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Geography 1400F/G
Godwin Arku

Geo Midterm Notes 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 - Study of spatial variation (of how …and why?) physical and cultural items differ across the earth - How observable spatial patterns evolved through time Basic concerns of (human) geography Spatial patterns – description (what ?) Spatial processes – explanation (why?) Spatial meaning – interpretation (so what?) 3 main concepts in this course 1. people: - Dynamic - Information processors - Decision makers - Preference makers - Adapters - Creative/destructive force - Part of the environment In general …people are - “ACTIVE AGENTS SHAPING THE ENVIRONMENT” 2. places: What is a place? - Physical site – materials located in space (i.e. ‘material space’) - Sense of place: immaterial meanings attributed to physical sites (i.e. ‘immaterial’ or ‘mental space’) - ‘Sense of place’ created through i) Direct personal experience and observation ii) Secondary sources (e.g. media, talk etc.) iii) Intrinsic characteristics of the site itself e.g. Grand Canyon Why do 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 3. landscape: Geo Midterm Notes 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 ar- tifacts and activities - What are some of the aspects of landscape? - Buildings - Crops - What else? Many ways of viewing or ‘scaping’ a ‘land’ or ‘environment’ E.g. s. – nature - habitat - problem - wealth - history - system Many ways of seeing Physical and Cultural Attributes natural landscape vs. cultural landscape Evolution of Geography - pg. 7-12 Ancient Period - Eratosthenes - Strabo - Herodotus - Ptolemy - Idrisi Non-Western Contributions Modern Period European Traditions Development in Canada Human-Environment Interaction - Environmental Determinism - Possibilism - Probabilism Evolution from Quantitative to Feminist and Radical approaches Core Geographic Concepts - pg. 13-14 - The Geographer’s Questions - Space and Place - Absolute and relative space - Sense of ‘place’ and “placelessness” - Spatial Behavior, Relationships, and Processes Characteristics of Places - pg. 14-25 1. Location - Absolute Location Geo Midterm Notes - lat/long. - Relative Location - spatial interconnection - Site vs. Situation 2. Direction - Absolute Direction - based on cardinal points: north, south, east, and west - Relative or Relational Direction - e.g. ‘go west’ or ‘out west’ - e.g. ‘competition from the far Eastern countries’ 3. Distance - Absolute Distance - Spatial separation between two points on the earth’s surface mea- sured by accepted units (e.g. km) - Relative Distance - Transforms linear measurements into other units more meaningful for space relationship 4. The changing attributes of place - Interrelations between Places - Accessibility and Connectivity - Spatial Diffusion and Globalization - The Rational Structure of Place - Density - Dispersion - Pattern Regions What is a Region? - “Earth areas that display significant elements of internal uniformity and ex- ternal difference from surrounding territories” (p. 23 textbook) Types of regions 1. Formal: displays uniformity in one or two limited features (e.g. ‘Bible Belt’) 2. Functional or Nodal: interdependent organizational unit e.g. highway 401 3. Perceptual: Premised on sense of place: - feelings - attachments - subjectivity Lecture 2: Approaches to developing geographic knowledge - pg. 32-33 The Research Process Geo Midterm Notes Two general approaches to developing knowledge: 1.Inductive Reasoning 2. Deductive Reasoning Inductive Reasoning What is inductive reasoning? · A form of reasoning that makes generalization based on individual cas- es Steps in inductive reasoning: 1. Observation 2. Patterns observed 3. Explanation Deductive Reasoning What is deductive reasoning? · Is 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 it applies in specific cir- cumstances 3. Experiments are designed to prove the validity of the generalization 4. If shown to be valid – Law/theory is then established Steps in Research Process · Classifying the problem or question · Data collection · Data analysis · Making conclusions Purposes of Research - pg. 33 1. Description · Of places, events, and situations · E.g. patterns of residential distribution in London 2. Explanation · Answers the question “why?” · E.g. why do high-income groups concentrate in north and west London? 3. Forecasting and prediction · Predicting what will happen in the duture 4. Assessment · Figure out the best way to address an issue 5. Prescription · What needed to fix and how to do it Geo Midterm Notes Two Major Types of Data Sources - pg. 33-34 1. Primary Data Sources: a. These are collected by the researchers b. Examples of primary sources: questionnaires, interviews, obser- vational techniques etc. 2. Secondary Data Sources: a. These are collected by somebody else b. Examples: archives, historical account and images, newspapers, censuses, maps and photographs etc. Data cont’d… · Quantitative vs. Qualitative · Census is one source of data on: o Land and Resources o People o Government and Justice o Economy Maps What is a cartographic map? · Two dimensional spatial representation of the environment · What is a map Scale? · Types of scales o Representative fraction (e.g. 1/50,000 or 1:50,000) o Verbal scale: words instead of numbers are used to expressed the scale (e.g. the scale of 1:100,000 can be expressed as ‘one centimeter to one kilometer’ or ‘one centimeter represents one kilometer’ · Consider the following representative fraction scales: o 1:250,000 o 1:50,000 o 1:25, 000 (Largest Scale) o 1:250,000 o 1:1,000,000 (Smallest Scale) · Which is the largest and smallest scale maps? · Interpretation of scales 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: Geo Midterm Notes o qualitative – shows distribution of a specific item (e.g. mineral re- sources) o quantitative – shows spatial variations of features of numerical data (e.g. population) · Types of thematic maps o Graduated circle o Isometric o Dot distribution o Choropleth Mental Maps · What is a mental map? o May be a map in the mind · Mental maps are now widespread through the web o has over 5,000 custom maps · Drawing mental maps forms an important element in ‘neogeography’ – people using and creating their own maps · Google maps ( · Yahoo maps ( · Microsoft maps ( · Mental map = social mapping Topographic Maps · What are topographic maps? o Topographic maps are maps that represent the form of the Earth’s surface in both horizontal and vertical dimensions  Show shape and elevation of terrain Cartograms · A map in which the sizes of states are rescaled according to their popu- lation o i.e. states are
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