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Chapter 1 Vocabulary

Human Geography

TermDefinition
Human Geography The effect humans have on Earth
Geography The spatial study of people, place, space, and environment.
Globalization a set of processes that are increasing interactions, deepening relationships, and accelerating interdependence across national borders. Began as an economic movement rooted in free trade.
Fieldwork Observations researchers make of physical and cultural landscapes with a focus on seeing similarities and differences.
Patterns Description of the spatial distribution of a human or physical phenomenon (e.g., scattered or concentrated).
Physical Geography One of the two major divisions of geography; the spatial analysis of physical phenomena, including climate, environmental hazards, weather systems, animals, and topography.
Spatial distribution Physical locations of geographic phenomena, usually shown on a map.
Pandemic An outbreak of a disease that spreads worldwide
Epidemic Widespread, rapid diffusion of disease among a people in a particular location or region at a particular time.
Spatial perspective Looking at where things occur, why they occur where they do, and how places are interconnected.
Geographic concepts Mental categories used to organize and analyze the world spatially.
Location Position on Earth, including both absolute location and relative location (one of the five themes of geography).
Absolute location Locations don’t change. The exact location on earth’s surface. (Longditute or Adress)
Relative location Relative location is expressed as where something is in relation to something else. The “something else” can always change.
Location theory Understanding the distribution of cities, industries, services, or consumers with the goal of explaining why places are chosen as sites of production or consumption. The von Thünen model is an example.
Human-environment interactions Reciprocal relationship between humans and environment (one of the five themes of geography).
Environmental determinism The idea that individual and collective human behavior is fundamentally affected by, or even controlled by, the physical environment.
Hearth Area or place where an idea, innovation, or technology originates.
Possibilism The argument that the natural environment merely serves to limit the range of choices available to a culture; the choices that societies make depend on what its members need and what technology is available to them.
Carrying capacity The idea that land can hold a measurable amount of plant and animal life.
Cultural Ecology Study of the historical interaction between humans and environment in a place, including ways humans have modified and adapted to environment.
Political Ecology An approach to studying human-environment interactions in the context of political, economic, and historical conditions operating at multiple scales.
Region Area of Earth identified as sharing a formal, functional, or perceptual commonality that makes it different from regions around it (one of the five themes of geography).
Formal Region Th region has a shared cultural or physical trait. (French-speaking region of Europe)
Cultural trait A single attribute of a culture
Functional Region Defined by a particular set of activities or interactions that occur within the region.
Node Connection point in a network, where goods and ideas flow in, out, and through the network.
Perceptual/Vernacular Region Intellectual constructs designed to help us understand the nature and distribution of phenomena in human geography. Can be shared by many people or specific to an individual.
Place Uniqueness of a location (one of the five themes of geography).
Sense of Place Infusing a place with meaning as a result of experiences in a place.
Perception of Place How a place is envisioned.
Movement Mobility of people, goods, and services across Earth (one of the five themes of geography).
Diffusion Spread of an idea, innovation, or technology from its hearth to other people and places. See also contagious, expansion, hierarchical, relocation, and stimulus diffusion.
Spatial Interaction Degree of connectedness or contact among people or places.
Distance An amount of space between two things or people.
Accessibility Ease of flow between two places.
Connectivity Position of a place or area relative to others in a network.
Expansion Diffusion When an innovation or idea develops in a hearth and remains strong there while also spreading outward.
Contagious Diffusion A form of expansion diffusion in which nearly all adjacent individuals and places are affected. Usually occurs from person to person contact.
Hierarchical Diffusion Spread of an idea or innovation from one person or place to another person or place based on a hierarchy of connectedness. Specific type of expansion diffusion.
Stimulus Diffusion A process of diffusion where two cultural traits blend to create a distinct trait.
Relocation Diffusion Occurs most frequently through migration and involves the actual movement of individuals who have already adopted the idea or innovation, and who carry it to a new location. The trait must be adopted in the new area.
Cultural landscape The visible human imprint on the landscape.
Sequent occupance Imprints left on the cultural landscape by a series of successive societies. Each society contributed to the cumulative cultural landscape.
Scale Geographical scope (local, national, or global) in which we analyze and understand a phenomenon.
Rescale Changing the geographical scope at which a problem is addressed by engaging decision makers and gatekeepers at another scale.
Context The physical and human geographies creating the place, environment, and space in which events occur and people act.
Cartography The art and science of making maps
Reference Maps Show locations of places and geographic features
Thematic maps Tell stories, typically showing the degree of some attribute or the movement of a geographic phenomenon
Global Positioning System (GPS) Allows us to locate things on the surface of Earth with extraordinary accuracy using satellites. (24 orbiting)
Mental maps Maps in our minds of places we have been and places we have merely heard of.
Activity spaces Places we travel to routinely in our rounds of daily activity.
Terra Incognita Unknown lands that are off limits or unreachable.
Remote sensing Remote sensing is the process of detecting and monitoring the physical characteristics of an area
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth's surface. Helps better understand spatial patterns and relationships.
Culture An all-encompassing term that identifies not only the whole tangible lifestyle of peoples but also their prevailing values and beliefs.
Culture Complex More than one culture may exhibit a particular culture trait, but each consists of a discrete combination of traits.
Created by: Mark Gurevich
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