The Geographer's Tools Globes and Map Projections • A globe is a scale model of Earth that accurately depicts area, distance, and direction. • Cartographers are mapmakers that convert 3 -D globe images onto flat maps to create a map projection. • There are three types of map projections: planar, cylindrical, and conic.
The Geographer’s Tools Determining Location • Lines of latitude and longitude create a grid system on Earth’s surface that is used to determine location. • The Equator divides Earth in half, creating the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. • The Prime Meridian splits the globe into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. • The absolute location of a place is the point at which its latitude and longitude lines intersect.
The Geographer’s Tools Using Maps • There are many components to a map, including a title, a legend, symbols, and color-coding. • Scale represents the consistent, proportional relationship between the measurements shown on a map and on Earth’s surface. • Physical, political, and thematic maps each serve a unique purpose and show different types of information. • A mental map describes an individual’s perception of features of Earth’s surface.
The Geographer’s Tools Geospatial Technologies • Geospatial technologies include global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and remote sensing from satellites and aircraft. • GPS uses networks of satellites and receivers to provide the absolute location of something on Earth. • GIS are software programs used to process and organize data that links a location to its characteristics. • Remote sensing is any technique used to measure, observe, or monitor something without touching it.
The Geographer’s Craft A Geographic Perspective • Geographers study the locations and relationships of Earth’s physical and living features. • Spatial perspective focuses on how individual places, objects, and people are related to one another across Earth’s surface. • Thinking like a geographer involves asking and answering geographic questions by acquiring, organizing, and analyzing geographic information.
The Geographer’s Craft The Elements of Geography • The six elements of geography include: the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society, and the uses of geography. • Geographers group places with similar characteristics into three types of regions: a formal region, a functional region, or a perceptional region. • A place has both physical and human significance. Geographers divide their focus into two branches: physical geography and human geography.
The Geographer’s Craft Research Methods • Geographers gather and analyze information through direct observation and measurement, by visiting a place, or through remote sensing. They often convey their findings through mapping. • Interviewing involves a geographer asking direct questions to gather information. • Technology is often used to help geographers analyze statistics and data and compile findings in an understandable manner.
The Geographer’s Craft Geography and Other Subjects • Geography is used to understand historical patterns, economies, politics, and the impact of societies and cultures on the landscape. • Cultural geographers use sociology and anthropology to study human tendencies and past cultures and their influence on current traditions and social norms. • Geographers study economies to understand how locations of resources impacts the ways people make, transport, and use goods and services.