Unit 1: Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives

  •  Unit I.  Geography; Its Nature and Perspectives



    This unit will focus on the relevancy of geography to everyday life and utilizing geographic tools.  Geographic concepts emphasized are location, space, place, scale, pattern, regionalization and specialization.  Data analysis of geographic phenomena will be emphasized as well.



    • Define geography, human geography; explain the meaning of the spatial perspective.
    • Explain how geographers classify each of the following and provide examples of each: distributions, locations, regions.
    • Identify how each of the following plays a role in mapmaking: simplification, categorization, symbolization, induction.
    • Identify types of scale and projections used in mapmaking; identify advantages and disadvantages of different projections.
    • List different types (models) of diffusion and provide examples/illustrations of each in the real world.
    • Distinguish between different types of maps and mapped information (e.g., dot distribution, choropleth, etc.) and provide explanations of strengths and weaknesses of each.

    Focus Questions:

    1. Why do Geographers Address Where Things Are?
    2. Why is Each Point on Earth Unique?
    3. Why are Different Places Similar?



    Changing attributes of place 

    Cultural attributes (cultural landscape)

    Density (arithmetic, physiological)

    Diffusion (hearth, relocation, expansion, hierarchical, contagious, stimulus)

    Direction (absolute, relative)

    Dispersion/concentration (dispersed/scattered, clustered/agglomerated)

    Distance (absolute, relative)


    Environmental determinism

    Globalization (Localism; Glocalism; Neo-localism)

    Location (absolute, relative, site, situation, place name)

    Pattern (linear, centralized, random)

    Physical attributes (natural landscape)


    Region (formal/uniform, functional/nodal, perceptual/vernacular)

    Scale (implied degree of generalization)


    Spatial (of or pertaining to space on or near Earth’s surface)

    Spatial interaction (accessibility, connectivity, network, distance decay, friction of distance, time-space compression)



    Geographic Tools


    Geographic Information System (GIS)

    Global Positioning System (GPS)

    Grid (North and South Poles, latitude, parallel, equator, longitude, meridian, prime meridian, international date line)

    Map (Maps are the tool most uniquely identified with geography; the ability to use and interpret maps is an essential geographic skill.)

    Map scale (distance on a map relative to distance on Earth)

    Map types (thematic, statistical, cartogram, dot, choropleth, isoline)

    Mental map

    Model (a simplified abstraction of reality, structured to clarify causal relationships): Geographers use models (e.g., Demographic Transition, Epidemiological Transition, Gravity, Von Thünen, Weber, Stages of Growth [Rostow], Concentric Circle [Burgess], Sector [Hoyt], Multiple Nuclei, Central Place [Christaller], and so on) to explain patterns, make informed decisions, and predict future behaviors.


    Remote sensing

    Time zones

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