AP Human Geography Models
Demographic Transition Model
• Geographer: Warren Thompson
• Main Ideas: The process of change in a
society’s population.
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
Denmark is in stage 4 of the DTM
Gravity Model
• Geographer: Based off of Newton’s Laws
• Main Ideas: The movement of people,
information, and commodities between two
places can be predicted
• Visual:
• Real Life Example: New York and London have
a large “attraction”
Rostow’s Stages of Growth
• Geographer: W.W. Rostow
• Main Ideas: As a country develops it moves
through a series of stages.
• Visual:
• Ex:
Stage 5
Concentric Zone Model
• Geographer: E.W. Burgess
• Main Ideas: A city grows outward in a series of
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
• Chicago
Hoyt Sector Model
• Geographer: Homer Hoyt
• Main Ideas: A city develops in a series of
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
Charlotte, NC
Multiple Nuclei Model
• Geographer: Harris &Ullman
• Main Ideas: A city is a complex structure that
includes more than one center or node.
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
Los Angeles
Central Place Theory
• Geographer: Walter Christaller
• Main Ideas: Services are distributed in a
regular pattern around settlements that serve
as market centers.
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
• Chic-fil-A locations
around Charlotte
Model of Industrial Location
• Geographer: Alfred Weber
• Main Ideas: Predicts where industries will locate
based on the least cost to them.
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
Soda bottling is near
the market to save
money on transportation
Agricultural Model
• Geographer: J.H. Von Thunen
• Main Ideas: A pattern of 4 rings of agricultural
activity would develop around a city.
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
Intensive agricultural
activities are located closer
to the city.
Epidemiological Transition Model
• Geographer: Abdel Omran (not important)
• Main Ideas: There is a pattern of the causes of
death as your move through the DTM
• Visual:
• Real Life Example: Cholera is a big killer is
stage 2
World Systems Theory
• Geographer: Immanuel Wallerstein
• Main Ideas: Describes the spatial distribution of
world development
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
• Core: MDCs
• Semi-Periphery:
Asian Dragons, India, China
• Periphery: LDCs
Domino Theory
• Geographer: Promoted by the U.S. Gov
(Eisenhower first to use)
• Main Ideas: If one country falls to communism, the
others around it would too
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
• U.S. used this idea
to help justify
in the Vietnam war
Heartland &Rimland Theories
• Geographer: Mackinder (H) &Spykman (R)
• Main Ideas: H~ Control over land would be the key to
power, specifically E. Europe/ Eurasia. R~ whoever was
in control of the periphery of Eurasia would be able to
dominate the world
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
H~ Communists wanted
to dominate E. Europe & the U.S.
Wanted to contain them
R~ Vietnam & Korean Wars
Were fought over control of
rimland areas
Malthusian & Neo-Malthusian
• Geographer: Thomas Malthus
• Main Ideas: The population would eventually
become too big to be sustained by the world’s
food supply/ resources
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
Neo-Malthusians like Paul
Ehrlich are concerned
about current carrying
Bid-Rent Theory
• Geographer: n/a
• Main Ideas: As the distance from the CBD
increases in the concentric zone model, the
price of land decreases.
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
A factory would not locate in
the CBD
Rank-size Rule
• Geographer: n/a
• Main Ideas: Acountry’s x largest settlement is
1/x of the population of the largest
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
• U.S.– NYC, LA,
Chicago, etc.
Hearths: Agricultural & Religious
• Main Ideas: Buddhism & Hinduism= S. Asia,
Christianity & Islam= SW Asia.
Vegetative Planting= SE Asia
Seed Agriculture= W. India,
N. China, Ethiopia, SW Asia,
S. Mexico, N. Peru
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
The hearth of wheat and
Barley is SW Asia
Ravenstein’s Laws of Migration
• Geographer: Ernest Ravenstein
• Main Ideas: In the 19th century, Ravenstein
wrote laws to help geographers study
migration based on the reasons why people
move, the distance they move, and their
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
The majority of migrants
travel a short distance
Renfrew’s Theory of Language Diffusion
• Geographer: Colin Renfrew
• Main Ideas: The diffusion of the Indo-European language
family came from Anatolia, which is where modern day Turkey
is now located. From there, the language family diffused into
Europe and South Asia with the spread of new agricultural
technology from the 1st agricultural revolution.
• Visual:
• Real Life Example:
The Indo-European
language has diffused
to 48 countries.
Agricultural Revolutions:
• First Agricultural Revolution/Neolithic
Revolution - The domestication of plants and
animals around 12,000 BC
Second Agricultural Revolution -improved methods of cultivation,
harvesting, and storage of farm
produce stemming from the Industrial
Third Agricultural Revolution/ Green Revolution- international
effort that was planned to eliminate hunger by improving crop
performance. Development of genetically engineered crops (GE) or
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) It began in the 1960s when
a combination of technologies was made available to Mexico and
countries in Asia in an effort to improve the diets of people in
those regions.

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