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Outline of geography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to geography:

Geography – study of Earth and its people.[1]

A map of the world

Nature of geography


Geography as

  • an academic discipline – a body of knowledge given to − or received by − a disciple (student); a branch or sphere of knowledge, or field of study, that an individual has chosen to specialize in. Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks to understand the Earth and its human and natural complexities − not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called 'the world discipline'.[2]
  • a field of science – widely recognized category of specialized expertise within science, and typically embodies its own terminology and nomenclature. This field will usually be represented by one or more scientific journals, where peer-reviewed research is published. There are many geography-related scientific journals.
    • a natural science – field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of the natural environment (physical geography).
    • a social science – field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of human society (human geography).
  • an interdisciplinary field – a field that crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions have emerged. Many of the branches of physical geography are also branches of Earth science

Branches of geography


As "the bridge between the human and physical sciences," geography is divided into two main branches:

  • human geography
  • physical geography[3][4]

Other branches include:

  • integrated geography
  • technical geography
  • regional geography

Physical geography

  • Physical geography – examines the natural environment and how the climate, vegetation and life, soil, water, and landforms are produced and interact.[5]

Fields of physical geography

  • Geomorphology – study of landforms and the processes that them, and more broadly, of the processes controlling the topography of any planet. Seeks to understand why landscapes look the way they do, to understand landform history and dynamics, and to predict future changes through field observation, physical experiment, and numerical modeling.
  • Hydrology – study the movement, distribution, and quality of water throughout the Earth, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
    • Glaciology – study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.
    • Oceanography – studies a wide range of topics about oceans, including marine organisms and ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries.
  • Biogeography – study of the distribution of species spatially and temporally. Over areal ecological changes, it is also tied to the concepts of species and their past, or present living 'refugium', their survival locales, or their interim living sites. It aims to reveal where organisms live, and at what abundance.[6]
  • Climatology – study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time.[7]
  • Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and short term forecasting (in contrast with climatology).
  • Pedology – study of soils in their natural environment[8] that deals with pedogenesis, soil morphology, and soil classification.
  • Palaeogeography – study of what the geography was in times past, most often concerning the physical landscape, but also the human or cultural environment.
  • Coastal geography – study of the dynamic interface between the ocean and the land, incorporating both the physical geography (i.e. coastal geomorphology, geology and oceanography) and the human geography (sociology and history) of the coast. It involves an understanding of coastal weathering processes, particularly wave action, sediment movement and weather, and also the ways in which humans interact with the coast.
  • Quaternary science – focuses on the Quaternary period, which encompasses the last 2.6 million years, including the last ice age and the Holocene period.
  • Landscape ecology – the relationship between spatial patterns of urban development and ecological processes on a multitude of landscape scales and organizational levels.[9][10][11]

Approaches of physical geography


Human geography

  • Human geography – one of the two main subfields of geography, it is the study of human use and understanding of the world and the processes which have affected it. Human geography broadly differs from physical geography in that it focuses on the built environment and how space is created, viewed, and managed by humans as well as the influence humans have on the space they occupy.[5]

