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ERIC Number: ED405192
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Feb
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Introducing the Measurement of Shape in Freshman Human Geography.
Bryan, M. Leonard
The concept of shape often enters introductory cultural geography textbooks through the subject of political geography. This paper focuses on a quantitative way to introduce the concept of shape to students of cultural geography. The measure used in this approach was to compare the perimeter of the sovereign state with the perimeter of a circle having the same area as the state. Students, on noting both the quantitative shape index and the qualitative descriptions of outline and the shape traced from conformal maps, learn that shape is subject to the perceptions and interpretation of the individual geographer. They also learn that the importance of shape and compactness to national security and communications is dependent on available technology with the developmental stage of the country being considered. Following a short discussion of shape and its use in the theoretical political geography context, a review of shape measurement as used in the physical and social sciences is provided. The method for calculating an index of shape, with data and examples using sovereign states, is then provided. The paper closes with an example of an exercise that has been used successfully by students in introductory cultural geography classes designed for nonmajors. (PVD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A