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58 terms

The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography - Chapter 1 Key Terms

The key terms of chapter 1 from the eighth edition of "An Introduction to Human Geography" by James M. Rubenstein.
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Agricultural density
The ratio if the number of farmers to the total amount of land suitable for agriculture.
Arithmetic density
The total number of people divided by the total land area.
Base line
An east-west line designated under the Land Ordinance of 1785 to facilitate the surveying and numbering of townships in the United States.
Cartography
The science of making maps.
Concentration
The spread of something over a given area.
Connections
Relationships among people and objects across the barrier of space.
Contagious diffusion
The rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend throughout a population.
Cultural ecology
Geographic approach that emphasizes human-environment relationships.
Cultural landscape
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 of people'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.
Environmental determinism
A nineteenth- and early twentieth-century approach to the study of geography that 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 a snowballing process.
Formal (or uniform or homogeneous) region
An area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics.
Functional (or nodal) region
An area organized around a node or focal point.
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
The time in that time 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 to other persons or places.
International Date Line
An arc that for the most part follows 180° longitude, although it deviates in several places to avoid dividing land areas. When you cross the International Date Line heading east (toward America), the clock moves back 24 hours, or one entire day. When you go west (toward Asia), the calendar moves ahead one day.
Land Ordinance of 1785
A law that divided much of the United States into a system of townships to facilitate the sale of land to settlers.
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°).
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.
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.
Meridian
An arc drawn on a map between the North and South poles.
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.
Physiological density
The number of people per unit of area of arable land, which is land suitable for agriculture.
Place
A specific point on Earth distinguished by a particular character.
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.
Prime meridian
The meridian, designated at 0° longitude, which passes through the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England.
Principal meridian
A north-south line designated in the Land Ordinance of 1785 to facilitate the surveying and numbering of townships in the United States.
Projection
The 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 or other long-distance methods.
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, specifically the relationship between the size of an object on a map and the size of the actual feature on Earth's surface.
Section
A square normally 1 mile on a side. The Land Ordinance of 1785 divided townships in the United States into 36 sections.
Site
The physical character of a place.
Situation
The location of a place relative to other places.
Space
The physical gap or interval between two places.
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.
Toponym
The name given to a portion of Earth's surface.
Township
A square normally 6 miles on a side. The Land Ordinance of 1785 divided much of the United States into a series of townships.
Transnational corporation
A company that conducts research, operates factories, and sells products in many countries, not just 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 (or perceptual) region
An area that people believe to exist as part of their cultural identity.