AP Human Geography Basic Concepts - legacyjr.net


AP Human Geography Basic Concepts - legacyjr.net

Chapter 1: Basic Concepts

The Cultural Landscape:

An Introduction to Human Geography

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Defining Geography

• Word coined by Eratosthenes

– Geo = Earth

– Graphia = writing

Geography thus means “earth writing”

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Contemporary Geography

• Geographers ask where and why

– Location and distribution are important


• Geographers are concerned with the

tension between globalization and local


• A division: physical geography and

human geography

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Geography’s Vocabulary

• Place

• Region

• Scale

• Space

• Connections

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.


• Two purposes

– As reference tools

• To find locations,

to find one’s way

– As



• To show the

distribution of

human and

physical features

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Early Map Making

An Early City map.

Figure 1-2

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Maps: Scale

• Types of map scale

– Ratio or fraction

– Written

– Graphic

• Projection

– Distortion

• Shape

• Distance

• Relative size

• Direction

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

This type of map

scale shows us a

large area at the top,

with progressively

larger scale maps

the further we go

down. The larger

scale maps show

little detail, while the

smaller scale maps

show a wealth of


Figure 1-4

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

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

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Township and Range System

Figure 1-5

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Contemporary Tools

• Geographic

Information Science


– Global Positioning

Systems (GPS)

– Remote sensing

– Geographic

information systems


Each map represents a set of information with Figure 1-7

Geographic Coordinates, which allows them to be

combined with other maps to be more informative.

This has changed dramatically with the advent of


© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

A Mash-up

Figure 1-8

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Place: Unique Location of a Feature

• Location

– Place names

– Site

• Toponym

– Situation

– Mathematical location

Toponymy is the study of place

names (toponyms), their origins,

meanings, use and typology. The

word "toponymy" is derived from the

Greek words tópos (τόπος) ("place")

and ónoma (ὄνοµα) ("name").

New York is named after the

English city York.

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

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

41.0781° N, 111.9553° W

21.3000° N, 157.8167° W

77.8500° S, 166.6667° E

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

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

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Types of Regions

• Formal (uniform) regions

– Example: Montana

• Functional (nodal) regions

– Example: the circulation area of a


• Vernacular (cultural) regions

– Example: the American South

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.


• 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


© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Cultural Ecology

• The geographic study of



• Two perspectives:

– Environmental determinism

– Possibilism

• Modern geographers generally

reject environmental determinism in

favor of possibilism

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

The theory that the environment sets

certain constraints or limitations, but

culture is otherwise determined by social


• Climate

• Vegetation

• Soil

• Landforms

Physical Processes

– These four processes are important for

understanding human activities

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Modifying the Environment

• Examples

– The Netherlands

• Polders

– The Florida Everglades

Figure 1-21

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

• Globalization


– Economic globalization

• Transnational corporations

– Cultural globalization

• A global culture?

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Space: Distribution of Features

• Distribution—three features

– Density

• Arithmetic

• Physiological

• Agricultural

– Concentration

– Pattern

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Space–Time Compression

Different forms

of transport and


have changed

the way we

travel and talk

to on another.

Think of all the


inventions that

have seemed

to compress


Figure 1-29

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

Spatial Interaction

• Transportation networks

• Electronic communications and

the “death” of geography?

• Distance decay

Figure 1-30

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.


• The process by which a characteristic

spreads across space and over time

• Hearth = source area for innovations

• Two types of diffusion

– Relocation

– Expansion

Relocation diffusion: The spread of an idea through physical movement of people

from one place to another. Ex: spread of AIDS from New York, California, &


Expansion diffusion: The spread of a feature from one place to

another in a snowballing process.

• Three types: hierarchical, contagious, stimulus

-Hierarchical diffusion: The spread of an

idea from persons or nodes of authority

or power to other persons or places (Ex:

hip-hop/rap music)

-Contagious diffusion: The rapid,

widespread diffusion of a

characteristic throughout the

population. (Ex: ideas placed on

the internet)

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

-Stimulus diffusion: the spread of an

underlying principle, even though a

characteristic itself apparently fails to

diffuse. (Ex: PC & Apple competition,





Figure 1-31

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

The End.

Up next: Population

© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines