1 Chapter One: Introduction to Geography (Text from Introduction to Geography: People, Places, and Environment by Berman and Renwick

Introduction to Geography (Chapter One)
What is Geography? Geography is the study of the interaction of all physical and human phenomena at individual places and of how interactions among places form patterns and organize space. Physical geography studies the characteristics of the physical environment. Human geography studies human groups and their activities, such as language, industry, and the building of cities. Cultural geography a subfield of geography, human geography, focuses specifically on the role of human cultures. Cartography (map making) and its computerized extension to geographic information systems (GIS provide tools that help GIS) GIS both physical and human geographers store, display, and analyze geographic data. Bernhard Varen, German professor during the 17th century, wrote General Geography. He described two different approaches to geography: special geography and general geography. Special geography describes and analyzes places in terms of categories such as local population, customs, politics, economy, and religion—this is now called regional geography General geography is now referred to geography. as topical or systematic geography and examines topics of universal application or occurrence. Contemporary Approaches in Geography

Area Analysis
Site describes the exact location of a place, and can be described either in terms of latitude and longitude or in terms of the place’s characteristics. The location of a place relative to other places is called its situation Relative location influences accessibility. Improvements in transportation and situation. communication links have “shrunk” the Earth enough for many activities to expand their organization worldwide in globalization globalization. Earth is divided into regions areas defined by one or more distinctive characteristics or features. The regions, three kinds of regions are: region: Formal region : exhibits essential uniformity in one or more physical or cultural features Functional region: defined by interactions among places, such as trade or communication region: Vernacular region: defined by widespread popular perception of their existence by people within or outside them

Spatial Analysis
The distribution of a phenomenon means its position, placement, or arrangement throughout space. Density describes the frequency of occurrence of a phenomenon in relation to geographic area. Concentration refers to the distribution of a phenomenon within a given area. Pattern refers to the geometrical arrangement of objects within an area. Distance can be measured absolutely, in terms of miles or miles or kilometers, but it can also be measured in other ways, such as time. Topography (surface relief), may make it quicker to reach a place a further absolute distance away. Distances can also be measured in terms of the cost required

2 Chapter One: Introduction to Geography (Text from Introduction to Geography: People, Places, and Environment by Berman and Renwick

Introduction to Geography (Chapter One)
to overcome the distance. There must be some effort made to overcome distance when we want to move or transport items—that effort or cost is the friction of distance which limits interactions distance, across great distances. The presence or impact of any phenomenon may diminish away from its origin. This is called the distance decay concept. A model is an idealized, simplified representation of any reality that can be used as a standard to compare individual cases in the real world. Diffusion is the process of an item or feature spreading through time. Any innovation—the use of a tool, a new clothing fashion, or the development of a new technology—originates at a place called a hearth. hearth Three basic paths of diffusion are: Relocation diffusion: widely separated point to point. Nomadic tribes bringing ideas and practices to a new location and spreading them are an example. 2. Contiguous diffusion: one place directly to a neighboring place. An example is the spread of artistic styles. Central Asian statues of Buddha following conquests of Alexander the Great led to statues resembling Greek gods. 3. Hierarchical diffusion information travels up and down a hierarchy, such as in the Catholic Hierarchical diffusion: Church. Advanced societies usually exhibit well-developed hierarchies of cities. Another example involves the air passenger routes of the United States—travelers going to a smaller city usually have to travel to a larger one. Barriers involve oceans and deserts, or other topographical features that block human communication. Other barriers can be political boundaries or boundaries between two culture realms. Hostile misunderstanding, distrust, and competition can hinder communication and exchange between two groups. 1.

Physical and Human Systems
A system is an interdependent group of items that interact in a regular way to form a unified whole. Geographers study natural processes in terms of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere. The atmosphere is a thin layer of gases surrounding Earth to an altitude of less than 480 atmosphere km. Pure, dry air in the lower atmosphere contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen by volume. The hydrosphere is the water realm of Earth’s surface, including the oceans, surface waters on land, groundwater in soil and rock, water vapor in the atmosphere, and ice in glaciers. The lithosphere is the solid Earth, composed of rocks and sediments overlying them. The biosphere consists of all living organisms on Earth. The atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere create the environment of the biosphere. An ecological system, or ecosystem is a group of organisms and the nonliving ecosystem, physical and chemical environment with which they interact. Ecology is the scientific study of ecosystems.

Human-Environmental Interaction

3 Chapter One: Introduction to Geography (Text from Introduction to Geography: People, Places, and Environment by Berman and Renwick

Introduction to Geography (Chapter One)
Geography is one of the social sciences that contributes to our understanding of human culture A culture. bundle of attributes of shared behavior or belief in a group of people are defined as a culture. People transform a natural landscape one without evidence of human activity, into a cultural landscape landscape, landscape, one that reveals the many ways that people modify their local environment. Describing Earth

The Geographic Grid
An imaginary plane perpendicular to the axis of Earth’s rotation passes through Earth halfway between the poles is called the plane of the equator, and this plane intersects Earth at the equator equator. Latitude is angular distance measured north and south of the equator. Lines connecting all points of the same latitude are called parallels because they do not intersect. Longitude is angular distance measured east and west on Earth’s surface. It is represented by meridians extending from pole to pole and crossing all parallels at right angles. The prime meridian from which longitude is meridian, measured, was chosen by an international conference in 1884. The time at the prime meridian is designated Greenwich Mean Time (GMT A clock advances one hour from GMT for each 15° GMT). GMT traveled east. The International Date Line for the most part follows 180° longitude. Travelers heading east will move back one day. With the development of global positioning systems (GPS it is much easier to determine the GPS), GPS location of a place on Earth’s surface. The system consists of a fleet of satellites that orbit Earth, broadcasting digital codes.

Communicating Geographic Information
Maps are two-dimensional representations of some portion of Earth’s surface. The scale of a map is a quantitative statement of the relative sizes of an object on the map and in reality. Maps that show the land in a small space are called small - scale maps while those that show a given area in a large smallmaps, space is called a large-scale map. A second fundamental characteristic of maps that governs the way largemap we show information is projection the transferral of locations on Earth’s surface to locations on a projection, flat map. Maps that distort size but preserve shape are called conformal maps Maps that preserve maps. size but distort shape are called equal -area maps or equivalent projections. The Mercator projection equalis a common conformal map.

Geographic Information Technology Computer-assisted drawing (CAD) technology allows sophisticated, specialized digital cartography
systems to be developed. The acquisition of data about Earth’s surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or from high-flying aircraft is known as remote sensing sensing.

GIS: A Type of Database Software

4 Chapter One: Introduction to Geography (Text from Introduction to Geography: People, Places, and Environment by Berman and Renwick

Introduction to Geography (Chapter One)
A GIS is a special form of database software in which spatial information is an important part. “Layers” of information are created and it becomes easier to show relationships among different kinds of information. Raster formats use equally spaced squares that contain specific information. Vector data is based on points, lines, and polygons. They differ in the kind of information they can portray and the spatial accuracy in which they portray it. Raster formats are very useful for storing and manipulating information about complex maps such as a satellite image of a vegetated landscape, with many variations in the colors of vegetation and shapes of vegetation patches. Vectors are useful for storing information about regions, such as political units, or lines, such as roads. Conclusion: Critical Issues for the Future Critical issues include: Global-scale environmental change, such as deforestation, soil degradation, and decreased atmospheric ozone levels. Rates of population growth in some regions that deplete scarce resources and produce environmental changes Increasing disparities in wealth and the threat of conflict between rich and poor countries and within individual countries. Systems of food production and distribution that do not meet nutritional needs of many people in developing countries.

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