The Five Themes of Geography - Blanchard AP Human Geography

The Five Themes of Geography
 Geographers
identified five
themes that can be
used to examine
the role that
geography plays in
our lives and in
human geography
and world history
Location-serves as a starting point by
asking, “Where is it?” To be more specific
there are two types of location
Absolute location
refers to the exact
location on the globe
measured by latitude
and longitude.
Relative location is
less precise. Relative
location is where a
place is in relation to
somewhere else.
Place refers to those
features that give an area its
own identity or personality.
These can be:
Physical characteristics-such
as landforms,weather,
plants,and animals
Human characteristicslanguage,religion, architecture,
music or politics
Toponyms: The idea that place names
reflect the culture and heritage of
that place
Places are commonly named after:
 Older places (New York, New Orleans, etc)
 Important People (Washington, Jefferson,
San Francisco, etc)
 Characteristics of the place (Las Vegas (the
meadows), Colorado, Rocky Mountains)
 History of the area/Native traditions and
groups (Cheyenne, Kansas, Miami)
This wall separated East Berlin from West
Berlin from 1961 to 1990. How would the
wall affect German’s “sense of place?”
 Human/Environment
Interaction focuses on how
people respond to and alter their
environment. To live comfortably
in many parts of the world,
people must make changes to the
environment, or adapt to
conditions or both.
How people choose to adapt to
their areas depends on their
attitudes to the natural setting,
and the technology available to
change it.
Heavy monsoons flood the streets of India’s
capital, New Delhi. How do the monsoons
affect the life of people in India?
Movement (Diffusion)
The movement of people, ideas, and things
between places means that events in other places
of the world can have an impact on you
 Trains, ships, roads, airplanes link people
throughout the world and products and people
can be sent around the globe
 The movement of people is important because it
can spread ideas, diseases, and culture from one
place to another. Sometimes those ideas are
accepted in the new location and the culture is
Christian missionaries from America
brought the game of baseball to Japan.
What other ideas, products, or people
have moved from one place to another?
 A region
is an area that is
unified by some feature or
mix of features It is used to
generalize about the Earth in
physical or human terms. A
culture region is one that
shares a common history,
culture, religion or
language. Other regions
could be economic, or
The Middle East is an example of a
region unified by a common language,
Three Types of Regions
Formal (uniform or homogeneous) Regions
have quantifiable characteristics in common
have defined borders
Examples: Colorado, the Bible Belt, Climate Regions
Functional (nodal) Regions
are defined by movement around a central hub
Examples: TV Viewing Area, Airport
Vernacular (perceptual) Regions
Based on people’s perception of an area
Different people have different perceptions (cultural identity)
Examples: the South, East Coast
Geography’s Impact on History and Humans
While studying World
History or Human
Geography, you will be
learning about the people,
events and themes that
have shaped the past. Keep
in mind the themes and
how they fashion the world
in which we live.
Five Themes of Geography
Explain using examples how all the
themes affect your way of life.