Name ________________________
Global History and Geography I
Date ____________
Block ___________
Geography Vocabulary
1. Geography - Study of the Earth and its features (topography, climate and natural
2. Demographic map – A map that shows statistics of an area (population density
age, race, and gender)
3. Political Map – A map that shows man-made borders that divide one area from
4. Physical/Topographical Map - A map that shows the physical features of an
area such as mountains, lakes and rivers as well as elevation
5. Legend/Key - An explanatory caption accompanying a map
6. Latitude - Imaginary lines that run east to west on the globe but measure areas
north and south of the equator.
7. Longitude – Imaginary lines that run north to south on the globe but measure
areas east and west of the Prime Meridian.
8. Hemisphere – “Half the earth”; the northern and southern halves of the earth
divided by the equator and the eastern and western halves of the earth divided by
the Prime Meridian.
9. Equator - Imaginary line that divides the Earth into the northern and southern
10. Prime Meridian – Imaginary line that divides the earth into the eastern and
western hemispheres.
11. Region – An area that has common characteristics (ex: gov’t, economies,
language, religion, geographic)
12. Pacific Rim - Nations in the Pacific (Ocean) area with heavy volcanic activity.
13. East Asia – Eastern region of Asia that includes that countries of: China, North
and South Korea, Japan, and Mongolia
14. South Asia – Southern region of Asia that includes the countries of: Bangladesh, ,
the India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
15. Southeast Asia – Southeastern region of Asia that consists of two geographic
regions: the Asian mainland, and islands and archipelagoes to the east and
southeast. The mainland section consists of Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos,
Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. The maritime section consists of Brunei, East
Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
16. Middle East – The southwestern portion of Asia that also includes territories in
North Africa. Middle East nations include: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel,
Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United
Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
17. Latin America – Areas in the western hemisphere that are south of the United
States that include: Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
18. Topography - The physical features of a place or region. (Ex; mountains, river
valleys, deserts, plains, savannas, plateaus, forests)
19. Plateaus – An elevated, level landform.
20. Plains – Flat treeless land region, that is usually suitable for farming. Generally at
a low elevation
21. Savannas - Flat grassland of tropical or subtropical regions that has two different
seasons, a wet and dry.
22. Steppe – An area that is characterized by grassland plain without trees that may
be semi-desert, and can also be used to describe the climate. (plains at high
23. Tundra - Treeless region located between the ice cap and the tree line of arctic
regions; Large areas of frozen land (northern regions of Russia)
24. Peninsula – A piece of land surrounded by water on 3 sides (Ex: Korea, Spain,
25. River - A moving body of water that usually has its source in an area of high
26. River valley – A valley that is carved out by the river. Often have fertile land, and
are the sites for the earliest civilizations (Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, Indus, Yellow)
27. Desert – Areas of land with sparse vegetation, that lacks arable farmland, and a
climate that is usually hot and dry. (Sahara, Gobi)
28. Strait – A narrow channel of water that connects two larger bodies of water
29. Archipelago – A chain of islands (Japan, Philippines)
30. Irregular coastline - A jagged coastline, with natural harbors that are suitable for
trade. (Europe)
31. Regular coastline - A smooth coastline that lacks natural harbors and are not
suitable for trade. (Africa)
32. Mountains – Areas of land at high elevation with steep sides that rise sharply
from surrounding land (Himalayans)
33. Rainforests – Forests in a tropical or subtropical region- that is characterized by
heavy rainfall and a humid climate that produces thick, dense vegetation.
34. Climate - The average weather pattern of a region (Temperature and
35. Elevation – The distance or height above sea level
36. Natural barriers - Physical features of the earth that create obstacles to
civilizations (mountains, deserts, oceans, dense forests)
37. Natural resources - A valuable, limited material that comes from the earth that is
used for manufacturing (Ex: oil, water, lumber, coal, iron, etc.)
38. Arid - Dry (lacking moisture)
39. Drought - Prolonged periods of little or no rainfall.
40. Arable - Land that is suitable for farming
41. Agrarian – Farming or agricultural society.
42. Tsunami - Underwater earthquakes that causes violent waves.
43. Monsoons - Seasonal winds that provide rainfall for South Asia, SE Asia, East
Asia (Japan); May also cause damage (Floods).
44. Cultural Diffusion - The exchange of goods, ideas and customs among different
groups of people.
45. Human-environment Interaction – When humans have adapted to and changed
their environment to survive and the impacts they have had on the Earth.
(Building of bridges, roads, dams, canals, terrace farming)
46. Geographic Isolation - Areas that are separated from each other due to
physical/natural barriers such as mountains, deserts, dense forests (example: India
and China are geographically separated from one another due to the Himalayan
Mountain range
47. Terrace farming - Step-like features that are built into the sides of mountains and
hillsides that are used for farming. (Inca, China, Japan).
48. Interdependence – Mutual assistance or reliance between two or more counties
for goods or services they cannot provide for themselves. (U.S. depends on
Middle Eastern oil, Middle East depends on the U.S. for grains/food)
49. Subsistence farming - Farming just enough food to survive
50. Developing nations - Nations that are working to develop modern industrial
economies. These nations are characterized by traditional societies that lack
modern infrastructure and technology.
51. Developed nations - Nations that have developed modern industrial economies.
These nations maintain and develop new technologies and systems of
52. Desertification - The process in which land slowly dries out until little or no
vegetation exists becoming a desert.
53. Deforestation - The destruction or clearing of forest land for farming, lumber,
grazing land for animals or areas settlements. (ex: Rain forest “slash and Burn”)
54. Homogeneous – Having a common ethnic and cultural backgrounds; Caused by
geographic Isolation, Natural barriers
55. Heterogeneous – Having a different ethnic and cultural make-up. Caused by
cultural diffusion, trade, war, migration

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