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What Does Physical Geography Mean

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Chambers 20th Century Dictionaryrate This Definition:

What does geography mean to you?
  • Geography

    je-ogra-fi, n. the science which describes the surface of the earth and its inhabitants: a book containing a description of the earth.n.Geographer.adjs.Geographic, –al, relating to geography.adv.Geographically.Geographical distribution .Descriptive geography, that part of geography which consists in a statement of facts Historical geography, that part of geography which investigates the changes which have occurred in the governmental control of territory Physical geography Political geography, geography that gives an account of the different communities of mankind.

  • Careers In Geography And Gis

    Geography is not a discipline of endlessly memorizing capitals, countries, rivers, mountain ranges, and more. The discipline is about scientifically analyzing the spatial and temporal distribution, connections, and patterns of the physical and cultural environments we live within.

    The following information on careers in geography is from the website of the Association of American Geographers , which is a resource for those interested in pursuing employment in the field of geography.

    Many occupations require knowledge of and skills in geography. Geographers work in many different areas, such as environmental management, education, disaster response, city and county planning, community development, and more. Geography is an interdisciplinary field that offers diverse career opportunities.

    Many geographers pursue rewarding careers in business local, state, or federal government agencies, nonprofit organizations and schools. Geographers with graduate degrees may become educators in higher education .

    Contemporary Meanings In Physical Geography: From What To Why

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    Why Physical Geography Is Important

    Knowing about the physical geography of Earth is important for every serious student studying the planet because the natural processes of Earth affect the distribution of resources and the conditions of the human settlement. Anyone studying processes involving Earth and its processes is working within the confines of its physical geography. These natural processes have resulted in a plethora of varied effects on human populations throughout the millennia.

    Historical Evolution Of The Discipline

    01 Chap 1 Introduction To Geography (Jan 08)
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    From the birth of geography as a science during the Greek classical period and until the late nineteenth century with the birth of anthropogeography , geography was almost exclusively a natural science: the study of location and descriptive gazetteer of all places of the known world. Several works among the best known during this long period could be cited as an example, from Strabo , Eratosthenes or Dionisio Periegetes in the Ancient Age to the Alexander von Humboldt in the nineteenth century, in which geography is regarded as a physical and natural science, of course, through the work Summa de GeografÃa of from the early sixteenth century, which indicated for the first time the New World.

    During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a controversy exported from geology, between supporters of James Hutton and Georges Cuvier strongly influenced the field of geography, because geography at this time was a natural science.

    The second important process is the theory of evolution by Darwin in mid-century which meant an important impetus in the development of Biogeography.

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    Examples Of Geography In A Sentence

    geographygeographygeographyForbesgeography USA TODAYgeography chicagotribune.comgeography Washington Postgeography Anchorage Daily NewsgeographyNew York TimesgeographyLos Angeles Timesgeography Star Tribune

    These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘geography.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

    Connecting With Space And Place

    Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Geographers explore both the physical properties of Earths surface and the human societies spread across it. They also examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way that locations and places can have an impact on people. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time.

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    Geography As A Science

    Geography is the spatial study of the earths physical and cultural environments. Geographers study the earths physical characteristics, its inhabitants and cultures, phenomena such as climate, and the earths place within the universe. Geography also examines the spatial relationships between all physical and cultural phenomena in the world. Furthermore, geographers also look at how the earth, its climate, and its landscapes are changing due to cultural intervention. Geography is a much broader field than many people realize. Most people think of area studies as the whole of geography. In reality, geography is the study of the earth, including how human activity has changed it. Geography involves studies that are much broader than merely understanding the shape of the earths landforms. Physical geography involves all the planets physical systems. Human geography incorporates studies of human culture, spatial relationships, interactions between humans and the environment, and many other research areas that involve the different subspecialties of geography. Students interested in a career in geography would be well served to learn geospatial techniques and gain skills and experience in GIS and remote sensing, as they are the areas within geography where employment opportunities have grown the most over the past few decades.

    Jobs In Urban Geography


    Since urban geography is a varied branch of geography that requires a wealth of outside knowledge and expertise on the city, it forms the theoretical basis for a growing number of jobs. According to the Association of American Geographers, a background in urban geography can prepare one for a career in such fields as urban and transportation planning, site selection in business development and real estate development.

