ⓘ Outline of geography. a social science – field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of human society human geography. a field of science – widely recog ..


ⓘ Outline of geography

  • a social science – field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of human society human geography.
  • a field of science – widely recognized category of specialized expertise within science, and typically embodies its own terminology and nomenclature. Such a field will usually be represented by one or more scientific journals, where peer reviewed research is published. There are many geography-related scientific journals.
  • 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 all of 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.
  • a natural science – field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of natural environment physical 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.

1. Branches of geography

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

  • human geography
  • physical geography

Other branches include:

  • geomatics
  • regional geography
  • integrated geography

All the branches are further described below.


1.1. Branches of geography Fields of physical geography

  • Oceanography – studies a wide range of topics pertaining to 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.
  • Glaciology – study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.
  • 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 a combination of field observation, physical experiment, and numerical modeling.
  • Hydrology – study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water throughout the Earth, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
  • Landscape ecology – the relationship between spatial patterns of urban development and ecological processes on a multitude of landscape scales and organizational levels.
  • 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.
  • Climatology – study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time.
  • Quaternary science – focuses on the Quaternary period, which encompasses the last 2.6 million years, including the last ice age and the Holocene period.
  • 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.
  • 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 that deals with pedogenesis, soil morphology, and soil classification.

1.2. Branches of geography Approaches of physical geography

  • Quantitative geography – Quantitative research tools and methods applied to geography. See also the quantitative revolution.
  • Systems approach –

1.3. Branches of 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.

1.4. Branches of geography 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.
  • Childrens geographies – study of places and spaces of childrens lives, characterized experientially, politically and ethically. Childrens geographies rests 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 pluralisation in the title is intended to imply that childrens lives will be markedly different in differing times and places and in differing circumstances such as gender, family, and class. The range of focii within childrens geographies include
  • Ethics of researching childrens worlds
  • Children and globalization
  • Children and the countryside
  • Children and the city
  • Children and nature,
  • Children and technology
  • Otherness of childhood
  • Methodologies of researching childrens worlds
  • Linguistic geography – deals with regional linguistic variations within languages.
  • Geography of languages – deals with the distribution through history and space of languages,
  • Language geography – studies the geographic distribution of language or its constituent elements. There are two principal fields of study within the geography of language
  • 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 differing kinds and in many differing ways. Another impetus that has influenced the development of the field are ecofeminist and other environmentalist viewpoints on nature-society relations including questions of animal welfare and rights.
  • 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, the geographies of prostitution and adult entertainment, use of sexualised locations in the arts, and sexual citizenship.
  • Religion geography – study of the influence of geography, i.e. place and space, on religious belief.
  • Development geography – study of the Earths 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.
  • 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.
  • Marketing geography – a discipline within marketing analysis which uses geolocation geographic information in the process of planning and implementation of marketing activities. It can be used in any aspect of the marketing mix – the product, price, promotion, or place geo targeting.
  • 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.
  • Time geography – study of the temporal factor on spatial human activities within the following constraints
  • 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 populations health, the distribution of disease in an area, and the environments effect on health and disease. It also deals with accessibility to health care and spatial distribution of health care providers.
  • 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
  • Coupling - restraint of an individual, anchoring him or her to a location while interacting with other individuals in order to complete a task
  • Authority - limits of accessibility to certain places or domains placed on individuals by owners or authorities
  • Military geography – the application of geographic tools, information, and techniques to solve military problems in peacetime or war.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Urban geography – the study of urban areas, in terms of concentration, infrastructure, economy, and environmental impacts.
  • 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.


1.5. Branches of geography Approaches of human geography

  • Critical geography – Variant of social science that seeks to interpret and change the world
  • Qualitative geography – qualitative research tools and methods applied to geography.
  • Non-representational theory
  • Postcolonialism – The academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism and imperialism
  • Behavioral geography – An approach to human geography that examines human behavior using a disaggregate approach
  • Feminist geography – An approach in human geography which applies the theories, methods and critiques of feminism
  • Cognitive geography – An interdisciplinary study of cognitive science and geography
  • Post-structuralism –
  • Marxist geography – A strand of critical geography that uses the theories and philosophy of Marxism to examine the spatial relations of human geography


1.6. Branches of 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.

1.7. Branches of geography Geomatics

  • Geomatics – branch of geography and the discipline of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographic information, 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.