Fields of human geography

  • Cultural geography – study of cultural products and norms and their variations across and relations to spaces and places. It focuses on describing and analyzing the ways language, religion, economy, government, and other cultural phenomena vary or remain constant from one place to another and on explaining how humans function spatially.[12]
    • Children's geographies – study of places and spaces of children's lives, characterized experientially, politically and ethically. Children's geographies rest on the idea that children as a social group share certain characteristics which are experientially, politically and ethically significant and which are worthy of study. The pluralization in the title is intended to imply that children's lives will be markedly different in differing times and places and in differing circumstances such as gender, family, and class. The range of foci within children's geographies include:
      • Children and the city
      • Children and the countryside
      • Children and technology
      • Children and nature,
      • Children and globalization
      • Methodologies of researching children's worlds
      • Ethics of researching children's worlds
      • Otherness of childhood
    • Animal geographies – studies the spaces and places occupied by animals in human culture because social life and space is heavily populated by animals of many different kinds and in many differing ways (e.g. farm animals, pets, wild animals in the city). Another impetuses that has influenced the development of the field is ecofeminist and other environmentalist viewpoints on nature-society relations (including questions of animal welfare and rights).
    • Language geography – studies the geographic distribution of language or its constituent elements. There are two principal fields of study within the geography of language:
      1. Geography of languages – deals with the distribution through history and space of languages,[13]
      2. Linguistic geography – deals with regional linguistic variations within languages.[14][15][16][17][18]
    • Sexuality and space – encompasses all relationships and interactions between human sexuality, space, and place, including the geographies of LGBT residence, public sex environments, sites of queer resistance, global sexualities, sex tourism,[19] the geographies of prostitution and adult entertainment, use of sexualised locations in the arts,[20][21] and sexual citizenship.[22]
    • Religion geography – study of the influence of geography, i.e. place and space, on religious belief.[23]
  • Development geography – study of the Earth's geography with reference to the standard of living and quality of life of its human inhabitants. Measures development by looking at economic, political and social factors, and seeks to understand both the geographical causes and consequences of varying development, in part by comparing More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs) with Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs).
  • Economic geography – study of the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the world. Subjects of interest include but are not limited to the location of industries, economies of agglomeration (also known as "linkages"), transportation, international trade and development, real estate, gentrification, ethnic economies, gendered economies, core-periphery theory, the economics of urban form, the relationship between the environment and the economy (tying into a long history of geographers studying culture-environment interaction), and globalization.
    • Marketing geography – a discipline within marketing analysis which uses geolocation (geographic information) in the process of planning and implementation of marketing activities.[24] It can be used in any aspect of the marketing mix – the product, price, promotion, or place (geo targeting).
    • Transportation geography – branch of economic geography that investigates spatial interactions between people, freight and information. It studies humans and their use of vehicles or other modes of traveling as well as how markets are serviced by flows of finished goods and raw materials.
  • Health geography – application of geographical information, perspectives, and methods to the study of health, disease, and health care, to provide a spatial understanding of a population's health, the distribution of disease in an area, and the environment's effect on health and disease. It also deals with accessibility to health care and spatial distribution of health care providers.
    • Time geography – study of the temporal factor on spatial human activities within the following constraints:
  1. Authority - limits of accessibility to certain places or domains placed on individuals by owners or authorities
  2. Capability - limitations on the movement of individuals, based on their nature. For example, movement is restricted by biological factors, such as the need for food, drink, and sleep
  3. Coupling - restraint of an individual, anchoring him or her to a location while interacting with other individuals in order to complete a task
  • Historical geography – study of the human, physical, fictional, theoretical, and "real" geographies of the past, and seeks to determine how cultural features of various societies across the planet emerged and evolved, by understanding how a place or region changes through time, including how people have interacted with their environment and created the cultural landscape.
  • Political geography – study of the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures. Basically, the inter-relationships between people, state, and territory.
    • Electoral geography – study of the relationship between election results and the regions they affect (such as the environmental impact of voting decisions), and of the effects of regional factors upon voting behavior.
    • Geopolitics – analysis of geography, history and social science with reference to spatial politics and patterns at various scales, ranging from the level of the state to international.
    • Strategic geography – concerned with the control of, or access to, spatial areas that affect the security and prosperity of nations.
    • Military geography – the application of geographic tools, information, and techniques to solve military problems in peacetime or war.
  • Population geography – study of the ways in which spatial variations in the distribution, composition, migration, and growth of populations are related to the nature of places.
  • Tourism geography – study of travel and tourism, as an industry and as a social and cultural activity, and their effect on places, including the environmental impact of tourism, the geographies of tourism and leisure economies, answering tourism industry and management concerns and the sociology of tourism and locations of tourism.
  • Urban geography – the study of urban areas, in terms of concentration, infrastructure, economy, and environmental impacts.

Approaches of human geography


Integrated geography

  • Integrated geography – branch of geography that describes the spatial aspects of interactions between humans and the natural world. It requires an understanding of the dynamics of geology, meteorology, hydrology, biogeography, ecology, and geomorphology, as well as the ways in which human societies conceptualize the environment.