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    What Does Geography Study

    What do we do when we study geography? We explore and learn about two main issues: places and people. There are two branches of geography, called physical geography and human geography:

    • physical geography examines the nature and environment and with it, natural hazards and their effects for example what happens when a volcano erupts or where and why does flooding occur
    • human geography studies the effects of our activities on the planet and what living in our environments on the lives and activities of the people means, such as why people move from villages into towns or even migrate from country to country or what it happens when we exploit the earths resources or why we experience the effects of global warming

    Key Takeaways: Physical Geography

    • Physical geography is the study of our planet and its systems .
    • Understanding the climate and how it’s changing affect people now and can help plan for the future.
    • Because the study of Earth is vast, numerous sub-branches of physical geography specialize in different areas, from the upper limits of the sky to the bottom of the ocean.

    In contrast, cultural or human geography spends time studying why people locate where they do and how they adapt to and change the landscape in which they live. Someone studying cultural geography might also research how languages, religion, and other aspects of culture develop where people live how those aspects are transmitted to others as people move or how cultures change because of where they move.

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    Difference Between Human Geography And Physical Geography

    Physical and Human Geography is the principal branches of Geographical sciences.

    Physical geography is what we are more familiar with as it involves earths land areas, bodies of water, plant life etc. Physical geographers help in making decisions about managing different types of resources such as water, forests and land.

    Human geography is more about peoples religion, culture and way of life. Human geographers aid in planning cities and the formulation of international business models.

    This article will give details about the key differences between Physical Geography and Human Geography as both are important concepts in the geography segment of the IAS Exam.

    Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page

    The differences between Physical Geography and Human Geography is given in the table below

    Difference Between Physical Geography and Human Geography

    The concepts of physical geography come under the umbrella segment of Geography in the UPSC Exams, while some aspects of human geography overlap with the Art and Culture segment. The following links will help in preparing for both the sections:

    Difference Between Human Geography and Physical Geography-

    Physical Geography And Physical Systems


    As a consequence of these changes, physical geography moved away from inductive accounts of environments and their origins and toward analysis of physical systems and processes. Interest in the physiography of the Earths surface was replaced by research on how the environment works.

    There were three other main groups of physical geographers, two of whose work was also much influenced by the concepts of evolution. Workers in biogeography studied plants and, to a lesser extent, animals. The geography of plants reflects environmental conditions, especially climate and soils biogeographical regions are characterized by those conditions and their floral assemblages, which produce patterns based on latitude and elevation. It was argued that those assemblages evolve toward climaxcommunities. Whatever specific vegetation types initially occupy an area, competition between plants for available resources will lead to those most suited to the prevailing conditions eventually becoming dominant. Such conditions may change and a new cycle be initiated because of either short-term climatic fluctuations or human-induced environmental changes.

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    History Of Urban Geography

    The earliest studies of urban geography in the United States focused on site and situation. This developed out of the man-land tradition of geography which focused on the impact of nature on humans and vice versa. In the 1920s, Carl Sauer became influential in urban geography as he motivated geographers to study a city’s population and economic aspects with regard to its physical location. In addition, central place theory and regional studies focused on the hinterland and trade areas were also important to early urban geography.

    Throughout the 1950s and 1970s, geography itself became focused on spatial analysis, quantitative measurements and the use of the scientific method. At the same time, urban geographers began quantitative information like census data to compare different urban areas. Using this data allowed them to do comparative studies of different cities and develop computer-based analysis out of those studies. By the 1970s, urban studies were the leading form of geographic research.

    Shortly thereafter, behavioral studies began to grow within geography and in urban geography. Proponents of behavioral studies believed that location and spatial characteristics could not be held solely responsible for changes in a city. Instead, changes in a city arise from decisions made by individuals and organizations within the city.

    What Is Physical Geography

    • M.A., Geography, California State University – Northridge
    • B.A., Geography, University of California – Davis

    The vast discipline of geography is divided into two major branches: 1) physical geography and 2) cultural or human geography. Physical geography encompasses the geographic tradition known as the Earth sciences tradition. Physical geographers look at the landscapes, surface processes, and climate of the earthall of the activity found in the four spheres of our planet.

