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Agricultural Density

The ratio of the number of farmers to the total amount of land suitable for agriculture.

Arithmetic Density

The total number of people divided by the total land area.

Contagious Diffusion

The rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend throughout a population.

Cultural Ecology

Geographic approach that emphasizes human-environment relationships.

Cultural Landscape

fashioning of a natural landscape by a cultural group


The body of customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits that together constitute a group of people's distinct tradition.


The frequency with which something exists within a given unit of area.


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.


The arrangement of something across Earth's surface.

Environmental 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 environment caused human activities.

Expansion Diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process.

Formal Region

(or uniform or homogeneous region) an area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics

Functional Region

An area organized around a node or focal point


Actions or processes that involve the entire world and result in making something worldwide in scope


the region from which innovative ideas originate

Hierarchical Diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend from one key person or node of authority or power to other persons or places.

Mental Map

An internal representation of a portion of Earth's surface based on what an individual knows about a place, containing personal impressions of what is in a place and where places are located.


The geometric or regular arrangement of something in a study area.

Physiological Density

The number of people per unit of area of arable land, which is land suitable for agriculture.


The theory that the physical environment may set limits on human actions, but people have the ability to adjust to the physical environment and choose a course of action from many alternatives.

Relocation Diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend through bodily movement of people from one place to another.


The physical character of a place


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.

Vernacular Region

(or perceptual region) An area that people believe to exist as part of their cultural identity.

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