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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

So much to discover about the world!



Image above: Satellite image showing southern Africa during flooding in 2013.



Sites related to GeogSplace
Spatialworlds blog

 

Where am I??  


One of the good things about geography is that there is always new geography being made. Every day there is another story that can be studied geographically. By watching the news, reading the paper and following the Internet news sites you will see that around the world things are happening and commentary being made on both physical and human geography.  For example just today the following can be discussed:


1. Satellite images showing southern Africa before and during floods

2. Tropical Cyclone Felleng

3. Sinkhole swallows whole building complex in China

4. North Koreans eating their own children due to famine?

5. Every picture tells a story: true and false. An interesting look at Hurricane Sandy coverage: fake or not!

6. Population video on the arrival of the 7 billionth person on our planet.

7. Shocking Facts You Did Not Know A Minute Ago

8. Citizen geographers exposing North Korea

9. A typical person in the world

 
Come to class prepared to discuss, question and highlight things from these resources. 








 







Monday, February 17, 2014

Getting on the map





Sites related to GeogSplace
Spatialworlds blog

 


Where am I??  




Basic mapping skills for Geography


Introduction
To read a map you need to understand compass directions, grid references and the map's legend and scale. You need to be able to find features when given a map reference. You also need to be able to describe a feature's location on a map by giving a map reference.
Maps are representations of the world created by people called cartographers to help other people navigate the world. Maps contain information tailored to a specific purpose.
  • A road map, for example, contains information that helps the reader get from one place to another using a vehicle.
  • The maps found in a geographical atlas will contain information of less interest to a road user, such as how the land in a place is used, the population density and the political boundaries that exist between regions, states and nations.
There are five fundamental things you need to be familiar with to read a map successfully:
  • compass directions
  • grid references
  • map's key
  • title
  • scale
1.      Compass directions
Compass directions are vital for finding your way around a map. Starting at the top and moving clockwise the directions on a compass or map are:


 Points of a compass

2.      Grid references
Maps are divided into numbered squares. These squares can be used to give a place a four or six-figure grid reference. It is important that you know both four-figure and six-figure grid references.

Eastings

Eastings are lines that run up and down the map. They increase in number the further you move east (or right). You can use them to measure how far to travel east.

Northings

Northings are lines that run across the map horizontally. They increase in number the further you move north (or up the map). You can use them to measure how far to travel north.
Remember:
  • numbers along the bottom of the map come first and the numbers up the side of the map come second
  • the four-figure reference 2083 refers to the square to the east of Easting line 20 and north of Northing line 83
  • the six-figure reference 207834 will give you the exact point in the square 2083 - 7/10s of the way across and 4/10s of the way up

3. Legend/key
Just like a key to a door, the legend/key on a map helps you to unlock the information stored in the colours and symbols on a map. You must understand how the key relates to the map before you can unlock the information it contains. The key will help you to identify types of boundaries, roads, buildings, agriculture, industry, places of interest and geographical features.

 4.Title
The title of a map gives you a general idea about the information it stores.


5. Scale
Some basics to start
·        100cm in a metre
·        100 000cm in kilometre
·        1000 metres in a kilometre


The scale of a map allows a reader to calculate the size, height and dimensions of the features shown on the map, as well as distances between different points. The scale on a map is the ratio between real life sizes and how many times it has been shrunk to fit it on the map.

An example
With a 1:50,000 scale map, 1 cm on the map represents 50,000 cm on the ground (= 500 m or 0.5 km).

A scale can be represented as a”
a.     ratio or representative fraction (RF) indicates how many units on the earth's surface is equal to one unit on the map. It can be expressed as 1/100,000 or 1:100,000. In this example, one centimeter on the map equals 100,000 centimeters (1 kilometer) on the earth. Or even 1 paperclip on the map is equal to 100,000 paperclips on the ground.
b.     A word statement gives a written description of map distance, such as "One centimeter equals one kilometer" or "One centimeter equals ten kilometers." Obviously, the first map would show much more detail than the second because one centimeter on the first map covers a much smaller area then on the second map.
c.      A graphic scale is simply a line marked with distance on the ground which the map user can use along with a ruler to determine scale on the map.

The smaller the number on the bottom of the map scale, the more detailed the map will be. A 1:10,000 map will show objects ten times as large as a 1:100,000 map but will only show 1/10th the land area on the same sized piece of paper

 A video on scale to watch



About map projections of the world

Mapping our World is a site explores the relationship between maps and globes, and how different projections influence our perception of the world. It challenges the idea that there is one 'correct' version of the world map.

An online game where you return the "misplaced" country on the world map.  As you move the country north or south the country expands or contracts according to how that country would be projected if that were its actual location on a Mercator map.


The grid reference system for the globe





The ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy created a grid system and listed the coordinates for places throughout the known world in his book Geography. But it wasn't until the middle ages that the latitude and longitude system was developed and implemented. This system is written in degrees, using the symbol °.

Latitude

When looking at a map, latitude lines run horizontally. Latitude lines are also known as parallels since they are parallel and are an equal distant from each other. Each degree of latitude is approximately 69 miles (111 km) apart; there is a variation due to the fact that the earth is not a perfect sphere but an oblate ellipsoid (slightly egg-shaped). To remember latitude, imagine them as the horizontal rungs of a ladder ("ladder-tude"). Degrees latitude are numbered from 0° to 90° north and south. Zero degrees is the equator, the imaginary line which divides our planet into the northern and southern hemispheres. 90° north is the North Pole and 90° south is the South Pole.

