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All About Geography

By Yann, published on 29/03/2019 We Love Prof > Academia > Geography > Mastering the Academic Discipline of Geography

“Geography prepares for the world of work – geographers, with their skills of analysis are highly employable!” –Michael Palin

Are you a GCSE or A-Level geography student looking for additional information on the subject to ace exams?

Well, by George have you come to the right place!

In today’s article, Superprof has focused all attention on the five themes of geography, distinct types of geography, intriguing facts about geography, a geography glossary, and some of the world’s most famous geographers to help pre-university students brush up on their geography knowledge to ensure future success!

Five Themes of Geography

Geography is a diverse academic discipline that covers more than memorising world capitals and reading maps. Without a profound understanding of geographic information attained through continuous study, very few people know that geography has five themes.

What are the five themes of geography? 

Without further ado, the following are the five themes of geography that will help prepare GCSE and A-Level students for their next geography exam:

  • Location: the first theme of geography can be divided into two sections: absolute location and relative location. Absolute location refers to the exact address or geographic coordinates of latitude and longitude. Whereas relative location discusses the relationship of a place to others; miles, kilometres, cardinal directions, and minutes are used to describe the relative location of a place.
  • Place: the second theme of geography is defined as a particular position or point in space that is available for someone. In the study of geography, place refers to the human and physical aspects of a location. Students consider three themes of place: toponym (the name of a specific place), site (in-depth description of the features of a place), and situation (environmental conditions of a place). Interested ones examine the fact that each geographic place has its unique characteristics.
  • Human Environment Interaction: in comparison to other species human beings have had the most significant impact on the environment. The third theme of geography consists of three significant aspects that are studied by budding geographers: dependency, adaptation, and modification. Of the three previously mentioned aspects, modification has had the most negative effect on our planet causing animal extinction, global warming, and climate change. Students learn more about how human actions and behaviour affect the environment.
  • Movement: known as the changing of location or position, movement is the fourth theme of geography. The earth is filled with constant movements and the geographic study refers to the transfer of human beings, their goods, and their ideas. Studies of population immigration or emigration are discussed in this theme.
  • Region: the fifth theme of geography can be defined as an area that has similar characteristics but not always fixed boundaries such as a border. Towns, cities, districts, provinces, countries, and continents can all be divided into regions and students examining this theme of geography learn about functional regions; a place that is well connected by well-developed transportation that aids in the distribution of people, goods, and ideas within that area. Many major cities such as Tokyo and New York City have suburbs that are considered functional regions.

There you have it, future geographers, the five themes of geography provided to understand the academic discipline of geography thoroughly.

Types of Geography

the earth is different Physical geographers examine things from the physical world such as climate change. (Source: pixabay)

It is important to state that geography is not only one vast subject. There are many types and subdisciplines of geography that can be studied.

Without further ado, the following are the distinct types of geography that can be reviewed by interested ones:

  • Human Geography: one of the essential types of geography, human geography, examines vital information such as the study of people, cultures, economies, and interactions people have with the environment; it can be explained in layman’s terms as the study of the human race. Some intriguing branches of human geography include economic geography, population geography, and medical geography.
  • Physical Geography: dealing with the physical characteristics of the earth, physical geography is a subdiscipline of two major academic disciplines: geography and earth sciences. Also referred to as geosystems or physiography, physical geography has many subdisciplines such as biogeography, water resources geography, climate geography, and geomorphology, to name a few.
  • Environmental Geography: while not as complete as human or physical geography, environmental geography is critical in today’s modern world since it covers the study of spatial aspects between humans and their environment; essential in discovering solutions to help our sick planet recover. Some subdisciplines include hazards and political ecology.
  • Cartography: the study and practice of mapping or making maps, cartography dates back centuries. Famous cartographers include Ptolemy, Al Idrisi, and Henry Pelham. While studying cartography, students discover that a well-designed map must be easy to use, clear, and show the accuracy between the object and the map.

Geography is an intriguing and layered academic subject that is worthy of careful consideration; choosing geography at a GCSE or A-Level was a fantastic choice!

Geography Facts

the continents of the world Africa is a country of impressive beauty that is geographically unique to other continents. (Source: pixabay)

Everyone loves exciting facts that are easy to remember and that will impress guests at a dinner party. Since the world is so breathtaking and unique, there are many geographic facts that are distinct in each of the world’s continents.

Therefore, without further ado, we will discuss the most mind-blowing geography facts from each continent of the world.

Africa

Africa is the second-largest continent in terms of area in the world. The following are intriguing geography facts about Africa:

  • Africa is the only continent that resides in all four hemispheres- the western, the eastern, the northern, and the southern.
  • Home to the second largest river in the world; the Nile’s drainage basin covers 11 countries

Antartica

Antartica was the last continent to be discovered; it captures the intrigue of explorers and adrenaline seekers from around the world. The following are two geography facts about Antartica:

  • Antartica is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent on the planet; also, it has the highest average elevation of all the world’s continents.
  • 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of all freshwater is located in Antartica.

