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How Do Geographers Describe Where Things Are? Chapter 1: Thinking Geographically How Do Geographers Describe Where Things Are? Chapter 1: Thinking Geographically

Geography as a Field of Inquiry: • Human Geo is: - the scientific study Geography as a Field of Inquiry: • Human Geo is: - the scientific study of the location of people and activities on the Earth’s surface - the study of where and why human activities are located where they are - a look at the world from a spatial perspective, studying how people and objects vary across the Earth’s surface - a study of the spatial interaction between people and objects, as well as the diffusion of people and ideas

Geography as a Field of Inquiry • G’s will: - observe a tension between Geography as a Field of Inquiry • G’s will: - observe a tension between local uniqueness and globalizing forces * This will help understand many of the world’s conflicts (i. e. political strife, development and economic geo, and the environment)

Nature and Perspectives • Earliest maps made by Chinese, Greek, and N African scholars Nature and Perspectives • Earliest maps made by Chinese, Greek, and N African scholars * • Cartography – art and science of mapmaking • Eratosthenes created term geo- (Earth) graphy (to write) • Strabo – “Geography” , 17 vol. description of the world (63 BC – 24 AD) • Ptolemy – “Father of Geography”, 8 volume “Guide to Geography” (90 AD – 168 AD)

Nature and Perspectives Geography developed as a discipline: Theories/Beliefs developed: Cultural Ecology – landscapes Nature and Perspectives Geography developed as a discipline: Theories/Beliefs developed: Cultural Ecology – landscapes are the products of complex human-environment relationships Environmental Determinism – the environment causes social development (Humboldt/Ritter) Possibilism (Modern) – physical environment may limit some human actions, but people have the ability to adjust through alternative courses of action—Use resources accordingly Regional Studies (cultural landscape) – emphasizes unique characteristics of each place, both human and physical

Location and Place • Place is the description of a specific point on the Location and Place • Place is the description of a specific point on the Earth’s surface; including human and physical features that make it unique • Location: 1. place-names (toponyms) 2. site 3. situation (relative location) 4. absolute location

Toponyms • All inhabited places on Earth have been given a place-name • Place Toponyms • All inhabited places on Earth have been given a place-name • Place names may tell us historical origins Examples: Battle, England Islamabad, Pakistan Gold Point, Nevada Aberystwyth, Wales

Site The specific physical characteristics of a place Rivers, hilltops, and islands historically important Site The specific physical characteristics of a place Rivers, hilltops, and islands historically important EX. Singapore is a small, swampy island

Singapore is a small, swampy island Singapore is a small, swampy island

Situation OR Relative Location • Places location relative to other places around it Situation OR Relative Location • Places location relative to other places around it

Absolute Location • Coordinate System • Latitude (parallels) Equator • Longitude (meridians) Prime Meridian Absolute Location • Coordinate System • Latitude (parallels) Equator • Longitude (meridians) Prime Meridian * International Date Line

Region • An area larger than a single city that contains unifying cultural and/or Region • An area larger than a single city that contains unifying cultural and/or physical characteristics • Controversy: What exactly makes a region? • Necessary to simplify the world for examination • Three types:

Formal Region (“Uniform” or “Homogeneous”) • Specific characteristics that are fairly uniform throughout the Formal Region (“Uniform” or “Homogeneous”) • Specific characteristics that are fairly uniform throughout the region EX. Colorado is a political region and the Rocky Mountains constitute a physical region

Functional Region (“Nodal”) • Has a social or economic function that occurs between a Functional Region (“Nodal”) • Has a social or economic function that occurs between a node or focal point and the surrounding areas EX. Circulation of the Dallas Morning News is a functional region and Dallas is the node

Perceptual Region (“Vernacular”) • One that exists in people’s minds EX. The American “South” Perceptual Region (“Vernacular”) • One that exists in people’s minds EX. The American “South” – people asked to draw a boundary will do so based on stereotypes such as climate, accent, religious practices, etc… * Ones attachment to a region perceived as home is sometimes called a sense of place