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Flat Earth Academy

Geography Topics

There are only two items in the Geography department so far. They are "just" of the "you might find interesting/ amusing" type, rather that "This you should try to know" items.

Discussion of when and how the highest point on earth was identified.

Maps...

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So easy! And useful: Prepare custom maps, with markers for things you want "on the map". This tutorial not "necessary", but, I hope, fun and useful. It allows you use a database or a spreadsheet to build lists of the points you want on your map, and then import that data into a Google Custom map. (Nothing to buy/ you can "publish" the map as far (or as little) as you wish.)


Drawing your own maps, without Google's help...

I also have a number of pages about drawing maps for yourself, "from scratch", based on fieldwork. Why? Some people find the exercise amusing. And it helps you be aware of what is behind things you may take for granted.

New maps are not prepared by the method explained... but until about the 1960s, it was the basis of large scale maps.

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Making your own maps by triangulation. This is a "point of entry" into a maze of pages. Many topics are explored, including making your own theolodite, an example of the vital- to- science (and engineering) topic of measuring.

Easy challenge: Making a map in a simple context. (Best used as an activity for a group, or as a "thought experiment" for the solitary student.)

Intermediate challenge: Using plane table or theolodite. Gives participants a way to see how accurate they can be measuring angles with a plane table. Or to test a theolodite they've made. (Best used as an activity for a group, or as a "thought experiment" for the solitary student.)

Complex challenge: A major map making competition. (Best used as an activity for a group.) Description of an activity which could challenge a group to strive to create an accurate map, and allows participants to see how their result compares to that of others. There is even prize money (total: $200) on offer for good write ups of this challenge, at the time I am writing this. (Please let me know if this remark is now dated!)

Multi-year map making challenges: Three similar repeatable map making competitions. (Best used as activities for groups.) Description of activities which could be repeated year after year, perhaps become a tradition in a school or youth group. Challenge groups to strive to create an accurate map measuring the location of a distant object, or the height of an object, or the length of a baseline. Allows participants to see how their result compares to that of others, and guards against anyone cheating by "working the problem backwards".

Supporting all of the above map making topics: A way to draw angles without a protractor. It can be more accurate than a simple protractor.) Useful for getting accurate results when creating maps by triangulation, in the absence of a large, accurate protractor... a expensive object.

An exploration of "measuring" issues: The map-maker's essential tool the theolodite. Make your own!




If you are not yet aware of the Flat Earth Academy, then may I invite you to the Flat Earth Academy home page, where I explain what it hopes to give you?



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