19 September 2012

What is Geography?

What is Geography?
  • The study of spatial aspect of human existence.

  • An integrative discipline that brings together the physical and human dimensions of the world.

  • Subject matter is the Earth’s surface and the processes that shape it, and the relationship between people and environment.

  • Asking and answering geographic questions (much more than rote memorization of isolated facts).

    Geographic Questions

    • Where?
    • What is there?
    • What spatial patterns exist?
    • Why there?
    • What has changed since ...?
    • What if …?

    • Location
    • Basic inventory
    • Patterns
    • Cause and effect
    • Trends
    • Modeling

    Five Traditions of Geography

    • Location (location/allocation analysis)

    • Place (site and situation)

    • Society and Environment (human ecology)

    • Movement (interaction between places)

    • Regions (similarity and difference)

      What is Human Geography?

      • Focuses on people: where, what, how to interact over space, and what kind of human landscapes.

      • A systematic subject (like physical geography) versus the regional approach (like regional geography).

      • A connector for all of the social sciences as with the necessary spatial and systems viewpoint.

        Five Geographic Skills

        • Asking geographic questions

          • ability and willingness to ask questions.
        • Acquiring geographic information

          • locate, collect, observe, read, record, interpret, etc.
        • Organizing geographic information

          • map, graph, tabulate, present, narrate, etc.
        • Analyzing geographic information

          • seek patterns, relationships, trends, and connections.
        • Answering geographic questions

          • development of generalizations and conclusions.

        Basic Geographic Concepts

        • Location, direction, distance of a place.

          • absolute versus relative.

        • Size and scale (the degree of generalization).

        • Physical/cultural attributes of a place.

        • Spatial interaction between places.

        • Spatial diffusion from places.

        • Density, dispersion, pattern.

        • Regions (formal, functional, perceptual).

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