Technical geography

  • Technical geography – branch of geography and the discipline of studying, developing, and applying methods to gather, store, process, and deliver geographic or spatially referenced information. It is a widespread interdisciplinary field that includes the tools and techniques used in land surveying, remote sensing, cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Navigation Satellite Systems, photogrammetry, and related forms of earth mapping.

Fields contributing to technical geography

  • Geomatics – Geographic data discipline
  • Photogrammetry – Taking measurements using photography
  • Cartography – Study and practice of making maps
  • Digital terrain modelling – 3D computer-generated imagery and measurements of terrain
  • Geodesy – Science of planetary measurement
  • Geographic information system – System to capture, manage, and present geographic data
  • Geospatial – Data and information having an implicit or explicit association with a location
  • Global navigation satellite systems represented by Satellite navigation – Use of satellite signals for geo-spatial positioning – Any system that uses satellite radio signals to provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning
  • Hydrography – Measurement of bodies of water
  • Mathematics – Area of knowledge
  • Navigation – Process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another
  • Remote sensing – Acquisition of information at a significant distance from the subject
  • Surveying – Science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them

Regional geography


Regional geography – study of world regions. Attention is paid to unique characteristics of a particular region such as its natural elements, human elements, and regionalization which covers the techniques of delineating space into regions. Regional geography breaks down into the study of specific regions.

Region – an area, defined by physical characteristics, human characteristics, or functional characteristics. The term is used in various ways among the different branches of geography. A region can be seen as a collection of smaller units, such as a country and its political divisions, or as one part of a larger whole, as in a country on a continent.



Continent – one of several large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any specific criteria, but seven areas are commonly regarded as continents. They are:

1. Africa   (outline) –
2. Antarctica
3. Australia   (outline) –
The Americas:
4. North America   (outline) –
5. South America   (outline) –
6. Europe   (outline) –
7. Asia   (outline) –

Subregion (list)

Biogeographic regions

Map of six of the world's eight biogeographic realms
  Oceania and Antarctic realms not shown
Biogeographic realm

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) developed a system of eight biogeographic realms (ecozones):


Ecoregion Biogeographic realms are further divided into ecoregions. The World has over 800 terrestrial ecoregions. See Lists of ecoregions by country.

Geography of the political divisions of the World


Other regions


History of geography

Reconstruction of Hecataeus' map of the World, created during ancient Greek times

Topics pertaining to the geographical study of the World throughout history:

By period


By region


By subject


By field


Elements of geography


Topics common to the various branches of geography include:

Tasks and tools of geography

The equal-area Mollweide projection
  • Exploration – Process of investigating unfamiliar things
  • Geocode, also known as Geospatial Entity Object Code – Process of turning a place name/address to coordinates
  • Geographic information system (GIS) – System to capture, manage, and present geographic data
  • Globe – Scale model of a celestial body
  • Map – Symbolic depiction of relationships, mostly geographical
  • Demographics – Science that deals with populations and their structures, statistically and theoretically
  • Spatial analysis – Formal techniques which study entities using their topological, geometric, or geographic properties
  • Surveying – Science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them

Types of geographic features


Geographic feature – component of a planet that can be referred to as a location, place, site, area, or region, and therefore may show up on a map. A geographic feature may be natural or artificial.

Location and place

Population density per square kilometre by country, 2006
  • Location
    • Absolute location – Point or an area on Earth's surface or elsewhere
      • Latitude – Geographic coordinate specifying north–south position
        • Prime meridian – Line of longitude, at which longitude is defined to be 0°
      • Longitude – Geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface
        • Equator – Imaginary line halfway between Earth's North and South poles
        • Tropic of Cancer – Line of northernmost latitude at which the Sun can be directly overhead
        • Tropic of Capricorn – Line of southernmost latitude at which the Sun can be directly overhead
        • Arctic Circle – Boundary of the Arctic
        • Antarctic Circle – Boundary of the Antarctic
        • North Pole – Northern point where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface
        • South Pole – Southernmost point on Earth
      • Altitude – Height in relation to a specified reference point
        • Elevation – Height of a geographic location above a fixed reference point
  • Place
    • Aspects of a place or region
      • Climate – Statistics of weather conditions in a given region over long periods
      • Population – All the organisms of a given species that live in a specified region
        • Demographics – Science that deals with populations and their structures, statistically and theoretically
        • Human overpopulation – Proposed condition wherein human numbers exceed the carrying capacity of the environment
        • World population – Total number of living humans on Earth
      • Sense of place – Term used in behavioral sciences and urban planning
      • Terrain – Vertical and horizontal dimension and shape of land surface
      • Topography – Study of the forms of land surfaces
      • Tourist attraction – Place of interest where tourists visit
    • Lists of places – Lists of places on Earth sorted by category

