Intro to Human Geography
Field Note: Humans are geographers by nature. They can think territorially or spatially and have an awareness of, and curiosity about the distinctive nature of places. Even children possess qualities of geographers, creating carefully mapped realms in tiny places. Places possess an emotional quality, and we all must belong somewhere.
Humans’ insatiable curiosity and the place-centered element within us gave birth to geography as an academic discipline. Conquest and commerce generated a need to know about the world and pragmatism was added long ago by traders and explorers. Geography literally means “to describe the Earth,” and the practical aspects of geography first arose among the Greeks, Romans, Mesopotamians, and Phoenicians.
I. What is Human Geography?
A. Human Geography: How people make places, how we organize space and society, and how we interact with each other across space
B. Globalization: Worldwide integration and development
II.What Are Geographic Questions?
A.Physical Geography: The branch of geography concerned with natural features and phenomena of the earth’s surface, as landforms, drainage features,climates, soils, and vegetation. B.Spatial: Existing or occurring in space
C.Spatial Distribution: The arrangement of a phenomenon across space D.Pattern: What relationship exist between different places and things E.Medical Geography: The distribution of a disease F.Pandemic: An epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region (sometimes spread up to worldwide) G.Epidemic: A widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.
H.Spatial Perspective: A method used in geography to identify, predict and
explain the physical and human patterns in space
I.Location: Geographical position
J.Location Theory: An element of contemporary human geography that seeks answers to a wide range of questions-some theoretical, some practical K.Human-Environment: A spatial perspective that invites consideration of the relationship among phenomena in individual places-including between humans and the world
L.Region: An area on Earth’s surface marked by a degree of formal, functional, or perceptual homogeneity of some phenomenon M.Place: A location
N.Sense of Place: State of mind derived through the infusion of a place with meaning and emotion by remembering important events that occurred in that place or by labeling a place with a certain character. O.Perception of Place: Belief or “understanding” about a place developed through books, movies, stories or pictures.
P.Movement: The mobility of people, goods and ideas across the surface of the planet. Q.Spatial Interaction: Both Complementarity ( A condition that exists when two regions, through an exchange of raw materials and/ or finished products, can specifically satisfy each other’s demands) and Intervening Opportunity (The presence of a nearer opportunity that greatly diminishes the attractiveness of sites farther away). R.Distance: Measurement of the physical space between two places. S.Accessibility: The degree of ease with which it is possible to reach a certain location from other locations. T.Connectivity: The degree of direct linkage between one particular location and other locations in a transport network. U.Landscape: The overall appearance of an area
V.Cultural Landscape: The visible imprint of human activity
W.Sequent Occupance: The notion that successive societies leave their cultural imprints on a place, each contributing to the cumulative cultural landscape.
III. Why do geographers use maps, and what d maps tell us?
A.Cartography: The art and science of making maps, including data
compilation, layout, and design. Also concerned with the interpretation of mapped patterns.
B.Reference Maps: Maps that show the absolute location of places and geographic features determined by a frame of reference C.Thematic Maps: Maps that tell stories, typically showing the degree of some attribute of the movement of a geographic phenomenon.
D.Absolute Location: The position of place of a certain item on the surface of the Earth as expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds of latitude
E.GPS: Satellite-based system for determining the absolute location of places or geographic features.
F.Geocaching: A hunt for a cache, the GPS coordinates which are placed on the Internet by other geocachers.
G.Relative Location: The regional position or situation of a place relative to the position of other places.
H.Mental Map: Image of picture of the way space is organized as determined by an individual’s perception, impression, and knowledge of that space. I.Activity Space: The space within which daily activity occurs.
J.Generalized Map:When mapping data, whether human or physical geographers, cartographers, the geographers who make maps, generalize the information the present on maps. K.Remote Sensing: A method of collecting data or information through the use of instruments that are physically distant from the area or object of study.
L.Geographic Information Systems: A collection of computer hardware and software that permits spatial data to be collected, recorded, stored, retrieved, manipulated, analyzed, and displayed to the user.
IIII. Why are geographers concerned with scale and connectedness? A.Rescale: Involvement of players at other scales to generate support for a position or an initiative
B.Formal Region:A type of region in which the housing stock predominantly reflects styles of building that are particular to the culture of the people who have inhabited the area.
C.Functional Region: A region defined by the particular set of activities or interactions that occur within it.
D.Perceptual Region: A region that only exists as a conceptualization or an idea and not as a physically demarcated entity. E.Culture: The sum total of the knowledge, attitudes, and habitual behavior patterns shared and transmitted by the members of a society. F.Culture Trait: A single element of normal practice in a culture G.Culture Complex: A related set of cultural traits, such as prevailing dress codes and cooking and eating utensils
H.Cultural Hearth: Heartland, source area, innovation center; place of origin of a major culture. I.Independent Invention:The term for a trait with many cultural hearths that developed independent of each other J.Cultural Diffusion:The expansion and adoption of a cultural element, from its place of origin to a wider area. K.Time-Distance Decay:The declining degree of acceptance of an idea or innovation with increasing time and distance from its point of origin or source.
L.Cultural Barrier:Prevailing cultural attitude rendering certain innovations; ideas or practices unacceptable or unadoptable in that particular culture.
M.Expansion Diffusion: The spread of an innovation or an idea through a population in an area in such a way that the number of those influenced grows continuously larger, resulting in an expanding area of dissemination.
N.Contagious Diffusion: The distance-controlled spreading of an idea, innovation, or some other item through a local population by contact from person to person.
O.Hierarchical Diffusion: A form of diffusion in which an idea or innovation spreads by passing first among the most connected places or peoples.
P.Stimulus Diffusion:A form of diffusion in which cultural adaptation is created as a result of the introduction of a cultural trait from another place.
Q.Relocation Diffusion: Sequential relocation process in which the items being relocated are transmitted by their carrier agents as they evacuate the old areas and relocate new ones.
IIIII. What are geographic concepts, and how are they used inanswering geographic questions? A.Geographic Concept: Ways of seeing the world spatially that are used by geographers in answering research questions. B.Environmental Determination: The view that the natural environment has a controlling influence over various aspects of human life, including cultural development.
C.Isotherm: Line on a map connecting points of equal temperature values. D.Possibilism: Geographic viewpoint- a response to determinism- that holds that human decision making, not the environment, is the critical factor in cultural development. E.Cultural Ecology: The multiple interactions and relationships between a culture and the natural environment. F.Political Ecology:An approach to studying nature-society relations that is concerned with the ways in which environmental issues both reflect, and are the result of, the political and socioeconomic contexts in which they are situated.