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description of the Earth's surface and the people and processes that shape its landscape.
social science and way of thinking.

the greeks and geography

first to classify geography as a study and a science.

the romans and geography

Ptlomey wrote Guide to Geography(also known as Geographica), gave detailed descriptions of cities and people of the Earth.
during this time, maps became more symbols of art and decoration than mathematical representations of the Earth's surfaces.

environmental determinism

proposes that cultures are a direct result of where they exist.
concluded that warmer climates tend to cause inhabants to have a more relaxed attitude toward work and progress.
this philosophy led some people to believe that Europeans and those from more temperate climates where more motivated. intellegent, and culturally advanced than those of warmer climates


suggest that humans are not a product of their environment but possess the skills necessary to modify their environment to fit human needs.
people can determine their outcomes.

today and beyond and geography

two new technologies that have impacted how we study the earth and geography :GIS and GPS

GPS (global positioning system)

in cars and cellphones today.
use latitude and longitude coordinates to determine the exact location on earth.

GIS (geographic information system)

uses geographic information and layers it into a new map showing specific types of geographic

ariel photography

allows geographer to see land use changing over time by comparing pictures of places from years past to current photographs ex.Google Earth


basic tools that geographers use to convey information
problem with conveying earth(3D) into paper causes distortion.


the size of map to the amount of area it represents on the planet
Large-scale: shows more detail but smaller area. ex.a map of your city
Small-scale: shows less detail but lager area. ex.a map of the world

cylindrical map

shows true direction but loses distance
ex. Mercator map projection

planar projection

any azimuthal map, shows true direction and examines the Earth from one point-usually a pole or polar projections.

conic projection

puts a cone over the Earth and ties to keep distance intact but loses directional qualities.

oval projection

combination of cylindrical and conic projections.
ex. Molleweide projection

flow-line maps

are good for determining movement like migration

choropleth maps

puts data into a spatial format and are useful for determining demographic data, such as infant mortality rates, by assigning colors or patterns to areas.


causes distortion to show largest or smallest.


place name on map

human geography

the study of human characteristics on the landscape

5 Themes of Geography

Place, Region, Location, Human-enviroment interaction, and spatial interaction or movement


description of what and how we see and experience a certain aspect of the Earth's surface.
places define and refine what we are. it is the description of what the location is like.
ex. hot, cold, and busy can all be used when describing a certain location


the linking of places together using any parameter the geographer chooses.
ex. The Midwest Region of the United States or The Corn Belt of the United States

Formal Regions

where anything and everything inside has the same characteristic or phenomena. these characteristics might be religion, language, or cultural.
ex.Corn Belt: same crops

Functional Regions

can be defined around a certain point or node. are most intense around the center but lose their characteristics the farther the distance from the focal point
ex. radio station, shopping mall

Perceptual/Vernacular Region

exist in an individual's perception or feelings.


relative and absolute location
relative: location in reference to something else on the Earth surface
absolute: latitude and longitude coordinates


internal, physical characteristics of a place
ex. new orleans site is 8 feet below sea level(making it a poor site of human habitation and prone to flooding in times of high precipitation)


location of a place relative to its surroundings and place

mental map

an area someone is driving to a familiar location. a map someone believes to exist.
ex. map inside your head of the school

latitudes/ parallels

paralles lines that run EAST to WEST
the equator is 0 degrees latitude

longitude/ meridians

the prime meridian is 0 degrees longitude

Human-enviroment interaction

describes how people modify or alter the environment to fit individual or societal needs.
ex. Las Vegas, Nevada built in the middle of a desert but modified the environment to meet water needs

humans can not live in 5 toos

too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, and too hilly. any of these environmental conditions taken to the extreme makes land uninhabitable/ however as human engineering and invention continue to improve, humans can adjust to survive in conditions they previously could not

Spatial Interaction or Movement

how linked is a place to the outisde world. determines importance of an area.
ex. airports, transportation systems, communication


movement of any characteristic, relates to spatial interaction theme.
the place where the characteristic began is known as the heart

Relocation Diffusion / Migration Diffusion

physical spread of cultures, ideas, and diseases through people.
when people migrate they often bring with them aspects of their culture such as language.
ex. when Hmong refugees came to the United States from Laos, they brought with them their language, religion, and customs

Expansion Diffusion

spread of characteristic from a central node or a hearth through various means.
can be broken down into three types of diffusion: hierarchal, contagious, and stimulus

Hierarchical Diffusion

spreads as a result of a group, usually a social elite, spreading ideas or pattern in a society. social elite may be political leaders, entertainment leaders, or sports starts
ex. fashion

Contagious Diffusion

usually associated with the spread of disease. such as influenza. diseases spread without regard to race, social status, or economic status and is often rapid.
ex. Internet leads to contagious diffusion

Stimulus Diffusion

takes a part of an idea and spreads that idea to create an innovative product.
ex. changing hamburger meet to veggie burgers in India because they don't eat meat.


how things on the Earth's surface has a physical location and is organized in space in some fashion


how often an object occurs within a given area or space

arithmetic populaton density

the number of people is divided by the amount of land in an area to arrive at the number of people per square mile/kilometer

physiological density

total number of people divided by farmable land


how something is spread over an area

clustered or agglomerated concentration

if things are closed together

dispered or scattered

if the concentration of objects are spread out


how objects are organized in their space
linear: line
centralized: clustered
random: lack of pattern

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