Introduction Geography 1

Set of vector globe icons showing earth with all continents


Learn Geography Online
Geography is a very multidisciplinary subject that can in a way mean anything regarding people, places, spaces, nature, time and their interrelations. Since the advent of the internet it is possible to learn geography online with websites like this one. There are two main areas of study in geography. One is physical geography that deals with the earth (or other earths) and it’s main features: The lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the atmosphere. And all the natural processes of these four physical realms. Human geography is the study of human populations within a spatial, cultural (with religion playing a big part, see Geographical Affects and it’s sub pages) economic, political and military setting.

Basic themes in geography that take both physical and human geography into account are: Earth-human interactions of how humans influence the physical environment and vice versa. (This is seen for example as many cities being built near a river or lake. In Asia population clusters tend to adhere to river valleys of soil fertility while in Europe they tend to have population clusters traditionally around the coal deposits.) How movement occurs with people, ideas goods, services and energies around the planet. How to identify a specific location on the globe traditionally referring  to the geographic grid of meridians and parallels. GPS is now the modern way of pinpointing location. How to group areas based on place.  Their unique characteristics of culture, language, landscape and climate are all taken into account. Examples in Canada are the Canadian Prairies, the Scottish Highlands in the United Kingdom and the Arizona Desert in the United States.  And the final theme, how the discipline of geography groups areas into regions. This differs from place because there can be just one or more  physical or human factors that determine region. Also regions unlike places are not necessarily unique. There can be more than one that are found in another part of the world. An example is the equitorial rain forest, found in both Africa and South America

W.D. Pattison does break geography up into four traditions. These are a Spatial Tradition, an Area Studies Tradition, a Man-Land Tradition and an Earth-Science Tradition of which ecology is a great part (Pattison, The Four Traditions of Geography, 6th edition 1991 Guildford Conn).