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Absolute Location

The definitive location of a place based on coordinates


The ability to reach a place with respect to another place.


The process of adopting the cultural traits or social patterns of another group

Activity Space

A daily routine where someone goes through a regular sequence of short moves within a local area.

Age Distribution

The distribution of different age groups in a population


When many companies from the same industry cluster closer to draw from the same set of resources


pertaining to farmers, rural, agriculture


The businesses collectively associated with the production, processing and distribution of agricultural products

Agricultural Density

The number of farmers per unit area of arable land

Agricultural Location Model

4 general types of economic and agricultural activities, categorized according to relative economic yield per unit area and perishability or difficulty of delivering products to market.

Ancillary Activities

Economic activities that surround large-scale industries


Local religious traditions, mostly from Africa and the Americas, in which the world is seen as being infused with spiritual and even supernatural powers.


Legally adding territory to the US or other state

Antecedent Boundary

When a boundary is given to a region before it is populated


Human-centered OR Ideas that focus solely on the needs of people without considering the creatures with whom we share the ecosystem


Racial segregation, a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa

Arithmetic Density

The number of people living in a given area


The incorporation or conversation of nutrients into protoplasm that in animals follows digestion and absorption and in higher plants involves photosynthesis and root absorbtion


process by which a state breaks down through conflicts among its ethnicities


the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole)


A form of technology that uses living organisms, usually genes, to modify products, to make or modify plants and animals, or to develop other microorganisms for specific purposes.


A process by which real estate agents convince white property owners to sell their houses at low prices because of fear that black families will soon move into the neighborhood.

Brain Drain

The emigration of highly trained or intelligent people from a particular country

Break-of-Bulk Point

A location where transfer is possible from one mode of transportation to another.


System of belief that seeks to explain ultimate realities for all people such as the nature of suffering and the path toward self-realization

Buffer State

A relatively small country sandwiched between two larger powers. The existence of buffer states may help to prevent dangerous conflicts between powerful countries

Bulk-Reducing Industry

An industry in which the final product weighs less or comprises a lower volume than the inputs.

Carrying Capacity

largest number of individuals of a population that a environment can support


The theory and practice of making visual representations of Earth's surface in the form of maps


a social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank or profession or wealth

Census Tract

Small country subdivisions, usually containing between 2,500 and 8,000 persons, delineated by the US Census Bureau as areas of relatively uniform population characteristics, economic status, and living conditions.

Central Business District

The downtown or nucleus of a city where retail stores, offices, and cultural activities are concentrated; building densities are usually quite high; and transportation systems converge.

Central Place Theory

A theory formulated by Walter Christaller in the early 1900s that explains the size and distribution of cities in terms of a competitive supply of goods and services to dispersed populations.


To bring to a center, to concentrate by placing power and authority in a center or central organization

Centrifugal Force

Forces that tend to divide a country

Centripetal Force

Forces that tend to unite or bind a country together

Chain Migration

The migration event in which individuals follow the migratory path of preceding friends or family members to an existing community.

Chemical Farming

increased use of fertilizers with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The development of higher-yield crops has produced: a 'miracle wheat seed" which is shorter and stiffer, less sensitive to variation in day length, responds better to fertilizers, and matures faster; a similar miracle rice seed, that was heartier and has increased yields; a high-yield corn seed is currently being developed.


any of various nontoxic, nonflammable organic compounds containing carbon, fluorine, chlorine, and hydrogen, used for plastic foam, as a refrigerant, etc.: these compounds are thought to damage the ozone layer


An autonomous state consisting of a city and surrounding territory


A population group unified by a specific common characteristic, such as age, and subsequently treated as a statistical unit.

Collective Farm

under communism, a large, state-owned farm on which farmers received wages plus a share of products and profits; also called a kolkhoz.

Commercial Agriculture

Agriculture undertaken primarily to generate products for sale off the farm.

Compact State

A state in which the distance from the center to any boundary does not vary significantly.

Concentric Zone Model

A model of the internal structure of cities in which social groups are spatially arranged in a series of rings.


A form of an international organization that brings several autonomous states together for a common purpose


A philosophy of ethics, education, and public service based on the writings of Confucius and traditionally thought of as one of the core elements of Chinese culture


the degree of economic, social, cultural, or political connection between two places


Core countries have high levels of development, a capacity at innovation and a convergence of trade flows. Periphery countries usually have less development and are poorer countries.

