Introduction: What is a Geographer?
The earth is surrounded by the atmosphere and covered with water. The oceans cover 71% of Earth’s surface while land covers the remaining 29%. Earth consists of a single spherical mass with its center of mass around 4300 kilometers or 2700 miles below the surface. The outer layer of the earth is called the mantle, which consists mostly of oxygen and silicon, and lies at a depth of 2900 kilometers. The mantle is separated from the atmosphere by Earth’s crust. The crust, which lies at a depth of 5-40 kilometers, has tectonic plates floating on top of it. These plates move at a rate of between 0.9 and 8 centimeters per year (World Book Encyclopedia, 1991). The geographer studies how the location and distribution of things developed over time and how they change in relation to their location.
The following is a classification of geographic disciplines:
(1) Physical geography (2) Economic geography (3) Social geography.
(4) Educational geography.
(5) Regional geography.
(6) Oceanography (7) Climatology.
(8) Hydrology .
What are Some of the Most Important Pieces to Creating a Map?
A map must contain symbols that represent the features of the area it represents. The symbols must be understood by someone who is viewing the map. A map may contain scales, text, and a compass rose to assist in finding directions. Maps may also include time, distance, and direction measurements. Aligning the map with the real world is important for two reasons. First, it helps a person understand the map. Second, it helps him or her to know where he or she is from a geographical point of view. The use of landforms allows a person to recognize places that are near each other or far away from each other by placing them on the same map (Johnson 2006). Additionally, landforms provide a framework of reference for a person to determine the shape and size of an area. In this way, landform information can be used to compare different maps and areas. The process of creating an accurate map involves many important steps. In this section we will focus on two major aspects of mapmaking: the creation process, and the content information (Dale et al., 2006).
The creation process describes how people create a map by talking to each other or by conducting research and recording information. The creation process can be broken down into three main steps: generating information, verifying the information, and selecting a method of presentation. The first step is the most important because it is where all the work comes together to create a map. Data are gathered by mapping each person who has knowledge or experience with that area. This includes professional mappers and private persons who may or may not have expertise in mapping but are willing to help (Dale et al., 2006). The second step in the creation process is to verify that the information gathered is correct. This is done through research and/or by asking questions. The third step involves selecting an appropriate method of presenting the information to produce a map.
How Do I Read Distance in Longitude and Latitude on a Map?
A circle is a 360-degree circle, the distance around the earth. There are 360 degrees because there are approximately 365.25 days in a year and the earth rotates one degree every four minutes. The equator is an extension of a line running from the North Pole to the South Pole, around which all points on Earth are said to rotate. It is roughly 20,000 kilometers (12,500 miles) long and does not have scale. A degree is an angle of 1/360 of the circle, or approximately 111.25 kilometers (69 miles). 40 degrees is approximately one-half of a circle’s circumference, therefore 40 degrees may be shortened to the “2/3” notation on a map. This means two-thirds (80 percent) of the circumference circle.
The origin point is where the sign ‘N’ is placed on latitude and longitude lines. The first number in each pair represents the Longitude and second number represents the Latitude. The numbers displayed are in degrees and minutes, with decimals.
1. North Latitude
Line of Latitude: 0 degrees North: all points north of the equator
+1 degrees North: all points exactly north of the equator
+2 degrees North: all points exactly north of the equator and one-half degree further north
How to Calculate Distance Between Two Points When Using Longitude and Latitude
Using longitude and latitude, the measurement of distance is called a geodetic survey. Geodetic surveys are concerned with the shape of the land. There are two ways to calculate distance between two points, but the distance between two points is equal no matter which method is used. The first way is to map out a route, such as driving down a road or walking across a field. The second way is by using the ellipsoid method. The first method involves drawing a distance between two points. The first point can be a starting point or an end point. The second method involves calculating a distance using the Earth’s shape and surface. Before learning how to perform geodetic survey, you must learn to use longitude and latitude.
Suppose you are traveling halfway between City A and City B, and you want to calculate the distance between them using the ellipsoid method. In order to do this, you must first draw a map. You can use the following illustration as a guide. This route is the distance between cities A and B.
The first step is to measure the length of City B in kilometers. Then, find City A on your map by locating point A on the map and measuring its distance in kilometers from point A. Write down these measurements next to each other on your map.