1.8. Branches of geography Fields contributing to geomatics

  • Geographic information system – System to capture, manage and present geographic data
  • Global Positioning System – American satellite navigation system
  • Digital terrain modelling
  • Global navigation satellite systems represented by Satellite navigation – Any system that uses satellite radio signals to provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning – Any system that uses satellite radio signals to provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning
  • Photogrammetry – The science of making measurements using photography
  • Cartography – The study and practice of making maps
  • Geodesy – The science of the geometric shape, orientation in space, and gravitational field of Earth
  • Geospatial
  • Remote sensing – Acquisition of information at a significant distance from the subject
  • Surveying – The technique, profession, and science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them
  • Navigation – process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another
  • Mathematics – Field of study
  • Hydrography – Applied science of measurement and description of physical features of bodies of water


1.9. Branches of geography 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.


1.10. Branches of geography Supercontinents

List of supercontinents A supercontinent is a landmass comprising more than one continental core, or craton.

  • Americas formed 15 million years ago
  • Afro-Eurasia formed 5 million years ago
  • Eurasia formed 60 million years ago

1.11. Branches of geography Continents

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 – Eurasia: 6. Europe outline – 7. Asia outline –


1.12. Branches of geography Ecozone

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

  • Australasia 7.7 mil. km². The northern boundary of this zone is known as the Wallace line.
  • Afrotropic 22.1 mil. km² including Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Antarctic 0.3 mil. km² including Antarctica.
  • Nearctic 22.9 mil. km² including most of North America
  • Palearctic 54.1 mil. km² including the bulk of Eurasia and North Africa
  • Oceania 1.0 mil. km² including Polynesia, Fiji and Micronesia
  • Indomalaya 7.5 mil. km² including the South Asian subcontinent and Southeast Asia
  • Neotropic 19.0 mil. km² including South America and the Caribbean

1.13. Branches of geography Ecoregions

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


1.14. Branches of geography Other regions

  • Atlantic World
  • Bermuda Triangle
  • Pacific Rim
  • Pacific Ring of Fire

2. History of geography

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

By period

  • Critical geography
  • Ancient roads
  • Environmental determinism
  • Major explorations after the Age of Discovery
  • Age of discovery
  • Ancient Greek geography

By region

  • History of human geography in China
  • Chinese geography – The sudy of geography in China since the 5th century BC

By field

  • History of cartography – The development of cartography, or mapmaking technology
  • History of human geography
  • Longitude Prize
  • History of longitude
  • History of economic geography
  • History of health geography
  • History of political geography
  • History of demography
  • History of cultural geography
  • History of biogeography
  • History of oceanography
  • History of meteorology
  • History of climatology
  • History of geomorphology
  • History of geodesy
  • History of physical geography
  • History of hydrology
  • History of landscape ecology
  • History of regional geography


3. Elements of geography

Topics common to the various branches of geography include:

Natural geographic features

Natural geographic feature – an ecosystem or natural landform.

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

3.1. Elements of geography Tasks and tools of geography

  • Geocode, also known as Geospatial Entity Object Code – Geospatial coordinate system for specifying the exact location of a geospatial point at, below, or above the surface of the earth at a given moment of time.
  • Globe – A three-dimensional scale model of a spheroidal celestial body
  • Map – A symbolic depiction of relationships between elements of some space
  • Atlas – collection of maps
  • Cartography – The study and practice of making maps
  • Exploration – The act of traveling and searching for resources for information about the land or space itself
  • Geographic information system GIS – System to capture, manage and present geographic data
  • Outline of cartography – 1=Overview of and topical guide to cartography
  • Map projection – Systematic representation of the surface of a sphere or ellipsoid onto a plane
  • Spatial analysis – Formal techniques which study entities using their topological, geometric, or geographic properties
  • Demographics
  • Surveying – The technique, profession, and science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them

3.2. Elements of geography 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.


3.3. Elements of geography Natural geographic features

Natural geographic feature – an ecosystem or natural landform.


3.4. Elements of geography Ecosystems

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.

  • Ecozone – broadest biogeographic division of the Earths land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms.
  • Ecodistrict – Term used in urban planning to integrate objectives of sustainable development and reduce ecological impact
  • Ecoprovince – biogeographic unit smaller than an ecozone that contains one or more ecoregions.
  • Ecoregion – Ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion
  • Ecosite
  • Ecotope – The smallest ecologically distinct landscape features in a landscape mapping and classification system
  • Biodiversity hotspot – A biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened with destruction
  • Ecoelement
  • Ecosection
  • Biotope – A habitat for communities made up of populations of multiple species
  • Biome – Distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate
  • Bioregion – Ecologically and geographically defined area smaller than an ecozone, but larger than an ecoregion or an ecosystem
  • Bioelement

3.5. Elements of geography Natural landforms

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.


