WHAT IS GEOGRAPHY?
Here we look at what is meant by Geography. We look at the different definitions of Geography and where the word geography comes from. Learning about Geography is important to everyone and it is valuable to you later in life. We see that Geography is primarily about people and places and that studying Geography helps us understand and appreciate the complex pattern connections in the world that affect our everyday lives. Learning about Geography helps us to understand our world and makes it a more interesting place to live.
Oxford Dictionary - definition of Geography
noun [mass noun]
• the study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects and is affected by these, including the distribution of populations and resources and political and economic activities.
• [usually in singular] the nature and relative arrangement of places and physical features:the geography of post-war London
• (plural geographies) (especially in business) a geographical area; a region.
Wikipedia - definition of Geography
Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία, geographia, lit. "earth description") is the science that studies the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276-194 BC). Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), the area studies (places and regions), the study of the man-land relationship, and the research in the earth sciences. Nonetheless, the modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost 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" and "the bridge between the human and the physical science". Geography is divided into two main branches: the human geography and the physical geography.
Antarctica - A land of ice. Millions of square kilometres of ice, thousands of penguins and a few hundred scientists.
Encyclopaedia Britannica - definition of Geography
geography, the study of the diverse environments, places, and spaces of the Earth’s surface and their interactions; it seeks to answer the questions of why things are as they are, where they are. The modern academic discipline of geography is rooted in ancient practice, concerned with the characteristics of places, in particular their natural environments and peoples, as well as the interrelations between the two. Its separate identity was first formulated and named some 2,000 years ago by the Greeks, whose geo and graphein were combined to mean “earth writing” or “earth description.” However, what we now understand as geography was elaborated before then, in the Arab world and elsewhere. Ptolemy, author of one of the discipline’s first books, Guide to Geography (2nd century ad), defined geography as “a representation in pictures of the whole known world together with the phenomena which are contained therein.” This expresses what many still consider geography’s essence—a description of the world using maps (and now also pictures, as in the kind of “popular geographies” exemplified by National Geographic Magazine)—but, as more was learned about the world, less could be mapped, and words were added to the pictures.
To most people, geography means knowing where places are and what they are like. Discussion of an area’s geography usually refers to its topography—its relief and drainage patterns and predominant vegetation, along with climate and weather patterns—together with human responses to that environment, as in agricultural, industrial, and other land uses and in settlement and urbanization patterns.
Although there was a much earlier teaching of what is now called geography, the academic discipline is largely a 20th-century creation, forming a bridge between the natural and social sciences. The history of geography is the history of thinking about the concepts of environments, places, and spaces. Its content covers an understanding of the physical reality we occupy and our transformations of environments into places that we find more comfortable to inhabit (although many such modifications often have negative long-term impacts). Geography provides insights into major contemporary issues, such as globalization and environmental change, as well as a detailed appreciation of local differences; changes in disciplinary interests and practices reflect those issues.