Geography is a worldwide study

Natural geographic features


Natural geographic feature – an ecosystem or natural landform.


Ecosystem – community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are regarded as linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows.

  • Biodiversity hotspot – Biodiverse region under threat
  • Realm – broadest biogeographic division of the Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms.
    • Ecoprovince – biogeographic unit smaller than a realm that contains one or more ecoregions.
      • Ecoregion – Ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion
        • Ecodistrict – Environmental planning
        • Ecosection – biogeographic unit
          • Ecosite
            • Ecotope – Smallest ecologically distinct landscape features in a landscape mapping and classification system
  • Biome – Biogeographical unit with a particular biological community
Natural landforms
The Ganges river delta in India and Bangladesh is one of the most fertile regions in the world.
The volcano Mount St. Helens in Washington, United States

Natural landform – terrain or body of water. Landforms are topographical elements, and are defined by their surface form and location in the landscape. Landforms are categorized by traits such as elevation, slope, orientation, stratification, rock exposure, and soil type. Some landforms are artificial, such as certain islands, but most landforms are natural.

Natural terrain feature types

  • Continent – Large geographical region identified by convention
  • Island – Piece of subcontinental land completely surrounded by water
  • Mainland – Continental part of any polity or the main island within an island nation
  • Mountain – Large natural elevation of the Earth's surface
  • Mountain range – Geographic area containing several geologically related mountains
  • Peninsula – Landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most sides.
  • Subcontinent – A large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent

Natural body of water types

  • Natural bodies of water – Any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface
    • Bodies of seawater – Water from a sea or an ocean
      • Channel – Narrow body of water
      • Firth – Scottish word used for various coastal inlets and straits
      • Harbor – Sheltered body of water where ships may shelter
      • Inlet – Indentation of a shoreline
        • Bay – Recessed, coastal body of water connected to an ocean or lake
          • Bight – Shallowly concave bend or curve in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature
          • Gulf – Large inlet from the ocean into the landmass
        • Cove – Small sheltered bay or coastal inlet
        • Creek (tidal) – Inlet or estuary that is affected by ebb and flow of ocean tides
        • Estuary – Partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water
        • Fjord – Long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial activity
      • Kettle – Depression or hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters
      • Kill – Creek, tidal inlet, river, strait, or arm of the sea
      • Lagoon – Shallow body of water separated from a larger one by a narrow landform
        • Barachois – Coastal lagoon partially or totally separated from the ocean by a sand or shingle bar
      • Loch – Scottish Gaelic word for a lake or sea inlet
        • Arm of the sea –
        • Mere – Shallow lake, pond, or wetland
      • Ocean – Salt water covering most of Earth
      • Phytotelma – Small water-filled cavity in a terrestrial plant
      • Salt marsh – Coastal ecosystem between land and open saltwater that is regularly flooded
      • Sea – Large body of salt water
        • Types of sea:
          • Mediterranean sea – Mostly enclosed sea with limited exchange with outer oceans
          • Sound – A long, relatively wide body of water, connecting two larger bodies of water
        • Sea components or extensions:
          • Sea loch – Scottish Gaelic and Irish word for a sea inlet
          • Sea lough – Anglicised version of Scottish Gaelic and Irish word for a sea inlet
      • Strait – Naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water
    • Bodies of fresh water
      • Bayou – Body of water in flat, low-lying areas
      • Lake – Large body of relatively still water
      • Pool – Deep and slow-moving stretch of a watercourse
        • Pond – Relatively small body of standing water
          • Billabong – Australian term for an oxbow lake or other waterhole
        • Tide pool – Rocky pool on a seashore, separated from the sea at low tide, filled with seawater
        • Vernal pool – Seasonal pools of water that provide habitat
        • Puddle – Small accumulation of liquid, usually water, on a surface
      • River – Natural flowing watercourse
        • Lists of rivers – A list of rivers, organised geographically
          • Parts of a river:
          • Rapids – River section with increased velocity and turbulence
          • Source – Starting point of a river
          • Waterfall – A point in a river or stream where water flows over a vertical drop
      • Roadstead – Open anchorage affording some protection, but less than a harbor
      • Spring – A point at which water emenges from an aquifer to the surface
        • Boil -
      • Stream – Body of surface water flowing down a channel
        • Beck – Body of surface water flowing down a channel
        • Brook – Body of surface water flowing down a channel
        • Burn – Term of Scottish origin for a small river
        • Creek – Body of surface water flowing down a channel
          • Arroyo (watercourse) – Dry watercourse with flow after rain
            • Wash – Dry watercourse with flow after rain
            • Draw – Dry watercourse with flow after rain
        • Run – Body of surface water flowing down a channel
      • Wetland – Land area that is permanently, or seasonally saturated with water

