GEO 102 Fall 2011 Notes for Part 1: People and Places Exam 1 is Friday September
The following notes summarize material from chapters 1, 2, 3, 12 and 13 in the
Contemporary Human Geography
text by James Rubenstein.
Chapter 1: Thinking Geographically
In his book
The Rural Landscape
, John Fraser Hart describes three principal components
of any landscape: a) the land surface features; b) vegetation; and c) human structures, and
he argues that: "The student of landscape .
.. who tries to look at everything may wind up
seeing nothing at all. We must be selective. At any given time we must concentrate on a
few carefully chosen features, or types of feature, but we must never allow ourselves to
forget that the features on which we concentrate are related in various ways, some close
and some not so close, to all the other features of the landscape."
This introduction to human geography emphasizes an exploration of space, place, region,
and scale using geography's primary tool, the map. You will also gain some history of the
science of geography as well as an introduction to the modern techniques of our
profession (GIS, GPS, and remote sensing, among others.) There are three key ideas in
Development of Geography
: Geography - from the Greek for "earth writing" - has
its roots in our natural curiosity to know where things are located and the reasons why.
Geography's early history is bound up with the activities of explorers and conquerors.
Since the nineteenth century, it has evolved into the science of location that commonly
bridges the physical and social sciences in order to understand the environment. The
geographer's main tool for research is the map.
The Uniqueness of Every Place
: Each location on the Earth's surface is unique in
some manner. Geographers use the concepts of "place" and "region" to study the unique
characteristics of locations. These unique characteristics can be discussed in terms of a
place's site, situation, and name or a region's combination of features. Amid globalizing
forces, many places strive to heighten their unique identity.
Similarities among Places
: Places on Earth also exhibit similarities to one another.
Geographers study the similarities among places with the concepts of scale and space.
They are also interested in the connections between places that give rise to their
similarities in a globalizing world. Geographers use the concepts of density,
concentration, and pattern to study the distribution of features around the world.
Diffusion is the process of features spreading from place to place as a result of
communication and transportation technologies.
Key Terms: 1.
: the extent of a feature’s spread; the spread of something
across a given
: the rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend
: fashioning of a natural landscape by a cultural
: the frequency with which something exists within a given unit of