3.6. Elements of geography Natural terrain feature types

  • Subcontinent – A large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent
  • Mountain – A large landform that rises fairly steeply above the surrounding land over a limited area
  • Mainland – The continental part of any polity or the main island within an island nation
  • Island – Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water
  • Mountain range – A geographic area containing several geologically related mountains
  • Continent – Very large landmass identified by convention

3.7. Elements of geography Natural body of water types

  • Inlet – An indentation of a shoreline that often leads to an enclosed body of salt water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon, or marsh
  • Channel – A type of landform in which part of a body of water is confined to a relatively narrow but long region
  • Bodies of seawater – Water from a sea or ocean
  • Natural bodies of water – Any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planets surface
  • Bight – Shallowly concave bend or curve in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature
  • Gulf – Coastal landforms
  • Bay – Coastal landforms
  • Firth – Scottish word used for various coastal inlets and straits
  • Harbor – Sheltered body of water where ships may shelter
  • Cove – A small sheltered bay or coastal inlet
  • Creek tidal – The portion of a stream that is affected by ebb and flow of ocean tides
  • Estuary – A partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea
  • Fjord – A long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial activity
  • Lagoon – A shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs
  • Kill – A creek, tidal inlet, river, strait, or arm of the sea
  • Barachois – A coastal lagoon partially or totally separated from the ocean by a sand or shingle bar
  • Kettle – A depression/hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters
  • Loch – Scottish Gaelic, Scots and Irish word for a lake or a sea inlet
  • Arm of the sea –
  • Mere
  • Phytotelma – A small water-filled cavity in a terrestrial plant
  • Sea – Large body of salt water
  • Types of sea
  • Sound – A long, relatively wide body of water, connecting two larger bodies of water
  • Salt marsh – A coastal ecosystem in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and open saltwater or brackish water that is regularly flooded by the tides
  • Mediterranean sea – A mostly enclosed sea with limited exchange with outer oceans
  • Ocean – A body of water that composes much of a planets hydrosphere
  • Sea lough – Anglicised version of Scottish Gaelic and Irish word for a sea inlet
  • Sea components or extensions
  • Sea loch – Scottish Gaelic and Irish word for a sea inlet
  • Strait – A naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water
  • Lake – A body of relatively still water, in a basin surrounded by land
  • Tarn – Mountain lake or pool in a glacial cirque
  • Bodies of fresh water
  • Oxbow lake – U-shaped lake formed by a cut-off meander of a river
  • Bayou – French term for a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying area
  • Subglacial lake – A lake under a glacier
  • Lists of lakes – A list of lists of lakes
  • Pool – A stretch of a river or stream in which the water is relatively deep and slow moving
  • Billabong – Australian term for a seasonal oxbow lake
  • Pond – A relatively small body of standing water
  • Vernal pool – Seasonal pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals
  • Puddle – A small accumulation of liquid, usually water, on a surface
  • Tide pool – A rocky pool on a seashore, separated from the sea at low tide, filled with seawater
  • River – Natural flowing watercourse
  • Lists of rivers – A list of rivers, organised geographically
  • List of waterfalls – List of notable waterfalls of the world
  • Source
  • Parts of a river
  • Rapid – A section of a river where the river bed is relatively steep, increasing the waters velocity and turbulence
  • Waterfall – Place where water flows over a vertical drop in the course of a river
  • Spring – A point at which water emenges from an aquifer to the surface
  • Roadstead – An open anchorage affording some shelter, but less protection than a harbor
  • Boil -
  • Beck – A body of surface water flowing down a channel
  • Wash – A dry creek or stream bed with flow after rain
  • Burn – Term of Scottish origin for a small river
  • Brook – A body of surface water flowing down a channel
  • Draw – A dry creek or stream bed with flow after rain
  • Creek – A body of surface water flowing down a channel
  • Stream – A body of surface water flowing down a channel
  • Arroyo creek – A dry creek or stream bed with flow after rain
  • Run – A body of surface water flowing down a channel
  • Mangrove swamp – A shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water
  • Slough wetland – A forested wetland
  • Freshwater marsh – A wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species
  • Wetland – A land area that is permanently or seasonally saturated with water

