The study of the distribution and interactions of physical and human features on the earth. Unlike historians, geographers view the world by looking at the use of space on the earth & the interactions that take place there. Tools of geography ◦ Globe - the most accurate representation of the earth ◦ Maps – the most efficient, and easy to use, representation of the earth. Location –Where is it? Place – What is it like? Region – How are places similar or different? Movement – How do people, goods, and ideas move from one location to another? Human Environment Interaction – How do people relate to the physical world? Absolute Location uses a global grid system to precisely locates a point on the earth’s surface. Latitude Lines – Imaginary lines that determine North and South and run parallel to the Equator. Longitude Lines – Imaginary lines that determine east and west and go around the earth over the poles. Also called Meridians Relative Location describes how a place is related to its surrounding environment If you know that Cairo, Egypt is located near the mouth of the Nile River what sorts of things does that tell you? Place includes the physical and human characteristics of a location. All places on earth have physical characteristics that set them apart such as climate, vegetation and topography. A region is an area of the earth’s surface with similar characteristics. Regions usually have more than one characteristic that unifies them such as: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Physical Political Cultural Economic Formal Regions are defined by a limited number of related characteristics The Sahel is a desert region in northern Africa that is characterized by climate, vegetation and land use A Functional region is organized around a set of interactions and connections between places. The Bay Area is a functional region because highways, railways and bus lines move people from the suburbs to the city for jobs and other activities. Perceptual Region is a region in which people perceive the characteristics of the region in the same way. However, the set of characteristics may not be precisely the same for all people. Human beings are the least specialized of all animals, but are the most adaptable. People learn to use what their environment offers them and to change that environment to meet their needs. Specialized Adaptable Geographer are interested in the ways people, ideas and goods move from place to place. Geographers analyze movement by looking at three types of distance: ◦ Linear ◦ Time ◦ Perceptual Linear distance simple means how far something has to travel. How can physical geography affect linear distance? Time distance is the amount of time it takes for a person, idea or product to travel. How has time distance changes over the last 100 years? Psychological distance refers to the way people view distance. Studies show that the more familiar we are with a place the closer we think it actually is. Less familiar places see further away. Psychological distance may influence decisions about many different human activities.