This is Part 2 of a 2-part post. Part 1 is here.
Last time, we looked at ‘asking geographic questions’ and a few examples, using the list of themes in the National Geography Youth Summit – 2014 for students of high schools.
Here is similar information for three more topics.
Topic: Traffic and transportation. Human beings move around a lot. We also engage in commerce and other activities that connect our places to others places. We travel pretty much on a daily basis. The distances we travel, the routes that we take, the purposes of such travel, how many of us travel, what mode of travel we use, etc. are all important parts of understanding the geography of not only where we live, but of the places with which we connect. It is not just people who move around. Commodities do, too – the fruits, vegetables, grains, prepared foods, fuel to prepare these foods as also for moving people and things around, etc. All these movements result in traffic (just step outside and you will see!).
- How often do people travel?
- For what purposes do they travel?
- What are their daily travel patterns like? Routes, destinations, modes (e.g.: buses, cars, bicycles, autos, taxis, etc.) – how do these vary?
- How does this travel vary based on their age, gender, socio-economic status, physical abilities / disabilities, their occupations, etc.?
- How often to they travel?
- Where to?
- How does this travel vary (based on the characteristics listed above)?
- From where do the commodities you purchase come from? – consumables (e.g.: foods, beverages, paper, clothing, cooking gas, electricity etc.) and non-consumables (e.g.: vehicles, washing machines, gas stoves, water filters, furniture etc.)
- How are these commodities transported?
- How does purchasing online connect you with other places? E.g.: purchasing books, gadgets, tickets (train, bus, air, theatre) etc.
- Select a set of commodities used in your household and illustrate where they come from, how they reach you, etc.
- From your family (and friends), gather data about their daily travel patterns for 1 or 2 weeks and create a map that illustrates their daily travel geography.
- Select a set of commodities that are brought to you by street vendors and retrace the geography of those commodities. Also find out where the vendor lives, where his/her place of origin is, etc. Construct a map of the data to show the routes and methods of these commodities.
- At various street corners in your neighborhood, observe traffic patterns at different times of the day for several days and collect data about: types of vehicles going through the location, the directions in which they are going, types of vehicles (private / public; 2-, 3-, 4-, 6- wheelers) that go through. How many of these go through per minute (once the signal turns green, if there is a signal), etc.
- Form a research team with 3 members (including you) for the research. Put your data together, and write up what your conclusions are.
- Do you want to recommend any measures to improve conditions at the place you studied? If so, what are they? How do you think they can be achieved?
Topic: Pollution issues (land, air, water, visual, and noise). Wherever we live, we put things out into the environment. Generally, the environment can handle this – i.e., the waste is broken down to its components and nature recycles them. However, more of us are living in smaller areas (population density is high) in most places and what we throw out into the environment is so much in quantity and is difficult to break down that the natural processes of recycling are not able to cope with the load. In such situations, we have pollution. Pollution is of many kinds. We generally talk more about land, air, and water pollution, but we don’t pay enough attention to visual and noise pollution.
- What kinds of pollution in your neighborhood/area/city do you observe?
- Where are the different kinds of pollution most visible? How are these related to patterns of human occupancy of the land? E.g.: are specific kinds of pollution found more in residential areas than other areas such as commercial establishments (hotels, restaurants, roadside food stalls, etc.)
- Where are the different kinds of pollution coming from geographically and what kinds of activities are generating each kind?
- How are the pollutants dealt with? E.g.: do government vehicles regularly take the pollutants away? Does the city corporation dredge drains and large bodies of water regularly? Are there ‘no honking’ zones and are these enforced? Is there enforcement of any rules against felling trees, putting up hoardings, etc.?
- How do types of economic activities (primary, secondary, tertiary) relate to the different kinds of pollution in your area?
- Observe and map the locations of different kinds of pollution in your area, where they originate, and what happens to them.
- Interview residents and others in your area to find out whether they recognize the kinds of pollution in your area, what they feel about these, how they contribute to it and how they help deal with it. Their responses will likely form a pattern. E.g.: residents of apartments may tend to give certain kinds of answers as opposed to shopkeepers and office-workers.
Topic: District-level population data and analysis Understanding the structure of a population is vital for allocating resources, lobbying for votes, advertising, provision of services, etc. Every ten years, the Government of India conducts a nationwide census at all geographical scales, from village level and up. You can conduct your own census.
- How many people of various age groups, genders, professions, places of origin, etc. live in your area?
- How many of them have migrated to your area for work and from where? (e.g.: domestic workers, owners of retail outlets, doctors who have clinics there).
- How many family units exist? What are the sizes of the families? How many people in each family have migrated to another place in the same district, state, another district, state, country, etc.?
- How many people work in the area and how many travel out of the area for work?
- Form a team of no more than three people.
- Construct a survey questionnaire that will get you different kinds of data.
- Identify a small area of your locality (e.g.: your apartment complex).
- Interview people in the selected area to get the information you seek.
- Show your results using maps, charts, tables, photographs, and narratives.
Present your research in the form of a poster at the National Geography Youth Summit – 2014 to be held 9-11 June 2014 at the Army Public School, Bangalore. Details at http://tiigs.org/ngys/ Click on guidelines for all information on the themes, how to prepare your poster, etc.
Talk to your teachers for help with your research. For additional help, write to me or request your teacher to contact me at geo [at]tiigs[dot]org (replace [at] with @ and [dot] with a . ). I will be glad to help.
This is Part 2 of a 2-part post. Part 1 is here.