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Midterm Notes.docx

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Geography 1400F/G
Godwin Arku

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GEOGRAPHY 1400 MID-TERM EXAM NOTES Introduction to Human Geography Lecture 1 What is Geography?  From Greek words – geo (“earth”) and graphei (“to write”)  Evidently Geography means “Description of the Earth  Hence “geography” is often referred to as the Spatial Science o Study of spatial variation (of how…and why?) physical and cultural items differ across the earth o How observable spatial patterns evolved through time  Basic concerns of geography o Spatial patterns – description (what?) o Spatial processes – explanation (why?) o Spatial meaning – interpretation (so what?)  Key geographic principle: “Things everywhere are not the same” What is Human Geography?  Human geography studies the distribution of humans and their activities on the surface of the earth and the processes that generate these distributions  “What is where, why there, and why care” Focus on…  People  Places  Landscapes ‘People’? What are human beings?  Dynamic – we change  Information processors – we take in information and process it  Decision makers – we make decisions on key issues  Preference makers – we have preferences on certain things  Adapters  Creative/destructive force  Part of the environment  In general…people are “active agents shaping the environment” ‘Places’? What is a place?  Physical site – materials located in space (i.e. “material space”)  Sense of place – immaterial meanings attributed to physical sits (i.e. “immaterial” or “mental space”)  “Sense of place” is created through: o Direct personal experience and observation o Secondary sources (ex: media, talk, etc.) o Intrinsic characteristics of the site itself (ex: Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, etc.) Why Places Matter? Places matter because they…  Are the setting for our daily lives  Carry meaning and so influence our lives  Allow us to express ourselves  Help to form personal and group identities  Express political, economic, or religious ideas ‘Landscape’? What is a landscape?  Scape – representation or view of  Land – “environment: that which sustains and surrounds us  Human landscape – arrangement in physical space of human-made artifacts and activities Some aspects of landscape:  Buildings  Crops  Highways/roads Evolution of the Discipline  Ancient period o Eratosthenes o Strabo o Herodotus o Ptolemy o Idrisi  Non-Western Contributions  Modern Period  European Traditions  Development in Canada  Human-Environment Interaction o Environmental determinism o Possibilism o Probabilism  Evolution from Quantitative to Feminist and Radical approaches Core Geographic Concepts The Geographer’s Questions  Space and place o Absolute (exact location/anything you can measure) and relative (something related to another thing: east/west of somewhere) space o Sense of “place” and “placelessness”  Spatial behavior, relationship, and processes  Fundamental characteristics of places  Location o Absolution location (latitude/longitude) o Relative location (spatial interconnection) o Site vs. situation Location  Absolute location o The identification of place by some precise and accepted system of coordinates  Relative location o The position of a place in relation to that of other places or activities o Expresses spatial interconnection and interdependence (may carry social and economic implications)  Site o An absolute location concept o Refers to the physical and cultural characteristics and attributes of the place itself o Tells us something about the internal features of that place (climate, soils, water sources, vegetation, elevation, latitude, longitude)  Situation o Refers to the external relations of a locale and provides insight into the importance of a place Direction  Absolute direction o Based on cardinal points: north, south, east, west  Relative or relational direction o Ex: “go west” or “out west” o Ex: “competition from the far Eastern countries” Distance  Absolute distance o Spatial separation between two points on the earth’s surface measure by accepted units (ex: km)  Relative distance o Transforms linear measurements into other units more meaningful for space relationship Places  Changing attributes of place  Interrelations between places o Accessibility and connectivity o Spatial diffusion and globalization  The rational structure of place o Density o Dispersion o Pattern Size & Scale  A human construct and operates on a continuum – from local to global  Tells us the mathematical relationship between the size of an area on a map and the actual size of the mapped area on the surface of the earth  It is a feature of every map and essential to recognizing the areal meaning of what is shown on that map  Implies the degree of generalization represented Physical & Cultural Attributes  Gives places character, potential, and meaning (every place has them) Physical characteristics:  Natural aspects of a locale  climate and soil, the presence or absence of water supplies and mineral resources, its terrain features  These natural landscape attributes provide the setting within which human action occurs and help shape how people live Cultural landscape:  The visible expression of human activity Interrelations Between Places  Places interact with other places in structured and comprehensible ways  Tobler’s First Law of Geography  everything is related to everything else but that relationships are stronger when items are near one another (interaction between places diminishes in intensity and frequency as distance between them increases i.e. distance decay)  Must think about accessibility  This suggests the idea of connectivity  Spatial diffusion  the process