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    An Overview Of Urban Geography

    • M.A., Geography, California State University – East Bay
    • B.A., English and Geography, California State University – Sacramento

    Urban geography is a branch of human geography concerned with various aspects of cities. An urban geographer’s main role is to emphasize location and space and study the spatial processes that create patterns observed in urban areas. To do this, they study the site, evolution and growth, and classification of villages, towns, and cities as well as their location and importance in relation to different regions and cities. Economic, political and social aspects within cities are also important in urban geography.

    In order to fully understand each of these aspects of a city, urban geography represents a combination of many other fields within geography. Physical geography, for example, is important in understanding why a city is located in a specific area as site and environmental conditions play a large role in whether or not a city develops. Cultural geography can aid in understanding various conditions related to an area’s people, while economic geography aids in understanding the types of economic activities and jobs available in an area. Fields outside of geography such as resource management, anthropology, and urban sociology are also important.

    What Is A Physical Region

    What is Physical Geography?

    A physical region is a part of the world that is defined as having a similar grouping of characteristics in terms of flora, fauna or distinguishing characteristics. Every country is broken up into smaller physical regions that are specific to those areas. A physical region is also referred to as a natural region.

    Physical or natural regions are distinguishable by shared characteristics. This refers to things such as climate, vegetation and animal habitation. There are many classifications of natural regions, including tundra, desert, monsoon, tropical, deciduous and prairie. Others include grasslands, coniferous, moorlands, polar and savannah. Each of these areas has unique terrain, weather patterns and life forms that are often not shared among other types of environments.

    Physical regions also relate to the different landscapes within a nation or state. Territories experience a broad range of various weather and ecological patterns, making it necessary to classify various places by the kinds of geography and biology they host. This helps with monitoring the health of the environment and practicing safe human expansion.

    Generating a thorough understanding of each of these ecosystems is facilitated by listing the major characteristics of each physical region. The study of physical regions is referred to as ecology.

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    Themes Of Urban Geography

    Although urban geography has several different focuses and viewpoints, there are two major themes that dominate its study today. The first of these is the study of problems relating to the spatial distribution of cities and the patterns of movement and links that connect them across space. This approach focuses on the city system. The second theme in urban geography today is the study of patterns of distribution and interaction of people and businesses within cities. This theme mainly looks at a city’s inner structure and therefore focuses on the city as a system.

    In order to follow these themes and study cities, urban geographers often break down their research into different levels of analysis. In focusing on the city system, urban geographers must look at the city on the neighborhood and citywide level, as well as how it relates to other cities on a regional, national and global level. To study the city as a system and its inner structure as in the second approach, urban geographers are mainly concerned with the neighborhood and city level.

    Keeping Up With The Journal Literature

    Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature in Physical Geography? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC’s you can download and read the articles you want.

    You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

    Don’t own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It’s now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.

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    What Is A Physical Feature In Geography

    Geographic physical features are naturally occurring features on the planet Earths topography, including landforms, bodies of water, terrains and ecosystems. In addition to physical features, geographic features may also be man-made or artificial and include engineered features and human settlements. A third category of geographic features is called cartographic features. It includes features that arent physical and dont technically exist but are widely accepted and designated for reasons such as research, navigation and reference.


    Landforms are physical features that a part of the Earths natural terrain. The four major landforms are mountains, plains, plateaus and hills. However, there are many other minors ones, including canyons, valleys, caves and buttes. Mt. Everest in Nepal is the highest landform on Earth. Its 29,035 feet tall,

    according to National Geographic. The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean is the deepest landform at nearly 7 miles below sea level.

    Bodies of Water

    Bodies of water are also physical features of geography, and they are considered landforms as well. They actually cover more of the planet than land does. About 71% of the Earths surface is some form of water,



    Ecosystems may also be considered physical features in geography. An ecosystem is basically an area that is a sum of many parts, including animals, plants, organisms, weather, landscapes, landforms, bodies of water and terrain.

    Engineered Features

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