Artificial geographic features


Artificial geographic feature – a thing that was made by humans that may be indicated on a map. It may be physical and exist in the real world (like a bridge or city), or it may be abstract and exist only on maps (such as the Equator, which has a defined location, but cannot be seen where it lies).

  • Settlement – Community of any size, in which people live
    • Hamlet (place) – Small human settlement in a rural area – rural settlement which is too small to be considered a village. Historically, when a hamlet became large enough to justify building a church, it was then classified as a village. One example of a hamlet is a small cluster of houses surrounding a mill.
    • Village – Human settlement smaller than a town – clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand (sometimes tens of thousands).
    • Town – Type of human settlement – human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while many British "small towns" would qualify as cities in the United States.
    • City – Large permanent human settlement – relatively large and permanent settlement. In many regions, a city is distinguished from a town by attainment of designation according to law, for instance being required to obtain articles of incorporation or a royal charter.
      • Financial centre – Locations which are centres of financial activity
      • Primate city – Disproportionately largest city of a country or region – the leading city in its country or region, disproportionately larger than any others in the urban hierarchy.
      • Metropolis – Large city or conurbation – very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications.
      • Metropolitan area – Administrative unit of a dense urban core and its satellite cities – region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing.[27]
      • Global city – City important to the world economy – city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system. Globalization is largely created, facilitated and enacted in strategic geographic locales (including global cities) according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade.
      • Megalopolis – Grouping of neighbouring metropolises – chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. An example is the huge metropolitan area along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. extending from Boston, Massachusetts through New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland and ending in Washington, D.C..
      • Eperopolis – Hypothetical planet-spanning city – theoretical "continent city". The world does not have one yet. Will Europe become the first one?
      • Ecumenopolis – Hypothetical planet-spanning city – theoretical "world city". Will the world ever become so urbanized as to be called this?
  • Engineered construct – built feature of the landscape such as a highway, bridge, airport, railroad, building, dam, or reservoir. See also construction engineering and infrastructure.
    • Artificial landforms
    • Airport – Facility with a runway for aircraft – place where airplanes can take off and land, including one or more runways and one or more passenger terminals.
    • Aqueduct – Structure constructed to convey water – artificial channel that is constructed to convey water from one location to another.
    • Breakwater – Coastal defense structure – construction designed to break the force of the sea to provide calm water for boats or ships, or to prevent erosion of a coastal feature.
    • Bridge – Structure built to span physical obstacles – structure built to span a valley, road, body of water, or other physical obstacle such as a canyon, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle.
    • Building – Structure, typically with a roof and walls, standing more or less permanently in one place – closed structure with walls and a roof.
    • Canal – Artificial channel for water – artificial waterway, often connecting one body of water with another.
    • Causeway – Route raised up on an embankment
    • Dam – Barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface or underground streams – structure placed across a flowing body of water to stop the flow, usually to use the water for irrigation or to generate electricity.
      • Dike – Ridge or wall to hold back water – barrier of stone or earth used to hold back water and prevent flooding.
        • Levee – Ridge or wall to hold back water – artificial slope or wall to regulate water levels, usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river or the coast.[28]
    • Farm – Area of land for farming, or, for aquaculture, lake, river or sea, including various structures – place where agricultural activities take place, especially the growing of crops or the raising of livestock.
    • Manmade harbor – Sheltered body of water where ships may shelter – harbor that has deliberately constructed breakwaters, sea walls, or jetties, or which was constructed by dredging.
    • Industrial region – Geographical region with a high proportion of industrial use
    • Marina – Dock with moorings and facilities for yachts and small boats