Counter Urbanization

net migration for urban to rural areas in more developed countries

Contagious Diffusion

The spread of a disease, innovation, or cultural traits through direct contact with another person or another place.

Crop Rotation

The practice of rotating use of different fields from crop to crop each year, to avoid exhausting the soil.

Cultivation Regions

regions in which large amounts of agriculture take place

Cultural Adaptation

Adjusting a translation based on the cultural environment of the target language

Cultural Convergence

The tendency for cultures to become more alike as they increasingly share technology and organizational structures in a modern world united by improved transportation and communication

Cultural Identity

Ones belief in belonging to a group or certain cultural aspect

Cultural Landscape

The human-modified natural landscape specifically containing the imprint of a particular culture or society

Cyclic Movement

movement that has a closed route and is repeated annually or seasonally


An agricultural activity involving the raising of livestock, most commonly cows and goats, for dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter.


Degree to which decision-making authority is given to lower levels in an organization's hierarchy.

Demographic Equation

The formula that calculates population change. The formula finds the increase (or decrease) in a population. The formula is found by doing births minus deaths plus (or minus) net migration. This is important because it helps to determine which stage in the demographic transition model a country is in.

Demographic Momentum

this is the tendency for growing population to continue growing after a fertility decline because of their young age distribution. this is important because once this happens a country moves to a different stage in the demographic transition model.

Demographic Transition Model

A sequence of demographic changes in which a country moves from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates through time.

Dependency Ratio

The number of people under the age of 15 and over age 64, compared to the number of people active in the labor force.

Dependency Theory

States that LDCs tend to have a higher dependency ratio, the ratio of the number of people under 15 or over 64 to the number in the labor force.


The process by which fertile land becomes desert,typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or agriculture.


The process of economic growth, expansion or realization of regional resource potential


the delegation of authority (especially from a central to a regional government)


the process of spread of a feature or trend from one place to another over time.

Dispersed Settlement

A rural settlement pattern characterized by isolated farms rather than clustered villages.

Distance Decay

The diminishing in importance and eventual disappearance of a phenomenon with increasing distance from its origin.

Domino Theory

the idea that political destabilization in one country can lead to collapse of political stability in neighboring countries, starting a chain reaction of collapse

Doubling Time

The time required for a population to double in size.

Economic Base

A community's collection of basic industries.


The portion of Earth's surface occupied by permanent human settlement.

Edge City

City that is located on the outskirts of larger cities and serves many of the same functions of urban areas, but in a sprawling, decentralized suburban environment.

Emerging Cities

City currently without much population but increasing in size at a fast rate


Any small and relatively homogeneous group or region surrounded by another larger and different group or region


A bounded territory that is still part of a state, but is separated from it by the territory of a different state


A trading post where merchandise can be imported and exported without paying import duties

Environmental Determinism

A doctrine that claims that cultural traits are formed and controlled by environmental conditions.

Epidemiological Transition Model

A model that shows a distinct cause of death in each stage of the demographic transition model

Ethnic Religion

Religion that is identified with a particular ethnic or tribal group and that does not seek new converts

European Union

international organization comprised of Western European countries to promote free trade among members

Exclusive Economic Zone

area in which resources found up to 200 nautical miles offshore belong exclusively to the geographically bordering country

Expansion Diffusion

the spread of ideas, innovations, fashion, or other phenomena to surrounding areas through contact and exchange.


A system in which power is divided between the national and state governments


a process of change in the use of a house, from single-family owner occupancy to abandonment


the splitting of atoms which releases tremendous amounts of energy and is used to start the chain reaction of an atomic explosion

Food Chain

a series of events in which one organism eats another and obtains energy

Food Manufacturing

the mass production of food products from raw animal and plan materials utilizing the principles of food technology

Forced Migration

The migration event in which individuals are forced to leave a country against their will

Foreign Direct Investment

investing in United States businesses by foreign citizens (often involves stock ownership of the business)

Formal Region

an area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics

Forward Capitol

A capitol city paced in a remote or peripheral area for economic, strategic or symbolic reasons

Fragmented State

A state that is not a contiguous whole but rather separated parts

Friction of Distance

A measure of how much absolute distance affects the interaction between two places.

