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Map of Earth with country borders and big cities shown

Geography is the study of lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena.[1] Usually this means of the Earth and its natural processes, natural events and people. However, it may sometimes include other planets.[2] Its features are things like continents, seas, rivers and mountains. Its inhabitants are all the people and animals that live on it. Its phenomena are the things that happen like tides, winds, and earthquakes. The word geography comes from the Greek language. It means "to write and draw about the Earth". The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC).[3]

A person who is an expert in geography is a geographer. A geographer tries to understand the world and the things that are in it, how they started and how they have changed.[4]

Geography is divided into two main parts called physical geography and human geography. Physical geography studies the natural environment and human geography studies the human environment. The human environmental studies would include things such as the population in a country, how a country's economy is doing, and more. There is also environmental geography.

Maps are a main tool of geography, so geographers spend much time making and studying them. Making maps is called cartography, and people who specialize in making maps are cartographers.

Branches[change | change source]

Physical geography[change | change source]

A tropical cyclone off Brazil

Physical geography (sometimes also called physiography) is the natural science that covers the natural environment and the Earth's surface. A geographer studying physical geography may look at:

Human geography[change | change source]

A crowd of people around a band.

Human geography is the social science that covers the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies and their interaction with the environment. Geographers studying the human environment may look at:

History[change | change source]

The oldest known world map dates back to ancient Babylon from the 9th century BC.[5] The best known Babylonian world map is the Imago Mundi of 600 BC.[6] Star charts (maps of the sky) are of similar age.

During the Middle Ages, people in Europe made fewer maps. People in the Islamic world made more.[7] Abū Zayd al-Balkhī created the "Balkhī school" of mapping in Baghdad.[8]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Geography". The American Heritage Dictionary/ of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved 9 October 2006.
  2. "Geography". The American Heritage Dictionary/ of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  3. Eratosthenes (2010-01-24). Eratosthenes' Geography. Translated by Roller, Duane W. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14267-8.
  4. Geography: The Mother of Sciences [1] [2]
  5. Kurt A. Raaflaub & Richard J.A. Talbert (2009). Geography and Ethnography: Perceptions of the World in Pre-Modern Societies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 147. ISBN 978-1-4051-9146-3.
  6. Siebold, Jim. "Slide 103". Henry Davis Consulting Inc. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  7. Needham, Joseph (1959). Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and the Earth. Science and Civilization in China. 3. Taipei: Caves Books, Ltd. p. 512. ISBN 978-0-521-05801-8. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  8. Edson, Evelyn; Savage-Smith, Emilie (Winter 2007). "Medieval Views of the Cosmos". International Journal of the Classical Tradition 13:3 (3): 61–63. 

Other websites[change | change source]

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