    • Orchard – Intentionally planted trees or shrubs that are maintained for food production
    • Parking lot – Cleared area for parking vehicles
    • Pier – Raised structure in a body of water
    • Pipeline – Pumping fluids or gas through pipes
    • Port – Maritime facility where ships may dock to load and discharge passengers and cargo
    • Railway – Structure comprising rails on a foundation intended to carry trains
    • Ranch – Large area of land for raising livestock
    • Reservoir – Bulk storage space for water
    • Road – Land route
      • Highway – Public road or other public way on land
      • Race track – Facility built for racing of animals, vehicles, or athletes
      • Street – Public thoroughfare in a built environment
    • Subsidence crater – Hole or depression left on the surface over the site of an underground explosion
    • Ski resort – Resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports
    • Train station – Railway facility for loading or unloading trains
    • Tree farm
    • Tunnel – Underground passage made for traffic
    • Viaduct – Multiple-span bridge crossing an extended lower area
    • Wharf – Structure on the shore of a harbor or on the bank of a river or canal where ships dock
Provinces and territorial disputes of the People's Republic of China
  • Abstract geographic feature – does not exist physically in the real world, yet has a location by definition and may be displayed on maps.
    • Geographical zone – Major regions of Earth's surface demarcated by latitude
      • Hardiness zone – Region defined by minimum temperature relevant to the plant survival
      • Time zone – Area that observes a uniform standard time
    • Political division – A territorial entity for administration purposes
      • Nation – Community based on common ethnic, cultural or political identity
      • Administrative division – Territorial entity for administration purposes
        • Special Economic Zone – Geographical region in which business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country
      • Administrative division – Territorial entity for administration purposes – a designated territory created within a country for administrative or identification purposes. Examples of the types of administrative divisions:
        • Bailiwick – The area of jurisdiction of a bailiff
        • Canton – Type of administrative division of a country
        • Commune – An urban administrative division having corporate status
        • County – Geographical and administrative region in some countries
        • Department – Administrative or political division in some countries
        • District – Administrative division in some countries, managed by a local government
        • Duchy – Territory ruled by, or representing the title of, a duke or duchess
        • Emirate – Territory ruled by an emir
        • Federal state – Type of political entity
        • Parish – Ecclesiastical subdivision of a diocese
        • Prefecture – Administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries
        • Province – Major administrative subdivision within a country or sovereign state
        • Region – Two or three-dimensionally defined space, mainly in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences
        • Rural district – Former type of local government area in England, Wales, and Ireland
        • Settlement – Community of any size, in which people live
          • Municipality – Local government area
          • City – Large permanent human settlement
            • Borough – Administrative division in some English-speaking countries
            • Township – Designation for types of settlement as administrative territorial entities
          • Village – Human settlement smaller than a town
        • Shire – Traditional term for a division of land, found in some English-speaking countries
        • State – Territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federal union
        • Subdistrict – low level administrative division of a country
        • Subprefecture – Administrative division of a country that is below prefecture
        • Voivodeship – Administrative division in several countries of central and eastern Europe
        • Wilayat – Administrative division approximating a state or province
    • Cartographical feature – theoretical construct used specifically on maps that doesn't have any physical form apart from its location.
      • Latitude line – Geographic coordinate specifying north–south position
        • Equator – Imaginary line halfway between Earth's North and South poles
      • Longitude line – Geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface
        • Prime Meridian – A line of longitude, at which longitude is defined to be 0°
      • Geographical pole – Points on a rotating astronomical body where the axis of rotation intersects the surface
        • North pole – Northern point where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface
        • South pole – Southern point where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface

Geographic features that include the natural and artificial

  • Waterway – Any navigable body of water
    • List of waterways – List of navigable rivers, canals, estuaries, lakes, and firths

Geography awards

Hubbard Medal awarded to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, showing her flight route

Some awards and competitions in the field of geography:

  • Geography Cup – 2006 online geography competition
  • Founder's Medal – List of geography award winners
  • Patron's Medal – Award presented by the Royal Geographical Society
  • Hubbard Medal – Medal awarded by the National Geographic Society
  • National Geographic World Championship – Biennial, two-day-long international geography competition
  • Victoria Medal – Award presented by the Royal Geographical Society for conspicuous merit in research in geography

Geographical organizations

See: List of geographical societies

Geographical publications


Geographical magazines


Persons influential in geography


A geographer is a scientist who studies Earth's physical environment and human habitat. Geographers are historically known for making maps, the subdiscipline of geography known as cartography. They study the physical details of the environment and also its effect on human and wildlife ecologies, weather and climate patterns, economics, and culture. Geographers focus on the spatial relationships between these elements.

Influential physical geographers

Alexander von Humboldt, considered to be the founding father of physical geography
Richard Chorley, 20th-century geographer who progressed quantitative geography and who helped bring the systems approach to geography

George washington born 2019-2024

Influential human geographers

Sketch of Carl Ritter
David Harvey

Geography educational frameworks


Educational frameworks upon which primary and secondary school curricula for geography are based upon include:

