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the position of something on the earth's surface


the physical gap or distance between two objects


the relationship between the size of an object or distance between objects on a map and the size of the actual object or distance on the earth's surface


a specific point on earth with human and physical characteristics that distinguish it from other points


the arrangement of objects on earth's surface in relationship to one another


the organization of earth's surface into distinct areas that are viewed as different from other areas


the expansion of economic, political and cultural activities to the point that they reach and have impact on many areas of the world

spatial organization

the location of places,people,and events, and the connections among places and landscapes


The overall appearance of an area that is shaped by both human and natural influences

why of where

Explanations for why a spatial pattern occurs


the art and science of mapmaking

human geography

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

physical geography

the study of physical features of the earth's surface

spatial perspective

framework that notices patterns of both natural and human environments, distributions of people, and locations of all kinds of objects

absolute location

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


an imaginary great circle on the surface of the earth passing through the north and south poles at right angles to the equator


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°).

prime meridian

The meridian, designated at 0° longitude, which passes through the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England.


lines of latitude


an imaginary line around the Earth forming the great circle that is equidistant from the north and south poles


distance north or south of the Equator, measured in degrees

relative location

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


a change in the shape, size, or position of a place when it is shown on a map.


The system used to transfer locations from Earth's surface to a flat map.

Mercator projection

a map projection of the earth onto a cylinder
Pro- shows true direction
Con - things on poles appear bigger than they really are

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.

Peters Projection

Shows the correct areas of landmasses and oceans, directions are accurate, but it is distorts Africa and South America

contour map

a map having contour lines through points of equal elevation - shows topography


the natural land surface


Lines on a map that indicate the height above sea level

Counter lines

The farther apart the lines the gentler the slop.

time zone

any of the 24 regions of the globe (loosely divided by longitude) throughout which the same standard time is used

local time

The actual time in a given location based upon the Sun's position at the Midheaven (noon) of the place. Abbreviated LMT; also called True Local Time (TLT).

Greenwich Mean Time

standard time at the prime meridian

daylight savings time

Setting of cloaks ahead by one hour to provide more daylight at the end of the day during late spring, summer, and early fall.

International Date Line

an imaginary line on the surface of the earth following (approximately) the 180th meridian that shows where the date changes

solar time

Time based on calculations of the sun's passage across the sky


the name given to a portion of Earth's surface

physical site characteristics

climate, topography, soil, water sources, vegetation, and elevation

linear pattern

straight pattern, ex. houses along a street

centralized pattern

clustered or concentrated at a certain place

random pattern

no specific distribution or logic behind its arrangement

rectilinear (grid) pattern

checkerboard rural pattern that reflects rectangular system of land survey - looks like grid

formal region

An area within which everyone shares in common one or more distinctive characteristics.

functional (nodal) regions

Regions that can be defined around a certain point or node;


functional regions margins


center of functional region

perceptual (vernacular) regions

no formal boundries/ an area that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity ex: "The South"

space-time compression

describes the changes that rapid connections among places and regions have brought

multi-national corporations

company that has centers of operation in many parts of the globe


A computer system that stores, organizes, analyzes, and displays geographic data. Geographic Information System


a navigational system involving satellites and computers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by computing the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver; Global Positioning System

US Census Bureau

government program that surveys the population every ten years in order to aid official plans and fund certain programs (ex: school construction, transportation systems, police/fire services, public housing, etc)


Greek mathematician and astronomer who estimated the circumference of the earth and the distances to the moon and sun (276-194 BC)


Greek geographer-astronomer and author of (Guide to Geography) which included maps containing a grid system of latitude and longitude also recalculated the circumference of the earth to be much smaller. Lived 500 years before Eratosthenes.


An 11th century Arab geographer that worked for the king of Sicily to collect geographical information into a remarkably accurate representation of the world. Under his direction, an academy of geographers gathered maps and went out on their own scientific expeditions.

George Perkins Marsh

Publishes Man and Nature later titled The Earth as Modified by Human Nature, first analysis on humans impact on the earth, First environmentalist and "fountain head" of conservation

Carl Sauer

Geographer from the University of California at Bed defined the concept of cultural landscape as the fundamental un graphical analysis. This landscape results from interaction betwee and the physical environment. Sauer argued that virtually no land escaped alteration by human activities.

cultural landscapes

product of interactions between humans and their environments

environmental geography

The intersection between human and physical geography, which explores the spatial impacts humans have on the physical environment and vice versa.

circular pattern

locations are clustered and concentrated around a particular place


lived in the late 6th and 5th centuries B.C.E, created a map that was accurate around Greece but other areas were much more vague.

Immanuel Kant

German philosopher and geographer identified geography as the study of interrelated spatial patterns.


the physical and human-transformed characteristics of a place


the location of a place relative to other places

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