GEOG 102 Ch.1 Culture

GEOG 102 Ch.1 Culture - 1 2 Science Social Science...

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Unformatted text preview: 1 2 Science, Social Science, Geography •What do we mean when we say something is a science? science Introducing Cultural Geography •What do we mean when we say something is a social science? social Starting Points •Just what is Geography? Geography 3 4 “The” Scientific Method Science For 400 years, the word science has meant knowledge acquired using a process we call the scientific method. Sci"ence (?), n. [F., fr. L. scientia, fr. sciens, of scire “to know.” Cf. Conscience, Conscious.] Science should be: •Rational — based on reasoning, logic. •Objective — free from bias, prejudice. Science means knowledge — but knowledge comes from many valid sources — •Systematic — thorough, methodical, organized. •Predictive — testable (“repeatable”). Experience But science should not be: Experiment •Dogmatic — science should be open to new ideas. Faith •Ideological — science should not be based on beliefs or opinions. Authority •Trivial — science should not be a pointless accumulation of facts. 5 6 Steps to Science 1 The Crucial Step: Testing If you don’t make 2 3 testable predictions 4 it’s not 5 science! 6 1 7 8 An Example: Science & Not-Science Is Science Always Right? What Killed The Dinosaurs? NOT SCIENCE •Male alligators can’t breed if temperatures get too high ∴ Climate change killed the dinosaurs. •Flowering plants dominate just as dinosaurs disappear ∴ Chemicals found in flowering plants killed the dinosaurs SCIENCE NO! •The rare element iridium is found at the boundary between the era when dinosaurs dominate and when they disappear. Science is done by people — and people are only human! •Sometimes people make mistakes •Sometimes people are reluctant to change •Sometimes people lie •Sometimes people don’t want a “scientific” answer! ∴ Whatever increased iridium levels killed off the dinosaurs. 9 10 Science & Social Science Geography • Is Geography a social science? Science is a way of getting knowledge using the scientific method. • Yes! — and No! (and Sometimes!) A social science is a field of study that uses the scientific method to look at the social and cultural environment. • Geography emphasizes space 11 • Geography is a unique discipline • Geography connects other disciplines BUT — Geography isn’t always easy to define! 12 Realms of Geography Development of Geography The Çatalhöyük map (6,200 BCE) For more information see: “T-and-O” map (1472 CE) 2 13 14 What is Geography? PLACE: Location “Geography is the study of of where things are located on Earth’s surface and the reasons for the location.” (Rubenstein 2008, xv) • What features make places unique and distinctive? Where are places located? “Human geographers ask two simple questions: Where are people and activities found on earth? Why are they found there?”(Rubenstein 2010, 2) • Important Concepts: What do Geographers think about? • Place Names (“toponyms”) •Place – location. •Regions – unique and distinctive areas. • Site (physical location) •Scale – similarities at local, regional and global levels. • Situation (relative location) •Space – mapping regular patterns. • Mathematical location •Connections – relationships among places. 15 16 REGIONS: Types of Regions REGIONS: Cultural Ecology • What are the distinctive characteristics that define a place, and that make one place more or less like others? •Different groups of people modify their environment in different ways, producing unique regions. • Important Concepts •Types of Regions: •BUT – does the environment make people behave and develop in certain ways? • Formal (defined using uniform, homogenous, or predominant characteristics) •Environmental determinism: culture is largely determined by the physical environment. • Functional (defined using communication or transportation systems or functions) •Possibilism: the environment imposes some limits, but people can adapt and adjust their culture to their environment. • Vernacular (defined by people’s cultural identity or beliefs) • Regional Integration 17 18 SCALE: Local to Global •Some things work differently, and have different effects, at different scales. •Globalization of Economy: •At the global scale, we are increasingly interconnected and interdependent. •At the local scale, this has lead to increasing specialization – places focus on their unique assets (if they have any). •Globalization of Culture: SPACE: Distribution • How are things arranged? Where are they located? • Important Concepts: • DISTRIBUTION •At the global scale, we are becoming more culturally uniform – fast food, hotels, cars, cell phones, are pretty much the same over much of the world. • DENSITY •At the local scale, some groups are fighting to retain their local culture – sometimes violently. • CONCENTRATION • PATTERN 3 19 20 Connections •Relocation diffusion • How are places and regions connected? How do they interact? • Physical movement, across space – people migrate, taking their culture with them. • Important Concepts: •Expansion diffusion • SPATIAL INTERACTION •Ideas spread through a population. • Networks, transportation systems, distance decay •Hierarchical – spreading through a hierarchy of people or places. • Cultural diversity •Space-time compression •Contagious – spreading through contact, like a disease, from person to person. • DIFFUSION • Relocation Diffusion • Expansion Diffusion •Stimulus – spread of an underlying idea, even when the actual idea doesn’t diffuse. Hierarchical (through a social or physical hierarchy) Contagious (from person to person) Stimulus (spread of an underlying idea) 21 22 Maps & Mapmaking Map Scale • All maps are made for a specific purpose. • Although they’re not always labeled, all maps have four characteristics: • Scale can be expressed in three ways: •Verbal – “One inch equals one mile.” • Scale — the relationship between distance on the map and distance on the ground. •Fraction – “1:63,360” • Projection — a way of showing the round earth on a flat map. •Graphic – • Symbols — arbitrary shapes, colors or patterns that make distributions or arrangements clear. • Each has advantages and disadvantages. • Grid system — a system of coordinates; a way of determining a place’s location. 