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Chapter 1: Basic Concepts
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  1. Chapter 1: Basic Concepts The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography

  2. Defining Geography • Word coined by Eratosthenes • Geo = Earth • Graphia = writing • Geography thus means “earth writing”

  3. Contemporary Geography • Geographers ask where and why • Location and distribution are important terms • Geographers are concerned with the tension between globalization and local diversity • A division: physical geography and human geography

  4. Geography’s Vocabulary Place Region Scale Space Connections

  5. Maps • Two purposes • As reference tools • To find locations, to find one’s way • As communications tools • To show the distribution of human and physical features

  6. Early Map Making Figure 1-2

  7. Maps: Scale • Types of map scale • Ratio or fraction • Written • Graphic • Projection • Distortion • Shape • Distance • Relative size • Direction

  8. Figure 1-4

  9. U.S. Land Ordinance of 1785 • Township and range system • Township = 6 sq. miles on each side • North–south lines = principal meridians • East–west lines = base lines • Range • Sections

  10. Township and Range System Figure 1-5

  11. Contemporary Tools Figure 1-7 • Geographic Information Science (GIScience) • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) • Remote sensing • Geographic information systems (GIS)

  12. A Mash-up Figure 1-8

  13. Place: Unique Location of a Feature • Location • Place names • Toponym • Site • Situation • Mathematical location

  14. Place: Mathematical Location • Location of any place can be described precisely by meridians and parallels • Meridians (lines of longitude) • Prime meridian • Parallels (lines of latitude) • The equator

  15. The Cultural Landscape A unique combination of social relationships and physical processes Each region = a distinctive landscape People = the most important agents of change to Earth’s surface

  16. Types of Regions • Formal (uniform) regions • Example: Montana • Functional (nodal) regions • Example: the circulation area of a newspaper • Vernacular (cultural) regions • Example: the American South

  17. Culture • Origin from the Latin cultus, meaning “to care for” • Two aspects: • What people care about • Beliefs, values, and customs • What people take care of • Earning a living; obtaining food, clothing, and shelter

  18. Cultural Ecology • The geographic study of human–environment relationships • Two perspectives: • Environmental determinism • Possibilism • Modern geographers generally reject environmental determinism in favor of possibilism

  19. Physical Processes • Climate • Vegetation • Soil • Landforms • These four processes are important for understanding human activities

  20. Modifying the Environment Figure 1-21 • Examples • The Netherlands • Polders • The Florida Everglades

  21. Scale • Globalization • Economic globalization • Transnational corporations • Cultural globalization • A global culture?

  22. Space: Distribution of Features • Distribution—three features • Density • Arithmetic • Physiological • Agricultural • Concentration • Pattern

  23. Space–Time Compression Figure 1-29

  24. Spatial Interaction Figure 1-30 Transportation networks Electronic communications and the “death” of geography? Distance decay

  25. Diffusion • The process by which a characteristic spreads across space and over time • Hearth = source area for innovations • Two types of diffusion • Relocation • Expansion • Three types: hierarchical, contagious, stimulus

  26. Relocation Diffusion: Example Figure 1-31

  27. The End. Up next: Population