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Unit 1 Vocab

human geography

One of the two major divisions of geography; the spatial analysis of human population, their cultures, activities, and landscapes.

physical / natural geography

One of the two major divisions of systematic geography; the spatial analysis of the structure, processes, and location of Earth's natural phenomena such as climate, soil, plants, animals, and topography.

absolute location

The position of place of a certian item on the surface of the Earth expressed by global coordinates


A term that refers to a part of the Earth's surface with less specificity than region


The line or plane indicating the limit or extent of something

environmental geography

A subdivision of geography concerned with the realtionships and interactions between humans and the environment.

environmental perception

The total impression individuals have of their surroundings which creates a mental map.

formal region

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

functional region

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

geographic information systems

A collection of computer hardware and software that permits spatial data to be collected, recorded, stored, retrieved, manipulated, and displayed to the user.


The organization of people at different ranks that does down, ex: continent, country, state, city.


The overall appearance of an area. Most _______ are comprised of a combination of natural and human-induced influences.

relative location

The regional position or situation of a place relative to the position of other places


a two-dimensional, or flat, representation of Earth's surface or a portion of it

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.


a customary way of operation or behavior

perceptual region

A region that only exists as a conceptualization or an idea and not as a physically demarcated entity.

regional science

disipline that emphasizes the application of modern spatial analytical techniques to the delimitation of regions & the analysis of regional problems & issues.

remote sensing

A method of collecting data or information through the use of instruments (satellites is an example) that are physically distant from the area or object of study.

spatial perspective

they way geographers look at everything-- in relation to space, An intellectual framework that looks at the particular locations of specific phenomena, how and why that phenomena is where it is, and, finally, how it is spatially related to phenomena in other places.


the spatial property of being scattered about over an area or volume


Cultural modification resulting from intercultural borrowing, usually when a less advanced people borrow from more advanced people


the process by which minorities gradually adopt patterns of the dominant culture, losing their's.


a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations)

contagious diffusion

A form of expansion diffusion in which nearly all adjacent individuals and places are affected

cultural diffusion

The spread of ideas, customs, and technologies from one people to another

cultural landscape

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


the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.

culture complex

a combination of various culture traits.

culture hearth

Heartland, source area, innovation center; place of origin of a major culture.

culture realm

A collective of culture regions sharing related culture systems; a major world area having sufficient distinctiveness to be perceived as a set apart from other realms in terms of cultural characteristics and complexes.

culture region

A formal or functional region within which common cultural characteristics prevail.

culture system

Cultural complexes have traits in common such as ethnicity, language, religion and others

culture trait

A single, distinguishing feature of regular occurrence within a culture, such as the use of chopsticks or the observance of a particular caste system. A single element of learned behavior.


the spread of ideas from one culture to another

enviornmental determinism

human behavior, individually and collectively, is strongly affected by---even controlled or determined by----the physical environment; i.e. why Britain dominated the globe

expansion diffusion

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

hierachial diffusion

a form of diffusion in which an idea or innovation spreads by passing first among the most connected places or people

independent invention

the term for a trait with many cultural hearths that developed independent of each other


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.

sequent occupance

The notion that successive societies leave their cultural imprints on a place, each contributing to the cumulative cultural landscape.

stimulus diffusion

a form of diffusion in which a cultural adaptation is created as a result of the introduction of a cultural trait from another place


Two cultures equally function as sources and adopters

Folk Culture

Culture traditionally practiced by a small, homogeneous, rural group living in relative isolation from other groups.

Popular Culture

Culture found in a large, heterogeneous society that shares certain habits despite differences in other personal characteristics.


the process though which something is given monetary value

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