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Chapter 1

North America

Migration A change in residence intended to be permanent
Globalization The gradual reduction of regional differences at the world scale, resulting from increasing international cultural, economic, and political interaction.
Core area In geography, a term with several connotations. Core refers to the center, heart, or focus. The core area of a nation-state is constituted by the national heartland, the largest population cluster, the most productive region
Core-periphery relationship The contrasting spatial characteristics of, and linkages between, the have (core) and have-not (periphery) components of a national, regional, or the global system.
Global periphery All of the countries that lie outside the global core (mapped in green in Fig. G-12). Economically, these countries are subordinate to those of the global core in terms of development and international influence
Global core All of the countries that lie outside the global core (mapped in green in Fig. G-12). Economically, these countries are subordinate to those of the global core in terms of development and international influence. Geographically, the global periphery
Inclusive development The extent of equal economic (and social) development opportunities for different population groups, especially minorities and the poor.
Sustainable development Viable, long-term development that does not deplete resources and/or cause significantly negative side-effects.
Development The economic, social, and institutional growth of national states.
Geopolitics Political relations among states or regions that are strongly influenced by their geographical setting, including proximity, accessibility, sovereign boundaries, natural resources, population distribution, and the like.
European state model A state consisting of a legally defined territory inhabited by a population governed from a capital city by a representative government.
Sovereignty Controlling power and influence over a territory, especially by the government of an autonomous state over the people it rules.
State A politically organized territory that is administered by a sovereign government and is recognized by a significant portion of the international community. A state must also contain a permanent resident population
Cultural landscape The forms and artifacts sequentially placed on the natural landscape by the activities of various human occupants. By this progressive imprinting of the human presence, the physical (natural) landscape is modified into the
Megacity Informal term referring to the world’s most heavily populated cities; in this book, the term refers to a metropolis containing a population of greater than 10 million.
Urbanization A term with a variety of connotations. The proportion of a country’s population living in urban places is its level of urbanization. The process of urbanization involves the movement to, and the clustering of, people in towns and cities
Population distribution he way people have arranged themselves in geographic space. One of human geography’s most essential expressions because it represents the sum total of the adjustments that a population has made to its natural, cultural, and economic environments
Geospatial data Data pertaining to a particular location on or near the Earth’s surface.
Global climate change The shift in the characteristics and spatial distribution of Earth’s climates in response to a long-term trend in atmospheric warming.
Holocene The current interglacial epoch (the warm period of glacial contraction between the glacial expansions of an ice age); extends from 10,000 years ago to the present. Also known as the Recent Epoch.
Climate The long-term conditions (over at least 30 years) of aggregate weather over a region, summarized by averages and measures of variability; a synthesis of the succession of weather events we have learned to expect at any given location.
Pacific ring of fire Zone of crustal instability along tectonic plate boundaries, marked by earthquakes and volcanic activity, that ring the Pacific Ocean Basin.
Tectonic plate The slabs of heavier rock on which the lighter rocks of the continents rest. The plates are in motion, propelled by gigantic circulation cells in the red-hot, molten rock below. Most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are associated
Continental drift The slow movement of continents controlled by the processes associated with plate tectonics.
Natural landscape The array of landforms that constitutes the Earth’s surface (mountains, hills, plains, and plateaus) and the physical features that mark them (such as water bodies, soils, and vegetation). Each geographic realm has its distinctive
Functional region A region marked less by its sameness than by its dynamic internal structure; because it usually focuses on a central node, also called nodal region or focal region
Hinterland Literally “country behind,” a term that applies to a surrounding area served by an urban center. That center is the focus of goods and services produced for its hinterland and is its dominant urban influence as well.
Spatial system The components and interactions of a functional region, which is defined by the areal extent of those interactions.
Formal region A type of region marked by a certain degree of homogeneity in one or more phenomena; also called uniform region or homogeneous region.
Relative region The regional position or situation of a place relative to the position of other places. Distance, accessibility, and connectivity affect relative location.
Absolute location The position or place of a certain item on the surface of the Earth as expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds of latitude and longitude.
Region A commonly used term and a geographic concept of paramount importance. An area on the Earth’s surface marked by specific criteria, which are discussed in the Introduction.
Transitional zone An area of spatial change where the peripheries of two adjacent realms or regions join; marked by a gradual shift (rather than a sharp break) in the characteristics that distinguish these neighboring geographic entities from one another.
Geographic realm The basic spatial unit in our world regionalization scheme. Each realm is defined in terms of a synthesis of its total human geography—a composite of its leading cultural, economic, historical, political, and appropriate environmental features.
Scale Representation of a real-world phenomenon at a certain level of reduction or generalization. In cartography, the ratio of map distance to ground distance; indicated on a map as a bar graph, representative fraction, and/or verbal statement.
Spatial perspective Broadly, the geographic dimension or expression of any phenomenon; more specifically, anything related to the organization of space on the Earth’ surface.
Mental maps Maps that individuals carry around in their minds that reflect their constantly evolving perception of how geographic space (ranging from their everyday activity space to the entire world) is organized around them.
Created by: Nicholas Freeman



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