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Notesolutions - Geog 1HB3 Lecture 2.docx

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Walter Peace

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September 12, 2012 - Our task as geographers - to write about the earth - We are interested in spatial variation? - What do we mean by spatial variation? - In order to study our world, we must speak the language of geography The starting point of geography Space: areal extent (pp. 12-14) - Absolute space: areal extent which is objectively and physically real with measurable extent and definable boundaries, e.g, this classroom; McMaster campus; City of Hamilton - Relative space: areal extent which is perceptual and variable (not permanent) over time; space as socially constructed, e.g, changed to geographic space/area in which you live your life as you go through states of your lifecycle. Assessing space around us: Location, Direction, Distance Location: where something is (pp. 14-16) - Absolute location: a precise point on the earth's surface, et., the absolute location of Hamilton is 43* 16'N latitude, 79* 50'W longitude this is a unique point on the Earth) - Relative location: the position of something in relation to the position of something else, e.g., Hamilton is 40 miles west of Toronto (there are many ways to describe the relative location of something) - Site: the physical and cultural attributes of a place. E.g., the site of Hamilton (harbour, escarpment) - Situation: the external relations of a place/locale, providing insight into the importance of a place. E.g., Hamilton's location in the Canadian manufacturing core; "The Birmingham of Canada"; Steel City Direction: - Absolute direction: based on the four cardinal points (north, south, east, west); derived from the obvious "givens" of nature: the riding of the sun (east), the setting of the sun (west) and the sky location of certain fixed starts (north and south) - Relative direction: relational directions or culturally-based directional references. E.g., in Canada, we go "down East", "out West", "up North", "down South" (these relative directional references are also relative locational ones) Distance: spatial separation (joins previous concepts of location and direction) - Absolute distance: spatial separation of two points as measured by an accepted standard unit of measurement. E.g., point A is 500 m from point B - Relative distance: spatial separation as measured in terms of cost, time, etc. E.g., point A is 10 minutes from point B; "I live 5 blocks from campus." Size and Scale Scale: the level of resolution of human geographic research, usually in reference to the size of the area being studied (but might also refer to the time period being covered or the number of people being investigated) - Spatial scale: small area* (local scale); mid-sized area (regional scale); entire scale world (global scale) *note: when referring to scale on a map, "small scale" means large area Physical and Cultural Attributes of Space - Natural landscape: the physical characteristics (climate, soils, landforms, etc.) of a place or region; the physics setting or context within which human activity takes place; those conditions "help shape- but do not dictate - how people live" (p.18) - Cultural landscape: evidence of human activity in a place or region; the human imprint on the natural landscape Interrelations between Places Spatial interaction: the movement
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