1.3: March of Time

Where were the earliest major cities of the world located?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, March of Time, and explore the map.

Step 2: With the Details button underlined, click the button, Content.

Step 3: Click the Geographic Lines layer to expand its legend.

Note: Common Era is one of the notation systems for the world’s most widely used calendar era. BCE is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives to the Dionysian BC and AD system, respectively. The Dionysian era distinguishes eras using AD and BC.

  • In which hemispheres are the 100 CE cities located?
  • Other than the Meditteranean Sea, most of the cities are far from each other.(T/F)
  • Where are the cities located in relation to physical features?

What was the population range of the earliest cities in the world?

Step 4: In the Contents pane, pause your pointer over the Top 10 Cities 100 CE layer, and click the Show Table button.

Step 5: Click the Pop 100 column and choose Sort Descending.

Step 6: Click the name of each city in the table, starting at the top, noting where they are highlighted on the map and their population.

  • In 100 CE, which city had the largest population?

How did the location and population of major cities in 1000 CE and 1500 CE compare to 100 CE?

Step 7: In the top-right corner of the table, click the X to close it.

Step 8: In the Contents pane, check the Top 10 Cities 1000 CE layer to turn it on.

Step 9: Open the layers table and sort the POP 1000 column in descending order.

  • What were the largest city in 1000 CE and its population?
  • What is the pattern of the locations of the top cities in 1000 CE?

Step 10: Repeat the steps in this section for the Top 10 Cities 1500 CE layer.

  • What location patterns do you see during the 1500 CE era?

How did the location of the population of major cities change in the last 500 years?

Step 11: Turn on each of the layers for the top ten cities in the years 1900, 1950, 2000, and 2005. Use their tables to examine the population and location of each city in those areas.

  • What happened to the geographic pattern of the largest cities starting in 1900 CE?

Where will major cities of the world grow in the next 50 years?

  • Keeping population density in mind, which three continents do you believe the largest cities are today and will be in the next several decades?

Step 12: Turn on the Population Density layer.

  • Keeping population density in mind, where do you believe the largest cities are today and will be in the next several decades?


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World Regional Geography Lab Manual by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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