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WGU Geography

Terms and Definitions

QuestionAnswer
Europe Development- Being the hearth of both Western Civilization and the Industrial Revolution gives the region of Europe a much larger significance than just size and population would suggest,The Age of Discovery was initiated by the 1492 voyage of Columbus E
Population Density Number of individuals of a particular species found in a specified area.
Population (1) Refers to all the individuals of a given species in a specific area or region at a certain time. Its significance is more than that of a number of individuals because not all individuals are identical. Populations contain genetic variation within them
Pollution Physical, chemical, or biological change in the characteristics of some component of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, or biosphere that adversely influences the health, survival, or activities of humans or other living organisms.
Plate Tectonics Theory suggesting that the Earth's surface is composed of a number of oceanic and continental plates. Driven by convection currents in the mantle, these plates have the ability to slowly move across the Earth's plastic asthenosphere. This theory is very i
Physical Geography Field of knowledge that studies natural features and phenomena on the Earth from a spatial perspective. Subdiscipline of Geography.
Antarctic Circle Latitude of 66.5° South. The northern limit of the area of the Earth that experiences 24 hours of darkness or 24 hours of day at least one day during the year.
Archipelago A group of islands that have an arc shaped distribution. These islands are usually of volcanic origin and are associated with subduction zones.
Arctic Circle Latitude of 66.5° North. The southern limit of the area of the Earth that experiences 24 hours of darkness or 24 hours of day at least one day during the year.
Cartography Field of knowledge that studies map construction. The act of creating a map.
Deforestation Removal of trees from a habitat dominated by forest.
Desert (1) Biome that has plants and animals adapted to survive severe drought conditions. In this habitat, evaporation exceeds precipitation and the average amount of precipitation is less than 25 centimeters a year. (2) Area that receives low precipi
Desertification Conversion of marginal rangeland or cropland to a more desert like land type. Desertification can be caused by overgrazing, soil erosion, prolonged drought, or climate change.
Earthquake Is a sudden motion or trembling in the Earth. The motion is caused by the quick release of slowly accumulated energy in the form of seismic waves. Most earthquakes are produced along faults, tectonic plate boundaries, or along the mid-oceanic ridges.
Ecosystem An ecosystem is a system where populations of species group together into communities and interact with each other and the abiotic environment.
Equator Location on the Earth that has a latitude of 0°.
Geography The study natural and human constructed phenomena relative to a spatial dimension.
Human Geography Field of knowledge that studies human-made features and phenomena on the Earth from a spatial perspective. Subdiscipline of Geography.
International Date Line A line drawn almost parallel to the 180 degree longitude meridian that marks the location where each day officially begins. The location of the International Date Line was decided upon by international agreement. This separates the Eastern Hemisphere from the Western Hemisphere. It also separates one day from the next.
Latitude Latitude is a north-south measurement of position on the Earth. It is defined by the angle measured from a horizontal plane located at the Earth's center that is perpendicular to the polar axis. A line connecting all places of the same latitude is termed
Longitude Longitude is a west-east measurement of position on the Earth. It is defined by the angle measured from a vertical plane running through the polar axis and the prime meridian. A line connecting all places of the same longitude is termed a meridian. Longit
Non-Renewable Resource Resource that is finite in quantity and is being used faster than its ability to regenerate itself.
Urbanization Expansion of cities into rural regions because of population growth. In most cases, population growth is primarily due to the movement of rural based people to urban areas. This is especially true in Less Developed Countries
Urban Area Geographic area with a high density of people over a limited area. Homes and other types of buildings tend to be close together. Urban systems also tend to differentiate themselves spatially into particular types of human activities.
Less Developed Country (LDC) Country characterized by minimal industrialization, low technological development, low per capita income, and high population growth rates. Many of these countries are found in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Also see more developed country.
More Developed Country (MDC) A highly industrialized country characterized by significant technological development, high per capita income, and low population growth rates. Examples of such countries include the United States, Canada, Japan, and many countries in Europe. Also see le
Absolute Location is a latitude and longitude (a global location) or a street address (local location).
Relative Locations described by landmarks, time, direction or distance from one place to another and may associate a particular place with another.
Tropic of Cancer Latitude of 23.5° North. Northern limit of the Sun's declination.
Upside Down Map or Reversed Map This map has the Southern side where the North side should be. Used in critical thinking exercises.
Climate maps give general information about the climate and precipitation (rain and snow) of a region. Cartographers, or mapmakers, use colors to show different climate or precipitation zones.
Economic or resource maps feature the type of natural resources or economic activity that dominates an area. Cartographers use symbols to show the locations of natural resources or economic activities. For example, oranges on a map of Florida tell you that oranges are grown there.
Physical Map illustrate the physical features of an area, such as the mountains, rivers and lakes. The water is usually shown in blue. Colors are used to show relief—differences in land elevations. Green is typically used at lower elevations, and orange or brown indic
Political maps do not show physical features. Instead, they indicate state and national boundaries and capital and major cities. A capital city is usually marked with a star within a circle.
Road maps show major—some minor highways—and roads, airports, railroad tracks, cities and other points of interest in an area. People use road maps to plan trips and for driving directions.
Topographic maps include contour lines to show the shape and elevation of an area. Lines that are close together indicate steep terrain, and lines that are far apart indicate flat terrain.
Canada 2nd largest country, much area to far north to be productive much life located 200 miles of the U.S. border, economic mainstay fishing wheat oil coal, rise of commerce and urbanism, Vancouver adds tourism and a port.
United States influenced by migration, historical geography, commerce, agricultural development, industrialization, and metropolitan growth.the Appalachian Highlands served both as a resource base, and as a barrier to westward migration and settlement. water provided a Agriculture, manufacturing, and natural resources have all played major roles in the shaping of the urban and rural landscapes, the distribution of wealth, the population distribution, and the culture of the people.
