Olio means “a medley or potpourri, as of musical or literary selections; miscellany.” (dictionary.com) Today, an online geographical olio for you to explore.
Two things bind life: time and space; history and geography. Take these two away and there is no story of any kind.
Geography, as the study of inter-relationships among things on Earth, engages with the large time-scale of Earth’s own life-story. Here is an interesting page where you can look at the geological time scale. It includes a nice exposition of the concept, an interesting diagram, and even a couple of apps that you can download to your cell phone. This can be very useful for your geography and possibly your EVS classes.
It is not just people, ideas, and goods that travel around the world. Consider
New York City. Do someresearch and find out its total population, population density, economic characteristics etc. One of the things you should then consider is the types and amount of ‘waste’ that New York City generates. Where does all that waste go? The answer may surprise you!
I often tease my students with this. The water you drink may not be as fresh as you think. They first think ‘fresh’ in terms of bio-chemical purity – safe to drink. When I ask them, “How fresh is it?”, the answer
becomes historical (time!). At the end of that discussion I end up telling them that at least one molecule of the water that they drank that day was once part of dinosaur su-su! Their reaction is hilarious! Water IS quite old. Its fascinating story will never appear in any of your textbooks. But this story surprised and fascinated me: It’s about how old water is.
Every map we make contains layers of information. The layers may include water characteristics (hydrography), elevations (topography), land-cover (vegetation areas), and so on. We make sure each layer is properly connected to the latitudes and longitudes. Then, we put the layers on top of one another
and get our final map. This process is now made easy due to computer-based technologies. We call this area of geography “geo-informatics” and is a rapidly growing area of employment and careers. Check out this interesting map of Europe.
A map is a 2-dimensional representation of a part of Earth. Earth is a 3-dimensional structure – oblate
spheroid. Therefore, no matter how you try to represent Earth in a map, it will be distorted. Representing Earth in a map is called ‘projection.’ Here is a very interesting article on projections and the way they distort Earth. Check out this article on projections and this interactive map on how the sizes of countries get distorted on maps.
In your EVS, and perhaps your geography, classes you study ‘ecosystems.’ Blah blah blah … type of
ecosystem, where it is found, what is found in it, a vague picture, may be a vague map … and then you move on. What is missing? No discussion of why those ecosystems exist where they do. Here is a resource you can use to start thinking about that question: a story map.
Featured image, courtesy: The Independent.
A version of this article appeared in the Deccan Herald Student Edition, 3 November 2016.
Join us for the International Geography Youth Summit, 7 – 9 July 2017 in Bengaluru. Details at http://www.tigs.in
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