Unit 1 – Glossary for Geography/Maps
Absolute Location: the specific location of a place using degrees of longitude and
Altitude: height above sea level; a factor that influences climate: higher the altitudecooler temperatures; lower altitude-warmer temperatures
Cardinal directions: the four main directions on a compass; north, south, east, west
Climate: weather patterns over a period of time
Currents: rivers/streams that flow through the ocean. They affect the air above them
and change the climate of the regions that they flow near.
Environment: the surroundings of a place; including: land, water, weather patterns,
plants, animals, and how humans and animals have changed the place.
Hemisphere: half of the Earth; Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western
Intermediate directions: the directions made by combining two of the four cardinal
directions; northeast, southeast, northwest, southwest
Latitude: how far north or south a location is from the Equator is shown by lines of
latitude. See also parallels
Longitude: how far east or west from the Prime Meridian is shown by lines of longitude.
See also meridians.
Meridians: another name for the lines of longitude that describe how far east or west a
location is from the Prime Meridian.
Minerals: natural substances found by digging into the Earth; two types: metals and
Natural resources: resources that are a part of nature and are useful; examples: water,
air, soil, sunlight, trees, fertile soil, iron, gold, etc.
Non-renewable resources: resources that cannot be renewed or replaced; metals are
an example of non-renewable resources.
Parallels: another name for lines of latitude that describe how far north or south a
location is from the Equator.
Precipitation: moisture that falls as rain, snow, sleet, or hail.
Renewable resources: resources that can replace or rebuild themselves; examples:
plants and animals
Relative Location: the location of a place in relation to another location or place.
Six Essential Elements of Geography: Geographers have divided the study of geography
into the six essential elements of geography: the world in spatial terms, places and
regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society.
Temperate: mild
Temperate Climate: climate that is usually cold in the winter and warm in the summer
Vegetation: plant life of a region