Expand GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.
This lab module examines fundamental concepts and tools geographers use to
study the Earth. Topics include latitude and longitude, absolute and relative
location, geospatial technologies, map types and scale. While these topics may
seem disparate, you will learn how they are inherently related.
The modules start with four opening topics, or vignettes, found in the
accompanying Google Earth file. These vignettes introduce basic concepts related to
geospatial tools and technologies. Some of the vignettes have animations, videos,
or short articles that will provide another perspective or visual explanation for the
topic at hand. After reading each vignette and associated links, answer the
following questions. Please note that some components of this lab may take a while
to download or open, especially if you have a slow internet connection.
Expand GEOGRAPHER’S TOOLS, and then expand the INTRODUCTION folder.
Double-click Topic 1: Tools for Geography.
Read Topic 1: Tools for Geography.
Question 1: According to the article, what are three geographic technologies
geographers use to study the Earth?
A. GIS, GPS, and compasses
B. GPS, remote sensing, and GIS
C. GIS, AutoCAD, and remote sensing
D. GPS, Glovis, and GIS
Read Topic 2: Maps.
Question 2: In what state was the first topographic map (relief map using
contour lines) issued in the United States?
Read Topic 3: Coordinate Systems and Location.
Question 3: What continent is found at grid cell 35N?
A. The continent of Africa
B. The continent of Australia
C. The continent of Europe
D. The continent of South America
Read Topic 4: Geospatial Technologies.
Question 4: Looking at the map layers above, which layers would be most
likely acquired through the use of radar and satellites?
A. States and cities
B. Countries and Territories
D. Radar and Satellite
Collapse and uncheck INTRODUCTION.
Latitude and Longitude form a grid on the Earth’s surface, enabling us to determine
an absolute location for any given place or phenomenon.
Expand GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.
Turn on the latitude and longitude grid by selecting View > Grid, or by using
the keyboard shortcut CTRL + L. Mac users click + L.
Lines of latitude, or parallels, divide the globe at the Equator, and run parallel in
both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres (Figure 1). Locations in the Northern
Hemisphere are denoted with an N (or a positive number), while locations in the
Southern Hemisphere are denoted with an S (or a negative number). The parallel at
the Equator is 0°N or 0°S, and increases to 90°N (or +90) at the North Pole, and
90°S (or -90) at the South Pole.
Figure 1. Lines of latitude (parallels) and longitude (meridians) (Arbogast)
Double-click and select Prime Meridian.
Lines of longitude, or meridians, run from pole to pole. Along the Prime Meridian
(which runs through Greenwich, UK), the Earth is divided into Eastern and Western
Hemispheres. Locations in the Eastern Hemisphere are denoted with an E (or a
positive number), while locations in the Western Hemisphere are denoted with a W
(or a negative number). The Prime Meridian is 0°E or 0°W, and increases to toward
180°E (or +180) or 180°W (or -180).
Latitude and longitude are measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Similar to a
clock, where one hour equals 60 minutes, and one minute equals 60 seconds, each
degree of latitude or longitude can be divided into 60 minutes (60’) and each
minute of latitude or longitude can be further subdivided into 60 seconds (60”). For
example, the White House in Washington, DC is located at 38° 53’ 51” N, 77° 02’
11” W. Latitude and longitude can also be measured in decimal degrees, or degrees
and decimal minutes, by converting the minutes and/or seconds into decimal
fractions. Cardinal directions (North, East, South and West) are replaced with
positive or negative signs. Therefore, the absolute location of the White House in
decimal degrees would be 38.8976, -77.0365.
Click Exit Street View in the top right corner of the Google Earth 3D viewer.
Change your units to degrees, minute and seconds. (Refer to the GETTING
STARTED lab module for directions on how to change latitude and longitude
Double-click and select Location A.
Question 5: What are the latitude and longitude coordinates for Location A?
A. 51N, 114E
B. 114S, 51 E
C. 51S, 114W
D. 51N, 114W
Double-click and select Location B.
Question 6: What are the latitude and longitude coordinates for Location B?
The post Expand GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.