1.1: What is a toponym?

You Claim It; You Name It Ask: What is a toponym?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, You Claim It, You Name It, and explore the map.

Step 2: Open and read the map note located inside North America (in North Dakota).

  • Q1: Whom was North America named after?

Step 3: Open and read the map note located off the west coast of North America.

  • Q2: What is the language of origin?

Acquire: What is the toponymy of the East Coast?

Step 4: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select the Eastern Canada bookmark.

  • Q3: Which languages were used for place names?

Language, another cultural trait, also influenced these place names.

Step 5: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select East Coast.

Step 6: With the Details button underlined, click the button, Show Contents of Map (Content).

Step 7: Click the checkbox to the left of the layer name, Settlements – 1655.

Step 8: To display a legend, click on the layer name, Settlements – 1655.

  • Q4: Where were the French settlements concentrated?
  • Q5: Where were the English settlements?

Explore: What major migrations helped define California toponyms

Step 9: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select California-Local.

  • Q6: Which languages were used for place names?

Step 10: Turn on the layer, Missions.

  • Q7: Why did the Spanish build missions in California?
  • Q8: What spatial patterns do you notice?

Step 11: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select California-Regional.

Step 12: Turn on the layer, Mining Towns.

  • Q9: How were missions and mining settlements distributed?

Analyze: How does Trinidad’s toponymy compare to Canada and California?

Step 13: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select the West Indies bookmark.

Step 14: Open and read the map note near Cuba.

The reason why the area is called the West Indies is that Christopher Columbus thought he was in Asia.

Step 15: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select the Trinidad bookmark.

Step 16: Turn on the layer, Trinidad Toponyms. Click the layer name to display its legend.

  • Q10: What were the dominant languages used for Trinidad’s place names?

Act: What is the relationship between colonization and toponyms?

Step 17: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select the European Claims bookmark.

Step 18: Turn on the layer, Claims. Click the layer name to display the legend.

  • Q11: How are regional place names in the Americas tied to colonization?
  • Q12: Besides toponyms, colonization and these early claims affect religion, language, architecture, and more. True/False

Distance and Scale

Ask: Are all miles “equally” distant?

Step 1: Go to the ArcGIS Online map, Distance and Scale, above to launch the map.

Distances can feel more substantial or smaller because of cultural similarities, transportation connectivity, telecommunications, and more.

Acquire: How far can you get?

Step 2: With the Details button underlined, click the button, Show Contents of Map (Content).

Step 3: Check the box to the left of the layer name, Drive Time From Boston (60, 90, 120 minutes).

  • Q13: Which major city in New Hampshire can you reach in less than an hour?
  • Q14: How long would it take to get to Providence, R.I.?

Explore: Are we taking the long way around?

Both Manchester and Worchester are at the outer edge of the 60-minute drive time zone. However, as the crow flies, it is 38 miles to Worchester and 48 miles to Manchester.

  • Q15: What city located less than 50 miles from Boston (as the crow flies), but cannot be accessed in a 120-minute drive (hint: water contributes to the time).
  • Q16: Why is travel time so long?

The other forms of transportation, such as water and air travel, might change travel time and accessibility.

Analyze: How is population density related to travel time?

Step 4: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select BOS-MHT/WOR.

Step 5: Turn on the layer, Population Density – Census Tracts.

Step 6: Compare the Population Density and Drive Time layers by turning them on and off.

  • Q17: What is the relationship between the drive time and population density?

Act: How do highways affect travel time?

Step 7: Turn off the layers, Drive Time from Boston (xx xx xx Minutes).

Step 8: Change the transparency of the Population Density – Census Tracts layers to 50 percent. From the Details pane, click the Content button. Click the three small blue dots and hover your pointer over the word “Transparency” to open a drop-down list. You can modify the transparency to see an active layer below the top layer. Set it to 50 percent.

Step 9: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select Traffic.

  • Q18: How are major roads and population distributions related?
  • Q19: Would travel be faster through a more densely populated or less densely populated area? Explain.

 

Digital Geography by R. Adam Dastrup is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at https://www.esri.com/en-us/industries/education/schools/geoinquiries-human-geography.

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Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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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