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Unit 1

Nature and Perspectives

TermDefinition
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.
Base line An east-west line designated under the Land Ordinance of 1785 to facilitate the surveying and numbering of townships in the United States.
Cartography The science of making maps.
Concentration The spread of something over a given area.
Connections Relationships among people and objects across the barrier of space.
Contagious diffusion The rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend throughout a population.
Cultural ecology Geographic approach that emphasizes human-environment relationships.
Cultural landscape Fashioning of a natural landscape by a cultural group.
Culture The body of customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits that together constitute a group's distinct tradition.
Density The frequency with which something exists within a given unit of area.
Diffusion The process of spread 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 the Earth's surface.
Environmental determinism A nineteenth and early-twentieth century approach to the study of geography which argued that the general laws sought by human geographers could be found in the physical sciences.
Expansion diffusion The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process.
Formal region An area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics.
Functional region (Nodal region) An area organized around a node or focal point.
Geographic information system (GIS) A computer system that stores, organizes, analyzes, and displays geographic data.
Global positioning system (GPS) A system that determines the precise position of something on Earth through a series of satellites, tracking stations, and receivers.
Globalization Actions or processes that involve the entire world and result in making something worldwide in scope.
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) The time in that zone encompassing the prime meridian, or 0 degree longitude.
Hearth The region from which innovative ideas originate.
Hierarchical diffusion The spread of a feature or trend from one key person or node of authority or power to other persons or places.
International Date Line An arc that for the most part follows 180 degree longitude, although it deviates in several places to avoid dividing land areas.
Land Ordinance of 1785 A law that divided much of the United States into 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.
Location The position of anything on the Earth's surface.
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.
Map A two-dimensional, or flat, representation of Earth's surface or a portion of it.
Mental map A representation of a portion of Earth's surface based on what an individual knows about a place, containing personal impressions of what is in place and where places are located.
Meridian An arc drawn on a map between the North and South poles.
Parallel A circle drawn around the globe parallel to the equator and at right angles to the meridians.
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.
Polder Land created by the Dutch by draining water from an area.
Possibilism The theory that the physical environment may set limits on human actions, but people have the ability to adjust tot he physical environment and choose a course of action from many alternatives.
Prime meridian The meridian, designated as 0 degree longitude, that passes through the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England.
Principal meridian A north-south line designated in the Land Ordinance of 1785 to facilitate the surveying and numbering of townships in the United States.
Projection The system used to transfer locations from Earth's surface to a flat map.
Region An area distinguished by a unique combination of trends or features.
Regional studies An approach to geography that emphasizes the relationships among social and physical phenomena in a particular study area.
Relocation diffusion The spread of a feature of trend through bodily movement of people from one place to another.
Remote sensing The acquisition of data about the Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or from 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.
Scale Generally, the relationship between the portion of the Earth being studied and Earth as a whole; specifically, the relationship between the size of an object on a map and the actual size of the object on the Earth's surface.
Section A square normally 1 mile on a side.
Site The physical character of a place.
Situation The location of a place relative to another place.
Space The physical gap or interval between two objects.
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.
Stimulus diffusion The spread of an underlying principle, even though a specific characteristic is rejected.
Topoynm The name given to a portion of Earth's surface.
Township A square normally 6 miles on a side.
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 exists as part of their cultural identity.
Created by: rickardm11