Geographic Investigation

“The study of human settlements is inherently an investigation of human–environment interactions, which requires spatially explicit data and analysis, an understanding of the interaction among places and across scales, and knowledge of the trade-offs among different land uses. Studies of the city, urban growth, urban-land-use theory, and the development of human settlements all have long traditions in the geographical sciences (Marsh, 1864). Much of the work on urban areas, their form and function in urban planning, urban economics, urban geography, and urban sociology, has drawn on the spatial land-use models of von Thünen (1826/1966), Burgess (1925), Muth (1961), Alonso (1964), and others.” (UCP, 51)

Lesson 1: Change Over Time


World's top 30 cities in 2005

Our first exploration goes back in time to 100 C.E.  We’re going to explore where people lived over time, the top 10 populated cities in the world from the year 100 C. E. to 2005 C.E.  Understanding the past can illuminate the future.

As you click through the presentation, note the year and how cities change.  You can click on any city at any time during the presentation to get more information.

Mac & Mobile Device Java map link If you use this Viewer, click on "View Presentation" to the left of the map.



Lesson 2: Urbanization

Let’s utilize satellite photos to investigate urbanization. 




“Urbanization in the 21st century will have far-reaching effects ranging from the local to the global. Understanding where people will live and how cities will develop in the future has implications for all aspects of human and environmental well-being discussed in this report, from the provision of food for a growing urban population to safeguarding our planet’s biodiversity and ecological services. New geographical data and emerging analytical methods, combined with existing research tools and techniques, will help develop a more coherent and complete understanding of the patterns, implications, and uncertainties of urbanization.”(UCP, 58) 

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