Latin America the languages, cultures, and religions of Spain and Portugal, introduced during the colonial era, have had a major influence.Urban poverty has escalated as people have migrated from the rural peripheries into cities.Latin America contains all of the count Most Latin American countries are considered emerging or developing nationsreflects active human migration from Europe, Africa, and, increasingly, Asia. tropical rainforests regions rural to urban migration Industry is growing latifundia (large agricultu
5 Themes of Geography Location, Place, Human-Environmental Interactions, Movement, Regions
Caribbean Seas In the Caribbean Sea, there is a wide variety of languages, cultural backgrounds, agricultural patterns, and economic activity. Tourism is the economic basis for nearly all the islands in this area, from Bermuda to Trinidad and Tobago, while agriculture p
Germany has the largest population of any of the European countries, but a very low growth rate. This demographic characteristic led to the encouragement of bringing guest workers (non-nationals) into the country two decades ago, and this has caused some ethnic t
France has many different geographic characteristics with a strong sense of regionalism within its boundaries. There is a keen tradition of family farming in France as well, and the cultural importance of this trait has led to continual French protests against t
The United Kingdom the collection of political units including England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland-was the center of the Industrial Revolution, in part because of its local coal, iron ore, labor, and shipping facilities. In addition, the experience and productivi
"Where, why and so what" These are questions to be asked when studying or applying geography to life.
Why do regions change over time? Some changes have natural causes, wildland fires or hurricanes, while other changes, such as resource extraction, agricultural practices, and urban growth, are human-induced processes. There are other types of changes that are a combination of natural and
Population Movement theory
Globalization in its literal sense is the process or transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society and function together.
High Density Population Places which are densely populated contain many people. Relief-Low land which is flat e.g. Ganges Valley in India Resources-Areas rich in resources (e.g. coal, oil, wood, fishing etc.) tend to densely populated e.g. Western Europe Climate-Areas with temperate climates tend to be densely populated as there is
Low Density or Sparsely Population Places which are sparsely populated contain few people. Relief-High land that is mountainous e.g. Himalayas Resources-Areas with few resources tend to be sparsely populated e.g. The Sahel Climate-Areas with extreme climates of hot and cold tend to be sparsely populated e.g. the Sahara Desert Political-Unst
Rural areas can be large and isolated(also referred to as "the country," and/or "the countryside") they also are settled places outside towns and cities. and also from unsettled lands such as the outback, American Old West or wilderness. Inhabitants live in villages, hamlets, on farms and in other isolated houses.In modern usage, rural areas can have an agricultural character, though many rural areas are c
Suburban commonly defined as residential areas on the outskirts of a city or large town. Most suburbs in the USA are commuter towns with a prevalence of detached[1] single-family homes.[2] Many suburbs have some degree of political autonomy and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods. Mechanical transport, including a
Formal Regions are those defined by governmental or administrative boundaries (i. e., United States, Birmingham, Brazil). These regional boundaries are not open to dispute, therefore physical regions fall under this category (i. e., The Rockies, the Great Lakes States)
Perceptional Regions are those loosely defined by people's perception (i. e., The South, The Middle East).
Functional Regions are those defined by a function (i. e., TVA, United Airlines Service area or a newspaper service area). If the function ceases to exists, the region no longer exists.
"In-between countries" Countries that are not major world powers and neither are they third world countries. Canada, Australia
Central Asia climate population culture social political challenges historical physical land structures
Afghanistan climate population culture social political challenges historical physical land structures
Russia climate population culture social political challenges historical physical land structures Language
Ukraine
Belarus
Australia
New Zealand
The Pacific Islands
Trade Relationship between Australia and New Zealand? Historical Significance
The role of climate in economics.
Japan
China
Southeast Asia
Pakistan
Bangladesh
India
Sri Lanka
Middle East
North Africa
Assimilation A group (a state or an ethnicity) can spontaneously adopt a different culture due to its political relevance, or to its perceived superiority. The first is the case of the Latin culture and language, that were gradually adopted by most of the subjugated p
Acculturation is the exchange of cultural features that results when groups come into continuous firsthand contact; the original cultural patterns of either or both groups may be altered, but the groups remain distinct Despite definitions and evidence that acculturation entails two-way processes of change, research and theory have continued with a focus on the adjustments and changes experienced by aboriginal peoples, immigrants, sojourners, and other minorities in resp
Forms of Land Degradation is a concept in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by one or more combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land.[1] Natural hazards are excluded as a cause, however human activities can indirectly affect phenomena suc Land clearance, such as clearcutting and deforestation Agricultural depletion of soil nutrients through poor farming practices Livestock including overgrazing Urban conversion Irrigation and overdrafting Land pollution including industrial waste Veh
Weather System describes the variations which occur in the atmosphere on a daily basis
Climate is a measure of the typical weather found at a place
South Africa Social Political Economic
Human interaction with the environment causes? human interaction on the environment is mainly due to the over confidence of human nature on itself. human interaction on the enviironent cause the disasterous failure of human race, if it is not checked in time. human beings allow himself in every field
what conditions make an area prone to earthquakes? The short answer is that earthquakes are caused by faulting, a sudden lateral or vertical movement of rock along a rupture (break) surface
Climate Pattern the patterns of weather over a period of time
Population redistribution the movement of populations
Population Distribution the variation in population densities over wide areas.
spatial integration
what factors influence settlement patterns?
Environmental preferences
Economic Factors
Socio-cultural factors
Tropic of Capricorn Latitude of 23.5° South. Southern limit of the Sun's declination.
Created by: jsc265 on 2008-09-19



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