Unit Methods of Geographic Inquiry

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					Unit 1: Methods of
Geographic Inquiry
A geographer’s basic tools!
          Maps and Globes
   Introductory Video
   http://videos.howstuffworks.com/hs
               Map Projections
•   Because the earth is a sphere, the only true
    way to represent the earth is with a ball or
    sphere. To fully represent the earth,
    geographers and scientists alike have created
    the globe.

•   Imagine yourself as a tourist in New York City.
    Wouldn’t it be difficult to walk around 45th Street
    with a globe in your back pocket?

•   Therefore, geographers created maps!
             Map Projections
•   When features of a globe (or the earth) are
    transferred to a flat surface, ie: a piece of
    paper of computer monitor, a map
    projection is created.

•   There are several ways to transfer the 3-
    Dimensional shapes to a 2-Dimensional
              Map Projections
•   When a map projection is created, however,
    there is distortion that occurs

•   Distortion occurs in the shape and size of the
    natural features

•   Because we are transferring the natural features
    to a 2D surface, we have to stretch or compress
    some of those natural features.
Types of Map Projections

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Types of Map Projections

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Types of Map Projections

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       Types of Map Projections
   Interrupted Projection: There are many different types of
    interrupted projection maps. These types of maps try to
    depict the continents as accurately as possible by
    leaving blank space in the less important areas of the
    map, such as in the oceans.

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       Types of Map Projections
•   The most commonly used map is the
    Mercator Map
•   developed by Gerardus Mercator, a
    Flemish mapmaker, in 1569

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                 Map Projection

Take the oranges on the
right. If we were to draw
a triangle on the oranges
and then peel the
orange. From the peels
we would then flatten
them as best as
possible. What would
the triangle look like?
       Mercator Map Projection
   In the Mercator Map Projection
    • angles are preserved
    • distances away from the equator become
      progressively distorted.
    • South America (land mass) is actually nine
      times as big as Greenland
    • But how does South America compare to
      Greenland on the Mercator Map?
Mercator Map Projection

                QuickTime™ and a
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          are neede d to see this picture.
        Mercator Map Projection
   The Mercator projection is called Conformal. A projection
    is conformal if the angles in the original features are
   Over small areas the shapes of objects will be
   A line drawn with constant orientation (e.g. with respect
    to north) will be straight on a conformal projection (a
    thumb line).
   Parallels and meridians cross each other at right angles
    (note: not all projections with this appearance are
   Generally, areas near margins have a larger scale than
    areas near the center (i.e. Greenland in Mercator
        Mercator Map Projection
•   The Mercator map has always been a poor
    projection for a world map.
•   Because it was based on a rectangular grid, the
    average person found it easy to read and found
    it useful for wall maps, atlas maps, and maps in
•   It became the standard map projection in the
    mental map of most westerners.
•   The argument for using the Mercator projection
    was the "advantage for colonial powers" by
    making Europe look a lot larger than it actually is
    on the globe.
    Mercator Map Projection Video
•   Lets take a look at how Mercator made his

•   http://videos.howstuffworks.com/hsw/8607
A geographer’s best friend!
   What is a map?
    • A map is a drawing or image of the earth’s
      surface drawn on a flat surface.
    • Maps use symbols and colours to represent
      the features of an area
    • A map can be hand drawn or computer drawn
    • http://videos.howstuffworks.com/hsw/17320-
Map of Canada
                   Creating Maps
   All maps should be drawn for a purpose,
    such as:
    • to provide direction from A to B or to
    • provide information on a specific topic.
          Specifics for topics can include:
            • Listing capital cities of provinces/territories
            • Describing the amount of rainfall in different parts of the
Rainfall Map of the United States of
               Creating Maps
   Great care should be taken when creating
    a map.
    • Maps should be drawn neatly and it is best to
      draw lightly in pencil and then to go over in ink
      when necessary.
              Creating Maps
•   When placing text on maps, it is best to
    print the words.

•   When using colour, it is very important that
    you chose the correct colour to show
    different features.
        Features of Maps - Colours
   On Maps, the colours chosen are very
    important! Generally:
    •   roads and trails are brown
    •   parks are green
    •   water ways (lakes and rivers) are blue
    •   roads are usually black
    •   highways are usually red or orange
    •   text such as city labels are in black
    Features of a Map - Elements
•   When creating a map, there are some features
    that must be included on all maps.

•   What do you see on the following map?
Map of Ontario
                Features of a Map
   Title
    • Provides a clear description of:
           the area the map it is representing and
           what information is presented (Example: Road
            Map of Ontario).
           tell the reader what the map is used for.
    • The title should be short and descriptive.
    • Should be placed in an appropriate location
      (top and centre).
    • Should be neat and printed in dark ink.
             Features of a Map
   Border
    • All of the information and features the
      map is showing should be contained
      within the border.
    • Should be drawn neatly with a ruler in
      dark ink.
            Features of a Map
   North Arrow
    • Provides the reader a reference as per the
      direction on the map.

    • Should be drawn neatly with a ruler in dark ink
      within the border.
             Features of a Map
   Source
    • The author of a map is called a cartographer.

    • The person/people/company or organization
      that created the map should be provided.
           Features of a Map
   Date
    • The date when the map was produced should
      be displayed.
            Features of a Map
   Scale
    • The scale provides the map reader with a
      method of measuring distances on the map
      with actual distances in real life.
             Features of a Map
   Legend
    • The legend provides the map reader with an
      understanding of the various symbols that are
      used on the map.

    • The symbols chosen should accurately reflect
      the feature that is being represented.
                Types of Maps
   There are several types of maps. Each show
    different information. The type of map a reader
    uses depends on what information he/she is
    trying to gather

   Generally speaking, map are categorized into
    three categories:
     1.   General Purpose Maps
     2.   Topographic Maps
     3.   Thematic Maps
               Types of Maps
1.     General Purpose

     • Provides many types of information on one
     • Most atlases, wall maps and road maps fall
       into this category.
     • Provides a broad understanding of the
       location and features of an area.
General Purpose Maps
              Types of Maps
2. Topographic Maps

  • Uses symbols to show a variety of features on the
    earth’s surface.
  • They are used to examine a small area of the earths
    surface in great detail.
  • Include contour lines to show the shape and elevation
    of an area.
  • Lines that are close together indicate steep terrain,
    and lines that are far apart indicate flat terrain.
Topographic Map
                  Types of Maps
3. Thematic Maps

  • Provide very specific information about a place on
    one particular topic.
  • Because only one topic is presented, these maps are
    relatively easy to read and understand.
  • May include
        Climatic, Resource, Economic or Political information.
        Types of Thematic Maps
   Climate maps
    • Give general information about the climate; temperature and
      precipitation (rain and snow) of a region.
    • Cartographers, or mapmakers, use colors to show different
      climate or precipitation zones

   Economic maps
    • Cartographers use symbols to show the locations of economic
    • For example, symbols (shovels) on a map of Ontario tell you
      where mining occurs.
                   Types of Maps
   Political maps
    • Do not show physical features.
    • Instead, they indicate state and national boundaries and capital
      and major cities.
    • A capital city is usually marked with a star within a circle.

   Resource maps
    • Feature the type of natural resources or economic activity that
      dominates an area.
    • For example a map showing the different type of trees in
      Northern Ontario
Thematic Map
• Textbook - page 26 #1, 2,5, 6, 7, 8, 11

• Lab Assignment Sheet - handout

Due Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011

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