Essay on What is Geography?

Submitted By jchen727
Words: 714
Pages: 3

What is Geography?
Geography is many things; it is the study of everything that can be mapped on the world.

Geography contains a broad assortment of subjects within it since “almost anything can fall into

the realm of geographic study” and “it involves the examination of the physical and cultural

factors that interact to make up the diversity of the earth”. (Sherer, Thomas E. Jr. The

Complete Idiot’s Guide to Geography. New York: Macmillian, Inc. 1997. Print) First, there is

the physical science aspect of geography, physical geography which studies the natural

environment. Then, there are the social sciences, human geography and cultural geography.

Human geography focuses on human societies and activities while cultural geography focuses on

the actions of human cultures.

The word geography first came as “geo” and “graphia” in Greek, essentially meaning

“writings about the earth”, which were about where and why. Where, as in “where are people

and activities located across Earth’s surface,” and why as in “why are they located in particular

places.” (Rubenstwin, James. An Introduction to Human Geography. New Jersey. Prentice Hall.

1999. Print.) (Corbin, Barry, John Trites and Jim Taylor. Global Connections: Geography for the

21st Century. Oxford University. 2000. Print.) The humanistic aspect of geography is all about

how people affect their surrounding environment and how their surrounding environment affects

them. Why things happen based on where they are and why things change as people move is why

maps are created, to analyze and portray the world. Human geography is about making sense of

how places and regions are interconnected and interdependent all the while being unique and

individual in their own way. It also comes up with surprising connections with behaviour and

environment, environmental changes and historical events, and political developments and

natural phenomena.

And then, there is the physical aspect of geography, which is “about spatial patterns and

spatial processes,” and “the art and science of location, or place.” (Demko, George J. Why in the

World: Adventures in Geography. New York: Anchor Books) Physical geography is about “the

processes of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere,” geographical elements

that can be analyzed separately, but are in reality all interdependent. (Clark Audrey N. The

Penguin Dictionary of Geography. 1998. Print) It is about how regions are created through

similar qualities, but each different to each other through one way or another. Physical

geography shows us how the whole world and its phenomena are all interconnected and explores

why things are where they are and what things make it change its locations. It examines the

environment, why things like global warming are occurring, why winds blow the way they do,

why mountains form where they do, why things in nature happen the way they do. And this also

applies the way cultures behave too.

When geography focuses on cultural features such as