3.8. Elements of geography 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.

  • Town – Settlement that is bigger than a village but smaller than a city – 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.
  • 2nd-order towns
  • 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.
  • 3rd-order towns
  • 4th-order towns
  • Urban hierarchy – ranks the structure of towns within an area.
  • Settlement – Community of any size, in which people live
  • Village – Small clustered 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.
  • 1st-order towns – bare minimum of essential services, such as bread and milk.
  • Primate city – the leading city in its country or region, disproportionately larger than any others in the urban hierarchy.
  • Eperopolis – theoretical "continent city". The world does not have one yet. Will Europe become the first one?
  • Megalopolis – 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.
  • Global city – City which is 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.
  • Financial centre – Locations which are centres of financial activity
  • Metropolis – 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.
  • Ecumenopolis – theoretical "world city". Will the world ever become so urbanized as to be called this?
  • City – Large and 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.
  • Metropolitan area – region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing.
  • Artificial dwelling hill – Raised ground to provide a refuge from flooding
  • Artificial landforms
  • 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 island – An island constructed by people
  • Artificial reef – A man-made underwater structure, typically built to promote marine life, control erosion, block ship passage, block the use of trawling nets, or improve surfing
  • Building – closed structure with walls and a roof.
  • Breakwater – Structure constructed on coasts as part of coastal management or to protect an anchorage – 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.
  • Causeway – Route raised up on an embankment
  • Aqueduct – artificial channel that is constructed to convey water from one location to another.
  • 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.
  • Dam – A 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 – barrier of stone or earth used to hold back water and prevent flooding.
  • Canal – Man-made channel for water – artificial waterway, often connecting one body of water with another.
  • Airport – place where airplanes can take off and land, including one or more runways and one or more passenger terminals.
  • 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.
  • Road – A demarcated land route with a suitable surface between places
  • Race track – Facility built for racing of animals, vehicles, or athletes
  • Ranch – Area of land used for raising grazing livestock
  • Highway – A public road or other public way on land
  • Industrial region – Geographical region with a high proportion of industrial use
  • Pipeline – Mode of transporting fluids over long distances through sealed pipes
  • Farm – place where agricultural activities take place, especially the growing of crops or the raising of livestock.
  • Orchard – Intentionally planted trees or shrubs that are maintained for food production
  • Street – A public thoroughfare in a built environment
  • Pier – Raised structure in a body of water, typically supported by well-spaced piles or pillars
  • Parking lot – Cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles
  • Reservoir – Bulk storage space for water
  • Port – maritime commercial facility
  • Manmade harbor – Sheltered body of water where ships may shelter – harbor that has deliberately constructed breakwaters, sea walls, or jettys, or which was constructed by dredging.
  • Marina – A dock or basin with moorings and facilities for yachts and small boats
  • Railway – Structure comprising load-bearing rails on a load-spreading foundation intended to carry special-purpose wheeled vehicles
  • Train station – Railway facility where trains regularly stop to load or unload passengers and/or freight
  • Wharf – A structure on the shore of a harbor or on the bank of a river or canal where ships dock
  • Viaduct – A multiple span bridge crossing an extended lower area
  • Ski resort – Resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports
  • Subsidence crater – A hole or depression left on the surface over the site of an underground explosion.
  • Tunnel – An underground passage made for traffic
  • Tree farm – Plantation for the cultivation of trees for harvest
  • Abstract geographic feature – does not exist physically in the real world, yet has a location by definition and may be displayed on maps.
  • Hardiness zone – Geographical regions defined by climatic conditions for horticultural purposes
  • Geographical zone – Major regions of the Earths surface demarcated by latitude
  • Time zone – Region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes
  • Special Economic Zone – A geographical region in which business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country
  • Administrative division – A territorial entity for administration purposes
  • Nation – Stable community of people based on a common cultural or political identity
  • Political division – A territorial entity for administration purposes
  • Country subdivision – A territorial entity for administration purposes – a designated territory created within a country for administrative or identification purposes. Examples of the types of country subdivisions
  • City – Large and permanent human settlement
  • Rural district – Former type of local government area in England, Wales, and Ireland
  • Duchy – Territory, fief, or domain ruled by, or representing the title of, a duke or duchess
  • Settlement – Community of any size, in which people live
  • Federal state – A union of partially self-governing states or territories, united by a central federal government that exercizes directly on them its sovereign power
  • Municipality – administrative division having corporate status and usually some powers of self-government or jurisdiction
  • Department – Administrative or political subdivision in some countries
  • County – Geographical and administrative region in some countries
  • Commune – An urban administrative division having corporate status and usually some powers of self-government or jurisdiction
  • Region – Two or three dimensionally defined space, mainly in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences
  • Township – Designation for types of settlement as administrative territorial entities
  • Emirate – A political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir
  • Province – A major administrative subdivision within a country or sovereign state
  • Bailiwick – The area of jurisdiction of a bailiff
  • Borough – An administrative division in some English-speaking countries
  • District – Administrative division, in some countries, managed by local government
  • Canton – A type of administrative division of a country
  • Parish – Ecclesiastical subdivision of a diocese
  • Prefecture – An administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries
  • Village – Small clustered human settlement smaller than a town
  • Subprefecture – Administrative division of a country that is below prefecture
  • Voivodeship – Administrative division in several countries of central and eastern Europe
  • Shire – A traditional term for a division of land, found in some English-speaking countries
  • Subdistrict – A low level administrative division of a country
  • Wilayat – Administrative division approximating a state or province
  • State – A territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federal union
  • Equator – Intersection of a spheres surface with the plane perpendicular to the spheres axis of rotation and midway between the poles
  • Latitude line – geographic coordinate specifying north–south position
  • Cartographical feature – theoretical construct used specifically on maps that doesnt have any physical form apart from its location.
  • Longitude line – geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earths surface
  • Prime Meridian – A line of longitude, at which longitude is defined to be 0°
  • North pole – Northern point where the Earths axis of rotation intersects its surface
  • Geographical pole – Points on a rotating astronomical body where the axis of rotation intersects the surface
  • South pole – Southern point where the Earths axis of rotation intersects its surface

