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created three different methods for projecting the Earth's surface on a map, ... Early World map based on Ptolemy's techniques. This early world map was ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • History and Basic Concepts

What is Geography?
  • Geography is the science that studies the
    distribution of and relationships between
    features found on the earths surface places
    where we live or travel".
  • The central issue in Geography evolves around the
    character of places, their similarities, and
  • Erastothenes, an Ancient Greek Scholar first
    coined the term "Geography

Why is Geography unique among the subjects we
study in college?..1
  • It is primarily concerned with how things are
    distributed over the earths surface.
  • It uses graphics (maps, pictures, photography
    graphs) and taxonomy (classification of things)
    approach in its studies.
  • It plays a part in understanding the contemporary
    world unlike that of any other field of study.

Why is Geography unique among the subjects we
study in college?..2
  • Geography is not defined by its subject matter
    (the things it studies) but rather the method it
    adopts to study those materials.
  • Geographers adopt an interdisciplinary (holistic)
    approach to study things processes on the earth
  • Geographic Study focuses on the
    inter-relationships between various phenomena
    found on the earths surface

Human habitat Geographic studies
  • The human habitat is made up of
  • A natural environment comprising natural
    features e.g. trees, rivers, weather, etc.
  • A cultural environment consisting of products of
    human civilization e.g. schools, cities, cars,
    computers and buildings.

Major sub-disciplines in Physical Human
  • Geography integrates a wide variety of subject
  • Almost any area of human knowledge can be
    examined from a spatial perspective
  • The main divisions are Physical and Human

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Holistic Synthesis
  • Geographic studies involves a holistic synthesis.
  • Holistic synthesis connects knowledge from a
    variety of academic fields in both Human and
    Physical Geography.

The Holistic Approach strengths and weaknesses
  • The holistic nature of Geography is both a
    strength and a weakness.
  • Geography's strength comes from its ability to
    connect functional interrelationships that are
    not normally noticed in narrowly defined fields
    of knowledge.
  • The holistic approach is weak because holistic
    understanding is often too simple and misses
    important details.

Historical development of Geography
  • The first truly geographical studies occurred
    more than 4,000 years ago when explorers began
    traveling to new lands.
  • The Chinese, Egyptian, and Phoenician
    civilizations were beginning to explore the
    places and spaces within and outside their
  • The earliest evidence of geographic explorations
    comes from the archaeological discovery of a
    Babylonian clay tablet map that dates back to
    2300 BC.

Early Greek Geographers1
  • The Greeks were the first civilization to
    practice a form of Geography that was more than
    mere map making
  • Greek philosophers and scientists were interested
    in learning about spatial nature of human and
    physical features found on the Earth.

Early Greek Geographers2
  • Ancient Greek scholar Eratosthenes first coined
    the word "Geography".
  • The term Geography is composed of two Greek
  • Geo Earth and
  • Graphien to write.
  • The Greeks defined Geography as Description of
    the Earth

Early Greek Geographers3
  • Eratosthenes (circa 276 - 194 BC) calculated the
    equatorial circumference of the earth to be
    40,233 kilometers using simple geometric
  • This primitive calculation was unusually
    accurate. Measurements of the Earth using modern
    satellite technology have computed the
    circumference to be 40,072 kilometers.
  • Eratosthenes coined the term Geography

Early Greek Geographers - 4
  • Aristotle (circa 384 - 322 BC) hypothesized and
    scientifically demonstrated that the Earth had a
    spherical shape using evidence from observations
    of lunar eclipses.
  • Herodotus (circa 484 - 425 BC) wrote a number of
    volumes that described the Human and Physical
    Geography of the various regions of the Persian

Early Roman Geographers
  • Greek accomplishments in Geography were passed on
    to the Romans.
  • Strabo (circa 64 BC - 20 AD) wrote a 17 volume
    series called "Geographia in which he described
    the Cultural Geographies of various societies
    found from Britain to as far east as India, and
    south to Ethiopia and as far north as Iceland

Early Roman Geographers
  • Ptolemy (circa 100 - 178 AD) published
    Geographike hyphegesis or "Guide to Geography"
    that summarized much of the Greek and Roman
    geographic knowledge
  • Ptolemy also made 3 important contributions to
    modern Geography
  • created three different methods for projecting
    the Earth's surface on a map,
  • calculated coordinate locations for some 8,000
    places on the Earth, and ...
  • developed the concepts of geographical latitude
    and longitude

Early World map based on Ptolemys techniques
  • This early world map was constructed using
    techniques developed by Ptolemy. The map is
    organized with crisscrossing lines of latitude
    and longitude.

Renaissance German Geographers
  • Benhardus Varenius (1622-1650) published an
    important geographic reference titled Geographia
    generalis (General Geography 1650). He used
    direct observations and primary measurements to
    present new ideas about geographic knowledge.
  • Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) also divided Geography
    into a number of sub-disciplines. He recognized
    the following six branches Physical,
    Mathematical, Moral, Political, Commercial, and
    Theological Geography.

Renaissance German Geographers
  • Alexander von Humboldt published Kosmos (1844)
    which examines the Geology and Physical Geography
    of the Earth.
  • Fredrich Ratzel theorized that the distribution
    and culture of the Earth's various human
    populations was strongly influenced by the
    natural environment.
  • Carl Ritter (1780-1859) developed the concept of
    Regional Geography

Basic Concepts Environmental determinism
  • Environmental Determinism explains that human
    beings are the products of the environment where
    they live. The environment determines the future
    of people. E.g. coastal people become fishermen,
    those who live in forested areas become loggers
    farmers etc.
  • Geographers who supported the Environmental
    determinism concept included
  • German scholars - Carl Ritter Friedrich Ratzel
  • American scholar - Ms. Ellen Churchill Semple.

Basic concepts - Possibilism
  • Possibilism explains that the environment does
    not dictate what people would become. Rather, the
    environment offers opportunities for people to
    become what they choose to be.
  • The French Geographer Paul Vidal de la Blanche
    and others opposed the determinism idea. Instead,
    they suggested that human beings were a dominant
    force shaping the environment.
  • The idea that humans were modifying the physical
    environment was championed in the United States
    by George Perkins Marsh who wrote - Man and
    Nature or The Earth as Modified by Human Action,
    first published in 1864.

Four Traditions of Geography
  • In 1964, William Pattison suggested that
    modern Geography was composed of four academic
  • Earth Science Tradition the study of natural
    phenomena from a spatial perspective. This
    tradition is best described as Physical Geography
  • Culture-Environment Tradition the geographical
    study of human interactions with the environment.
  • The Location Tradition Geography study of the
    spatial distribution of natural and cultural
    features on the earths surface
  • Area Studies (analyses) Tradition the
    geographical study of an area on the Earth at
    either the local, regional, or global scale.

Jobs for Geographers
  • Teaching Geography or Social Studies
  • Working as a Surveyor,
  • Employed in the Foreign Service.
  • Environmental Scientist at DEP
  • Town, City, Urban and/or Regional Planner.
  • Marketing researcher
  • Travel Agents or Tour Guides.
  • Cartographer,(USGS) or Defense Mapping Agency,
  • Enumeration Officer.
  • Officer in the Navy, Army of Air force
  • Resource Managers
  • GIS Specialists
  • Professor in a University
  • Consultant (on environmental, landscape issues)