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the study of geographic phenomena by visiting places and observing how people interact with and thereby change those places.
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terms list

the study of geographic phenomena by visiting places and observing how people interact with and thereby change those places.
human geography
one of the two major divisions of geography; the spatial analysis of human population, its cultures, activities, and landscapes
expansion of economic, political, and cultural processes to the point that they become global in scale and impact. The processes of globalization transcend state boundaries and have outcomes that vary across places and scales
Physical Geography
one of the two major divisions of systematic geography; the spatial analysis of the structure, processes, and location of the Earth's natural phenomena such as climate, soil, plants, animal, and topography
pertaining to space on the Earth's surface; sometimes used as a synonym for geographic
spatial distribution
physical location of geographic phenomena across space
the design of a spatial distribution (e.g. scattered or concentrated)
Medical geography
the study of health and disease within a geographic context and from a geographical perspective. Among other things, medical geography looks at sources, diffusion routes, and distributions of diseases
an outbreak of a disease that spreads worldwide.
a disease that is particular to a locality or region
spatial perspective
observing variations in geographic phenomena across space
five themes (of geography)
developed by the Geography Educational National Implementation Project (GENIP), the five themes of geography are location, human-environment, region, place, and movement
the first theme of geography as defined by GENIP; the geographical situation of people and things
Location theory
a logical attempt to explain the locational pattern of an economic activity and the manner in which its producing areas are interrelated. The agricultural location theory contained in the von Thunen model is a leading example
human-environment interaction
one of the two major divisions of geography; the spatial analysis of human population, its cultures, activities, and landscapes
the third theme of geography as defined by the GENIP; an area on the Earth's surface marked by a degree of formal, functional, or perceptual homogeneity of some phenomenon
fourth theme of geography as defined by the GENIP; uniqueness of a location
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 certain character
perception of place
belief or "understanding" about a place developed through books, movies stories or pictures
the fifth theme of geography as defined by GENIP; the mobility of people, goods, and ideas across the surface of the planet
spatial interaction
condition that exists when two regions, through an exchange of raw materials and/or finished products, can specifically satisfy each other's demands
measurement of the physical space between two places
the degree of case with which it is possible to reach a certain location from other locations; Accessibility varies from place to place and can be measured
the degree of direct linkage between one particular location and other locations in a transport network
the overall appearance of an area. Most landscapes are compromised of a combination of natural and human-induced influences
Cultural landscape
the visible imprint of human activity and culture on the landscape. The layers of buildings, forms, and artifacts sequentially imprinted on the landscape by the activities of various human occupants
sequent occupance
the notion that successive societies leave their cultural imprints on a place, each contributing to the cumulative cultural landscape
the art and science of making maps, including data compilation, layout, and design. Also concerned with the interpretation of mapped patterns
reference maps
maps that show the absolute location of places and geographic features determined by a frame of reference, typically latitude and longitude
thematic maps
maps that tell stories, typically showing the degree of some attribute or the movement of a geographic phenomenon
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, 0 to 90 degrees north or south of the equator, and longitude, 0 to 180 degrees east or west of the Prime Meridian passing through Greenwich, England (a suburb of London)
global position system (GPS)
satellite-based system for determining the absolute location of places or geographic features
a hunt for a cache, the GPS coordinates which are placed on the Internet by other gocachers
Relative location
the regional position or situation of a place relative to the position of other places. Distance, accessibility, and connectivity affect relative location
mental map
image or picture of the way space is organized as determined by a individual's perception, impression, and knowledge of that space
activity space
the space within which daily activity occurs
Generalized map
a topological model which allows one to represent and to handle subdivided objects.
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
geographic information system(GIS)
a collection of computer hardware and software that permits spatial data to be collected, recorded, stored, retrieved, manipulated, analyzed, and displayed to the user
involvement of players at other scales to generate support for a position or an initiative( e.g., use of the Internet to generate interest on a national or global scale for a local position or initiative)
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
functional region
a region defined by the particular set of activities or interactions that occur within it
Perceptual region
a region that only exists as a conceptualization or an idea and not as a physically demarcated entity. For example, in the United States, "the South" and "the Mid-Atlantic region" are perceptual regions
the sum total of the knowledge, attitudes, and habitual behavior patterns shared and transmitted by the members of a society. This is anthropologist Ralph Linton's definition; hundreds of others exist
culture trait
a single element of normal practice in a culture, such as the wearing of a turban
culture complex
a related set of cultural traits, such as prevailing dress codes and cooking and eating utensils
culture hearth
heartland, source area, innovation center; place of origin of a major culture
independent invention
the term for a trait with many cultural hearths that developed independent of each other
cultural diffusion
the expansion and adoption of a cultural element, from its place of origin to a wider area
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
cultural barrier
prevailing culture attitude rendering certain innovations, ideas or practices unacceptable or unadoptable in that particular culture
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
contagious diffusion
the distance-controlled spreading of an idea, innovation, or some other item through a local population by contact from person to person-analogous to the communication of a contagious illness
Hierarchal diffusion
a form of diffusion in which an idea or innovation spreads by passing first among the most connected places or peoples. An urban hierarchy is usually involved, encouraging the leapfrogging of innovations over wide areas, with geographic distance a less important influence
stimulus diffusion
a form of diffusion in which a cultural adaptation is created as a result of the introduction of a cultural trait from another place
Relocation diffusion
sequential diffusion process in which the items being diffused are transmitted by their carrier agents as they evacuate the old areas and relocate to new ones. The most common form of relocation diffusion involves the spreading of innovation by a migrating population
geographic concept
ways of seeing the world spatially that are used by geographers in answering research questions
Environmental determinism
the view that the natural environment has a controlling influence over various aspects of human life, including cultural development. Also referred to as environmentalism
line on a map connecting points of equal temperature values
geographic viewpoint-a response to determinism-that hold that human decision making, not the environment, is the crucial factor in cultural development. Nonetheless, possibilists view the environment as providing a set of broad constraints that limits the possibilities of human choice
cultural ecology
the multiple interactions and relationships between a culture and the natural environment
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

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