1.1 Introduction to Maps
- Types of maps include reference maps and thematic maps.
- Types of spatial patterns represented on maps include absolute and relative distance and direction, clustering, dispersal, and elevation.
- All maps are selective in information; map projections inevitably distort spatial relationships in shape, area, distance, and direction.
1.2 Geographic Data
- Data may be gathered in the field by organization or by individuals.
- Geospatial technologies include geographic information systems (GIS), satellite navigation systems, remote sensing, and online mapping and visualization.
- Spatial information can come from written accounts in the form of field observations, media reports, travel narratives, policy documents, personal interviews, landscape analysis, and photographic interpretation.
1.3 The Power of Geographic Data
- Geospatial and geographical data, including census data and satellite imagery, are used at all scales for personal, business and organizational, and governmental decision making purposes.
1.4 Spatial Concepts
- Spatial concepts include absolute and relative location, space, place, flows, distance decay, time-space compression, and pattern.
1.5 Human-Environmental Interaction
- Concepts of nature and society include sustainability, natural resources, and land use.
- Theories regarding the interaction of the natural environment with human societies have evolved from environmental determinism to possibilism.
1.6 Scales of Analysis
- Scales of analysis include global, regional, national, and local.
- Patterns and processes at different scales reveal variations in, and different interpretations of, data.
1.7 Regional Analysis
- Regions are defined on the basis of one or more unifying characteristics or on patterns of activity.
- Types of regions include formal, functional, and perceptual/vernacular.
- Regional boundaries are transitional and often contested and overlapping.
- Geographers apply regional analysis at local, national, and
- global scales.
Favorite Specific Resources for this Unit:
- The Association of American Geographers, The Geographic Advantage
- TeachSpatial’s Resources for Spatial Teaching and Learning
- National Geographic’s What is Geography?
- Exploring the scope of geography through Geo-Cube