What is Geography Week 2 Geographic Thought and History I have always thought that geography was the study of land, how it was formed and where it will be in years to come. I have realized that there is more to geography than this. A literal translation of geography would be “to describe or write about the Earth” (“What is Geography: 2012). The first person to use the word “geography” was Eratosthenes, who was an ancient Greek. Geography has been called “the world discipline” and “the bridge between the human and the physical science”(Sullivan 2000).
There is human geography, physical geography, Marxist geography and also feminist geography. Human geography is a branch of the social sciences that studies the world, its people, communities, and cultures and has an emphasis on relations of space and place. Human geography differs from physical geography mainly in that it has a greater focus on studying human activities and is more open to qualitative research methodologies (“What is Geography “ 2012).
Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like heatmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography (“What is Geography “ 2012). This is the geography that most people think of. There is also is a type of critical geography that uses the theories and philosophy of Marxism to examine the spatial relations of human geography.
In Marxist geography, the relations that geography has traditionally analyze such as natural environment and spatial relations are reviewed as outcomes of the mode of material production (“What is Geography “ 2012). As I mentioned previously there is also feminist geography which is an approach in human geography which applies the theories, methods and critiques of feminism to the study of the human environment, society and geographical space (What is Geography” 2012).
What I find most interesting is the discipline of cartography, which is the mapping of the world. I find it interesting on how they could design a map in the ancient era and actually use it for exploration. Maps started out as two dimensional charts to what we use now, Google earth. In the late 20th century, advances in electronic technology have led to further revolution in cartography.
Specifically computer devices such as computer screens, plotters, printers, scanners (remote and document) and analytic stereo plotters along with visualization, image processing, spatial analysis and database software, have democratized and greatly expanded the making of maps, particularly with their ability to produce maps that show slightly different features, without engraving a new printing plate (Sullivan 2000).
Websites such as Google Earth use Google Earth which is simply based on 3D maps, with the capability to show 3D buildings and structures (such as bridges), which consist of users’ submissions using SketchUp, a 3D modeling program software. The technology that is used is pretty amazing even to the point that these types of features are used in the military to pinpoint certain targets. Works Cited
Department of Geography and Environmental Resources, “What is Geography. ” Last modified 2012. Accessed October 3, 2012. National Geographic, “What is Geography. ” Last modified 2012. Accessed October 4, 2012. http://education. nationalgeographic. com/education/media/what- Sullivan, Dan (2000). “Mapmaking and its History”. Rutgers University. Retrieved 10/3/2012 from http://www. math. rutgers. edu/~cherlin/History/Papers2000/sullivan. html.
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