1. Human geography is one of the two major branches of geography and is often called cultural geography. Human geography is the study of the many cultural aspects found throughout the world and how they relate to the spaces and places where they originate and then travel as people continually move across various areas. The field of human geography focuses on how people make places, how we organize and society, how we interact with each other in places and across space, and how we make sense of others and ourselves in our localities, regions, and the world. Advances in communication and transportation technologies are making places and people more interconnected. In present time, we can now across the globe in record time, with easy access to automobiles, airplanes, and ships but our fastest modes of transportation in one hundred year ago was the steamship, the railroad, and the horse and buggy. Aspects of popular culture, such as fashions and architecture, are making places look more alike. Our world that consists of nearly two-hundred countries still encompasses a multitude of ways in which people identify themselves and others. Some of the main cultural phenomena studied in human geography include language, religion, different economic and governmental structures, art, music, and other cultural aspects that explain how and/or why people function as they do in the areas in which they live. Globalization is also becoming increasingly important to the field of human geography as it is allowing these specific aspects of culture to easily travel across the globe. Cultural landscapes are also important because they link culture to the physical environments in which people live. This is vital because it can either limit or nurture the development of various aspects of culture. For instance, people living in a rural area are often more culturally tied to the natural environment around them than those living in a large metropolitan area. All of these attributes come together in different ways around the globe to create a world of endlessly diverse places and people.
2. Geographic inquiry involves the ability and willingness to ask and answer questions about geospatial phenomena. The key geographic questions ask where it located is. Why is it there? What is the significance of the location? As people pose additional questions, they seek responses that help to organize spatial understandings: What is this place like? With what is it associated? What are the consequences of its location and associations? Geography is distinguished by the types of questions it asks, the “where” and “why there” of an issue or problem. Questions such as why and how do things come together in certain places to produce particular outcomes? Why are some things found in certain places but not in others? To what extent do things are different across the world, and what does that mean for people there and elsewhere? Question such these and many more are at the core of geographers inquiry, whether human or physical, and they are of critical importance in any effort to make sense of our world. Practice in asking geographic questions begins with distinguishing between geographic and nongeographic questions. Being able to ask geographic questions enables geographers and people alike to engage in doing geography by posing geographic questions to guide a geographic inquiry, realizing that questions can be refined as a part of the inquiry process. Geographic questions help increase spatial reasoning skills, identify geographic issues and problems, and develop new or additional geographic research questions and hypotheses for further investigation.
3. Maps are an incredibly powerful geographic tool. A map is a flat, two dimensional representation of space. Maps are used for countless purposes– how places are influenced by their location, to make connections, to infer relationship, and to analyze change. There is almost no limit to the