Functional Region

a region defined by the particular set of activities or interactions that occur within it


Literal interpretation and strict adherence to basic principles of a religion


A nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy

Gender Equity

a measure of the opportunities given to women compared to men within a given country

Gender-Related Development Index

Compares the level of development of women with that of both sexes


the restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle class (resulting in the displacement of lower-income people)


The study of the interplay between political relations and the territorial context in which they occur

Geothermal Energy

Energy derived from the heat in the interior of the Earth


The designation of voting districts so as to favor a particular political party or candidate

GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

Collection of computer hardware and software permitting spatial data to be collected, recorded, stored, retrieved, used and displayed


The idea that the world is becoming increasingly interconnected on a global scale such that smaller scales of political and economic life are becoming obsolete


Global Positioning System
A set of satellites used to help determine location anywhere on Earth's surface with a portable, electronic device

Gravity Model

A mathematical formula that describes the level of interaction between two places, based on the size of their populations and their distance from each other

Gross Domestic Product

(GDP) The total value of goods and services produced within the borders of a country during a specific time period, usually one year


Pilgrimage to Mecca; one of the five pillars of Islam


The region from which innovation ideas originate. Relates the concept of spreading ideas from one area to another

Heartland/Rimland Theories

**Rimland: Theory that the domination of the coastal fringes of Eurasia would provide the base for world conquest
** Heartland: Hypothesis that any political power based in the heart Eurasia could gain enough strength to eventually achieve world domination

Hierarchical Diffusion

The spread of an idea from persons or nodes of authority or power to other persons or places


A cohesive and unique society, mostly prevalent in India that integrates spiritual beliefs with daily practices, and official institutions such as the caste system

Human Development Index (HDI)

Indicator of level of development for each country, constructed by United Nations, combining income, literacy, education, and life expectancy.

Immigrant State

An immigrant state is a type of receiving state which is the target of many immigrants. Immigrant states are popular because of their economy, political freedom, and opportunity. One example would be the USA.

Infant Mortality Rate

The total number of deaths in a year among infants under one year old for every 1,000 live births in a society.

Intensive Agriculture

A form of subsistence agriculture in which farmers must expend a relatively large amount of effort to produce the maximum feasible yield from a parcel of land.

Intervening Opportunity

The presence of a nearer opportunity that greatly diminishes the attractiveness of sites farther away.


A monotheistic religion based on the belief that there is one God, Allah and that Muhammed was Allah's prophet. Based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia- birthplace of Muhammed


a geographic boundary within which a particular linguistic feature occurs


A religion of India originating in the 6th century BC and teaching liberation of the soul by right knowledge,faith and conduct


The first major monotheistic religion. It is based on a sense of ethnic identity, and its adherents tend to form tight-knit communities wherever they live.

Less Developed Country

Also known as a developing country, a country that is at a relatively early stage in the process of economic developement.

Lingua Franca

a language mutually understood and commonly used in trade by people who have different native languages

Literacy Rate

The percentage of a country's people who can read and write.


incomplete, inadequate, or faulty adaptation


Factories built by US companies in Mexico near the US border to take advantage of much lower labor costs in Mexico.

Market Gardening

the growing of vegetables or flowers for market


the process of replacing animal and human power with machine power

Micropolitan Statistical Area

An urbanized area of between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants, the county in which it is found, and adjacent counties tied to the city.


A state or territory that is small in both size and population.

Mineral Fuels

Hydrocarbons, primarily coal, fuel oil, or natural gas formed from the remains of dead plants and animals


Belief in a single God
Belief in many or several Gods

More Developed Country

A highly industrialized country characterized by significant technological development, high per capita income, and low population growth rates.


Number of deaths in a given time or place; proportion of deaths to population

Multinational State

Country with two+ ethnicities within its borders

Muslim Pilgrimage

If physically and financially able, a Muslim makes a pilgrimage to Makkah. (Mecca) They usually make the trip around Ramadan. This pilgrimage is also referred to as Hajj. It is important because Islam is one of the most popular religions practiced around the world.


A state whose territory corresponds to that occupied by a particular ethnicity that has been transformed into a nationality

Natural Increase Rate

The difference between the number of births and number of deaths within a particular country.


the economic and political dominance of the least industrialized nations by the most industrialized nations


Present-day adherents to a position - established by Malthus in the nineteenth century - that population growth outstrips limited natural resources and presents the single greatest driver of environmental degradation and crisis

Nomadic Herding

The raising of livestock for food by moving herds from place to place to find pasture and water.

Nucleated Settlement

a number of families live in close proximity to each other, with fields surrounding the collection of houses and farm buildings


The number of a people in an area exceeds the capacity of the environment to support life at a decent standard of living.


an epidemic that is geographically widespread


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

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