Location [Stds. 1, 3]
Place [Stds. 4, 7, 9, 10]
Human-Environment Interaction [Stds. 8, 12, 14-18]
Movement [Stds. 11, 13]
Regions [Stds. 2, 5, 6]

 Standard 1: Using Maps
to Structure Geographic Information

How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies
to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective

View of the earth from 147,927,537 km above 26°30'N 124°17'E [Earth and Moon Viewer]

Geography is fundamentally concerned with the ways in which physical and human processes and activities order the Earth's surface into mappable patterns.

Locating places — cities, rivers, mountains, lakes, etc. — and knowing associated facts are critically important first steps in geographic understanding. Places and associated facts are absolute fundamentals in geographic literacy.

It is the relationships we see, over time and across space, however, that are important for geographic thinking. Geographers look for patterns that result from spatial processes. Places and facts take on their full significance once they are examined within a broader geographic framework — what geographers call "spatial context" or "spatial perspective."

Where is it?
Why is it there?
These two questions link the essentials of space and place (geography) and time (history).
Maps as well as aerial photographs and satellite images are critical tools in helping all of us visualize the Earth's spatial patterns and associations.
Teachers and students will perceive spatial patterns and spatial associations, even spatial order, among the "facts" they observe in natural as well as cultural landscapes — physical and human geography.
A geographically informed person looks at East Asia — as well as the world at large — not simply as physical or natural environments but as humanized places. Over four millennia, people in East Asia have modified their physical environments as they domesticated space in order to create humanized places.
Our goal is to understand the complexity and diversity of East Asia China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.

Show All Maps | Hide All Maps

Two maps showing political boundaries: 1) Asia at large; 2) China and bordering countries.
Four maps showing population density: 1) Satellite images of earth, combined to illustrate simultaneous night time all over, shows populated areas using electricity at night. Areas that are relatively dark may also be populated but use little or no electricity; 2) Comparing the United States and China; 3) Population density of Asia, 2000; 4) Population density of Japan.
Four topographical maps: 1) Outline map of China's mountains and deserts; 2) World map showing tectonic activity [PDF]; 3) National Geographic MapMachine: Topographical map of China and Korea; 4) USGS contour maps of China's crustal structure.
One of the problems map-makers encounter is that the globe is a sphere and maps are two-dimensional. There are a variety of "projections" used to represent the globe in two dimensions.

In a Mercator Projection Map the latitude and longitude lines are kept at right angles with the result that land masses are distorted increasingly towards the North and the South Poles, so that Greenland looks larger than South America, even though it is only 1/8 the area. This projection is useful for navigation as the cardinal directions are always straight, whether East to West or North to South.

Compare the Mercator with the Peters, Mollweide, and equirectangular projection maps on the World Sunlight Map website featuring a real-time, computer-generated illustration of the earth's patterns of sunlight, darkness, and cloud cover based on current weather satellite data.

Two maps: 1) Peters Projection Map; 2) Hobo-Dyer Projection Map.
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