Pictures as Geographic Tools

ALL GEOGRAPHIC KNOWLEDGE of the world is the result of a study of the landscape. As Isaiah Bowman says: . . . "it [geography] is also and chiefly a study of the living conditions of mankind as affected by regional combinations of specific soil types, climatic averages and extremes, vegetational resources and potentialities, and other environmental conditions, and landscape effects that give every area its characteristic stamp."1

Thus the actual landscape is the geographer's laboratory. If time and cost permitted, the ideal way to study a region would be for the class and teacher to go to a region to live in it and study it. Since such procedure is impossible, pictures may be used as a substitute. Of course pictures must be authentic and carefully selected, and the teacher must train and guide the pupils in reading and interpreting the pictures.


One of the chief values of pictures is to give meaning to language symbols and thus build a meaningful vocabulary. To vis

Isaiah Bowman, Geography and the Social Sciences ( New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934), p. 13.


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The Teaching of Geography


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