See also



  1. ^ "Geography". The American Heritage Dictionary/ of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  2. ^ Bonnett, Alastair (2008). What is Geography?. London: Sage. ISBN 9781412918688.
  3. ^ "Geography: The Mother of Sciences" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2003.
  4. ^ Pidwirny, M. (2006). "Elements of Geography". Fundamentals of Physical Geography (2nd ed.). Physicalgeography.net.
  5. ^ a b "What is geography?". AAG Career Guide: Jobs in Geography and related Geographical Sciences. Association of American Geographers. Archived from the original on October 6, 2006. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  6. ^ Martiny JBH et al. Microbial biogeography: putting microorganisms on the map Archived 2010-06-21 at the Wayback Machine Nature: FEBRUARY 2006 | VOLUME 4
  7. ^ "Climate Glossary". National Weather Service: Climate Prediction Center. NOAA. Archived from the original on 8 February 2007.
  8. ^ Ronald Amundsen. "Soil Preservation and the Future of Pedology" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-06-08.
  9. ^ Wu, J. 2006. Cross-disciplinarity, landscape ecology, and sustainability science. Landscape Ecology 21:1-4.
  10. ^ Wu, J. and R. Hobbs (Eds). 2007. Key Topics in Landscape Ecology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  11. ^ Wu, J. 2008. Landscape ecology. In: S. E. Jorgensen (ed), Encyclopedia of Ecology. Elsevier, Oxford.
  12. ^ Jordan-Bychkov, Terry G.; Domosh, Mona; Rowntree, Lester (1994). The human mosaic: a thematic introduction to cultural geography. New York: HarperCollinsCollegePublishers. ISBN 978-0-06-500731-2.
  13. ^ Delgado de Carvalho, C.M. (1962). The geography of languages. In Wagner, P.L.; Mikesell, M.W. Readings in cultural geography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 75-93.
  14. ^ Pei, Mario (1966). Glossary of linguistic terminology. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231030120.
  15. ^ Trudgill, P. (1974). Linguistic change and diffusion: description and explanation in sociolinguistic dialect geography. Language in Society 3:2, 215-46.
  16. ^ Trudgill, P. (1983). On dialect: social and geographical perspectives. Oxford: Basil Blackwell; New York: New York University Press.
  17. ^ Trudgill, P. (1975). Linguistic geography and geographical linguistics. Progress in Geography 7, 227-52
  18. ^ Withers, Charles W.J. [1981] (1993). Johnson, R.J. The Dictionary of Human Geography, Gregory, Derek; Smith, David M., Second edition, Oxford: Blackwell, 252-3.
  19. ^ Pritchard, Annette; Morgan, Nigel J. (1 January 2000). "Constructing tourism landscapes - gender, sexuality and space". Tourism Geographies. 2 (2): 115–139. doi:10.1080/14616680050027851. S2CID 145202919.
  20. ^ "Syllabus Poetics: Sexuality and Space in 17th - 19th Century American Literature, University at Buffalo". buffalo.edu. Archived from the original on 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  21. ^ "Space and Modern (Homo)sexuality in Tsai Ming Liang's Films by Lyn Van Swol". allacademic.com.
  22. ^ "Sexuality and Space, Course Syllabus Towson University". towson.edu. Archived from the original on 2008-02-03. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  23. ^ Park, Chris (2004). "Religion and geography". In Hinnells, J (ed.). Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion. Routledge.
  24. ^ "Recommending Social Events from Mobile Phone Location Data", Daniele Quercia, et al., ICDM 2010
  25. ^ Harrison, Paul; 2006; "Post-structuralist Theories"; pp122-135 in Aitken, S. and Valentine, G. (eds); 2006; Approaches to Human Geography; Sage, London
  26. ^ "West Asia/Middle East". Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  27. ^ Squires, G. Ed. Urban Sprawl: Causes, Consequences, & Policy Responses. The Urban Institute Press (2002)
  28. ^ Henry Petroski (2006). "Levees and Other Raised Ground". 94 (1). American Scientist: 7–11. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  29. ^ a b Avraham Ariel, Nora Ariel Berger (2006)."Plotting the globe: stories of meridians, parallels, and the international". Greenwood Publishing Group. p.12. ISBN 0-275-98895-3
  30. ^ Jennifer Fandel (2006)."The Metric System". The Creative Company. p.4. ISBN 1-58341-430-4
  31. ^ Akbar S. Ahmed (1984). "Al-Beruni: The First Anthropologist", RAIN 60, p. 9-10.
  32. ^ H. Mowlana (2001). "Information in the Arab World", Cooperation South Journal 1.
  33. ^ Kusky, Timothy M.; Cullen, Katherine E. (2010-01-01). Encyclopedia of Earth and Space Science. Infobase Publishing. p. 817. ISBN 9781438128597.
  34. ^ Scott, S. P. (1904). History of the Moorish Empire in Europe. p. 461. The compilation of Edrisi marks an era in the history of science. Not only is its historical information most interesting and valuable, but its descriptions of many parts of the earth are still authoritative. For three centuries geographers copied his maps without alteration. The relative position of the lakes which form the Nile, as delineated in his work, does not differ greatly from that established by Baker and Stanley more than seven hundred years afterwards, and their number is the same.
  35. ^ Guidelines for Geographic Education—Elementary and Secondary Schools. Joint Committee on Geographic Education of the National Council for Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers, 1984.
  36. ^ "The National Geography Standards". Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  37. ^ "National Geography Standards". Archived from the original on August 25, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  38. ^ Richard G Boehm, Roger M Downs, Sarah W Bednarz. Geography for Life: National Geography Standards. National Council for Geographic Education, 1994
  39. ^ Geography Framework for the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress. National Assessment Governing Board, U.S. Department of Education, p. vii:

    It focuses on what geography students should know to be competent and productive 21st century citizens, and uses three content areas for assessing the outcomes of geography education. These content areas are Space and Place, Environment and Society, and Spatial Dynamics and Connections.

  • Pidwirny, Michael. (2014). Glossary of Terms for Physical Geography. Planet Earth Publishing, Kelowna, Canada. ISBN 9780987702906. Available on Google Play.
  • Pidwirny, Michael. (2014). Understanding Physical Geography. Planet Earth Publishing, Kelowna, Canada. ISBN 9780987702944. Available on Google Play.