3.9. Elements of geography 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


4. Geography awards

Some awards and competitions in the field of geography:

  • Victoria Medal – An award presented by the Royal Geographical Society for conspicuous merit in research in geography
  • National Geographic World Championship – A biennial, two-day-long international geography competition
  • Geography Cup – An online, international competition between the United States and the United Kingdom, with the aim of determining which nation collectively knows more about geography
  • Hubbard Medal – Medal awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research
  • Gold Medal – Award presented by the Royal Geographical Society

5. Persons influential in geography

A geographer is a scientist who studies Earths 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.


5.1. Persons influential in geography Influential physical geographers

  • Muhammad al-Idrisi Dreses, 1100 – c.1165 – who drew the Tabula Rogeriana, the most accurate world map in pre-modern times.
  • Ptolemy c.90 – c.168 – who compiled Greek and Roman knowledge to produce the book Geographia.
  • Alexander Von Humboldt 1769–1859 – considered the father of modern geography. Published Kosmos and founded the study of biogeography.
  • Robert E. Horton 1875–1945 – founder of modern hydrology and concepts such as infiltration capacity and overland flow.
  • Sir Nicholas Shackleton 1937–2006 – who demonstrated that oscillations in climate over the past few million years could be correlated with variations in the orbital and positional relationship between the Earth and the Sun.
  • Piri Reis 1465 – c.1554 – whose Piri Reis map is the oldest surviving world map to include the Americas and possibly Antarctica
  • Walther Penck 1888–1923 – proponent of the cycle of erosion and the simultaneous occurrence of uplift and denudation.
  • Hans Oeschger 1927–1998 – palaeoclimatologist and pioneer in ice core research, co-identifier of Dansgaard-Orschger events.
  • Bernhardus Varenius 1622–1650 – Wrote his important work "General Geography" 1650 – first overview of the geography, the foundation of modern geography.
  • Vasily Dokuchaev 1846–1903 – patriarch of Russian geography and founder of pedology.
  • Gerardus Mercator 1512–1594 – an innovative cartographer and originator of the Mercator projection.
  • Sir Ernest Shackleton 1874–1922 – Antarctic explorer during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.
  • Arnold Henry Guyot 1807–1884 – who noted the structure of glaciers and advanced the understanding of glacial motion, especially in fast ice flow.
  • William Morris Davis 1850–1934 – father of American geography, founder of Geomorphology and developer of the geographical cycle theory.
  • Richard Chorley 1927–2002 – a key contributor to the quantitative revolution and the use of systems theory in geography.
  • Wladimir Peter Koppen 1846–1940 – developer of most important climate classification and founder of Paleoclimatology.
  • Alfred Russel Wallace 1823–1913 – founder of modern biogeography and the Wallace line.
  • Abū Rayhān Bīrūnī 973 – 1048 AD – considered the father of geodesy.
  • Mikhail Lomonosov 1711–1765 – father of Russian geography and founded the study of glaciology.
  • Louis Agassiz 1807–1873 – the author of a glacial theory which disputed the notion of a steady-cooling Earth.
  • Eratosthenes 276 – 194 BC – who made the first known reliable estimation of the Earths size. He is considered the father of geodesy.
  • Willi Dansgaard born 1922 – palaeoclimatologist and quaternary scientist, instrumental in the use of oxygen-isotope dating and co-identifier of Dansgaard-Oeschger events.
  • Stefan Rahmstorf born 1960 – professor of abrupt climate changes and author on theories of thermohaline dynamics.
  • Ibn Sina Avicenna, 980–1037 – whose observations in Kitab Al-Shifa contributed to later formulations of the law of superposition and concept of uniformitarianism.
  • J Harlen Bretz 1882–1981 – pioneer of research into the shaping of landscapes by catastrophic floods, most notably the Bretz Missoula floods.