of dispersion of an idea or an item from a centre of origin to more distant points with which it is directly or indirectly connected  Globalization  implies the increasing interconnection of peoples and societies in all parts of the world as the full range of social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental processes becomes international in scale and effect Density  The measure of the number of quantity of anything within a defined unit of area  Not a count of items, but of items in relation to the space in which they are found  Arithmetic density  when the relationship is absolute  Physiological density  a measure of the number of persons per unit area of arable land Dispersion  Statement of the amount of spread of a phenomenon over an area  Tells us how far things are spread out  Clustered/agglomerated = close together  Dispersed/scattered = spread out Pattern  Geometric arrangement of objects in space (the design of distribution)  Linear  distribution of towns along a railroad or houses along a street  Centralized  involves items concentrated around a single node  Random  unstructured irregular distribution  Grid/rectilinear  checkerboard rural pattern of “sections” and “quarter-sections” of farmland Region What is a region?  “Earth areas that display significant elements of internal uniformity and external difference from surrounding territories” Types of regions 1. Formal: displays uniformity in one or two limited features (ex: “Bible Belt”) 2. Functional or Nodal: interdependent organizational unit (ex: highway 401) 3. Perceptual: premised on sense of place: o Feelings o Attachments o Subjectivity o Ex: your neighborhood? Your region of Canada? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The World in Spatial Terms – Geographic Research & Maps Lecture 2 The Research Process 2 general approaches to developing knowledge: 1. Inductive reasoning  A form of reasoning that makes generalization based on individual cases Steps in inductive reasoning:  Observations  Patterns observed  Explanation 2. Deductive reasoning  A form of reasoning which start with a general principle to specific circumstances Steps in deductive reasoning: 1. It starts with a sense that a general principle exists 2. Research are then carried out to determine if ti applies in specific circumstances 3. Experiments are designed to prove the validity of the generalization 4. If shown to be valid – Law/theory is then established EXAM QUESTION: Distinguish between inductive and deductive reasoning Steps in the Research Process  Classifying the problem or question  Data collection  Data analysis  Making conclusions Purposes of Research 1. Description  Of places, events, and situations  Ex: patterns of residential distribution in London 2. Explanation  Answers the question “why?”  Ex: why do high-income groups concentrate in north and west London? 3. Forecasting and prediction 4. Assessment 5. Prescription Two Major Types of Data Sources 1. Primary data sources:  Examples: o Questionnaires o Interviews o Observational techniques 2. Secondary data sources:  Examples: o Archives o Historical account and images o Newspapers o Censuses o Maps and photographs  Quantitative vs. qualitative  Census is one source of data on: o Land and resources o People o Government and justice o Economy What is a cartographic map?  Two-dimensional spatial representation of the environment Maps  What is a map Scale? o Refers to a ratio of map distance on the ground to map distance on paper o Usually measured in units  Types of scales: o Representative fraction (ex: 1/50, 000 or 1: 50, 000) o Verbal scale: words instead of numbers are used to express the scale (ex: the scale of 1: 100, 000 can be expressed as “one centimeter to one kilometer” or “one centimeter represents one kilometer”  Interpretation of scales o Small-scale maps show large areas and portrays a more generalized data o Larger scale-maps show small areas, but presents a more accurate or detailed data o ***distinguish between large and small scale maps Types of Maps  Thematic o A map of any scale that presents a specific spatial distribution of a single category of data  Thematic maps may either be: o Qualitative  shows distribution of a specific item (ex: mineral resources) o Quantitative  shows spatial variations of features of numerical data (ex: population)  Types of thematic maps o Graduated circle o Isometric o Dot distribution o Choropleth Mental Maps What is a mental map?  A map which represents the perceptions and knowledge a person has of an area  Mental maps are now widespread through the web o has over 5000 custom maps  Drawing mental maps forms an important element in “neogeography” – people using and creating their own maps o Google maps ( o Yahoo maps ( o Microsoft maps (  Mental map = social mapping Topographic Maps  Topographic maps are maps that represent the form of the Earth’s surface in both horizontal and vertical dimensions o Show shape and elevation of terrain Cartograms  A map in which the sizes of states are rescaled according to their population o i.e. states are drawn with a size proportional not to their sheer topographic acreage o …But to the number of their inhabitants o Meaning states with more people appear larger than states with fewer people – regardless of their actual area on the ground Maps can alter our perception (or lie!) by:  Different projections  Simplification  Location falsification/disinformation  Symbolization  Scale and aggregation ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- People & Spaces Lecture 3 Bases for Interaction  Spatial interaction o The movement of people, ideas, and commodities  Factors influencing spatial interaction: 1. Complementarity  Spatial differences (ex: relat
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