23 24 San Diego at Four Scales large & SMALL “Large Scale” 1:25,000 1:50,000 1:25,000 1:50,000 “Small Scale” 1:100,000 1:250,000 1:100,000 1:250,000 Remember — these are fractions! 4 25 26 The Problem of Projection Projections: Examples • The Problem: You can’t go from round to flat without something being distorted! • Every flat map is distorted in some way —but we can choose the kind of distortion. • Shape • Area • Distance • Direction 27 Mercator Azimuthal Equidistant Note how the apparent sizes and shapes of Greenland and Australia change. Conic 28 Symbols Symbols: Pictures • A variety of symbols are used on maps. • There are basically four kinds of symbols: • Pictures: • Dots: Pictures — either representative images or arbitrary shapes — can be an effective way of showing where things are located on a map. Mineral Production Sites in the Salt Lake Region • Colors & Patterns: Note how important the legend is. Without one, the symbols would be meaningless. • Lines: ——— --------- ========== Produced online, using the National Atlas of the USA Source: 29 30 Symbols: Dots Symbols: Color & Shading Dots — plain, colored, or varying in size or shape — are another effective way of showing distributions. Source: This is a shaded relief map — a map in which elevation is indicated using colors. What do you think the color green means? Hint: it’s not vegetation! Like all map symbols, color is useful — but if you don’t know what the colors actually mean, a map like this can be very misleading. This map was produced using ICEMAPS2 online: 5 31 32 Symbols: Isolines Twelve Month Average Temperatures, January-December 2008 Symbols: Colors There are many ways to vs. Lines show data on a map. Isolines are lines that connect points on a map with equal values. Sometimes colors and shading patterns are effective. The name of the isoline varies depending on what you’re mapping: Shaded relief TEMPERATURE – isotherms AIR PRESSURE – isobars ºF ELEVATION – contour lines Adapted from: Contour lines At other times, using various kinds of line symbols may be a better choice. Consider these maps of San Diego bay. Which is easiest to understand at a glance? Which is probably best if you need to know an exact elevation? These maps were produced using Global Mapper ( and digital elevation models from 33 34 Latitude & Longitude Grid Systems • Cartesian coordinates (named for French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes (15961650)) are an example of a grid or coordinate system. • Using the horizontal (“x”) axis and vertical (“y”) axis, we can specify the position of any object. 3, 90 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1, 21 4, 21 2, 28 0 35 1 2 3 • Using parallels of latitude we 4 determine the angular distance (in degrees) north or south of the equator, from 0º to 90º North or South 5 • Using meridians of longitude we determine the angular distance (in degrees) east or west of the prime meridian, from 0º to 180º East or West 36 Other Grids • There are a number of other grid systems in use that you may encounter: • UTM • Divides the world between 80º North and 80º S into 6º by 8º numbered rectangles • Township & Range • Used in most of the US for land surveys • Divides land into 36 mi2 “townships” Sources:; The “All-Purpose” Map All maps are made for a specific purpose — to show something the map maker thinks is interesting or worthwhile. “All-purpose” or “general use” maps are also made for a specific purpose — to be useful to the widest possible number of users. To do this, general purpose maps have to include a lot of information. To do that they use a lot of different symbols — colors, lines, pictures, etc. 6 37 38 Contemporary Mapping Tools: Geographic Information Systems But is this a map? A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based system for acquiring, analyzing, processing, and displaying spatial data — that is, information such as location (where a particular point is located) and various characteristics (for example, elevation, vegetation, population, hydrology, slope, etc.). Using a GIS, we can analyze and display an enormous amount of information — we can produce new and better maps. Source: 39 40 GIS Example: Timber Harvest for Kachemac Bay Using a GIS • • A GIS can be used for a wide range of applications — urban planning, emergency response systems, resource management, etc. The following variables were used to produce this analysis: land-cover classification site harvest history infestation by spruce bark beetles proximity to existing roads Using a GIS it is possible to proximity to power lines • Produce maps using whatever scales, projections, symbols or color schemes best display the information. percent slope • Store, retrieve and analyze the data associated with various locations concentration of bear and moose • Model and analyze site characteristics. land use slope aspect (orientation) proximity to anadromous streams designated wetland areas land ownership Source: 41 42 GIS Example: The San DiegoTijuana Interactive Atlas The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) uses a GIS to produce an interactive online atlas. By specifying what data you want, what scale, what level of analysis, etc., you can produce a huge variety of different maps. >>Go to SANDAG’s interactive atlas<< GPS •The Global Positioning System in use today allows users to accurately find their location just about anywhere on the face of the earth. •GPS is everywhere – in cars, in scientific experiments, in cell phones. Source: 7 43 44 Mash-Ups Haiti 2010 on Google Earth •The availability of simple GIS and GPS data has made it possible for just about anybody to create complex interactive maps. •Google Earth is a free applications that lets people create maps that couldn’t even have been considered just a few years ago! KML file source: 45 46 Mathematical Models Mathematical Models: Examples • A model is a representation of reality. • Mathematical models try to represent reality using equations and algorithms to simulate and predict what will happen in the real world. • Models can be combined with GIS to produce maps of what is happening, what may be happening, and what might happen. Simulation of earth’s magnetic field over a period of 80,000 years. Climate model, showing possible future changes. 8 ...
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