1 INTRODUCTORY MODULE FOR GEOGRAPHY (PLACES AND LANDSCAPE IN THE CHANGING WORLD) GEOGRAPHY Geography is an ancient and honorable field of learning with its roots firmly set in classicalantiquity.The word GEOGRAPHY comes from two Greek words a. “GEO”- which means “EARTH” and; b. “GRAPHE”- which means “to write” or “to draw”Geography literally means “Earth description”------ A science of space and place.A discipline which deals with both (1) Physical and (2) Social Science aspect Geography is concerned with the study of the earth’s surface including people’s responses totopography and climate as well as soil and vegetation and the distribution and interaction of differentphenomena on Earth. The first unique concept or approach In the study of geography is to study the aerial distributionof phenomena such as: People Climates Farms Roads Shopping centers and; Schools These phenomena can be described generally, or be precisely located, counted or measuredPlaced on a map, or in a computer database. The second unique aspect is spatial interaction or the relationship of phenomena below in agiven place. Physical and Human Geography Geography is neither a physical science nor a social science; rather, it combines characteristicsof both and can be conceptualize as bridging gap between two. As a field of learning, it subdivides or branches into two broad and separate subfields: A. PHYSICAL OR NATURAL GEOGRAPHY B. CULTUTAL OR HUMAN GEOGRAPY
2 ELEMENTS OF GEOGRAPHY Physical or natural elements Cultural or human elements A. Weather and Climate A. Man B. Landforms 1. Population 1. Continents and Islands 2. Cultural Groups 2. Highlands 3. Cultural Institutions 3. Lowlands B. Works of man C. Water forms 1. Settlements 1. Oceans and Seas 2. Economics or ways of life 2. Waters of the land 3. Routes of transportation D. Plants and animals 4. Communication E. Natural resources Historical Development of Geography PEOPLE engage in the study of geography because it satisfies their natural curiosity aboutforeign places and different ways of life. Geography helps people with their experience with naturalelements. It also assist them in finding direction. The ancient Greeks made the first step in GeographyHerodotos Was not only the “Father of History” but also geography because he always placed historicevents in their geographic setting. He observed the rich black soil of the Delta of the Nile and explainedit as the river deposition. He explained the relationship of the physical environment to the activities ofman. This is the very essence of geography.Eratosthenes He was the first person to use the word "geography" and invented the discipline of geography aswe understand it. He invented a system of latitude and longitude.Other Greeks who studied Geography A. Hipparchus – concept of Meridians B. Thales of Miletus- C. Anaximander- world is a shape like cylinder
3 D. Aristotle- Earth was sphere E. Strabo F. Ptolemy Middle Age GeographyMuslim writers such as EDRID (1099-1154) , IBN-BATUTA (1304- 1378), and IBN-KHALDUN (1332-1406)collected accurate information about the location of coastlines, and mountain ranges in areasconquered by Muslims.Phei Hsiu, known as the father of Chinese cartography, produced an elaborate map of China in A.D 267. 7th and 18th Age Geography1.Bernhard Varenius Wrote “GEOGRAPHICA GENERALIS”. His book served as the standard treatise on systematicgeography for more than a century.2. Immanuel Kant Was a German philosopher who provided the philosophical underpinnings of geography.He justified its place among sciences3. Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Ritter They believe that geography should use scientific methods to explain the reasons for thepresence or absence of certain phenomena. This started the “where” and “why” approach in geography.4. Friedrich Ratzel and Ellen ChurchillBelieved that geography was the study of the influences of the natural environment on people.Ratzel was widely recognized as the father of Human Geography.5. Ellsworth Huntington An early American Geographer, argued that climate was a major determinant ofcivilization6. Paul Vidal de la Blache and Jean Brunhes They developed what is known as the regional geography approach, sometimes calledthe “cultural language”7. Carl Saver and Robert Platt they adopted the regional geography approach developed by Blache and Brunhes.
4 Elements of Geography An analysis of the human habitat indicates that its nature results from the interaction of twogroups of elements, the physical or natural and the cultural or human. Branches of Geography Geographers organize their study of the Earth in several ways. They may divide the field intoREGIONAL and TOPICAL geography. They may also classify the branches of geography according towhether they deal with the physical or with human activityREGIONAL GEOGRAPHY- deals with all or many of the geographic elements of a place or region. Withinthe region, it investigates and analyzes the distribution and association of elements which give theregion its distinctive character.TOPICAL GEOGRAPHY- Concentrates on the study of one earth feature or human activity as it occursthroughout the world. The worldwide pattern of soil quality and railroad transportation are twoexample of the topical approach in geography.PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY- Is concerned with the location of such earth features as land, water, andclimate; their relationship to one another and human activities; and the forces that create and changethem. Subdivisions of Physical Geography1. Geomorphology studies land and water forms as well as the development of irregularities in thesurface of the earth (glaciations, river floodplains, underground caves, shorelines, coral reefs, sanddunes, volcanic features and the erosion cycle2. Climatology studies the differences and similarities in climate from place to place. It considers winmovements, cloud formation, temperature changes and precipitation of all kinds. It is related closely tometeorology.3. Mathematical Geography has to do with the accurate measurements of the earth and the calculationof the exact location of points on the earth’s surface such as the exact location of a city in latitude andlongitude.
54. Oceanography is concerned with the study of the ocean and its phenomena, current wave activity,temperature differences, and tides5. Biogeography is concerned with the study of the geographical distribution of plants known as plantgeography and as phytogeography, and animals, known as zoogeography. It is related to ecology, whichstudies the relationship between plants and animals and their habitat6. Medical Geography, a relative new science, is concerned with the study of the relationship betweendisease-causing organism and their physical environment.7. Pedogenesis it deals with the process of soil formation. The term “pedon” is a basic soil sampling unitthat is often viewed as a soil profile that goes from the surface to a depth where soil meets bedrock.8. Hydrology deals with the study of hydrosphere. It describes waters of the earth. Water exist in variousforms, including atmosphere, oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers, snowfields, and groundwater.9. Meteorology a scientific study of the atmosphere and associated phenomena. Subdivisions of Human Geography (Another name for this division is ANTHROPOLOGY )1. Cultural geography deals with the study of the distribution of cultural traits such as customs,traditions, taboos, religions, dialects, and dwellings.2. Population geography deals with the study of numbers and distribution of people.3. Political geography deals with the study of the relationship between political units such as provincesor states, nations, or unions of nations.4. Historical geography is the study of manner by which geographic patterns of man and his workschange through time; or it may place emphasis only on the complete geography of small region at acertain time.5. Economic geography is the study of the widely varying economic conditions across the earth. It can beinfluence by climate, geology, and socio-political factors.6. Urban Geography is the study of cities play in the life of a nation. Urban Geography is one of the latestgrowing kinds of human geography. It is usually concerned with the study of the site of a city and how ithas influenced the type and direction of its growth, the function of a city and its specializations if there isany.7. Behavioral Geography, this inductively explores behavior and the rationale behind the decision-making process and the production of models replicating such behavior.