Wednesday, February 29, 2012


1. Malthusian Population Theories
  • Malthus argued that "Population grow at a rate that exceeds available food supply"
  • Population can survive only because of positive checks on population growth. That is, in mortality due to famines, epidemics, wars and natural causes, preventive checks e.g. abstinence and contraception.
2. Neo-Malthusian
  • Contemporary follower of the Malthus ideas
  • They focus more on the health and mortality consequences of a changing environment e.g. Each argue that the impact on the environment is a function of population size, level of affluence and technology.

Monday, January 30, 2012


The advent of cheap and powerful computers over the last few decades has allowed for the development of innovative software applications for the storage, analysis, and display of geographic data. Many of these applications belong to a group of software known as Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Many definitions have been proposed for what constitutes a GIS. Each of these definitions conforms to the particular task that is being performed. Instead of repeating each of these definitions, I would like to broadly define GIS according to what it does. Thus, the activities normally carried out on a GIS include:
  • The measurement of natural and human made phenomena and processes from a spatial perspective. These measurements emphasize three types of properties commonly associated with these types of systems: elements, attributes, and relationships.
  • The storage of measurements in digital form in a computer database. These measurements are often linked to features on a digital map. The features can be of three types: points, lines, or areas (polygons).
  • The analysis of collected measurements to produce more data and to discover new relationships by numerically manipulating and modeling different pieces of data.
  • The depiction of the measured or analyzed data in some type of display - maps, graphs, lists, or summary statistics.


Remote sensing can be defined as the collection of data about an object from a distance. Humans and many other types of animals accomplish this task with aid of eyes or by the sense of smell or hearing. Geographers use the technique of remote sensing to monitor or measure phenomena found in the Earth's lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Remote sensing of the environment by geographers is usually done with the help of mechanical devices known as remote sensors. These gadgets have a greatly improved ability to receive and record information about an object without any physical contact. Often, these sensors are positioned away from the object of interest by using helicopters, planes, and satellites. Most sensing devices record information about an object by measuring an object's transmission of electromagnetic energy from reflecting and radiating surfaces.

Remote sensing imagery has many applications in mapping land-use and cover, agriculture, soils mapping, forestry, city planning, archaeological investigations, military observation, and geomorphological surveying, among other uses. For example, foresters use aerial photographs for preparing forest cover maps, locating possible access roads, and measuring quantities of trees harvested. Specialized photography using color infrared film has also been used to detect disease and insect damage in forest trees.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Location on Maps
Most maps allow us to specify the location of points on the Earth's surface using a coordinate system. For a two-dimensional map, this coordinate system can use simple geometric relationships between the perpendicular axes on a grid system to define spatial location. Figure 1 illustrates how the location of a point can be defined on a coordinate system.

Figure 1: A grid coordinate system defines the location of points from the distance traveled along two perpendicular axes from some stated origin. In the example above, the two axes are labeled X and Y. The origin is located in the lower left hand corner. Unit distance traveled along each axis from the origin is shown. In this coordinate system, the value associated with the X-axis is given first, following by the value assigned from the Y-axis. The location represented by the star has the coordinates 7 (X-axis), 4 (Y-axis).