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Introduction to Human Geography

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Title: Introduction to Human Geography


1
Introduction to Human Geography
  • Unit 1

2
What is Human Geography?
  • The study of how people make places, how we
    organize space and society, how we interact with
    each other in places and across space, and how we
    make sense of others and ourselves in our
    locality, region, and world.

3
W. D. Pattison's Four Traditions
  • An earth-science tradition
  • Intellectual legacy Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
  • Modern geographer Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
  • A man-land tradition
  • Intellectual legacy Hippocratic a Greek
    Physician of 5th century B.C.
  • Modern geographer(s) Alexander von Humboldt
    (1769-1859) and Carl Ritter (1779-1859) German
  • A spatial tradition
  • Intellectual legacy Claudius Ptolemy (A.D.
    100?-170?) a Greek
  • Modern geographer Alfred Wegener climatologist
  • An area-studies tradition
  • Intellectual legacy Strabo (63? B.C.-A.D. 24?)
    Roman
  • Modern geographer Carl Sauer (1889-1975)
    American

4
Key Geographic Skills
  • 1.  How to use and think about maps and spatial
    data sets.
  • 2.  How to understand and interpret the
    implications of associations among phenomena in
    places.
  • 3.  How to recognize and interpret at different
    scales the relationships among patterns and
    processes.
  • 4.  How to define regions and evaluate the
    regionalization process
  • 5.  How to characterize and analyze changing
    interconnections among places.

5
Spatial distribution
  • What processes create and sustain the pattern of
    a distribution?

Map of Cholera Victims in Londons Soho District
in 1854. The patterns of victims homes and
water pump locations helped uncover the source of
the disease.
6
5 Themes of Geography
  • Location (position on Earths surface)
  • Human/Environmental Interactions (Cultural
    ecology - relations between cultures and
    environment)
  • Regions (areas of unique characteristics, ways of
    organizing people geographically)
  • Place (associations among phenomena in an area)
  • Movement (interconnections between areas)

7
Location
  • Ways to indicate location (position)  
  • Maps best way to show location and demonstrate
    insights gained through spatial analysis        
  • Place-name a name given to a portion of the
    Earths surface (Miami)       
  • Site physical characteristics of a place
    climate, water sources, topography, soil,
    vegetation, latitude, and elevation         
  • Absolute location latitude and longitude
    (parallels and meridians), mathematical
    measurements mainly useful in determining exact
    distances and direction (maps)       
  • Relative location location of a place relative
    to other places (situation), valuable way to
    indicate location for two reasons       a)      
    Finding an unfamiliar place - by comparing its
    location with a familiar one (Miami 35 miles
    northwest of Cincinnati)       b)      
    Centrality, understanding its importance (Chicago
    hub of sea air transportation, close to four
    other states Singapore accessible to other
    countries in Southeast Asia)        
  • Distribution arrangement of something across
    Earths surface     a)       Density frequency
    with which something occurs in an area.
    Arithmetic density total number of objects
    (people) in an area. Physiologic density
    number of people per unit area of agriculturally
    productive land.     b)       Concentration
    extent of a features spread over an area.
    Clustered relatively close. Dispersed
    relatively far apart.     c)       Pattern
    geometric arrangement of objects.

8
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11
Human/Environmental Interactions
  • Cultural landscape
  • includes all human-induced changes that involve
    the surface and the biosphere. Carl Sauer
    the forms superimposed on the physical landscape
    by the activities of man.
  • Environmental Determinism
  • human behavior, individually and collectively, is
    strongly affected by, and even controlled or
    determined by the environment
  • Possibilism
  • the natural environment merely serves to limit
    the range of choices available to a culture
  • Environmental Modification positive and
    negative environmental alterations

12
Regions
  • Distinctive characteristics
  • area defined spatial extent
  • location lie somewhere on Earths surface
  • boundaries sometimes evident on the ground,
    often based on specifically chosen criteria
  • other cultural (language, religion), economic
    (agriculture, industry), physical (climate,
    vegetation)
  • Three types of regions
  • Formal (a.k.a. uniform, homogeneous), visible
    and measurable homogeneity (link to scale and
    detail)
  • Functional product of interactions, and
    movement of various kinds, usually characterized
    by a core and hinterland (e.g. a city and its
    surrounding suburbs)
  • Perceptual (a.k.a. vernacular), primarily in
    the minds of people (e.g. Sunbelt)
  • Regions can be seen in a hierarchy (vertical
    order, scale), (e.g. Ft. Lauderdale Broward
    County Florida Southeastern US )

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14
Regions
  • Perceptual Region ideas in our minds, based on
    accumulated knowledge of places and regions, that
    define an area of sameness or connectedness.
  • e.g. the South
  • the Mid-Atlantic
  • the Middle East

