Sources of geographical knowledge. Maps of continents and oceans

Knowledge of the Earth did not arise suddenly. They accumulated for thousands of years in many countries, ranging from Sumer and Egypt. Especially the geographical knowledge expanded after the voyages of X. Columbus and F. Magellan, that is, in the era of the Great geographical discoveries. Researchers described the nature of new lands, living conditions and occupations of the population, made maps.

In our time, a lot of information has accumulated about the Earth, and everyone can master it, using different sources of geographical knowledge. Of course, at school the main source is a textbook. The second most important source is the map.

Simultaneously with the discovery and development of new territories, geographic maps were created and improved. Now it is impossible to imagine the study of geography without geographic maps. With the help of the map, you can locate any geographical object on the earth’s surface: the ocean, the mainland, the mountain system, the

plain, the river, the lake, the state, etc. If you learn to read the map correctly, you can get a lot of useful information about nature, population and its economic activity.

When studying the course, you will work with a variety of maps. To properly use each card, you need to know its main features. So, let’s look at the maps that you will use in the lessons.

Using maps that depict different territories, we will try to answer a few questions. “If you need to characterize the relief of Australia, what card do you use?” Yes, it can be a physical map of the world, but for a more detailed survey of the terrain, it is better to choose a physical map of Australia with a larger scale than a world map. “What map is needed to determine the direction of cold and warm currents in the World Ocean?” Of course, the world map of the oceans. “With which map is it better to characterize the climate of Africa?” Of course, the climatic map of Africa will help in this.

So, the cards are divided into groups according to such signs: covered territory, scale, content and purpose.


coverage of the territory is distinguished by world maps, individual continents, their parts, states.

The scale of the map is divided into large-scale, medium-scale and small-scale.

With a decrease in the scale of the map, the detail of the image of geographical objects also decreases. Therefore, on the world maps the earth’s surface is represented in general, and in the outline of the oceans, continents and islands there are significant errors. Consequently, small-scale maps are not suitable for accurate measurements, their main advantage is that they allow you to cover the entire earth’s surface with a glance. It is especially convenient to use these maps when studying the general laws of the nature of the Earth. In more detail, the terrain is depicted on medium-scale maps. Large-scale maps have another name – topographical maps.

The content of geographical maps are divided into general geographic and thematic. On general geographic maps indicate relief, water, vegetation, populated areas, roads, etc. Such maps are, for example, topographical maps.

On thematic maps, the content of which is determined by the relevant topic, represent one or two components of nature, economy, for example, soil or permafrost, population density. These components are not on the general geographic map.

Geographic maps are widely used in various branches of the economy, as well as in the scientific and cultural spheres of human activity. Therefore, for the purpose of distinguishing maps educational, tourist, synoptic, navigational, military, etc.

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Sources of geographical knowledge. Maps of continents and oceans