Glossary of Earth Science Chapter 3

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Mercator Projection

Definition, pros and cons
Depicts Earth as if a large cylinder of paper had been wrapped around the planet.

Pro: shows whole earth on one continuous map.

Con: distorts the size of the polar areas.
Gnomonic Projection

Definition, pros and cons
Made as if sheet of paper had been laid on a point of the Earth's surface (the North Pole, for example).

Pro: acuratgely shows the shortest distance between two points. Good for planning air or sea trips.

Con: distorts shapes away from the center point.
Polyconic Projection

Definition, pros and cons
Made as if a cone of paper had been wrapped around the Earth. Lines of longitude and latitude are curved slightly.

Pro: most land faorms have their true shape and size in relation to each other. Good for mapping areas of land t hat fall in the middle latitudes of Earth (United States).

Con: like all the others, the areas of the Earth farthest from the point where the paper touches the globe are distorted.
A flat, two-dimensional respresentation of the Earth's surface.
a specific way of drawing a map; depicts various parts of the earth more accurately than others.
halves of the earth; north-south or east-west
a latitude line
prime meridian
a longitude line;
circles the globe from east to west hemisphers (at the widest point of the Earth); latitude of Equator is 0 degrees. North Pole is 90 degrees North and South Pole is 90 degrees South.
a half circle that runs from north to south between the poles. Numbered from 0 degrees to 180 degreees east or west. Further divided by minutes (60' between two lines)
map scale
tells you how the map's features compare in size with Earth's surface. Can be a ratio, words, or line graph.
A radio signal that bounces off objects it hits and is reflected back. Computers turn the data into images of the earth.
false-color image
A satellite image that uses bright colors like red, purple and yellow to make images of the earth. The bright colors are easier to read that the natural colors.
Global Positioning System. Uses computers and satellites for people to determine their position, speed and time any place, any time, any weather.
Computer system that can assemble, store, manipulate and display data identified by location.
topographic map
shows the topography of an area
natural and human made surface features
contour lines
narrow brown lines that indicate elevation or sea level.
contour interval
the difference between two consecutive contour lines.
steepness of the landscape
magnetic declination
the angle by which a compass needle will vary from true north.

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