Digital Geography

Learning Objectives

In this assignment, you will also discover the variation of toponyms in different regions of the world. Next, you will explore how not all distances are equally distant.

  • Identify and explain locations in the Americas where French, English, and Spanish toponyms are present today.
  • Explain why the root language of toponyms in North America varies from region to region.
  • Visualize and analyze variations in the time-space compression.

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.

License

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.

Share This Book