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Mr. Strickland and the Purpose of the Map

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This podcast is part of the series: Mr. Strickland's Geography Adventures


Jerry Strickland


Wilkerson Middle School; Birmingham City Schools


With the first lesson, we learned of the Five Parts of a Map.  Now, in the second episode we will discuss map purposes.  We discuss the different types of maps: physical, political,and thematic.  We define their associated characteristics, and give examples of each.  We continue to use humor, metaphor, and cross curriculum skills to teach map reading.

Length: 03:20

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SS2010 (7) Geography
1. Describe the world in spatial terms using maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies.
  • Explaining the use of map essentials, including type, projections, scale, legend, distance, direction, grid, and symbols
  • Examples: type—reference, thematic, planimetric, topographic, globe and map projections, aerial photographs, satellite images
    distance—fractional, graphic, and verbal scales
    direction—lines of latitude and longitude, cardinal and intermediate directions
  • Identifying geospatial technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
  • Examples: Google Earth, Global Positioning System (GPS), geographic information system (GIS), satellite-remote sensing, aerial photography
  • Utilizing maps to explain relationships and environments among people and places, including trade patterns, governmental alliances, and immigration patterns
  • Applying mental maps to answer geographic questions, including how experiences and cultures influence perceptions and decisions
  • Categorizing the geographic organization of people, places, and environments using spatial models
  • Examples: urban land-use patterns, distribution and linkages of cities, migration patterns, population-density patterns, spread of culture traits, spread of contagious diseases through a population

    National/Other Standards:



    As a result of activities in grades K-12, all students should

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



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