Fundamental Concepts: The Spatial Perspective

I.  The Spatial Perspective
    A.  Maps: the cartographic tradition has always been unique to geography.
    B.  Scale
        1.  Global/Regional/Local
        2.  Interaction across scales
    C.  Location
        1.  Absolute Location: latitude and longitude coordinates
        2.  Relative Location: location in relation to other places
        3.  Site vs. Situation
            a.  Site: actual place and its physical characteristics
            b.  Situation: external reference or context of the place
    D.  Distance
        1.  Absolute Distance: measured in a standard metric
        2.  Relative Distance:  measured in time or economics
    E.  Direction
        1.  Absolute Direction:  North, South, East, West
        2.  Relative Direction:  more colloquial, i.e. "the deep south," or "the far east"
II.  Maps in Human Geography
    A.  Geographic Information Systems and GIScience
         1.  "GIS's are simultaneously the telescope,  the microscope, the computer, and the Xerox machine of regional analysis and synthesis of spatial data."  Ron Abler.
         2.  GIScience involves research emerging  from "...the generic issues that surround the use of GIS technology, impded  its sucessful implementation,  or emerge from an understanding of its potential capabilities."  Michael  Goodchild.
    B.  Maps and place attributes
        1.  Cultural and Physical attributes
        2.  Structured place attributes/spatial distribution
            a.  density: points/unit area
            b.  linear, clustered, or dispersed arrangements
        3.  Interaction among places
            a.  accessibility: characterisitc of a spot (i.e. the Netherlands rail system)
            b.  connectivity: the characteristics that fuse and hold places together
             c.  First law of Geography:  "everything is related to everything else, but relationships are stronger  when ther are near to one another."  Waldo Tobler
    C.  Maps and Environmental Issues
        1.  Environmental pollution (risk studies)
        2.  Human-Environment interaction (maps of deforestation in the Amazon)
        3.  Remote Sensing
        4.  Global Positioning System (GPS)
    D.  Maps and Human Mobility
         --Volume (i.e. migration systems) use arrows  and line thickness to indicate volume and direction or outmigration probabilities plotted on a contour map
    E.  Depicting Regions on Maps
        1.  Criteria and attributes
        2.  Formal Regions
       3.  Perceptual Regions 
        4.  Functional Regions
        5.  Hierarchical Regions
    F.  Maps in the Mind
        1.  Helpful for understanding human behavior
        2.  Culturally influenced and subjective
        3.  Mental maps (James and Colleen's maps)
        4.  Environmental Perception
III.  Insights of Geography
    A.  Places have location, direction, and distance with respect to other places
    B.  Scale is important--places may be large or small
    C.  A place has both physical structure and cultural content
    D.  The characteristics of places develop and change over time
    E.  Places interact with other places
    F.  The content of places is rationally structured
    G.  Places may be generalized into regions of similarities and differences
IV.  Map Projections
    A.  Perpetual problem of projecting a spherical surface onto a planar surface
        --scale: map units/units in the real world
    B.  Properties of the globe grid:
        1.  All meridians are of equal length; eah is one half the length of the equator
        2.  All meridians converge at the poles and are true north-south lines
        3.  All lines of latitude (parallels) are parallel to each other and the equator
        4.  Parallels decrease in length as one nears the poles
        5.  Meridians and parallels intersect at right angles
        6.  The scale on the surface of the globe is the same in every direction
    C.  Geometrical Projections
        1.  Graticule is transferred to geometric shape (plane, cone, and cylinder) and shape is cut and flattened
        2.  Orthographic projections: light source is at infinity
        3.  Gnomonic projections: light source is at the center of the sphere
        4.  Stereographic projections: light source is at antipode
    D.  Mathematical Projections
        1.  Emphasize and preserve elements of a globe grid that perspective projections cannot.
        2.  Map Distortions:
            a.  Equal area maps preserve proportional size but distort shape
            b.  Conformal maps preserve true shape and directionality for small areas
             c.  Equi-distant maps correctly  represent true great arc distances between 2 points on maps but distance between other points is distorted
            d.  Azimuthal maps preserve directionality when direction is radiating from one central point
        3.  All maps will be distorted, must decide what it is you want preserved and choose map accordingly.