GEOG 102 Economic Geography Atlas Exercise

Agriculture is a primary economic activity that has created specific crop production regions.  With this part of exercise we are going to explore the geography of the foods you eat.  LetŐs begin by exploring dessert.  First identify 5 plants that are ingredients in some of your favorite desserts.  If you are uncertain, look at the list of ingredients on the package. Look at maps on p. 59-64 to determine the locations where these dessert ingredients are grown. 

1. Plant                              ___Locations___________________________________________________________________________

a. Wheat                             China, India, Europe, US

b. Coffee                            Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Indonesia

c. Cane Sugar                                        Brazil, India, China

d. Coconut                                                 Mexico, Indonesia, Southeast Africa

e. Bananas                                                  Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Phillipines

Now letŐs look at the foods we eat in between our helpings of dessert. Similar to above, identify 5 plants or animals that are ingredients in some of your favorite foods. If you are uncertain, look at the list of ingredients on the package. Look at maps on p. 59-64 to determine the locations where these ingredients are produced. 

2. Plant /Animal           ___Locations___________________________________________________________________

a. Salmon                                                Alaska

b. Potatoes                                            China, India, Europe, Russia, US

c. Cocoa Beans                                  Cote DŐIvoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia

d. Rice                                                       China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam

e. Maize                                                   US, China

Secondary economic activity is essentially manufacturing.  Secondary economic activities add value to raw materials and other manufactured materials by changing their form to create more useful and valuable products.  The increase in value explains why many secondary economic activities are called Ňvalue-addedÓ activities.  For example, I have a friend who is a cabinetmaker.  He adds value to boards by converting them into cabinets.

While the locations of primary economic activities (mining, forestry, agriculture) are largely determined by physical geography (climate, soil, vegetation and geology), manufacturing is more independent.  Manufacturing locations are influenced by several factors that can change rapidly: transportation, energy supply, labor supply, labor costs, fuel costs, tariffs, political stability.

3. The most productive manufacturing is mechanized.  Machines run on energy.  Where does energy come from? Use the maps between p. 73-75 to identify the geographical distribution of different energy sources.

Energy source (Reserves)                      Leading sources (List top 3 countries)____________________________

Coal:____________________________US, Russia, China_________________________________________

Petroleum:________________________Saudi Arabia, Canada, Iran

Natural gas: ______________________Russia, Iran, Qatar

Uranium: ________________________Australia, Kazakhstan, US

Hydroelectric capability: _____________China, US, Russia


4.  Now letŐs look at which countries lead in the production of these energy sources.

Energy source (Production)                    Leading sources (List top 3 countries)_____________________________________________________

Coal:____________________________China, US, India

Petroleum:________________________Saudi Arabia, Russia, US

Natural gas: ______________________Russia, US, Canada

Uranium: _________________________Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan

Hydroelectricity: _____________China, Canada, Brazil, _______________


 5. The structural skeleton of manufacturing has been steel and aluminum.  Which 4 countries lead in the production of raw steel (p. 71)? China, Japan, US, Russia

Which 5 countries lead in iron ore production?  (p. 70)? Brazil, Australia, China, India

Do these countries lead in production of steel?  Only China  Why? Or, why not? China does because it has energy for steel production 

What has happened to the USŐs share of steel production during the past 60 years? __It has decreased

Why? Because other countries have begun to produce steel more cheaply. 

6.  Which 4 countries lead in the production of aluminum (p. 68)? China, Russia, Canada, US,

What ore is the basic ingredient of aluminum? Bauxite 

What four countries lead in their reserves of this ore? Australia, Guinea, Brazil, Jamaica

Do these countries lead in production of aluminum?  Only Australia  Why? Or Why not? Energy availability

What map might help you explain this? Energy production maps


7. Please turn to p. 107.  This map gives us some idea in which sector of the economy US workers participate. Which pie slice is biggest in each of the cities represented?  Professional,  Business, Education and Health Services

Is this primary economic activity? __No__________________  Is this secondary economic activity? __No___________________________

What is it? ___It's the service economy that is classified as either tertiary or quaternary economic activity.

What would the pie charts have looked like 30 years ago?_Manufacturing, and Natural resources, Construction and Mining would be larger.

What will it look like in 30 years?   Why? Good question.  I think primary and secondary employment will become even less important to the US economy and employment in the service economy will continue to increase.  However, if energy prices skyrocket, we might see outsourced employment return to the US  because of an increase in transportation costs.