (which are on the prime meridian) to 180
(which is in the mid pacific)
 Lines west of the prime meridian are labeled W and east
of it labeled E
The intersection of lat/long lines help us find locations
 Hemispheres, Continents, and Oceans
 Hemispheres- equator divides the globe into halves, north and south
Prime meridian divides into western and eastern hemispheres
 Continents:
 Earths land surfaces are divided into 7 continents: Africa, Antarctica,
Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America
 Asia being the largest, Australia being the smallest
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 Map Projections
 Ways of presenting the round earth on a flat map
 Always some distortion, because the earth is round
 Cylindrical, conic, and flat-plane
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Cylindrical Projection- as if a cylinder was wrapped around the
globe
 Cylinder only touches globe at the equator
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Flat-Plane Projection- only touch the globe at one point
Conic Projection- cone placed over the globe
 Most accurate around the lines of latitude where it
touches
 Understanding Map Elements
 Distance Scales- help determine real distance
 Directional Indicators
Compass rose- shows N, S, E, W
 Legends- or map key
 Identifies the symbols on a map
 Ex. Cities, roads, rivers, etc
 Inset Maps- focus on a smaller part of a larger map
 Special Purpose Maps
 Many different kinds of maps
 Climate or Precipitation maps
 Population and Economic maps
 Elevation and Topographic maps
 Climate Graphs and Population Pyramids
 Contour Map
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Climate Map
Population Graph
Topographic Map
Population Pyramid

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