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Human geography

concentrates on patterns of human activity and on their relationships with the environment.

Physical geography

concerned with the locations of such earth features as land, water, and climate; their relationship to one another and to human activities; and the forces that create and change them

Absolute location

exact location of a place on the earth described by global coordinates

Relative location

the regional position or situation of a place relative to the position of other places

Spatial perspective

observing variations in geographic phenomena across space


drawing of the earth shown on a flat surface

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


The arrangement of something across Earth's surface


The geometric or regular arrangement of something in a study area.

Formal region

An area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics

Functional region

a region defined by the particular set of activities or interactions that occur within it

Perceptual region

a region that only exist as a conceptualization or idea & not physically demacated entity

remote sensing

The acquisition of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or other long-distance methods.

Geographic Information Systems

A collection of computer hardware and software that permits spatial data to be collected, recorded, stored, retrieved, manipulated, analyzed, and displayed to the user.


the process by which molecules move from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration

expansion diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process.

relocation diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend through bodily movement of people from one place to another.


the modification of the social patterns, traits, or structures of one group or society by contact with those of another; the resultant blend


interpreting one's new experience in terms of one's existing schemas


A near equal exchange of culture traits or customs

contagious diffusion

The rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend throughout a population.

hierarchical diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend from one key person or node of authority or power to other persons or places.

stimulus diffusion

The spread of an underlying principle, even though a specific characteristic is rejected.

independent invention

development of the same culture trait or pattern in separate cultures as a result of comparable needs and circumstances

environmental determinism

A nineteenth- and early twentieth-century approach to the study of geography thast argued that the general laws sought by human geographers could be found in the phyisical sciences. Geography was therefore the study of how the phyisical environment caused human activities


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.


the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next

cultural diffusion

the spread of cultural elements from one society to another

cultural landscape

fashioning of a natural landscape by a cultural group

culture hearth

A center where cultures developed and from which ideas and traditions spread outward.

culture trait

A single element of normal practice in a culture, such as the wearing of a turban.

culture complex

A related set of cultural traits, such as prevailing dress codes and cooking and eating utensils

culture realm

A cluster of regions in which related culture systems prevail.

culture region

an area in which people have many shared culture traits

culture system

A collection of interacting elements taken together shape a group's collective identity. Includes traits, territorial affiliation, shared history, and more complex elements, like language

sequent occupance

the notion that successive societies leave their cultural imprints on a place, each contributing to the cumulative cultural landscape

Folk culture

Culture traditionally practiced by a small, homogeneous, rural group living in relative isolation from other groups.

popular culture

Culture found in a large, heterogeneous society that shares certain habits despite differences in other personal characteristics.


the process though which something is given monetary value

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