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Human Geography

The relationship between place and life.


Drew oldest surviving maps on clay tablets.


Science of map making.


People needed to know trade routes; therefore, the use of cartography emerged.


Laid the foundations of cartography; established three primary continents: Asia, Europe, and Libya (Africa).


Greek cartographer credited with making the first map.


Greek historian -- took Anaximander's map and wrote about countries and inhabitants of the unknown world.


Made an accurate computation of Earth's circumference; his calculation was 175km too long; he coined the term "geography".

Aristotle, Sacrates, Plato

Greek philosophers who believed the earth was round.


Noticed during an eclipse that Earth cast a circular shadow on the moon.

Ptolemy of Egypt

Cartography who published "Guide to Geography" -- rough maps of the landmasses as well as a grid system.

Phei Hsiu

Created first map of China.

Zheng He

Chinese explorer rumored to have reached the U.S .West Coast 72 years before Columbus.


Center of development; developed gunpowder, an advanced writing system, etc.; closed itself off to other countries.

Law of Retarding Lead

Civilizations that are more advanced eventually fall behind because they feel they have nothing to learn from other countries; later they need to catch up with others.

Muslim scholars

During Middle Ages, built upon Greek and Roman geographical knowledge.

Middle Ages (in Europe)

Europe closed itself off.


Age of Exploration.

Marco Polo

Explorer; fascinated others with his stories of other cultures (gems, textiles, spices, etc.) and inspired a new wave of explorers.

Gerardus Mercator

First world map that accurately identifies seven continents; universities in Europe start teaching geography as a formal discipline.

Environmental Determinism

Culture is direct product of environment; theory was rejected in 1930s for being prejudiced.


Possiblist approach; humans are not products of their environment but possess the skills necessary to modify their environment to fit their needs.

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