Glossary of Geography Chapter 2

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Oblate Spheroid
Because of forces associated with the earth's rotation, the area near the equator bulges slightly and the polar regions are flattened slightly, giving the earth an oval shape
Great Circle
An imaginary line drawn in any direction around Earth's surface and whose plane passes through the center of Earth. It’s the largest circle that can be drawn around the world through two points
Small Circle
Circles whose plane does not pass through the center of the earth and doesn’t divide the earth into two equal halves
The angle between the equator and any position north or south of the equator
The angular distance east or west of the prime meridian
Prime Meridian
The line that passes through Greenwich, England or 0 degrees longitude
Latitude lines that circle the globe, are evenly spaced, and are parallel to the equator and each other
Lines of longitude running North to South, converging at the poles. When joined with their mate, they make a great circle.
A square plot 6 miles on each side
1 square mile of a townshop, or 640 acres. They are designated by numbers 1-36 and begin in the NE Corner
A key to symbols used on a map
The relationship or ratio between the actual distance on Earth and the same distance as it appears on the map
Representative Fraction
a ratio that is free of units of measure
Topo Contour Line
isolines connecting points on a map that are at the same elevation above mean sea level
Contour Interval
the constant vertical difference in elevation between adjacent contour lines
a side view to help visualize an area

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