Longitude

The vertical longitude lines are also known as meridians. They converge at the poles and are widest at the equator (about 69 miles or 111 km apart). Zero degrees longitude is located at Greenwich, England (0°). The degrees continue 180° east and 180° west where they meet and form the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean. Greenwich, the site of the British Royal Greenwich Observatory, was established as the site of the prime meridian by an international conference in 1884.

How Latitude and Longitude Work Together
To precisely locate points on the earth's surface, degrees longitude and latitude have been divided into minutes (') and seconds ("). There are 60 minutes in each degree. Each minute is divided into 60 seconds. Seconds can be further divided into tenths, hundredths, or even thousandths. For example, the U.S. Capitol is located at 38°53'23"N , 77°00'27"W (38 degrees, 53 minutes, and 23 seconds north of the equator and 77 degrees, no minutes and 27 seconds west of the meridian passing through Greenwich, England).


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Starting your investigation


Sites related to GeogSplace
Spatialworlds blog
Spatialworlds website
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Scoop.it sites for the class






Where am I??  


The Inquiry task: this terms work!

The first assignment we are doing is the Investigation where you must find a geographical issue to research.
Over the next few weeks we will discuss the nature of issues in geography and the need to look at our views on issues and express our opinion about them in preparation of doing the Inquiry task. Read the following documents from the SACE Board site to give you detail and an example of the task.

An example of an Inquiry


 Looking for a geographical issue

Many of you may have difficulty thinking about an issue of importance to you. I thought the following websites dedicated to exploring and providing information on issues would be a useful exercise for you to look at and see a topic/issue that you find of interest. Start thinking about it now! Spend some time over the next week looking at these sites, identifying issues and learning about them. Remember it must be a geographical issue that you inquire about - what makes an issue geographical is for us to discuss!

Here are some sites to explore:

* Newspapers to explore for issues at http://www.theworldpress.com

* Geographical issues in the news http://www.geographyinthenews.rgs.org/news

* Envirnmental issues  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_environmental_issues 

* Find out the facts on a wide range of issues at http://www.encyclopedia.com

* Geographical issues http://www.skwirk.com.au/p-t_s-16_u-140_t-414/geographical-issues-physical-environments/nsw/geography/issues-in-australian-environment

* Research issues at the Social Issue Research Centre at http://www.sirc.org

* Investigate a catalogue of issues at http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Issues

* Find out information for issue studies at http://www.ipl.org/div/subject

* Investigate a directory of issues at http://dir.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/issues_and_Causes

* Look at this Australian social action issue site at http://www.actnow.com.au

* Here is a site full of issue ideas http://spinneypress.com.au/

Saturday, February 8, 2014

What's natural and cultural features?




Image above: Oblique aerial photograph of Brisbane.

Sites related to GeogSplace
Spatialworlds blog
Spatialworlds website
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Scoop.it sites for the class




Where am I??  



What is natural and what is cultural?

Natural features are:
In geography, a physical feature is something which has been made by nature. For example a natural vegetation, rivers, beaches, lakes, terrain (valleys/hills), coastline etc.
It is important to remember that a feature can only be classified as being physical if it is not created by humans. This means that features such as agricultural crops and man-made dams, are considered to be cultural features.

Cultural features are:
Cultural features are those which have been made by humans. The most obvious examples are settlements (towns and cities), transportation systems (road, rail, sea and air) and industry (mining and agriculture etc). Since cultural features have often been constructed by humans using resources from the physical environment, it is not always easy to distinguish between the two. A park, for example, is classified as a cultural feature. Despite often comprising natural vegetation and wild animals, a park is constructed (or set aside) by humans for the purpose of recreation.

 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Observation from the air



 Image above: Oblique aerial photograph of West Lakes, Adelaide.

Sites related to GeogSplace
Spatialworlds blog
Spatialworlds website
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Scoop.it sites for the class




Where am I??  


Observation as a skill when using oblique aerial photographs

Observation and questioning are important skills in Geography.

This posting is dedicated to the potential of oblique aerial photographs as a resource to stimulate geographical questioning. 

When you look at the oblique aerial photograph:

*Firstly, try to describe all the natural and cultural features evident in the photography.  

*Secondary, look to see if you can see any patterns, distributions, trends in the features you have described in the photograph

* Finally, try to explain why things are where they are - the 'why of the where' of geography

Here are 10 oblique aerial photographs for your observational and analytical skill development and use if you wish (just increase size by double clicking on the image and then right mouse click to 'Copy Image' or 'Save As Image' as a JPEG). They range from suburban, coastal, rural, mountain to urban.


 Image 1:  Adelaide CBD


 Image 2: Snow covered mountains somewhere over Italy

 Image 3: Suburban Adelaide landuse

 Image 4: Farmland on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia  

 Image 5: Suburban Perth

 Image 6: Coastal engineering, south of Rome


 Image 7: Coastal South Australia

 Image 8: Sydney CBD


Image 9: Glenelg, South Australia


Image 10: New York