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Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceHomework Help · 1 decade ago

Human Geography Question?

can arrows on a map show the numbers of ppl or intensity of traffic on routes?

3 Answers

  • bpiguy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes they can, and they're often used this way, especially in history textbooks. Wide arrows show high traffic or large numbers of people, while narrower or lighter arrows show fewer numbers of people. Here are some examples:

    In the slave trade, most were transported to the Caribbean or to South America from Africa. They use a wide arrow for this. Fewer were transported from Africa to North America. They use a narrower arrow for this.

    In lots of wars, for example, the American Civil War and both World Wars, they have diagrams of various battles. In these battles, they show the movement of troops with wide or narrow arrows. Wide arrows show the main assaults, while narrow arrows show diversionary or secondary troop movements.

    And a third example shows the mass migrations of people. Before the Fall of Rome, some arrows show the movement of Huns from Central Asia into Northern Europe; others show Goths, Visigoths, Franks, and other Teutonic tribes fleeing the Huns toward Southern Europe. The size of the arrows shows the number of people involved.

    Maps with wide and narrow arrows show the immigration of groups into the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They'll indicate how many people came from Italy, Poland and Eastern Europe, China and the Orient, Ireland, and so on.

    Major and minor trade routes also use the same technique. Across the Pacific and through the Indian Ocean, there were trade routes connecting to San Francisco or to Acapulco, Mexico; or via the Straits of Malacca, thence around the Cape of Good Hope to Europe. On these routes, the volume of trade is indicated by the width of the arrows.

    There are many more examples like these, but you get the idea.

  • 1 decade ago

    Sure. Typically the key will tell you about numbers connected with the width or color or pattern of the arrow. Width is a reasonable item, especially if we are talking ancient routes generally done on carts or on foot. Think of the Oregon Trail. Part of it consists of very deep ruts, still visible today, where the wagons, for reasons of safety, followed one another's wheel marks intentionally. The guy ahead already knows that is a safe route. Well, if you are talking migration that took place over a much longer period of time, those rut marks would not survive. The Oregon Trail may seem long ago to someone in the US, but tell the dates to someone in central Asia, they will call that very recent. They've been taking treks of one sort or another all over that land for many, many centuries. So a broad arrow will also indicate a lot of people take a lot of time. They won't stay in one another's wheel ruts.

  • 1 decade ago


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