miércoles, 15 de octubre de 2014

Talking point: Maps and geography

This week's talking point is maps and geography. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas flow more easily when you meet up with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
  • Is geography an interesting subject for you?
  • How can studying geography help humanity?
  • How many names of famous explorers from the past do you remember? What did they achieve?
  • Do you have a good sense of direction?
  • Do you like using maps?
  • Do you find them easy to use?
  • How have Google Earth and Google maps improved the traditional two-dimensional maps? Do you know how to use them?
  • Have you ever used a navigator when driving? Do you find them easy to use?
  • Do you know how to use a compass?
  • Have you ever taken part in games like orienteering which use maps to reach a point?
  • Imagine that you are going to travel around the world on a sailing ship without electronic equipment or satellite help. What are the most important things you would expect from your map?
  • How would your maps be different if, instead of sailing, you are going to book a plane seat  to different countries on business trips?
  • Why do world maps have north at the top? How useful are they in countries like Australia?
  • When you see a map of the world, do you consider it an honest, factual representation of the globe? Why might a map not show the whole truth?
    To illustrate the topic, watch this video clip in which someone explains how to use a Tomtom One Satellite Navigation system.

    You can do a listening activity based on the video on this blog post.

    How to use a GPS
    Hello there. This is the Tom-tom One Satellite Navigation Unit. I’m going to give you a review about how to use it. You push the button up on the top and hold it until the screen lights up, and then it will track the satellites. So it’s… the blue arrow is where we are, and it’s showing us a map of the roads ahead.
    You push, you touch the screen and it brings up the main menu, and here you go navigate too. And then you if you’re going to an address that you’ve never been to before, you push “address” and then you can choose from these four. If it’s, you’re going to do it through a postcode, if you’re going to the city centre, and this is a street and a house number or crossing an intersection. I mostly use the postcode and the street and house number. Or if I’m going into a city, I just push city.
    So then I go to “press postcode” and it gives me the postcode. So if I press this one… The postcode is coming up up there. You don’t need the space, and then it will bring you up all the possible streets under that and you need to select them. If you can’t see it in the top two, you push that arrow, and it brings you up all of the once. And then you press “back” again. That’s Lower High Street, I know that because that’s where I live. I push it and it asks me for the number. I put the number… (16). And then it brings you up the choice of which route you want to go. The fastest route, shortest route, avoiding motorways, walking route, bicycle route or limited speed. I always go for the fastest route. I press “done”, it calculates the distance. Gives me a brief view of the map how I’m going to go. It says it’s going to take seven minutes, it’s 2.4 miles. Then I press “done”, and here it tells me which way to go. And down here it tells you the time that it is now, which is quarter past seven and the time that I’m going to arrive approximately. Here it tells you what’s the next turn, which in 170 yards. And down there it tells you the speed that you’re doing. And then I put it up on the… I plug it in to make sure…there it tells you there are satellites that are locating it, at the bottom right.
    If I push that, that’s for the volume, you just push that…
    Navigator voice: At the end of the road, turn right, then take the second right.
    …that’s the volume, and there it goes again, it goes back. If I press this, it gives me details of the route. There’s the address that I’m going to. That’s the battery there. It’s not charging now, because the engine is not on, and again it shows me the time it will take me and the distance. Press “done” and… if it says… if you’re driving in the night, you’ll want to change this screen to night vision, which is a lot softer (in your eyes) for your eyes. So you press “change preferences” use night colours, and it brings you out like this. Which I am, always use it like that. And you can add a favorite, navigate to, find alternative routes… That’s more of the menu here. That’s if you want to clear the route, so it says “no route plan” this you can leave it there until you know where else you want to go,… to prepare your route… That’s it.