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Think Geographically

Vocabulary for Chapter 1: Thinking Geographically

Field Work The study of geographic phenomena by visiting places and observing how people interact with and thereby change those places.
Human Geography broadly defined as the study of human activities on the earth's surface this includes population, cultural, economic, urban, agricultural and political geography.
Globalization The expansion of econmic, political, and cultural processes to the point that they become global in scale and impact. The processes of globalization transcend state boundaries and have outcomes that vary across places and scales.
Physical Geography The study of spatial characteristics of the earth's physical and biological systems. (Earth Science)
Spatial Distribution pattern the physical location of geogrpahic phenomena across space
Pandemic an outbreak of disease that spreadsd world wide.
Epidemic regional outbreak of a disease
Spatial perspective An intellectual framework that allows geographers to look at the earth in terms of the relationships between various places. (Why do certain things happen in certain places? )
Location The geogrpahic situation of people and things
Region regions vary in size, it may be an entire continent or a portion of one state or country that shares a similar characteristic, pattern or process.
Human Environment Interaction reciprocal relationship between humans and the environment
Place the characteristics of a location that make it unique.
Perception of Place belief or understanding about a place developed through books, movies, stories or pictures.
Movement the mobility of people, goods, and ideas across the planet
Distance measurement of the physical space between two places.
Accessibility the relative ease with which you can reach a location.
Connectivity A measure of the means of connection and communication between places.
landscape the overall appearance of an area. Most landscapes are comprised of a combination of natural and human induced influences.
cultural landscape the visible imprint of human activity and culture on a landscape. The layers of buildings, forms, and artifacts sequentially imprinted on the landscape by the activities of various human occupants.
sequent occupance the notion that successive societies leave their cultural imprints on a place, each contributing to the cumulative cultural landscape
thematic maps Thematic maps display one or more variables across a specific space such as population variables, voting patterns, or economic welfare.
cartography the atr and science of making maps
reference maps maps used to navigate between places and include topographic maps, atlases, road maps, and other navigational maps.
toponym place name
absolute locations The precise location of any object or place on the earth's surface as determined by standard grid or coordinate system.
global positioning system satellite based system for determining the absolute location of places or geographic features
geocaching a hunt for a cache, the global positioning system coordinates which are placed on the internet by other geocachers
relative location the regional position or situation of a place relative to the positionof other places.
activity space The space within which daily activity occurs
generalized map a less specific map that often has less detail. small scale maps have high levels of generalization, large scale maps have less generalization.
remote-sensing process of capturing images from earth surface from airborne platforms such as satellites or airplanes
Geographic information systems (GIS) A family of software programs that allow geographers to map, analyze and model spatial data. most use thematic layers consisting of individual maps that contain specific features such as roads, elevation contours, services, etc.
rescale an attempt by those at a particular scale to attract more attention or interest in their position or initiative by gaining support on a global or national scale
Formal Region a type of region marked by a certain degree of homogeniety in one or more phenomena , also called a uniform region or homogeneous region
Functional region a region defined by a particular set of activities or interactions that occur within it.
perceptual / vernacular region a region that only exists as a conceptualization or an idea and not as a physically demarcated area - for example "the South" in the USA. This is a region defined by peoples own experiences and perceptions.
Culture The sum total of the knowledge , attitudes, and habitual behavior patterns shared and transmitted by the members of a society.
Culture trait a single element of normal practice in a culture
Culture complex a related set of cultural traits within one culture
Cultural hearth heartland, source area, innovation center, place of origin of a major culture.
Independent invention The term for a trait with many dcultural hearths that developed independently of eachother.
Cultural diffusion The expansion and adoption of a cultural element from its place of origin to a wider area.
Time Distance Decay Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more closely related than far things. The distance between two places will affect how similar or related they are, and will also make it more difficult for ideas to spread
Cultural barrier Something that inhibits a practice or trait from spreading across space to a another culture. This happens when a persons beliefs of culture may prohibit certain traits.
Expansion Diffusion The spread of an innovationor idea through a population in an area in such a way that the number of those influenced grows continuosly larger
Contagious diffusion describes diffusion resulting from direct contact with an individual , and spread out in all directions
Hierarchical diffusion Describes the spread of something first to major nodes and then a hierarchy. a trait will spread first to similar populations and then trickle down to other populations over time.
stimulus diffusion Describes diffusion where a culture trait is changed to allow it to spread more easily to certain populations.
relocation diffusion Diffusion process in which the items being diffused are transmitted by carrier agents when they evacuate one place and relocate to another, this is most common through migration.
environmental determinism The view that the natural environment has a controlling influence over various aspects of human life, including cultural development.
Isotherm Lineon a map connecting points of equal temperature value.
Possibilism a geographic viewpoint that holds that human decision making, not the environment , is the crucial factor in development. Although the environment may limit development human choice is the deciding factor.
Cultural ecology The multiple interactions and relationships between a culture and the natural environment
Political ecology an approach to studying nature - society relations that is concerned with the ways in which environmental issues both reflect, and are the result of the political and socioeconomic contexts in which they are situated.
Site refers to the the physical and cultural features of a place, independent to other places around it.
Situation describes a place's relationship to other places around it.
Time Space convergence The idea that with increasing transportation and communications technology, absolute distance between places is, in effect shrinking.


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