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Unit 1

Geography Basics

TermDefinition
Human Geography The field of study that focuses on how people make places, how they organize space and society, how they interact with each other in places and across space, and how they make sense of others and themselves in their locality, region, and world.
Globalization process that increases interaction, deepens relationship, and heightens interdependence w/o through to country borders.
physical geography study of physical phenomena on Earth
Spatial distribution arrangement of places and phenomena, how they are laid out, organized, & arranged on Earth, & how they appear on the landscape.
pattern design of spatial distribution (how something is laid out across space.)
medical geography mapping the distribution of a disease in order to find its cause. (Ex. Cholera Map in Soho London, 1854, Dr. John Snow)
spatial perspective looking at how things are laid out. Observing variations in geographic phenomena across space.
location the geographic position of people and things on the earth's surface and how they affect what happens and why.
region features that tend to be concentrated in particular areas (ex. U.S.: New England, Mid-West, East Coast, South, North...)
place uniqueness of a location.
sense of place infusing a place with meaing and emotion, but remembering important events that occurred in a place, or by labeling a place with a certain character. (Ex. feeling of "home".)
perceptions of places developed ideas about places people have never been through books, movies, stories, and pictures. (NYC, Los Angeles, Paris, Alabama...)
spatial interaction how things are laid how and how the people in those different places do/don’t exchange ideas, goods, diseases.
connectivity how things come together or are linked between one location and another in a transport network.
landscape a core element of geography that refers to the material character of a place, complexity of natural features, human structures, and other tangible objects that give a place a particular form.
cultural landscape the visible imprint of human activity on the landscape. (concept- Carl Sauer)
sequent occupance Refers to the idea that as occupiers arrive they bring their own technoloy and cultural traditions & transform the landscape, but they can also be influenced by what they find when they arrive & leave some of it there. (concept- Derwent Whittlesey, 1929)
Cartography the study of maps/ map making.
reference maps show locations of places and geographic features.
Mercator projection this map shows shapes fairly accurately, but not size or distance. It exaggerates land near the poles but lets navigators plot a straight course between any two points
thematic maps tell stories, usually showing the degree of some attribute or the movement of a geographic phenomenon.
Robinson projection this map was designed to show land areas much the way they really look. The outlines of the continents appear much as they do on a globe, but the sizes of the continents are a little smaller than they appear on the globe.
absolute location latitude/longitude, coordinates, an exact location.
relative location describes where a place is in relation to another place.
global positioning system (GPS) allows us to locate things on the surgace of the earth with extraordinary accuracy; researchers can collect data quickly and easily in the field.
geocaching A hunt for a cache whose coordinates are placed on the Internet by other geocachers.
mental maps the maps we carry in our minds of places we have been and places we have merely heard of. (ex. a mental map of your house, park, school, church, etc.)
activity spaces those places we travel to routinely in our rounds of daily activity (ex. My classroom, the gym, cafeteria, your kitchen, the bus/ bus stop)
scale the relationship between the size of an object on a map and the size of the actual feture on Earth's surface
site the physical character of a place
situation the location of a place relative to another place
cartogram A type of thematic map that transforms such space such that the political unit with the greatest value for some type of data is represented by the largest relative area
dot maps Thematic maps that use points to show the precise locations of specific observations or occurrences, such as crimes, car accidents or births.
choropleth maps A thematic map that uses tones or colors to represent spatial data as average values per unit area
isoline maps Map line that connects points of equal or very similar values
remote sensing geographers monitor the Erath's surface form a distance to understand the scope and rate of environmental change over short and long periods of time by satellites and aircraft (airplanes, balloons.)
