Develop and understanding of the size and shape of the Earth and how geographers determine locations on Earth Geographic Understanding of the Earth’s Size and Shape


Geographic Understanding of the Earth’s Size and Shape

The Earth is a complex sphere with an equatorial circumference of over 40,000 kilometers and a polar circumference of around 36,900 kilometers (Gagan, 2016). This makes the Earth slightly wider at the equator than at the poles, due to its oblate spheroid shape. It is estimated that the Earth’s diameter from the North Pole to the South Pole is 12,713.6 kilometers, and from the equator is 12,756.2 kilometers (Gagan, 2016). This difference is due to the Earth’s rotation, which causes the center of the planet to bulge outwards, and the poles to be slightly flattened. To determine locations on Earth, geographers use a global coordinate system, which is based on two imaginary lines: the equator, which is a great circle around the Earth’s center, and the Prime Meridian, which runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and passes through Greenwich, England (Gagan, 2016). This system divides the Earth into a network of imaginary lines and shapes and creates a grid-like system of coordinates that can be used to pinpoint any location on the planet. Cont…

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