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16
Place
  • Culture peoples lifestyles, values, beliefs,
    and traits
  • What people care about language, religion,
    ethnicity
  • What people take care of 1) daily necessities of
    survival (food, clothing, shelter) and 2) leisure
    activities (artistic expressions, recreation)
  • Cultural institutions political institutions (a
    country, its laws and rights)
  • Components of culture
  • Culture region the area within which a
    particular culture system prevails (dress,
    building styles, farms and fields, material
    manifestations,)
  • Culture trait a single attribute of culture
  • Culture complex a discrete combination of
    traits
  • Culture system grouping of certain complexes,
    may be based on ethnicity, language, religion,
  • Culture realm an assemblage of culture (or
    geographic) regions, the most highly generalized
    regionalization of culture and geography (e.g.
    sub-Saharan Africa)
  • Physical Processes environmental processes,
    which explain the distribution of human
    activities
  • Climate long-term average weather condition at
    a particular location. Vladimir Koppens five
    main climate regions (expresses humans limited
    tolerance for extreme temperature and
    precipitation levels)
  • Vegetation plant life.
  • Soil the material that forms Earths surface,
    in the thin interface between the air and the
    rocks. Erosion and the depletion of nutrients
    are two basic problems concerning the destruction
    of the soil.
  • Landforms Earths surface features
    (geomorphology), limited population near poles
    and at high altitudes

17
Perception of Place
Where Pennsylvanian students prefer to live
Where Californian students prefer to live
18
Movement
  • Culture Hearths
  • sources of civilization from which an idea,
    innovation, or ideology originates (e.g.
    Mesopotamia, Nile Valley), viewed in the context
    of time as well as space
  • Cultural diffusion spread of an innovation, or
    ideology from its source area to another culture
  • Expansion diffusion an innovation, or ideology
    develops in a source area and remains strong
    there while also spreading outward
  • Contagious diffusion nearly all adjacent
    individuals are affected (e.g. spread of Islam,
    disease)
  • Hierarchical diffusion the main channel of
    diffusion some segment of those who are
    susceptible to (or adopting) what is being
    diffused (e.g. spread of AIDS, use of fax
    machines)
  • Stimulus diffusion spread of an underlying
    principle (e.g. idea of industrialization)
  • Relocation diffusion spread of an innovation,
    or ideology through physical movement of
    individuals
  • Migrant diffusion when an innovation originates
    somewhere and enjoys strong-but brief-adoption,
    loses strength at origin by the time it reaches
    another area (e.g. mild pandemics)
  • Acculturation when a culture is substantially
    changed through interaction with another culture
  • Transculturation a near equal exchange between
    culture complexes
  • Forces that work against diffusion
  • Time-distance decay the longer and farther it
    has to go, the less likely it will get there
  • Cultural barriers prevailing attitudes or
    taboos

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20
Cultural Landscape
  • The visible human imprint on the landscape.

Religion and cremation practices diffuse with
Hindu migrants from India to Kenya.
21
Sequent Occupance
  • Layers of imprints in a cultural landscape that
    reflect years of differing human activity.

Athens, Greece ancient Agora surrounded by modern
buildings
22
Sequent Occupance
  • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • African, Arab, German, British, and Indian layers
    to the city.

Apartment in Mumbai, India
Apartment in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
23
Two Types of Maps
  • Reference Maps
  • Show locations of places and geographic features
  • Absolute locations
  • What are reference maps used for?
  • Thematic Maps
  • Tell a story about the degree of an attribute,
    the pattern of its distribution, or its movement.
  • Relative locations
  • What are thematic maps used for?

24
Reference Map
25
Thematic Map
What story about median income in the Washington,
DC area is this map telling?
26
  • Mental Maps
  • maps we carry in our minds of places we have
    been and places we have heard of.
  • can see terra incognita, landmarks, paths,
  • and accessibility
  • Activity Spaces
  • the places we travel to routinely in our rounds
    of daily activity.
  • How are activity spaces and mental maps
    related?

27
  • Geographic
  • Information
  • System
  • a collection of
  • computer hardware
  • and software that
  • permits storage and
  • analysis of layers of
  • spatial data.

28
Remote Sensing a method of collecting data by
instruments that are physically distant from the
area of study.
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30
Place, Space, and Scale
  • Place
  • place identity shaped by physical and cultural
    forces, associations among phenomena in a given
    area
  • Space
  • spatial relationships between people, places, and
    the environment
  • Scale
  • truth is scale dependent, phenomena you study at
    one scale (e.g. local) may well be influenced by
    developments at other scales (e.g. regional,
    national, or global)

31
Scale
  • Scale is the territorial extent of something.
  • The observations we make and the context
  • we see vary across scales, such as
  • - local
  • - regional
  • - national
  • - global

32
Scale
33
Globalization
  • A set of processes that are
  • increasing interactions
  • deepening relationships
  • heightening interdependence
  • without regard to
  • country borders.
  • A set of outcomes that are
  • unevenly distributed
  • varying across scales
  • differently manifested
  • throughout the world.
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