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Five Themes of Geography

Chapter 1, 2, 3 Notes

D Quinn

on 26 September 2017

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Transcript of Five Themes of Geography

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
Notes from the textbook
The Five Themes of Geography
A place is part of the earth that can be recognizes as separate or different from other parts.
In geographic terms movement refers to the
flow of people, products and information.
It also includes migration of animals.
There are many kinds of environment
humans can experience.

To geographers, environment refers
to the physical surroundings
and conditions of a place.
Interaction focuses on the relationship between people and the earth. As well as, the challenges created through these interactions.
A region is a part of earth's surface with similar characteristics throughout its extent.
: is a bounded area: a locality such as a town or a city
Each place is a unique combination of
natural physical characteristics and human-made features.
Relative location
is 'where' a place is in relation to landmarks or other places.
Absolute location
is 'where' a place is independently of landmarks or other places.
Longitude and latitude, and alphanumeric
are two methods used on maps to determine absolute location.
is a pattern of routes that connect places together.
The volume of people, products, information and other things
moving along a system is called the
Moving People
: vehicles, public transportation, routes, roads,
congestion, costs, pollution, information, wireless technologies,
economic impact, local and global
Moving Products:
cargo, import, export, pipelines, power grid, information, wireless technologies, commercial vehicles, freight systems, cost, profit, local and global
Environmental Factors
Natural Vegetation
Living things - plants, animals & people - survive and thrive in very diverse landforms regions.
The long-term average of weather conditions at a particular place.
Living things have developed natural adaptations to a wide range of conditions found on earth.
About 75% of the earth is covered by water.
The earth's surface is an evolving tapestry of hills, ocean depths, plains and mountains formed over millions of years.
There is a fixed and finite amount of water present in the water cycle at
any given moment.
Only 2.5% of all water on earth
is fresh water.
Of that small amount, only 1% is
available for human access.
Most land area of the earth
is covered with a thin layer of
soil materials.
Human settlement & agriculture generally concentrates in areas where the soil
is thick and fertile.
Living species can use the soil to adapt to their environment.
A variety of natural vegetation covers the earth in response to climate and soil conditions.
People use natural vegetation for a variety of purposes including food and
building materials.
Herbivores eat vegetation.
Carnivores use it for
This includes landforms, climate, water,
soils and natural vegetation.
Human Impact
Extremely rich fish stocks were depleted by overfishing by both Canadian and European fisheries. The stocks never rebounded.
Environmental Opportunities
Oil was discovered under the Atlantic Ocean in the Hibernia Oil Fields and nickle was discovered in Labrador. These offset the financial impact of the defunct fisheries.
The earth gives people opportunities to provide for themselves. Namely, food, water, clothing, heat and shelter
In the process of providing for themselves, people have altered the earth.
- cleared forest land for farming, built port cities by natural harbors, blast transportation tunnels through mountains, use waterfalls and
dam rivers to produce electricity
This demonstrates the opportunities humans take to make use of the environment.
The disruptive and destructive impact of human action.
- environmental impact of the Alberta tar sands
The devastating and volatile nature of the environment.
- volcanoes, earthquakes, mudslides, tsunamis, storms
Interaction as
Urban Landscapes
Humans have adapted, accommodated and changed their environment to suit their needs.
While the environment does impact human actions, humans have frequently found ways to overcome obstacles
Cultural Landscapes
The earth offers many possibilities to supply human needs. People's choice to take advantage of these opportunities depends on their inventiveness and skill.
The mark that humans have and leave on the earth creates a cultural landscape.
Cities and developed areas result from great human inventiveness and skill. Humans act as earth movers and architects of their environment in the creation of their urban spaces.
Cities are a testament to the industrious and creative abilities of humans in the creation of cultural landscapes.
Interaction as
The consequences of human interaction with the environment and their accountability remains a significant challenge.
Some want to exploit the environment for profit, while others want to protect it for future generations.
Regions help us to organize, classify and understand areas that may include a variety of people and places with commonalities.
Physical regions consider features of the earth itself.
Human characteristics become an additional or defining
element of a region.
The earth can be classified into regions in a number of ways and these are often illustrated in maps found in atlases.
- Physical regions might include: climate, water, soil type, natural vegetation, landforms, elevation, natural resources
- Human regions which might include: religion, industry, population, education, income, sports,
entertainment, politics, land use, farming
Precise Boundaries
Ecozone Region
Transition Zones
A watershed region is an area drained by a river system and defined by land structures.
are areas of gradual change between
physical regions .
In Ontario vegetation transitions from warmer south to colder north - broadleaf Deciduous Forest, Mixed Forest, coniferous Boreal Forest,
diminishing coniferous Taiga Forest, grasses of the Tundra (page 49)
Ecozones are defined by a combination of physical characteristics. The defining characteristics are strongest in the centre of the region and fade towards the boarders.
In Review:
- there are many places in the world each with its own location
- positions can be described in terms of relative or absolute locations on maps
- movement connects places through transportation and communication
- the flow of people, products and information create systems that link places together
- advances in transportation and technology are making the world a much smaller place
Chapter 2 Review
- All living things depend on the physical environment for their needs.
- human activities too often destroys animal habitat
- humans interact with their physical surrounding
- humans use skill and ingenuity to take advantage of opportunities offered by the earth
- with human ability also comes great responsibility to care for the earth and all life
- of all species on earth, humans have the most impact (both negative and positive) on the earth
Human Region
Formal Region
Urban Regions
Functional Region
Physical Regions
An area defined by at least one common characteristic throughout the area.
Characteristics like climate, waters, landforms, soils, vegetation,
politics, population,
economic demographics
An area identified by how it operates or what occurs within it. Most often these are human regions with a central hub or point.
School boundaries, tourist areas, telephone area code regions, postal code zones are some examples of
functional regions.
An urban region is defined by a
group of people living in a rather compact area.
This is a universal trend called urbanization where people move from the countryside into more populated areas. As these areas are defined and continue to grow there is a spill over into surrounding regions. This is called urban sprawl.
The GTA is an example of a
metropolitan area with a city centre
surrounded by urban areas.
The square building to the right is now just south of the Gardner Express Way and north of many large buildings. This part of Lake Ontario shoreline was filled to create more land and this historic building is now far from the shore. It is currently the Harbour Sixty Steakhouse.
See this google map link

Moving Information
: radio, television, internet, telecommunications, satelite, newspapers, magazines, person to person conversations and dialogue
Full transcript