Some basic terminologies in Geography Part 1

Easting and Northings  

With reference to a point, the line or axes running from north to south are known as Eastings. Eastings indicate the distance east of the referenced point. Similarly, the line running from east to west are known as Northings because they indicate the distance north of the referenced point.

Contour lines

contour lines
contour lines

Contour lines are imaginary lines joining places of equal height above mean sea level. Contour lines make it possible to read areas of hills, valleys and level land on a map.

Contour lines that are very close together on a map indicate very steep slope. When these lines are far apart on a map, it indicate gentle slope. The absence of contour lines on the map indicate very flat land.



The top of a plateau is flat, characterized by very few contours while the sides are often steep which is characterized by contours close together.

Bench marks

Bench marks are basically fixed heights above mean sea level. They are indicated by the sign

    Bench marks are chiseled into stonework or walls of buildings.

Photographic maps

Photographic map

There are two types of photographic maps, Vertical; which is picture taken from an airplane and looking down vertically (90 degrees) and Oblique; taken at any position except vertical.


Scales can be represented in two ways on maps;

  1. As a statement scale such as ½ inch to 1 mile or
  2. Representative fraction (R.F), for example, 1: 253440, which means 1 inch to 253440 inches.  In R.F, the scale unit and what it represents are the same.



Gradient is the means of defining the slope of a land. It is calculated by measuring the horizontal distance between two points and dividing by vertical difference in height between the 2 points.


Can be defined as angular bearing measured from north in a clockwise direction.

Human geography

This is defined as the activity of man on the landscape for building settlement, farming, making routes, etc. to achieve the best results, man is usually guided by natural conditions of land and terrain.

How to Make Millet Starch at Home

Millet . two types of grains shown

Millet starch is produced from millet. It is a very cheap good food for children, particularly toddlers. You can make it at home if you have a blender.

Items you need prepare millet starch;

  1. Millet ( at least 1kg)
  2. Blender
  3. Clean buckets, bowls or container. (large enough to store and soak the millet grains)
  4. Water
  5. Sieving cloth bag


  1. Soak the millet with water inside a container for about 4 days. This is to soften the grains and make it easier to blend.
  2. Blend the millet grains. Using water, blend grains into a smooth paste as much as possible.
  3. Get ready clean water in a bucket or container up to half its capacity, and while holding the sieving cloth bag inside the bucket, pour the blended millet paste into it.
  4. You can use your left hand to seal the top of the sieve bag, and with the filled bottom part of the bag in water, wash and squeeze out the starch content into the water.
  5. Remove the shaft residue in the sieve bag.

You should sieve the blended millet paste little by little. You can even blend and then sieve, and repeat process until all millet grains is processed.

  • Wait a day for the starch to settle
  • Your millet starch is ready.
millet starch

How to make Palm Kernel Seed Oil at home

Palm kernel seed oil
Palm Kernel Seed Oil

Items you will need to make palm kernel seed oil

  1. Palm kernel seeds. To extract substantial quantity you will need up to 1 congo or seeds weighting about 1.5kg
  2. An old cooking pot
  3. A metal cooking spoon for stirring
  4. A cooking device, for example a camp gas or an electric cooker


This process generates a lot of white smoke, its safest doing this out doors at the backyard of your home.

Processing of palm seed oil

  1. The first step is to crush the palm kernel shells to remove the seeds. To extract a substantial amount of oil you will need up to 1.5kg of seeds.
  2. Put the seeds into a clean dry cooking pot and place on your activated cooking device. The process will generate a lot of smoke so put on your nose marks if necessary.
  3. Start stirring the seeds with a metal spoon. This is to distribute the cooking heat evenly across the seeds. Stirring should be done intermittently say every 30sec to 1min intervals.
  4. Keep stirring intermittently until. Smoke begin to form. This indicates oil is beginning to extract from the heated seeds.
  5. Keep on stirring, After substantial amount of oil is extracted you can pour into a metal bowl
  6. Continue the previous process until all oil in the seeds is extracted.
  7. When all oil in the seeds have been extracted the seed will look burnt inside out
  8. Finally let the oil cool down and pour into a clean plastic Bottle.
  9. You can extract over 250ml of oil from 1.5kg of seeds.

Understanding the Wire Colours connected to Electrical Appliances

Wire Colours connected to Electrical Appliances
wire colours

All electronic appliances comes attached with a power cable for connecting to electricity outlet in your house.The power cable may contain 2 or 3 wires. A power cable with 2 wire colours are in RED and BLUE. A power cable with 3 wires have the colours GREEN, RED and BLUE.

