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The Five Themes of Geography A Framework for Studying the World. Florida Geographic Alliance PowerPoint Presentations 2007. Theme 1: Location. Two Types of Location Absolute Relative. Where is It? Why is It There?. Absolute Location. A specific place on the Earth’s surface

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The Five Themes of Geography A Framework for Studying the World

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The five themes of geography a framework for studying the world

The Five Themes of GeographyA Framework for Studying the World

Florida Geographic Alliance

PowerPoint Presentations


Theme 1 location

Theme 1: Location

  • Two Types of Location

  • Absolute

  • Relative

  • Where is It?

  • Why is It There?

Absolute location

Absolute Location

  • A specific place on the Earth’s surface

  • Uses a grid system

  • Latitude and longitude

  • A global address



Absolute Location

  • Florida

    24°30'N to 31°N Latitude

    79°48'W to 87°38'W Longitude

  • Tallahassee

    30° N Latitude

    84° W Longitude

Relative location

Relative Location

  • Where a place is in relation to another place

  • Uses directional words to describe

    • Cardinal and intermediate directions



  • North Carolina is bordered by Georgia and Alabama on the north, and Alabama to the west.

  • The Atlantic Ocean forms Florida’s east coast. The Gulf of Mexico forms it’s west coast

  • Florida is one of the Southeastern States

Theme 2 place physical characteristics

Theme 2: PlacePhysical Characteristics

  • peninsula

  • Everglades

  • Climate

  • Bodies of Water

Theme 2 place human characteristics

Theme 2: PlaceHuman Characteristics

  • People

  • Culture

  • Language

  • Religion

  • Buildings and Landmarks

  • Cities

Florida human characteristics

Florida: Human Characteristics

Theme 3 human environment interaction

Theme 3: Human Environment Interaction

How People Interact With Their Environment

People . . .

  • Adapt to Their Environment

  • Modify Their Environment

  • Depend on Their Environment

Florida human environment interaction

Florida: Human Environment Interaction

Theme 4 movement

Theme 4: Movement

The Mobility of

  • People

  • Goods

  • Ideas

    How Places are linked to one another and the world

Florida movement

Florida: Movement

Theme 5 regions

Theme 5: Regions

What Places Have in Common

  • Political Regions

  • Landform Regions

  • Agricultural Regions

  • Cultural Regions

Florida regions

Florida: Regions

People things and phenomena

People, Things, and Phenomena

  • Move across space (MOVEMENT)

  • May be associated with specific spaces for a variety of physical and social reasons (PLACE)

  • Can be physically located in space (LOCATION)

  • Can be used to classify space (REGION)

  • Interact with each other in specific ways in different places and combinations (HUMAN-EARTH RELATIONSHIPS)

William pattison s four traditions of geography

William Pattison’s Four Traditions of Geography

  • In 1964, W.D. Pattison, a professor at the University of Chicago, wanted to counter the idea that geography was an undisciplined science by saying that geographers had exhibited broad enough consistency such that there were four distinctive, but affiliated traditions.

1 an earth science tradition physical natural geography

1)  An earth-science tradition - physical (natural) geography

  • Physical geography

  • The lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere

  • Earth-sun interaction

  • Offshoots are geology, mineralogy, paleontology, glaciology, and meteorology

  • The study of the earth as the home to humans

Earth science tradition

Earth-Science Tradition

  • Intellectual legacy: Aristotle (384-322 B.C.); Greek philosopher who looked at natural processes, Earth is spherical, matter falls together toward a common center.

  • Modern geographer: Immanuel Kant (1724-1804); German

  • 1)   All knowledge can be classified logically or physically

  • 2)   Descriptions according to time comprise history, descriptions according to place compromise geography

  • 3)   History studies phenomena that follow one another chronologically, whereas geography studies phenomena that are located beside one another.

2 a man land tradition relationships between human societies and natural environments

2)   A man-land tradition - relationships between human societies and natural environments.

  • Human impact on nature

  • Impact of nature on humans

  • Natural hazards

  • Perception of environment

  • Environmentalism

  • Cultural, political, and population geography

Man land tradition

Man-Land Tradition

  • Intellectual legacy:Hippocratic; a Greek Physician of 5th century B.C. who wrote that places affect the health and character of man.

  • Modern geographer(s): Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and Carl Ritter (1779-1859); German

  • 1)   Move beyond describing earth’s surface to explaining why certain phenomena are present or absent.

  • 2)   Origin of “where” and “why” approach

  • 3)   Environmental determinism – how the physical environment causes social development

3 a spatial tradition spatial unifying theme similar patterns between physical human geography

3)  A spatial tradition - spatial unifying theme, similar patterns between physical & human geography.

  •  Mapping

  • Spatial analysis

  • Boundaries and densities

  • Movement and transportation

  • Quantitative techniques and tools, such as computerized mapping and Geographic Information Systems

  • Central Place Theory

Spatial tradition

Spatial Tradition

  • Intellectual legacy: Claudius Ptolemy (A.D. 100?-170?); a Greek, who wrote 8-volume Geographia in the second century A.D. containing numerous maps (also father of geometry).

  • Modern geographer:Alfred Wegener; climatologist

  • 1)   Studied spatial arrangement of landmasses, used geographical and geological evidence

  • 2)   Continental drift – landmasses were once part of supercontinent (plate tectonics)

4 an area studies tradition regional geography

4)  An area-studies tradition - regional geography

  • Description of regions or areas

  • World regional geography

  • International trends and relationships

  • How regions are different from one another

Area studies regional

Area Studies - Regional

  • Intellectual legacy: Strabo (63? B.C.-A.D. 24?); Roman investigator, who wrote a report called Geography, a massive production for the statesmen intended to sum up and regularize knowledge of location and place, their character, and their differentiation.

  • Modern geographer: Carl Sauer (1889-1975); American

  • 1)  The work of human geography is to discern the relationships among social and physical phenomena

  • 2)  Everything in the landscape is interrelated.

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