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AP Human Geography Chapter 1 Key Terms

James M. Rubenstein
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Cartography
The science of making maps.
Cultural ecology
Graphic approach that emphasizes human-enviroment relationships.
Density
The frequency with which something exists within a given unit of area.
Diffusion
The process of spread of a feature or trend from one place to another over time.
Distance decay
The diminishing in importance and eventual disappearance of a phenomenon with increasing distance from its origin.
Distribution
The arrangement of something across Earth's surface.
Enviromental determinism
A nineteenth and early twentieth century approach to the study of geography that argued that the general laws sought by human geographers could be found in the physical sciences. Geography was therefore the study of how the physical enviroment caused human activities.
Formal region
(uniform or homogeneous region) An area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics.
Functional region
(nodal region) An area organized around a node or focal point.
GIS
A computer system that stores, organizes, analyzes, and displays geographic data.
Hearth
The region from which innovative ideas originate.
International Date Line
An arc that for the most part follows 180° longitude, although it deviates in several places to avoid dividing land areas. When you cross this heading east (toward America), the clock moves back 24 hours, or one entire day. When you go west (toward Asia), the calendar moves ahead one day.
Latitude
The numbering system used to indicate the location of parallels drawn on a globe and measuring distance north and south of the equator (0°).
Location
The position of anything on Earth's surface.
Longitude
The numbering system used to indicate the location of meridians drawn on a globe and measuring distance east and west of the prime meridian (0°).
Map
A two-dimensional, or flat, representation of Earth's surface or a portion of it.
Mercator projection
A projection where it's advantages are as follows: Shape is distorted very little, direction is consistent, and the map is rectangular. Disadvantages: area is grossly distorted toward the poles, making high-latitude places look much larger than they actually are.
Meridian
An arc drawn on a map between the North and South poles.
Parallel
A circle drawn around the globe parallel to the equator and at right angles to the meridians.
Place
A specific point on Earth distinguished by a particular character.
Possibilism
The theory that the physical enviroment may set limits on human actions, but people have the ability to adjust to the physical enviroment and choose a course of action from many alternatives.
Prime Meridian
The meridian, designated as 0° langitude, which passes through the Royal Observatory at Greenwhich, England.
Projection
The system used to transfer locations from Earth's surface to a flat map.
Remote sensing
The acquisition of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or other long-distance methods.
Robinson projection
A projection which is useful for displaying information across the ocean. The major disadvantage is that by allcating space to the oceans, the land areas are much smaller than on interrupted maps of the same size.
Scale
Generally, the relationship between the portion of Earth being studied and Earth as a whole, specifically the relationship between the size of an object on a map and the size of the actual feature on Earth's surface.
Site
The physical character of a place.
Situation
The location of a place relative to other places.
Space-time compression
The reduction in the time it takes to diffuse something to a distant place, as a result of improved communications and transportation systems.
Stimulus diffusion
The spread of an underlying principle, even though a specific characteristic is rejected.
Toponym
The name given to a portion of Earth's surface.
Vernacular region
(perceptual region) An area that people believe to exist as part of their cultural identity.