Adapted from material prepared by Ginny Wilkins, Colorado Geographic Alliance Member and 1986 National Geographic Society
Summer Geography Institute Participant
Where is this place? Is it north or south of the equator? Can you guess which hemisphere it is in? What is the approximate longitude or latitude? Is it located close by or far away from you? Is it close to a familiar city or country? Is there a familiar landmark visible? What makes it possible to determine where it is? From where was this photo taken? Why do you think the photographer used that angle? What are its advantages and limitations? Is this photo better than a map of this area? Why?
Is this place flat or mountainous, wet or dry, natural or altered by humans? What types of physical features are visible? What other natural features do you see? What vegetation? What animal life? What resources? Does anyone live here? Who? Can you describe the people? How? How many people live in this place? Why do you suppose people chose this place to lie? Why is this place urban (or rural)? What kinds of climate does this place have? Is there evidence of urbanization, if not here, nearby? What is necessary for urbanization? Do you see those things here? What is the architecture? Are there different styles present that indicate sequential building? What are the materials used for building? What level of technology is present? Is education important here? How do people make a living here? Is recreation an important part of their lives? Is there subsistence living? Is population density a factor in the quality of life for people living here?
What is going on here? How is the land used? Is there evidence of humans? What are the products of this place? Are there power lines, railroads, airports, TV and/or Ham Radio antenna, cars? What is their significance to the people who live here? Are there machines? What types? What are they used for? What is the primary type of transportation? Has this benefited the people of this place? Why? How? What are the people like who live in (or near) this place? What evidence can you find in the photo to describe the people? What do you suppose the education system is like? What are the occupations of the people? How would you know?
What are the products of this place? What must probably be imported? What exported? Is there evidence of trade? What is probably traded? To and from where? Is there evidence that new ideas have been adopted by the people of this area? Where would new ideas come from? What are the barriers to communication of ideas? Are they man made or natural barriers? Is language important? Is there any ethnic conflict in this place? Would war or revolution cause barriers to movement of ideas, people and/or products?
What is a region? Can you describe or define this region? What might be the boundaries of this place or region? Are there visible boundaries or barriers? Can you describe them? Why are they there or absent? How do these boundaries differ from what we are familiar with? How are they alike? Can you read these boundaries as easily as do the native inhabitants? Do you suppose they would have trouble reading ours? Is there any evidence of a government in operation? What kind? What symbols do the people use to identify themselves and their place as unique? Would religion create a region? What about a common language? What else have you learned about this place?
©Natasha Bochkov, M.C.S., Martin Bayes, Ph.D., and Donna LaRoche, M.Ed.