Chapter 1 Vocabulary

Key Topics and Points in Chapter One - Thinking Geographically
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Agricultural Density
The ratio of 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.
Cartography
the making of maps and charts
Concentration
The spread of something over a given area.
Contagious Diffusion
The rapid, widespread diffusion of a characteristic throughout a population.
Cultural Ecology
Geographic approach that emphasizes human-environment relationships.
Culture
the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next.
Density
The frequency with which something exists within a given unit of area.
Diffusion
The spreading 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.
Equator
an imaginary line around the Earth forming the great circle that is equidistant from the north and south poles
Expansion Diffusion
The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process.
Formal Region
(or uniform or homogeneous region) an area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics
Functional (nodal) Region
an area organized around a node or focal point.
GIS
A computer system that stores, organizes, analyzes, and displays geographic data.
GPS
A system that determines the precise position of something on Earth through a series of satellites, tracking stations, and recievers.
Globalization
Actions or processes that involve the entire world and result in making something worldwide in scope
Hierarchical Diffusion
the spread of a feature or trend from one key person or node of authority or power to other persons or places
Hearth
the region from which innovative ideas originate
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
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
Mercator Projection
accurately shows shape and direction, but distorts distance and size of land masses.
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.
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.
Projection
The system used to transfer locations from Earth's surface to a flat map.
Region
An area of Earth distinguished by a dinstinctive combination of cultural and physical features.
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.
Robinson Projection
Projection that attempts to balance several possible projection errors. It does not maintain completely accurate area, shape, distance, or direction, but it minimizes errors in each.
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.
Site
The physical character of a place
Situation
The location of a place relative to other 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
Spatial Analysis
the study of geographic phenomena in terms of their arrangement as points, lines, areas, or surfaces on a map
Stimulus Diffusion
The spread of an underlying principle, even though a specific characteristic is rejected.
Time Zones
the 24 zones of different time into which the Earth is divided
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 Region
An area that people believe to exsist as part of their cultural identity (perceptual region)