The Geography of Global History


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Big Geography The Geography of Global History We need a mental picture of the whole world not just certain parts of it This is big geography Africa South America Hi I m Mundo Did you know that how we see the world depends on how we project the world The Earth is a sphere Therefore it cannot be projected on a flat map without distortion The question is which kind of distortion Three World Map Projections Mercator Peters and Robinson On a Mercator projection invented by Gerardus Mercator in 1569 any straight line is a line of constant compass bearing This enables a navigator to plot a straight line course Despite the values of the Mercator Projection it distorts the size and shape of land areas Fact South America is 8 times as large as Greenland Fact Africa is 14 times as large as Greenland The Peters Projection is an equal area map It represents areas accurately but it seriously distorts shapes Compare the size of Europe to Africa on the two maps Compare the size of the former USSR to China on the two maps Human beings inhabit the biosphere The biosphere is made up of three layers The lithosphere The solid earth or outer crust of rock sand and soil The hydrosphere The watery realm About 97 percent of it is the oceans The atmosphere The thin layer of gasses mainly nitrogen and oxygen The lithosphere is in constant though slow motion The surface of the earth and the location of its land masses have therefore had a continuously changing history The scene of history is continuously moving land masses Notice in the left column the names of distinct land masses that no longer exist The red dot represents the location of the Grand Canyon India 550 Million Years Ago h ut So Am ea a ng a P 130 Million Years Ago ica er 220 Million Years Ago 65 Million Years Ago Laurasia Gondwanaland 190 Million Years Ago Today The largest context of human history is the entire planet 70 9 of the surface of the earth is water Human beings however are a land dwelling species We call the biggest

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