Asia

The largest and most populated continent on planet earth, Asia is a culture shock and beautiful surprise for Westerners. The following are fascinating facts about Asia’s geography:

  • Asia is home to the highest and lowest points on the planet: Mount Everest (8,848 metres above sea level) and the Dead Sea (412 metres below sea level).
  • The Asian continent is home to 4.4 billion inhabitants; that’s more than all of the other continents combined! China and India are the only countries in the world that boast more than 1 billion inhabitants.

Europe

Probably the most beloved continent, Europe is a continent filled with history, beautiful landscapes, and inspiring people. The following are some geography facts that make the European continent unique:

  • Europe is home to two countries that are landlocked by Italy: Vatican City and San Marino. Also, it is important to mention that Vatican City is the world’s smallest country in terms of area.
  • The Greek national anthem is truly unique since it consists of 158 verses; it is not known if anyone can sing the song by memory.

North America

One of the most multicultural continents welcoming immigrants from all over the world, North America is a massive continent worthy of visiting. The following are the most intriguing geographic facts about North America:

  • Canada is home to more than half of all the natural lakes in the world, and 9% of the country is covered in water.
  • No spot in Central America is more than 201 kilometres from the ocean; Atlantic or Pacific.

Oceania

Oceania comprises of Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia; known for its paradisical beaches and small islands, the Oceanic continent is a dream come true for many. The following are the most exciting facts about Oceania’s geography:

  • Fewer people live in Australia than in the state of Texas. Also, it has been proven that there are more sheep than people in Oceania.
  • It has been estimated that there are more than 25,000 volcanic or tropical islands scattered throughout Oceania.

South America

The variety of landscapes, lovable cultures, and mind-blowing beauty make travelling to South America an addiction for many. The following are some intriguing geography facts about South America:

  • South America is home to two of the world’s largest countries: Brazil and Argentina. Brazil covers half the continent and Argentina is the largest speaking country in the world.
  • San Atacama Desert in Chile is the driest place in the world; according to weather stations, some areas have never received any rainfall!

Discovering the world’s unique characteristics is one of the greatest joys of studying geography. Realising how beautiful our planet is impulses many to raise awareness about current issues we are facing that could be detrimental; we need to save our world, we only have one!

Geography Glossary

learning more about geography Conservation, a word from our glossary, means leaving natural things just the way they are. (Source: pixabay)

Since geography is an entire academic discipline with a lot of terminologies, a glossary is essential to help students correctly review basic terms.

What is a glossary? 

A glossary is an alphabetised list containing essential terms and definitions about the academic subject being reviewed. Without further delay, Superprof has provided a brief geography glossary featuring some essential names.

A Short Geography Glossary: A-Z

Archipelago: a group of islands such as the Galapagos or Hawaii.

Conservation: the act of maintaining natural or human-made landscapes just the way they are, without any changes.

Ecosystem: a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment working together and interacting as one whole system.

Global Warming: the gradual increase in the Earth’s temperature that has been discussed by many environmentalists in recent years; greenhouse gases cause global warming.

Latitude: known as the imaginary vertical lines utilised to specify the north and south coordinates of the earth.

Longitude: imaginary vertical lines that are used to determine the exact coordinates that run along the eastern and western hemisphere of the earth.

Ravine: narrower than a canyon and is the product of stream cutting erosion; they are usually very narrow and quite deep.

Savanna: tropical grasslands with scattered vegetation primarily located on the African continent.

Toxic Waste: waste material that is composed of chemical compounds which can cause serious health problems or death if consumed or inhaled.

Urban Climate: the climate condition of a large metropolitan area that is different from the climate experienced in rural areas.

What is previously mentioned is only a small number of important geography terms that should be featured in a glossary, for a larger scale glossary visit this link.

Famous Geographers

History is filled with many famous geographers whose discoveries have improved our understanding of human, physical, and environmental geography.

Without further ado, the following are some of the most well-known geographers along with a bit of information about the research they conducted:

  • Alexander von Humboldt: widely known for his 1799-1804 voyage of the Americas, Humboldt observations about the countries now known as Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico shed light on facts that were not yet known. The geographical and biological data that Humboldt collected was recorded for years and eventually published from 1845 to 1862 in five volumes known as Kosmos.
  • Ellen Churchill Semple: a famous female geographer and feminist icon, Ellen Churchill Semple is known for being the first female president of the Association of American Geographers in 1921 and for her controversial theories of environmental determinism; the study of how the physical environment predisposes societies towards particular development.
  • Ptolemy: best known in the field of geography for his writings known as Geography; a collection of geographic coordinates that were not yet known to the Roman Empire at the time they were recorded. In his writings, he discussed the difficulties of mapping and the future map projects he had. Widely regarded by many as a true pioneer of geography, Ptolemy works have endured centuries.

Studying any academic subject at a GCSE or A-Level may seem complicated for some; however, with helpful information and indispensable study aids, success is far from impossible.

Young students do not fear geography exams; instead, focus on how geography is a very diverse subject that increases understanding of the cultures, climates, and countries of our world. You’ll have a fantastic time travelling through the world without ever even leaving the UK!

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