Human Environment - Settlement, Transport and Communication
Settlement : Chapter Summary
Settlements are areas where people build homes to live. The location where people construct buildings or develop a settlement is called a site. The initial settlements were usually around river valleys which gradually expanded to form civilizations.
Settlements can be either temporary or permanent. The settlements which are occupied for a short period are called temporary settlements while the permanent settlements are those which are occupied for a long period of time. However, people who rear livestock are always moving in search of new grazing ground as per the season. This seasonal movement is called transhumance.
Settlements can be further classified as, rural and urban settlements. The village settlements are known as rural settlements while the towns and cities have urban settlements.
Rural settlements can be further classified into five types i.e. Compact settlements, Scattered settlements, Circular settlements, Radial settlements and Linear settlements. In a compact settlement, the houses are built very close to each other and around a central point like a market. This settlement is also known as a nucleated settlement.
In scattered settlements, the houses are built far from each other. This settlement is usually found in hilly or forested areas. Circular settlements are generally found in areas where the livelihood of people is dependent on a water body. The houses are built around the water body giving the settlement a circular shape.
Radial settlements are those where streets develop in every direction around a common point and give it a star-like appearance. A settlement where the houses are built along a transport route is called as linear settlement.
Houses in rural areas are built according to the type of environment they live in. Areas where the rain water gets collected, houses are built on raised platforms, to protect the house from getting damaged from the accumulated water. This type of house is called a slit house.
Urban settlements can be classified in six types i.e. Administrative cities, Defence cities, Culturalcities, Mining cities, Religious cities and Market cities. Administrative cities are those where the administrative activities related to a particular region or country are conducted. Defence cities are cities where military activities take place.
Urban settlements which are famous for culture, art and education are called cultural cities. Settlements which develop around areas where mineral deposits are found eventually form the mining cities.
Religious cities as the name says are famous for religious activities while market cities are those where the economy revolves around the exchange, distribution and collection of goods and services.
Transport : Chapter Summary
Transport is the system of vehicles, like buses and trains, which take goods or people from one place to another. In the initial days, people travelled from one place to another, either on foot or by riding animals. Early traders in other countries used either land route or sea route to travel to India.
The four major modes of transport are Roadways, Railways, Waterways and Airways. Among the four modes roads are the most commonly used, especially for travelling at short distances. Roads are either metalled or un-metalled. The metalled roads are made of tar and have a hard surface seen in towns and cities while the un-metalled roads are mud roads mostly seen in villages.
Roads that are constructed underground are called subways or underpaths while roads that are constructed above the ground are called flyovers or overpasses.
Railways another mode of transport, carry people and goods from one place to another in a short period of time at less cost. After the industrial revolution steam engines have been replaced by diesel and electric engines.
Plains have a flat surface, so railway lines were easily laid on them. However, now the railway lines are also being laid in the mountainous regions.
Waterways are another vital mode of transport which is both cost effective and reliable used for transporting bulk material over long distances. There are two types of waterways: Inland waterways and
Sea routes. Large and navigable rivers and lakes form inland waterways while sea routes are mainly used for carrying passengers and cargo from one country to another.
Like railways, ports connect different sea routes of the world and are usually located in cities that are close to the sea coast. However, currently, airways are the fastest mode of transport. Though an expensive mode, it is the only mode of transport which can reach places that have no roads or railway lines. Sometimes, air traffic can be affected by bad weather like fog, mist and storm.
Modes of Communication : Chapter Summary
Communication is a process of conveying information, opinions or thoughts by speech, writing or signs. In the ancient times, messages were sent with the help of birds, blowing trumpets or beating drums. The process of communicating with a large number of people is known as mass communication. Newspaper, television, radio and internet are some important means of mass communication.
Semaphore is a visual way of communication invented for making maritime trade easy, where information is conveyed with the help of hand-held flags. After this, the Morse Code and the telegraph were invented.
Later inventions like telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell and electronic mail (e-mail), have brought about an information revolution. Satellites also have made communication easier by enabling audio and video transmission. Satellites have helped largely in survey of forests, locating underground water and minerals, and even for exploring oil.
Satellites also help in general weather forecast and in early disaster warning, like storms and tsunamis.