The target of these 2 weeks of looking at maps was to introduce our class to the different ways maps are portrayed and what each portrayal's purpose was for. So far I've done more formal Geography here than in my Geography class. Wouldn't it be funny if the two's names were switched on my class register.
Latitude & Longitude
We did some reviewal of Latitude and Longitude which I hadn't formally done since 8th grade. This reviewal included the fact that
Latitude measures distance North or South from the Equator in horizontal great circles. Only 1 great circle of latitude is in the center of this Earth planet and that is the Equator. Longitude measures distance in vertical great circles East and West from the Prime Meridian, which has currently been agreed upon for political purposes as the great circle that intersects Greenwich and Tokyo. Both latitude and longitude start at 0° and changes as there is northern, southern, eastern, and western deviation from the equator or prime meridian.
We then looked at different projections including the prominent Robinson projection. I was surprised to discover the portrayal of continents and land area on this common map, especially of its most distorted area in the poles. I have one conspiracy theorist acquaintance whom says all the maps and information in the world given to us is a lie. These differences in map portayals can definitely induce lack of faith in the unknowing person, especially when they do not understand that all of the information portrayed is all to fit one purpose or another so it is not meant to be a one size fits all image of the Earth's area. For example the Robinson's projection is meant to be a compromise that offers one feature to view the general shapes and features on the Earth, its oceans, and its continents. The Goode Projection counters for this with its accurate protrayal of continental area, though split apart imagery. We also learned about the coordinate 60x 60 blocking system in the Universal Transverse Mercator which was developed from the transverse mercator which was developed in turn from the 16th century's web mercator conical projection suited for marine navigation.
We also learned about the different scaling features, notably Britain Ordinance Survey Mapping in Scale Rasters where we saw that the small/ mini scales carried less information but showed a larger whole area and a small ratio wherein 1 of any type of measurement for example an inch on the map will be equal to a large distance in real life. The large scales were just the opposite with more details about specific areas wherein 1: 25,000 for example would display more detail for a town map whereas large scale 1:3,000,000 would display continents. The class got to view the effects of the different scales by going on NYS GIS and comparing maps of the same area at different scale type.