Vancouver's 5 Themes of Geography

Spencer Buckner

Absolute Location

Vancouver's absolute location is 49.25 N and 123.1 W.

Relative Location

Vancouver is 1324 miles away from Anchorage, Alaska, 1679 miles away from Dallas, TX, and 2732 miles away from Nuuk, Greenland. It is located in the south-western corner of Canada, north of Washington and south of Alaska.


Vancouver is bordered to the north and east by mountains, to the north by Vancouver Bay, to the west by the Strait of Georgia, and to the south by the Fraser River and Boundary Bay. 52% of Vancouverites do not speak English as their native language, and over 1/3 of Vancouver citizens are from South and East Asia, most prominently China.


In a formal region, one might create a United States and Canada region, which would include Vancouver. A functional region might very well be the Vancouver Metropolitan Area, which includes the city and the surrounding areas. A perceptual region, which also serves as what could be classified as a formal region is Cascadia, which includes Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.


People in Vancouver move by use of land, air, and sea. People move by land by using roads, such as the Trans-Canada highway and the British Columbia Highway 91, which run through Vancouver. The major airport that serves Vancouver is YVR, the Vancouver International Airport. Goods and people move through the Port Metro Vancouver, which handles sea traffic and is the largest port in Canada. Ideas can move through use of the internet and media, as well as on street signs and other forms of advertisement. The idea of decreasing urban sprawl in Vancouver has moved throughout time. Starting in the 1950s, this idea shaped Vancouver's physical geography by reducing sprawl, and focusing greatly on mid rises and high-rises in downtown Vancouver.

Human-Environment Interaction

As previously mentioned, Vancouverites take major advantage of the Strait of Georgia which borders the city to the west. This is used as a major shipping port out of the city, and is the largest of Canada. This shows how the physical geography has affected the way that the city has grown and earned money. Humans have affected the environment in multiple ways. Naturally, in a large urban area, pollution will be created. This is one affect that humans have had on the area that Vancouver is in. Another thing that humans have done to change the environment is building up and expanding the many islands that the city is located on. The airport, for one, is located on an island, and the land below it had to have been modified to support the airport.