Geographic information systems (GIS) geographers use this advancement in computer technology and data storage to compare a variety of spatial data by combining layers of spatial data in a computerized environment, creating maps in which patterns and processes are superimposed.
formal region a physical criteria of an area and can also be defined by cultural traits (the people share one or more cultural traits -- food, belief systems, dress, dances, hair styles, languages etc.)
functional region the product of interactions of movement of various kinds. (Ex. a city, has a surrounding region within which workers commute, either ot the downtown area to to subsidiary centers such as office parks and shopping malls -- that entire urban area.)
perceptual regions intellectual constructs designed to help us understand the nature and distribution of phenomena in human geography. (Zelinsky's article "North America's Vernacular Regions")
culture Refers to music, literature, an the arts of a society, and all other features of its way of life: dress, routine living habits, food, architecture, education, government, law, even agricultural practices.
cultural trait a single attribute or characteristic of a culture. (ex. wearing a turban)
culture complex more than one culture may exhibit a culture trait, but each will consiste of a discrete combination of traits... (ex. herding cattle -- but it's used in different ways by different cultures. Maasai, E. Africa)
cultural hearth an area where cultural traits develop (originate) and from which they diffuse.
culture diffusion Process where something spreads -- an idea or innovation from its hearth (source) to other places. (Carl Sauer - Agricultural Origins and Dispersals; Haegerstrand, 1970 brought in time and distance to the equation.)
time-distance decay both time and distance can cause something not to be adopted the longer it takes to reach its potential adopters. The farther a place is from the hearth or longer the idea takes to get there, the less likely it will be adopted.
distance-decay the diminishing in importance and eventual disappearance of a phenomenon with increasing distance from its origin
friction of distance is bases on the notion that distance usually requires some amount of effort. interactions will tend to take place more often over shorter distances; quantity of interaction will decline with distance.
space-time compression the reduction in the time it takes to diffuse something to a distant place as a result of improved communication and transportation systems
cultural barriers Some cultural traits are not adoptable in particular cultures because of prevailing attitudes or taboos... examples are alcohol, certain forms of meat, fish, and other foods, the use of contraceptives.
expansion diffusion an idea that develops in a hearth and remains strong there while also spreading outward. Moves without people physically moving to become "knowers" of the trait or innovation.(Ex. Islam -- Arabian Peninsula to Egypt and N. Africa, SW Asia, and W. Africa)
relocation diffusion The opposite of expansion diffusion where the actual movement of individuals who have already adopted the idea or innovation carry it to a new, sometimes distant locale, where they proceed to disseminate it. Usually occurs through migration.
contagious diffusion A type of expansion diffusion. A form of expansion diffusion in which nearly all adjacent individuals are affected. (a disease, a religion)
hierarchical diffusion This diffusion is a pattern where the main channel of diffusion is some segment, level, or step of those who might adopt what is diffusing. (fashion)
stimulous diffusion Some ideas to adopt are 2 vague, unattainable, or different yet these ideas have an impact & may indirectly cause changes in ways of doing things. (ex. mass-production of food led to vegburgers in India)Type of expansion diffusion.
environmental determinism The belief that behavior (individual & collective) is affected, controlled, or determined by physical environment people live in. (Aristotle Anc.Greece).
possibilism The belief that the natural environment only limits choices available to a culture.
cultural ecology an area of inquiry concerned with culture as a system of adaptation to environment.
political ecology an area of inquiry fundamentally concerned with the environmental consequences of dominant political-economic arrangements and understandings.
What are Geographic Questions? Questions that deal with the study of human phenomena on Earth. The "why of where" and the "so what" factors. Looking at the spatial distribution of phenomenon raising questions about how that arrangement came to be and what keeps that pattern going...
Why do geographers use maps, and what do maps tell us? Maps are used as geographic tools (cartography). Maps are used to wage war, make political propaganda, solve medical problems, locate shopping centers, warn of natural hazards, show political boundaries...etc.
What are the 5 themes of Geography? location, human-environment, region, place, movement
Why are geographers concerns with scale and connectedness? Scale - local, regional, national, global. Geographers can make different observations at different scales, they can study single phenomenon across different scales to see what happens and how things are connected.
Created by: akillcoy