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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.


A square normally 6 miles on a side. The Land Ordinance of 1785 divided much of the United States into a series of townships.

Principal Meridians

north-south or longitude lines


the region from which innovative ideas originate, orgin

Base Lines

East-West Lines, latitude lines


smaller divisions of a township

Remote Sensing

The acquisition of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or from another long-distance method

Cultural Ecology

the geographic study of human environment relationships


name given to a portion of Earth's surface, the name by which a geographical place is known


identifies a place by its unique physical characteristics


physical position in relation to the surroundings

Environmental Determinism

the focus of how the physical environment causes social development

Formal Region

An area in which everyone shares in common one or more distinctive characteristics, uniform region

Functional Region

an area localized by a node or focal point

Vernacular Region

a place that that people believe exists as a part of their cultural identity, perceptual region


the theory that the environment sets certain limitations


piece of land that is created by draining water from an area

Transnational Corporation

A company that conducts research, operates factories, and sells products in many countries, not just where its headquarters or shareholders are located, McDonalds, IBM, and Coca-Cola

Arithmetic Density

# of people / land area

Physiological Density

# of people / arable land

Agricultural Density

# of farmers of / land area

Space-Time Compression

the reduction in time that takes something to reach another place

International Date Line

180 degrees longitude, located in the pacific, an imaginary line on the surface of the earth following (approximately) the 180th meridian

Hierarchical Diffusion

spreads from the rich to the poor, eg. prestigious name brands

Expansion Diffusion

The spread of an innovation or an idea through a population in an area in such a way that the number of those influenced grows continuously larger, resulting in an expanding area of dissemination.

Relocation Diffusion

the spread of an idea through physical movement

Stimulus Diffusion

inventions, spread of an underlying principle of technology

Contagious Diffusion

spreads rapidly from a point by proximity, the closer the more likely it is to spread


the making of maps and charts

Map Scale

compares a distance on a map with a distance in the real world, shows the ratio between distances on a map and distances on the earth

Small Scale

shows larger amount of Earth, less detail, zoomed out

Large Scale

shows smaller amount of Earth, more detail, zoomed in

Map Projection

ways of drawing the earth on a flat surface, things that typically become distorted: Shape, Size, Direction, and Distance. SSDD


geographic information system, a computer system that stores, organizes, retrieves, analyzes, and displays geographic data


first person to use the word geography, Greek mathematician and astronomer who estimated the circumference of the earth and the distances to the moon and sun (276-194 BC)

spatial association

the concept that the distribution of one phenomenon is scientifically related to the location of other phenomena

spatial distribution

the arrangement of a phenomenon across Earth's surface


converting something to a water source


the spatial property of being crowded together

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