68 terms

1: Basic Concepts => Terms

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Abiotic
Composed of non-living or inorganic matter.
Atmosphere
The thin layer of gases surrounding Earth.
Biosphere
All living organisms on Earth, including plants and animals, as well as microorganisms.
Biotic
Composed of living organsms.
Cartography
The science of making maps.
Climate
The long-term average weather condition at a particular location.
Concentration
The spread of something over a given area.
Connection
Relationships among people and objects across the barrier of space.
Conservation
The sustainable management of a natural resource.
Contagion Diffusion
The rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend throughout a population.
Cultural Ecology
A geographic approach that emphasizes human-environmental relationships.
Cultural Landscape
The fashioning of a natural landscape by a cultural group.
Culture
The body of customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits that together constitute a group's distinct tradition.
Density
The frequency with which something exists within a given unit of area.
Diffusion
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.
Distribution
The arrangement of something across Earth's surface.
Ecology
The scientific study of ecosystems.
Ecosystem
A group of living organisms and the abiotic spheres with which they interact.
Environmental Determinism
A nineteenth- and early twentieth-century approach to the study of geography which 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 an additive process.
Formal Region (or uniform or homogeneous region)
An area in which everyone shares a common one or more characteristics.
Functional Region (or nodal region)
An area organized around a node or focal point.
Geographic Information Science (GIScience)
The development and analysis of data about Earth acquired through satellite and other electronic information technologies.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
A computer system that stores, organizes, analyzes, and displays geographic data.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
A system that determines the precise position of something on Earth through a series of satellites, tracking stations, and receivers.
Globalization
Actions or processes that involve the entire world and result in making something worldwide in scope.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
The time in the zone encompassing the prime meridian, or 0° longitude.
Hearth
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 toother persons or places.
Housing Bubble
A rapid increase in the value of houses followed by a sharp decline in their value.
Hydrosphere
All of the water on and near Earth's surface.
International Date Line
An arc for the most part that follows 180° longitude, although it deviates in several places to avoid dividing land areas. When you cross the International Date Line heading east (toward the Americas), the clock moves back 24 hours, or one entire day. When you go west (toward Asia), the calendar moves ahead one day.
Latitude
The numbering system used to indicate the location of parallels drawn on a globe and measuring distance north and south of the equator. (0°)
Lithosphere
Earth's crust and a portion of upper mantle directly below the crust.
Location
The position of anything on Earth's surface.
Longitude
The numbering system used to indicate the location of meridians drawn on a globe and measuring distance east and west of the prime meridian. (0°)
Map
A two-dimensional, or flat, representation of Earth's surface or a portion of it.
Map Scale
The relationship between the size of an object on a map and the size of the actual feature on Earth's surface.
Mental Map
A representation of a portion of Earth's surface based on what an individual knows about a place, containing personal impressions of what is in the place and where the place is located.
Meridian
An arc drawn on a map between the North and South poles.
Network
A chain of communication that connects places.
Nonrenewable Resource
Something produced in nature more slowly than it is consumed by humans.
Parallel
A circle drawn around the globe parallel to the equator and at right angles to the meridians.
Pattern
The geometric or regular arrangement of something in a study area.
Place
A specific point on Earth distinguished by a particular characteristic.
Polder
Land created by the Dutch by draining water from an area.
Possibilism
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.
Preservation
The maintenance of resources in their present condition, with as little human impact as possible.
Prime Meridian
The meridian, designated as 0° longitude, that passes through the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England.
Projection
A system used to transfer locations from Earth's surface to a flat map.
Region
An area distinguished by a unique combination of trends or features.
Regional (or cultural landscape) Studies
An approach to geography that emphasizes the relationships among social and physical phenomena in a particular study area.
Relocation Diffusion
The spread of a feature or trend through bodily movement of people from one place to another.
Remote Sensing
The acquisition of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet of from other long distance methods.
Renewable Resource
Something produced in nature more rapidly than it is consumed by humans.
Resource
A substance in the environment that is useful to people, is economically and technologically feasible to access, and is socially acceptable to use.
Scale
Generally, the relationship between the portion of Earth being studied and Earth as a whole.
Site
The physical character of a place.
Situation
The location of a place relative to another place.
Space
The physical gap or interval between two objects.
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.
Sustainability
The use of Earth's renewable and nonrenewable natural resources in ways that do not constrain resource use in the future.
Toponym
The name given to a portion of Earth's surface.
Transnational Corporation
A company that conducts research, operates factories, and sells products in many countries, not jut where its headquarters or shareholders are located.
Uneven Development
The increasing gap in economic conditions between core and peripheral regions as a result of the globalization of the economy.
Vernacular Region (or perceptual region)
An area that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity.
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