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Basic Geography - Required Reading #1

Basic Geography - Required Reading #1

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Published by: vincenteleazar5533 on Jan 03, 2010
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College Department-oOo-
(from Greek γεωγραφία - geografia) is the study of the Earth andits lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena. A literal translation would be "todescribe or write about the Earth".The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes, a Greekmathematician, poet, athlete, geographer and astronomer who lived from 276-194 B.C.Four historical traditions in geographical research are the following:spatial analysis of natural and human phenomena (geography as a study of distribution);area studies (places and regions);study of man-land relationship, andresearch in earth sciences.Nonetheless, modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremostseeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities – notmerely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. As "thebridge between the human and physical sciences," geography is divided into twomain branches - human geography and physical geography.
Traditionally, geographers have been viewed the same way as cartographersand people who study place names and numbers. Although many geographersare trained in toponymy and cartology, this is not their main preoccupation.Geographers study the spatial and temporal distribution of phenomena,processes and feature as well as the interaction of humans and theienvironment. As space and place affect a variety of topics such as economics,health, climate, plants and animals, geography is highly interdisciplinary.Geography as a discipline can be split broadly into two main sub fields: humangeography and physical geography. The former focuses largely on the builtenvironment and how space is created, viewed and managed by humans as wellas the influence humans have on the space they occupy. The latter examines thenatural environment and how the climate, vegetation & life, soil, water, andlandforms are produced and interact.As a result of the two subfields using different approaches a third field hasemerged, which is environmental geography. Environmental geography
combines physical and human geography and looks at the interactions betweenthe environment and humans.
Physical geography (or physiogeography) focuses on geography as an Earthscience. It aims to understand the physical lithosphere, hydrosphere,atmosphere, pedosphere, and global flora and fauna patterns (biosphere).Physical geography can be divided into the following broad categories:
Climatology & Paleoclimatology
Coastal Geography
Environmental Geography & Management
Hydrology & Hydrography
Landscape Ecology
Quaternary Science
Human Geography
Human geography is a branch of geography that focuses on the study of patternsand processes that shape human interaction with various environments. Itencompasses human, political, cultural, social, and economic aspects. While themajor focus of human geography is not the physical landscape of the Earth, it ishardly possible to discuss human geography without referring to the physicallandscape on which human activities are being played out, and environmentalgeography is emerging as a link between the two. Human geography can bedivided into many broad categories, such as:
Cultural Geography
Development Geography
Economic Geography
Health Geography
Historical & Time Geography
Political Geography & Geopolitics
Population Geography Or Demography
Religion Geography
Social Geography
Transportation Geography
Tourism Geography
Urban GeographyVarious approaches to the study of human geography have also arisen throughtime and include:
Behavioral geography
Feminist geography
Cultural theory
Environmental Geography
Environmental geography is the branch of geography that describes the spatialaspects of interactions between humans and the natural world. It requires anunderstanding of the traditional aspects of physical and human geography, aswell as the ways in which human societies conceptualize the environment.Environmental geography has emerged as a bridge between human and physicalgeography as a result of the increasing specialization of the two sub-fields.Furthermore, as human relationship with the environment has changed as aresult of globalization and technological change a new approach was needed tounderstand the changing and dynamic relationship. Examples of areas of research in environmental geography include disaster management,environmental management, sustainable development, and political ecology.
Geomatics is a branch of geography that has emerged since the quantitativerevolution in geography in the mid 1950s. Geomatics involves the use of traditional spatial techniques used in cartography and topography and theiapplication to computers.Geomatics has become a widespread field with many other disciplines usingtechniques such as Geographical Information System (GIS) and remote sensing.Geomatics has also led to a revitalization of some geography departmentsespecially in Northern America where the subject had a declining status duringthe 1950s.Geomatics encompasses a large area of fields involved with spatial analysis,such as Cartography, Geographic information systems (GIS), Remote sensing,and Global positioning systems (GPS).
Regional Geography
Regional geography is a branch of geography that studies the regions of all sizesacross the Earth. It has a prevailing descriptive character. The main aim is tounderstand or define the uniqueness or character of a particular region whichconsists of natural as well as human elements. Attention is paid also toregionalization which covers the proper techniques of space delimitation intoregions.Regional geography is also considered as a certain approach to study ingeographical sciences (similar to quantitative or critical geographies).
Related Fields
Urban planning, regional planning and spatial planning: use the science of geography to assist in determining how to develop (or not develop) the land tomeet particular criteria, such as safety, beauty, economic opportunities, thepreservation of the built or natural heritage, and so on. The planning of towns,cities, and rural areas may be seen as applied geography.
Regional science: In the 1950s the regional science movement led by Walter Isard arose, to provide a more quantitative and analytical base to

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