Iss 310 Exam 1 notes
- geography- Geography can be simply defined as the study of spatial relationships. This means that
geographers study how characteristics of the physical environment (climates, plants, soils, etc.) and the
social environment (culture, language, religion, etc.) vary over physical space (Earth). Then geographers
try to explain the patterns of, and the interactions between, these characteristics. Geography is a social
Geographers use spatial analysis to look for and determine patterns over physical space
Two basic questions of geography: Where? Why There?
- maps, cartography
•a tool used to depict spatial information and analyze spatial relationships.
Or, by definition, a map is a scaled graphic representation of the physical world, usually a two-
dimensional graphic representation using lines and symbols to convey information or ideas about spatial
Maps are the best way to display spatial information
study of many ways to display spatial analysis so it is easy to understand. Art and science
of map making
Map types: reference –Reference maps are general purpose maps that emphasize the location of both
natural (e.g., landforms) and man-made features (e.g., cities) on the Earth's surface. Reference maps may
be topographic (they show topography like a USGS topographic map) or atlas maps (like the one you
drive with in your car or travel with). Important features of reference maps usually include: larger scale
(shows a relavtively smaller area and greater detail), locational accuracy, physical features of the
landscape, and varied amounts of point/line/areal data.
Thematic maps are simply those that show themes. A thematic map may contain one or a limited number
of themes (themes are non-tangible geographic data). Thematic maps show distributions and often
quantities of non-tangible values, like social or economic data. Examples include population distributions,
presidential-election results, HIV/AIDS incidences, etc.
Map Generalization – simplification of elimination of detail on a map
There are three types of cartographic generalization:
- simplification (e.g., this occurs when detailed features are simplified, such as a very windy river is
- selection (e.g., this occurs when only predominant or the most important features are selected, such as
only major highways instead of all transportation routes), and
- classification (e.g., this occurs when features are grouped and represented based on commonalities, such
as mapping all national parks in the same way and all state parks the same way).
Map projection- placing things in the right spot not distorted from round globe to flat paper surface. Aim
to make true four things : area , shape, distance, direction.