An Introduction to Economic Geography - Vol. 1

By Wellington D. Jones; Derwent S. Whittlesey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
SHAPE, SIZE, AND LOCATION AS ELEMENTS OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
1. Does an ordinary photograph give an accurate representation of the shape of a mountain, lake, or other feature of the earth's surface? See Figures 193 and 198. Does an airplane photograph or a bird's-eye view better represent shape? See Figure 353. What is the most common device for depicting the outline shapes of surface features of the earth?
2. Compare the shape of North America (including Greenland) on the following world-maps: (a) Goode's Homolosine (Fig. 364); (b) Mercator's (Fig. 363); (c) Mollweide's Homalographic (Fig. 365). Which most nearly corresponds to the shape of the continent as portrayed on the globe?
3. Is the shape of North America on the continental relief map in your atlas more or less accurate than on each of the world-maps examined? Compare the atlas map with the globe, and suggest why?
4. What is the relative area of the several continents, as shown on the world-maps mentioned in Question 2. Which of these maps is least trustworthy in determining the relative size of the continents? Give an illustration to prove your contention.
5. Does the map, Figure 98, give the correct impression of the distribution of wheat acreage?
6. In world regional comparisons it is highly desirable to use maps that show true relative size and true shapes of regions. Why?
7. A map projection is a scheme for representing on a flat surface the curved surface of the earth. Map projections have been devised to meet one or more of the requisites of an ideal map: (a) correct relative size of areas, (b) true shapes of areas, (c) representation of the shortest distance between places by straight lines, (d) use of straight lines for parallels of latitude. Why is it desirable that a map should possess these requisites? Why is it impossible to devise a projection that meets all these requisites? Examine maps and a globe in connection with each of the points just made.

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