ap human geography textbook pdf chapter 1 : The name of this chapter is- Introduction to Human Geography. A lot of question you’ll find in this chapter including-
1. What is human geography?
2. What are geographic questions?
3. Why do geographers use maps, and what do maps tell us?
4. Why are geographers concerned with scale and connectedness?
5. What are geographic concepts, and how are they used in answering geographic questions?
ap human geography textbook pdf chapter 1
Human geography study people and places. The field of human geography focuses on 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 localities, regions, and the world.
Advances in communication and transportation technologies are changing places and people more interconnected. Only 100 years ago the fastest modes of transportation were the steamship, the railroad, and the horse and buggy. Today, people can cross the globe in a matter of days, with easy access to automobiles, high-speed railroads, airplanes, and ships.
Economic globalization and the rapid diffusion of elements of popular culture, such as fashion and architecture, are making many people and places look more alike. Despite the push toward homogeneity, our world still encompasses a multitude of ways in which people identify themselves and others.
The world consists of nearly 200 countries, a diversity of religions, thousands of languages, and a wide variety of settlement types, ranging from small villages to enormous global cities. All of these attributes come together in different ways around the globe to create a world of endlessly diverse places and people. Understanding and explaining this diversity is the mission of human geography.
What is human geography?
Geographers study human phenomena such as language, religion, and identity, as well as physical phenomena such as land forms, climate, and environmental change. Geographers also examine the interactions between humans and environment. Human geography is the study of rl1e spatial and material characteristics of the human made places and people found on Earth’s surface; physical geography asks similar questions about the natural environment. Human and physical geographers adopt a similar perspective but focus on different phenomena.
Geographer Marvin Mikesell once gave a shorthand definition of geography as the “why of where.” 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? How do the characteristics of particular places shape what happens? To what extent do things in one place influence those in other places?
To these questions, we add “so what?” Why do differences across geographic space matter? What role does a place play in its region and in the world, and what does that mean for people there and elsewhere? Questions such as these are at the core of geographic inquiry-whether human or physical and they are of critical importance in any effort to make sense of our world.
Why do geographers use maps, and what do maps tell us?
Maps are an incredibly powerful geographic tool, and cartography, the art and science of making maps, is as old as geography itself. Maps are used for countless purposes, waging war, promoting political positions, solving medical problems, locating shopping centers, bringing relief to refugees, and warning of natural hazards, to name just a few.
Reference maps show locations of places and geographic features. Thematic maps tell stories, typically showing the degree of some attribute or the movement of a geographic phenomenon.
Reference maps focus on accuracy in showing the absolute locations of places, using a coordinate system that allows for the precise plotting of where on Earth something is. Imagine taking an orange, drawing a dot on it with a marker, and d1en trying to describe the exact location of that dot to someone who is holding another orange so she can mark the same spot on her orange.
If you draw and number the same coordinate system on both oranges, the task of drawing the absolute location on each orange is not only doable but simple. The coordinate system most frequently used on maps is based on latitude and longitude.
Why are geographers concerned with scale and connectedness?
Geographers study places and patterns at a variety of scales, including local, regional, national, and global. Scale has two meanings in geography: the first is the distance on a map compared to the distance on the Earth , and the second is the spatial extent of something.
Throughout the book, when we re fer to scale we are using the second of these definitions. Geographers’ interest in this type of scale derives from the fact that phenomena found at one scale are usually influenced by what is happening at other scales; to explain a geographic pattern or process, then, requires looking across scales.
Moreover, the scale of our research or analysis matters because we can make different observations at different scales. We can study a single phenomenon across different scales in order to see how what is happening at the global scale affects localities and how what is happening at a local scale affects the globe. Or we can study a phenomenon at a particular scale and then ask how processes at other scales affect what we are studying.
What are geographic concepts, and how are they used in answering geographic questions?
Geographic concepts include most of the boldfaced words in this chapter, such as place, relative location, mental map, perceptual region, diffusion, and cultural landscape. In doing geographic research, a geographer thinks of a geographic question, one that has a spatial or landscape component, chooses the scale(s) of analysis, and then applies one or more geographic concepts to conduct research and answer the question.
Geographers use fieldwork, remote sensi11g, GIS, GPS, and qualitative and quantitative techniques to explore linkage among people and places and to explain differences across people, places, scales, and times.
Research in human geography today stems from a variety of theories and philosophies. To understand what geographers do and how they do it, it is easiest to start by defining what geography is not. Today’s geography is not environmental determinism.
The ancient Greeks, finding that some of the peoples subjugated by their expanding empire were relatively docile while others were rebellious, attributed such differences
to variations in climate. Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle described northern European people as ” full of spirit… but incapable of ruling others,” and he characterized Asian people (by which he meant modern-day Turkey) as “intelligent and inventive … [but] always in a state of subjection
and slavery.” Aristotle attributed these traits to the respective climates of the regions-the cold north versus the more tropical Mediterranean.
Our study of human geography will analyze people and places and explain how they interact across space and rime to create our world. Chapters 2 and 3 lay the basis for our study of human geography by looking at where people live. Chapters 4-7 focus on aspects of culture and how people use culture and identity to make sense of themselves in their world.
The remaining chapters examine how people have created a world in which they function economically, politically, and socially, and how their activities in those realms recreate themselves and their world.
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