37 terms


Def: area
Sig: space, or spatial analysis, is the heart of geography(like time is to historians)
Def: the system used to transfer locations from earth's surface to a flat map
Sig: it will always cause distortion (direction, area, distance, shape, and/or proximity)
Def: problems created when "flattening" the earth (distance, direction, area, shape & proximity)
Ex: the mercator projection heavily distorts area at the higher latitudes
Def: the size of something
- in cartography it's the ratio of the size of the map to what it represents
- The scale of inquiry refers to the extent of an area being analyzed or discussed (local, global, etc.)
Sig: scales are often interrelated (local affects global and vise versa) and vary (the US is wealthy but regions within the US are not)
Def: a computer system which could collect, store, retrieve and depict spatial date from the real world.
Ex: Google maps use various data to help us locate, navigate and determine commute time to various locations.
- Def: GPS is an example of a "satellite navigation system" which helps us determine absolute location of something.
• Ex: GPS can help us locate or track tagged animals or packages.
Global Positioning System
Def: the scanning of the earth's surface by satellite or a high flying airplane to obtain information about it.
Ex: it's used to see urban sprawl, shrinking ice caps and deforestation
Remote Sensing
Def: facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something
Ex: -Geospatial(geographic or spatial info)
-Qualitative(non-measurable info)
-Quantitative(measurable/numbered info)
Def: an exact position of an object or place in relation to a conventional grid system
Ex: GPS, addresses, township & range
Absolute Location
Def: the physical character of a place
Sig: a place's natural harbor or fertile lands could spur settlement and economic development
The advantages and disadvantages of a place due to its position in relation to that of other places (the successful cheetos store is located next to hami)
Sig: it helps us understand interconnectivity of places
Situation (Relative Location)
Def: the name of a place
Sig: it can tell us about the original settlers or the development at the time of the naming
Def: the fashioning of natural landscape by a cultural group
Sig: the cultural landscape can tell us about a society's culture, economic development, etc.
Cultural Landscape
Def: latitudes circle the map east-west (e.g. equator). Longitudes stretch from pole to (prime meridian)
Ex: latitude affects climates while longitude affects time zone. Both help navigate
Latitude & Longitude
Def: the uniqueness of a location.
Sig: Use physical & cultural characteristics to describe place.
Def: Using techniques like field observations & photographic interpretations to help understand people, places and regions; helps see interconnections between and among places and regions (and humans and environment)
Sig: precipitation maps help predict future famine
Landscape Analysis
Def: the idea that the physical environment is the principle cause of human activity
Sig: many argue it doesn't factor in how culture promotes or prohibits human activity too.
Environmental Determinism
Def: the idea that physical environment sets limits but people have the ability to adjust the environment and make choices
Sig: it argues that culture plays a major roll in human activity
Def: US geographer who promoted the importance of culture and the cultural landscape
Sig: He focused attention away from the physical environment
Carl Sauer
Def: German geographer associated with environmental determinism
Sig: argued that culture was a product of environment
Carl Ritter
Def: The process where locations become similar or connected in some way (and different from other regions)
Sig: This may lead to an improved economy through specialization and connectivity(e.g. steel belt) or the breakup of a country (the confederacy)
Def: A region where everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics
Ex: The wheat belt or California
Formal Region
Def: An area organized around a node or focal point
Ex: newspaper delivery area or a grocery store customer zone
Functional Region
Def: An area that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity
Ex: the south or the hood
Perceptual Region
It refers to whether a feature is spread out evenly over space or clustered together
-clustered/agglomerated=objects are close
-dispersed/scattered=objects are far apart
Geometric arrangement of a feature in space
Ex: geometric pattern (square, rectangle, circular) or irregular/no pattern
The total number of objects in an area
Ex: 1,000 people per square mile
Actions or processes that involve the entire world and result in making something worldwide in scope.
Sig: we're becoming more and more alike as politics, economics and culture globalizes (with a backlash)
A place from which an innovation originates
Ex: rice agriculture's hearth is thought to be in Southeast Asia
The spread of an idea through the physical movement of people (not expansion)
Ex: the Spanish brought catholicism with them to the New World
Relocation Diffusion
the spread of a feature from one place to another in a snowballing process
Sig: the total number of knowers or users increase
Expansion Diffusion
The spread of a feature from person/place of authority to another place (expansion)
Ex: fashion trends jump from Milian to Paris to NY
Hierarchical Diffusion
A rapid widespread diffusion of a feature throughout the population (expansion)
Ex: the common flu
Contagious Diffusion
The spread of an underlying idea while the specific trait is rejected (expansion)
Siberians domesticated the reindeer after exposure to the domestication of cattle
Stimulus Diffusion
The decline of an activity or function with increasing distance from its origin
Ex: LA times readership decreased as you move farther from LA
Distance decay
Def: applying spatial concepts to understand phenomena across an area
Ex: diffusion, regionalization, interaction, isolation, etc.
Spatial Thinking
The idea that places move closer together in travel or communication time or costs (due to improved technology & globalization)
Ex: Overland travel b/t Boston and NY was reduced from 3.5 days to % hours (1800-2000s)
Time-Space Compression