5.2. Persons influential in geography Influential human geographers

  • Walter Christaller 1893–1969 – economic geographer and developer of the central place theory.
  • David Harvey born 1935 – worlds most cited academic geographer and winner of the Laureat Prix International de Geographie Vautrin Lud, also noted for his work in critical geography and critique of global capitalism.
  • Nigel Thrift born 1949 – developer of non-representational theory.
  • Waldo R. Tobler born 1930 – developer of the First law of geography.
  • Sir Halford John Mackinder 1861–1947 – author of The Geographical Pivot of History, co-founder of the London School of Economics, along with the Geographical Association.
  • Friedrich Ratzel 1844–1904 – environmental determinist, invented the term Lebensraum
  • Edward Soja born 1941 – noted for his work on regional development, planning and governance, along with coining the terms synekism and postmetropolis.
  • Cindi Katz born 1954 – who writes on social reproduction and the production of space. Writing on childrens geographies, place and nature, everyday life and security.
  • Carl O. Sauer 1889–1975 – critic of environmental determinism and proponent of cultural ecology.
  • Gillian Rose born 1962 – most famous for her critique: Feminism & Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge 1993 – which was one of the first moves towards a development of feminist geography.
  • Torsten Hagerstrand 1916–2004 – critic of the quantitative revolution and regional science, noted figure in critical geography.
  • Allen J. Scott born 1938 – winner of Vautrin Lud Prize in 2003 and the Anders Retzius Gold medal 2009; author of numerous books and papers on economic and urban geography, known for his work on regional development, new industrial spaces, agglomeration theory, global city-regions and the cultural economy.
  • Paul Vidal de la Blache 1845–1918 – founder of the French School of geopolitics and possibilism.
  • Richard Hartshorne 1899–1992 – scholar of the history and philosophy of geography.
  • Derek Gregory born 1951 – famous for writing on the Israeli, U.S. and UK actions in the Middle East after 9/11, influenced by Edward Said and has contributed work on imagined geographies.
  • Michael Watts, Class of 1963 Professor of Geography and Development Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • Yi-Fu Tuan born 1930 A Chinese-American geographer.
  • Doreen Massey born 1944 – key scholar in the space and places of globalization and its pluralities, winner of the Vautrin Lud Prize.
  • Carl Ritter 1779–1859 – considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern geography and first chair in geography at the Humboldt University of Berlin, also noted for his use of organic analogy in his works.
  • Evelyn Stokes 1936–2005. Professor of geography at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Known for recognizing inequality with marginalized groups including women and Māori using geography.
  • Milton Santos 1926–2001 winner of the Vautrin Lud prize in 1994, one of the most important geographers in South America.

6. Geography educational frameworks

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

  • Place
  • Location – a position or point that something occupies on the Earths surface.
  • Region – Two or three dimensionally defined space, mainly in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences
  • Five themes of geography – educational tool for teaching geography
  • Human-environment interaction – The study of interactions between societies and their natural environments
  • movement –
  • The six "essential elements" identified by the Geography Education Standards Project, under which the National Geography Standards they developed are organized
  • Physical systems
  • Environment and society
  • The World in spatial terms
  • The uses of geography
  • Places and regions
  • Human systems
  • Space and place
  • The three content areas of geography from the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress U.S.
  • Environment and society
  • Spatial dynamics and connections