Meaning of the wire colours

The Wire colours have their meanings and It is briefly explained below;

Red colour : Live wire

Brown or Black colour : Live wire

Blue or White colour: Neural wire

Green or Yellow colour: Earth wire

In some places, the live wire is black in colour and the neutral wire is white.

The red or brown wire is “LIVE” as the name implies, electric current flows through this wire. The live wire supplies electric current to the appliance. You should take care when you handle this kind of wire. It can cause an electric shock

The blue wire is “NEUTRAL” . This wire do not give a shock upon touching it or show a red light through a tester. In reality it carries electric current back to the power source. It is the neutral wire that allows the current to alternate. Neutral wire is an integral component of an AC power system.

The green wire is “EARTH” . The purpose of this wire is to remove excess electric charges that might be on the connected appliance and drive them into the earth. It is good practice to earthen electrical appliances to prevent any form of electric shock upon contact. The Earth wire is usually connected to a metal rod driven into the ground.

Some electrical appliance come with just the live and neutral wire. This is Ok. But you are always at a risk of receiving electric shock from contact with the appliance when connected to electricity. This usually happens when the electrical appliance is faulty.

The live wire supplies current to the appliance, the neutral wire carries it back and the earth wire is to serve as protection from electric shock.

How to estimate the number of Blocks required for wall construction

On a construction site it may become necessary to estimate the number of blocks required for the construction of a wall. To do it correctly you will need to read the construction plan or building plan and section drawing. From the building plan you will need to know;

  1. The length of the wall
  2. The height of the wall
  3. The thickness of the wall
  4. Window or door spaces within the wall unit.

In most cases, the thickness of the wall is not required unless the wall thickness is greater than the width or thickness of the block.

How to estimate the number of blocks using AREA METHOD

This method requires that you know the number of blocks required to construct 1m2 of wall. For a normal block size of length 450mm, height 225mm, and width 225mm, with thickness of wall the same as the block, there is approximately 8 blocks per 1m2. Simply put; 8 blocks per m

The above result was obtained practically, however other calculations report a value of between 8-10 blocks per m2 .

How to practically obtain the number of blocks per unit area

calculating the no of blocks per square meter

You can obtain the result practically, look for an already constructed wall of similar type you want to build. The wall should still show the exposed block work, or is not yet rendered. Then with a builders square or builder’s level, draw a square of 1m dimension on the wall using a chalk or erasable material. The square you draw should have an area of 1m2 .Next, count the number of blocks that fall within the square. The result you get is the number of blocks per square meter. This method works for any size of block or brick.

Now that you have the amount of blocks per m2 , look at the building and section plan then calculate the area of the wall using the area formula of length x height .  From this wall area, deduct any area of door and window spaces. Finally multiply the wall area by number of blocks per unit area or per m2 . (note the unit)

Formula for number of blocks required = (Area of wall) X (no. of blocks per unit area)

Simple example;

length and height of wall to calculate area

A wall of length 5m and height 3m will have an area of

5m X 3m = 15m2

Therefore number of blocks = 15m2 X 8 = 120 Blocks.

How to estimate the number of blocks using DIMENSION METHOD

This method involve using the block dimensions to estimate the number of blocks required for a wall construction.

Lets assume you are required to estimate the number of blocks in foundation required to fence a plot of land. Block will be laid in stretcher bond. The height of wall in foundation being about 450mm. and we are to use block size of length 450mm, height 225mm, and width 225mm. The dimensions of the plot of land being 30m by 15m. Here is what you do;

Perimeter of plot of land;

2 X (30+15)m = 90m

Since the wall will be constructed in stretcher bond, you will just divide the perimeter of the plot of land by the length of the block;

90m / 0.45m = 200 blocks          ( note; 450mm is converted to m by dividing it by 1000)

This 200 blocks is the approximate number of blocks required for the 1st layer in foundation.

Since the height of wall in foundation is 450mm, it means we will have 2 layers of blocks in foundation i.e. 450mm / 225mm (height of block) = 2

Hence total blocks required for foundation is 200 blocks X 2 = 400 blocks

Engine Smoke

Black smoke:  when an engine smoke is black, it means there is too much fuel and less oxygen in the combustion space. Too much fuel in the combustion space also means flooding of the engine. Cars with fuel injectors don’t usually flood the engine.

car emitting black smoke

White smoke: when an engine emits white smoke, it means too much air in the engine and not enough fuel in the combustion space.

Blue smoke:  when an engine emits blue smoke, its means combustion of lubrication oil in the combustion space.