Biogeography:Birds and Water do mix

Consider many birds that you see and have heard of. Canada geese, cranes, penguins, pelicans, sea gulls. These birds all have one thing in common.

They’re water birds.

Yes, these are birds that live in, or around the water. It is something that isn’t often thought of, but water does play a role in where and what kinds of birds are found. You find sea gulls around oceans. You find cranes and Canada geese around fresh water. Penguins inhabit the oceans around the southern hemisphere.

The videos will explain more in detail.



Usefulness of Mathematics in Geography

Geography has a perception of being little more than capital cities and memorizing maps. This could be further from what geography is about. Many people forget that mathematics is an important part of geography.


Photo by Clipper

Here is an example. Surveyors have to use geometry in their work. This involves determining distances, terrestrial positions, the angles between distances. Surveyors use altimeters to determine height. Surveyors also have to be familiar with datum coordinates. If you’re a home owner, thank a surveyor. Surveyors help in establishing boundaries for home ownership.

Latitude, longitude, altitude, distance, temperatures(in both Centigrade and Fahrenheit), angles, measuring slope gradient, this goes into geography. If you use GPS, consider the coordinates used. Also consider that there are algorithms that go into programming GPS. Linear Algebra is used.


Consider these videos. This one involves converting geographic coordinates to decimal format.

And of course, consider all that goes into Geographic Information Systems(GIS). One retrieves, stores, uses geographic data, spatial data. Data that involves geographic coordinates, distances, and consider geostatistics. This is a branch of statistics that is applied to geography and geology. Mathematics is used.

Consider this. Geography is a spatial science. To consider things spatially, measuring those spaces is required.


The Snow Belt, a potential research center

The North American Snow Belt region, in the Great Lakes region, lives up to its name as a region of heavy snowfall. This region gets the heaviest snowfall totals outside of the Rocky Mountains. The Great Lakes themselves contribute to this phenomenon.

Videos below show how lake effect snow works.


And here is a map of the snow belt. Yes, the measurements are in cm.


With this in mind, there is a blog article by Future Economics called “Fasten Your Snowbelts”. It is about the technological factor with the snow belt. Give it a read:

As mentioned in the article, Buffalo, New York is the largest metropolitan area in the snow belt region. There is one thing to consider. It is not only about technology. It is about research and development. Consider the geography of research and development. Silicon Valley sprouting high tech companies in Bay Area of California. The Snow Belt could grow into a major research and development center for snow removal technology. There is a potential for Buffalo to become a major hub for R&D. It wouldn’t only be the snow removal technology that could boost population. It would be the jobs provided and the low cost of living that could boost Buffalo’s population. SUNY at Buffalo and Buffalo State College would be a good place to start in terms of R&D. A research park could be formed. North Carolina has Research Triangle Park, Daedeok Innopolis in South Korea. A research district could develop in Buffalo based on that.





Of Maps of Nicknames

A map can tell you a few things about a place. Where a place is, the things in that place, certain physical features, statistics. A map can tell you what it intends to tell you.

A map can also be an indicator of a city’s nickname. Two cities to look at are New Orleans and Pittsburgh. New Orleans is known as the Crescent City

The city of Pittsburgh is called the City of Three Rivers.

If one looks at the maps of both cities, it is easy to see how these cities got their nicknames. If one goes deeper into geography, one can understand how that those nicknames are more than just some interesting name. New Orleans was founded on a crescent-like bend of the Mississippi River. This was the highest part of a low-lying area. The French Quarter is located where New Orleans was first founded. Pittsburgh, the City of Three Rivers, is located where the Monongahela and Allegheny river converge to form the Ohio River. This geography has played a role. The first steam boat was built in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s location made it a major trading center. Steel factories looked for locations with good access to railways and river. Pittsburgh, with three rivers, had a geographic advantage. It was also an early gateway to the frontier west of the Appalachians.

Maps can tell alot about a place.

Geography of a bicycle trail.

May is National Bicycle Month in the USA. Considering that this is a blog about geography, this segment on bicycles is going to take a geographic perspective.

Bicycle trails make good places to have leisurely ride without having to deal with the concerns of traffic. Human geography aspect. They are good places for walking around, socializing. There is something more that can be said.

Bicycle trails also make good places to study the local physical geography. While many people aren’t thinking of the physical or human geography aspects of bicycle trails, this is actually very easy to study if one knows what to look for.

Look at the video about. That was filmed from the Silver Comet Trail, going through the Atlanta suburb of Mableton. There are so many aspects of physical geography to explore. The lush, green flora. The deep greens of  ferns, kudzu, the pine trees, other species of trees. This indicates the flora native to the Atlanta area. It also indicates the climate , being humid subtropical. Also consider the kind of soils that some of these plants thrive in. Kudzu in particular can thrive in the acidic red clay ubiquitous to Georgia.

This was just through one portion of the Silver Comet Trail. There is so much more. Geography can be explored from a bicycle ride. It’s a matter of knowing what to look for and how to look for it.

And the Silver Comet Trail is an example of geography itself. The trail was once a railroad. It was named after a passenger train. The Silver Comet train operated between 1947 and 1969. It ran from New York City,NY to Birmingham,AL. After it was discontinued, parts of the railroad were converted into the Silver Comet bicycle trail in Georgia, and the Chief Ladiga trail in Alabama. A conversion of a discontinued railway into a recreation trail.