CHAPTER 1-THINKING GEOGRAPHICALLY Geography is the scientific study of the location of people and activities, and reasons for their distribution. Human
Geography deals with asking where and why human activities are located where they are. Divisions of Geography Geography is a bridge between the natural and social sciences. Geography is a holistic or synthesizing science, combining
elements of many disciplines.
Physical Geography Rocks and Minerals Landforms Soils Animals
Plants Water Atmosphere Rivers and Other Water Bodies Environment Climate and Weather Human Geography Population
Settlements Economic Activities Transportation Recreational Activities Religion Political Systems Social Traditions Human Migration Agricultural Systems
The Five Themes of Geography Place Human features Physical features Region united by similar physical conditions Region
United by common cultural traits Interaction People adapt to the environment People change the environment Location
Absolute location (latitude and longitude) Relative location (in relation to another place) Travel from place to place Movement Exchange of goods and ideas
Human Geographers examine five main geographical aspects. These are: 1. space 2. place 3. region 4. scale 5. connections
Thinking about Space In thinking about space geographers observe regularities across the earths surface. Space deals with three main components: 1. Density 2. Concentration 3. and Pattern
Density is the frequency with which something occurs. There are three types of density. 1. Arithmetic-total number of objects (people) in an area. 2. Physiologic- number of people per unit area of agriculturally productive land. 3. Agricultural-the ratio of the number of farmers to the total amount of land suitable for agriculture.
Another component of space is concentration. Concentration is the extent of a features spread over space. Concentration can be either clustered or dispersed. 1. clustered-relatively close 2. dispersed-relatively far apart
Space also deals with pattern. Pattern- says that some features are organized in a geometric pattern, while others are distributed irregularly. Thinking about Place In thinking about place geographers identify areas of the world formed by distinctive combinations of features.
The first aspect of place is location-where something is. Location has two components: 1. Absolute location-measured by latitude and longitude. Precise location. 2. Relative location-location of a place relative to other places ( situation ).
Toponyms- place names. Ex. Miami site-physical character of a place situation- location of a place relative to other places
mathematical location-described precisely by meridians and parallels( latitude and longitude) Telling time from longitude- traveling 15 degrees east is the equivalent of traveling one hour forward on the clock, and 15 degrees west is one hour backward
Time zones- the earth is divided into 24 standard time zones The International Date Line-follows 180 degrees longitude. Traveling east you move back 24 hours. Traveling west, you turn the clock ahead 24 hours, or one day. Latitudes are scientifically derived by the earths shape and its rotation around the sun.
Zero degrees longitude runs through Greenwich, England because it was the worlds most powerful country. Thinking about Regions Geographers identify areas of the world formed by distinctive combinations of features. There are three types of Regions:
1.Formal Region-a uniform region, is an area within which everyone shares in common one or more distinctive characteristics. Can be religious, political, ethnic, etc. Formal and Functional Regions Fig. 1-11: The state of Iowa is an example of a formal region; the areas of influence of various television stations are examples of functional regions.
2. Functional Region- a nodal region, an area organized around a node or focal point. For example Atlanta is a airline transportation hub for the southeast. Marietta is a suburb of Atlanta. 3. Vernacular Region- a perceptual region, a place that people believe exists as a part of their cultural identity. Ex: the
south. Vernacular Regions Fig. 1-12: A number of features are often used to define the South as a vernacular region, each of which identifies somewhat different boundaries. In thinking about why each region is distinctive geographers refer to culture
Culture- is the body of customary beliefs, material traits, and social forms that constitute the distinct tradition of a group of people. Cultural ecology- the geographic study of humanenvironment relations. Environmental Determinism-human actions were scientifically caused by environmental conditions. Possibilism- Physical environment may limit some
human actions, but people can adjust to their environment. Thinking About Scale Scale refers to how geographers understand how each place is unique yet at the same time similar to other places. Map scale- the relation of a features size on a map and its actual size on earths surface
Map scale is represented in 3 different ways: 1. fraction ( 1/24,000 ) 2. ratio ( 1:24,000 ) 3. written statement ( 1 inch equals 1 mile ) or graphic bar scale Seattle Region (1:100,000 scale)
Downtown Seattle, Washington (1:10,000 scale) Scale leads to Spatial Association-which says that different conclusions may be reached concerning a regions characteristics depending on scale. Scale allows geographers to study global
trends particularly in cultural aspects and the environment. Globalization- a force or process that involves the entire world and results in making something world wide in scope. Globalization of Culture- Geographers observe that increasingly uniform cultural preferences produce uniform global
landscapes of material artifacts and of cultural values. Thinking About Connections In thinking about connections geographers explain relationships among places and regions across space. Space-time compression- the reduction in the
time it takes for something to reach another place. Diffusion- The process by which a characteristic spreads across space. Relocation diffusion-spread of an idea through physical movement of people. Expansion diffusion-spread of a feature
through a snowballing effect. Three types of Expansion diffusion: 1. Hierarchical-From authority downward 2.Contagious-person to person 3. Stimulus-one idea stimulates the development of other ideas. Most common with technology. Distance-Decay- The farther something
travels from its source the less intensity it has. Ex. Language, fashion, even religion. Layers of a GIS Fig. 1-5: A geographic information system (GIS) stores information about a location in several layers. Each layer represents a different category of information.
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