What is Geography? - PowerPoint Presentation

What is Geography?
What is Geography?

What is Geography? - Description

The Queen of Social Sciences Dream big As a young man my fondest dream was to become a geographer However while working in the customs office I thought deeply about the matter and concluded that it was far too difficult a subject With some reluctance I then turned to physics as a sub ID: 510690 Download Presentation


human geography geographers physical geography human physical geographers study place environment earth space natural people image discipline world phenomena geographer names climate

Embed / Share - What is Geography?

Presentation on theme: "What is Geography?"— Presentation transcript


What is Geography?

“The Queen of Social Sciences”Slide2

Dream big…

As a young man my fondest dream was to become a geographer. However, while working in the customs office I thought deeply about the matter and concluded that it was far too difficult a subject. With some reluctance, I then turned to physics as a substitute.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955), Unpublished LettersSlide3


Geography (from Greek, geographia

, lit. "earth description") is the discipline that studies the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth.

Official Definition...

A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276-194 BC).

Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), the area studies (places and regions), the study of the man-land relationship, and the research in the earth sciences.Slide4

The Bridge between…

Nonetheless, the modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical science". Geography is divided into two main branches: the human geography and the physical geography.Slide5

“Capes and Bays" geography??

Many people have an out-of-date image of geography and think of it as only the study of quiz show-like descriptive facts, such as the highest mountains and largest cities (


, 2001).

Adena Schutzberg made this point on the All Points Blog about Geography Bees:

"...this kid memorized all this "capes and bays" geography to get the award...I'm disappointed we holding [sic] to the notion that this is geography and what geographers do. Ever wonder why the Department of Labor is predicting we'll run out of trained geospatial folks in the coming years? Kids think this Geography Bee is what geography is all about!" (


) Slide6

Even those that know that geography is more than just memorizing facts, still have the image that high technology in geography is an individual laboring over a drafting table making maps as it would have been done in the 1930s.

Figure 3:

Map making in the 1930s. Many people still see geography in these terms.

SOURCE: www.census.gov.Slide7

Contrary to this outdated but prevailing image, geography and geographic thought is on the frontline of embracing cutting edge information technologies to develop methods of solving problems based on place. Using a toolset of technology and theory, a geographer uses place-based reasoning to solve some of our thorniest problems. The result is that, today, geographers are an ever increasingly important part of the decision making team in security and humanitarian activities.

The three-dimensional image of the New York City World Trade Center, developed using LIDAR data collected on September 17, 2001 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, illustrates just one of the tools geographers have in their toolbox to serve the decision maker. The LIDAR data helped to produce 3-D images of the site where crews continue their recovery and cleanup efforts. Slide8

the Connections…

Traditionally, geographers have been viewed the same way as cartographers and people who study place names and numbers. Although many geographers are trained in toponymy (study of place names) and cartology, this is not their main preoccupation. Geographers study the spatial and the temporal distribution of phenomena, processes, and features as well as the interaction of humans and their environment. Because space and place affect a variety of topics, such as economics, health, climate, plants and animals; geography is highly interdisciplinary.Slide9

Cause & Effect

“...mere names of places...are not geography...know by heart a whole gazetteer full of them would not, in itself, constitute anyone a geographer. Geography has higher aims than this: it seeks to classify phenomena (alike of the natural and of the political world, in so far as it treats of the latter), to compare, to generalize, to ascend from effects to causes, and, in doing so, to trace out the laws of nature and to mark their influences upon man. This is 'a description of the world'—that is Geography. In a word Geography is a Science—a thing not of mere names but of argument and reason, of cause and effect. ”

— William Hughes, 1863Slide10


What is the definition of geography? The Association of American Geographers defines geography as:

Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another, and how people interact with the environment.Slide11

The Split

Geography as a discipline can be split broadly into two main subsidiary fields: the human geography and the physical geography.

The former largely focuses on the built environment and how humans create, view, manage, and influence space. The latter examines the natural environment, and how organisms, climate, soil, water, and landforms produce and interact.

The difference between these approaches led to a third field, the environmental geography which combines the physical and the human geography, and looks at the interactions between the environment and humans.



BIG pictureSlide13

The Split Charted.


Physical Geography

 Human Geography

 Rocks and Minerals





 Economic Activities




 Recreational Activities




 Political Systems

 Rivers and Other Water Bodies

 Social Traditions


 Human Migration

 Climate and Weather

 Agricultural Systems


 Urban Systems

Some of the phenomena studied in physical and human geography. Slide14


Human geography is a branch of the social sciences that studies the world, its people, communities, and cultures with an emphasis on relations of and across space and place.

Human geography differs from physical geography mainly in that it has a greater focus on studying human activities and is more receptive to qualitative research methodologies.

As a discipline, human geography is particularly diverse with respect to its methods and theoretical approaches to study.

Examples of branches within Human Geography include: cultural, transportation, demography, geopolitics, urban and religious geography.Slide15


Human geography is concerned with many of the critical aspects of human activities, such as how people and their activity are distributed in space, how they use and perceive space, and how humans impact the places that make up the earth's surface. Figure 5 shows how a geographer can analyze population growth of an urban area.

Figure 5:

This image combines three layers from the geographic information systems: roads, elevation, and highways to compare the number of roads in greater Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1990 and 2000. The analysis reveals significant urbanization of the area during the period.

SOURCE: www.llnl.govSlide16


Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, biosphere and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.

Physical geographers investigate the impact of weather, climate, land forms, vegetation, soils, and water bodies on human environments.

The impact can be significant, or just spectacular, as in the example of a dust storm that bellowed across the city of Phoenix, USA on July 21, 2012. As the storm moved closer, the sky changed to a shade of orange until total darkness blanketed the ground. The storm passed over in about 45 minutes, leaving a heavy sheet of dust in its wake. Forecasters say the wall of dust may have reached 4,000 to 5,000 feet

Shom More....
By: luanne-stotts
Views: 164
Type: Public

Download Section

Please download the presentation from below link :

Download Presentation - The PPT/PDF document "What is Geography?" is the property of its rightful owner. Permission is granted to download and print the materials on this web site for personal, non-commercial use only, and to display it on your personal computer provided you do not modify the materials and that you retain all copyright notices contained in the materials. By downloading content from our website, you accept the terms of this agreement.

Try DocSlides online tool for compressing your PDF Files Try Now