Chapter 1 What Is Human Geography

Chapter 1 What Is Human Geography
After reading and studying this chapter you should be able to:
1. Understand how the discipline of geography evolved and who were the
key players in its evolution.
2. Enumerate the specialized interests and their characteristics in the field of
human geography.
3. Determine the realm of the “geographers’ space” and how location,
direction and distance identify our “place.”
4. Understand how the concepts of size and scale can affect our interpretation
of geographic phenomena.
5. Distinguish between the physical and cultural landscapes and how humans
can change the attributes of a place.
6. Know what is meant by accessibility and connectivity when concerned
with the interaction among places.
7. Understand the difference between arithmetic and physiological
population density.
8. Classify region descriptions as being “formal,” “functional,” or
9. Understand the concept of a “mental map.”
10. Determine the type of map, cartogram, or model that would most
effectively display the spatial distribution of phenomena, if given a set of
data for points or areas.
Matching Questions
1. Match the following terms with their correct definitions.
____ Absolute Direction
a. the cardinal points of north, south, east and
____ Absolute Distance
b. the transformation of linear measurements into
meaningful units
____ Absolute Location
c. relationship between the size of an area on a
mapand the surface of the earth
____ Relative Distance
d. the physical and cultural characteristics and
attributes of a place itself
____ Relative Direction
e. the identification of a place by some
precise and accepted system of coordinates
____ Relative Location
f. the spatial separation between two points
on the earth’s surface
____ Scale
g. the position of a place in relation to that of
other places or activities
the relative location with particular reference to
items of significance to the place in question
i. “out west,” “back east,” “down south”
2. Identify the following as being either a formal, functional, or perceptual region.
Central Business District
Mountain Range
the Sunbelt
Tropical Rain Forest
Your University’s Campus
f. Regional Office of a Company
Salesperson’s Territory
the “Nation’s Capital”
Fill In the Blanks
Complete the following by supplying the required answers.
1. According to the regional concept, there are four common characteristics
with all regions. They are:
2. There are three key reference locations (point or line) in the global grid system.
Two are given in nature and the third is a mutually agreed-upon reference
location. Indicate the three locations and state whether each is a given or
artificial reference location.
3. What were the original contributions of the Greek geographers?
Multiple Choice Questions
Select the most correct answer from the alternatives given.
1. Which of the following statements concerning spatial systems is not correct?
a. Maps cannot be used to measure and analyze systems, only models can.
b. The analysis of the role of each component helps reveal the operation of the
entire system.
c. They function as units because their component parts are interdependent.
d. Spatial systems may be the basis for regional identification.
2. The essential perspective used by geographers in forming their concepts is:
a. absolute.
b. human.
c. relative.
d. spatial.
3. Arithmetic density:
a. cannot be used to compare regions.
b. is an absolute relationship such as population per square kilometer.
c. is more meaningful than physiological density.
d. refers to the number of persons per unit of arable land.
4. Site refers to the:
a. external features of a place.
b. precise location of the center of a city.
c. proximity to natural resources or transportation routes.
d. internal locational attributes of a place.
5. Regional boundaries are marked by:
a. arbitrary decisions based upon the scale of the map.
b. dramatic changes in the region’s unifying characteristic.
c. spatial reality.
d. the boundaries of a city or incorporated political unit.
6. The statement that “the journey to work is 15 minutes by bus” is an example of:
a. absolute direction.
b. absolute distance.
c. relative direction.
d. relative distance.
7. Which of the following is not considered a geographic pattern?
a. centralized
b. distributive
c. linear
d. random
8. Perceptual regions:
a. are more vigorously structured than formal or functional regions.
b. are not considered of any importance to geographers.
c. define areas only as far as the eye can see.
d. reflect feelings and images rather than objective data.
9. In describing the patterns and processes of spatial interaction, geographers are
concerned with:
a. accessibility and connectivity.
b. density and dispersion.
c. diffusion and pattern.
d. pedestrian cities.
10. By the end of the 18th century, regional geographic investigation was strengthened
a. Roger’s book.
b. the development of national censuses.
c. the processes of the physical landscape.
d. the rapid development of geology, botany, zoology, and other natural sciences.
11. The map type best used to record not only the presence of a phenomenon but to
suggest its spatial pattern, distribution, or dispersion is:
a. dot.
b. choropleth.
c. isoline.
d. statiscal.
12. Which of the following statements concerning the globe grid is not correct?
a. Lines of latitude are always parallel to the equator.
b. Meridians and parallels intersect at right angles.
c. The equator is one-half the length of a meridian.
d. The scale on the surface of the globe is everywhere the same in every
13. Which of the following is not one of the dominating interests in geography?
a. areal variation of physical and human phenomena on the surface of the earth
and their interrelationships
b. the development of overlapping perceptual regions
c. regional analysis
d. spatial systems linking areas of physical phenomena and human activities
14. Using any map projection, there will always be some distortion because:
a. a map has to depict the curved surface of the three-dimensional earth on a twodimensional sheet of paper.
b. equivalent projections must be distinguished from conformal ones.
c. some spatial phenomena are not tangible or visible.
d. the map scale is changed.
15. The visible imprint of human activity is known as:
a. spatial interaction.
b. the attributes of the setting.
c. the cultural landscape.
d. the natural landscape.
16. Idrisi’s prime objective was to:
a. collect all known geographical information and assemble it on a truly accurate
representation of the world.
b. divide the inhabited earth into seven climatic regions.
c. spread the works of Ptolemy throughout the Greek and Muslim cultures of
Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.
d. write Roger’s book.
17. Which of the following statements is correct?
a. The larger the scale of the map, the larger the area it covers.
b. The larger the scale of the map, the more generalized are the data it portrays.
c. The smaller the scale of the map, the larger the area it covers.
d. The smaller the scale of the map, the more accurately can its content be
18. The early Greeks:
a. hired Muslims to describe and analyze their known world.
b. lost a great deal of their geographic knowledge during the Middle Ages.
c. observed how humans lived in various areas against the backdrop of the
earth’s physical features.
d. were not interested in geography.
19. Which of the following is not a subfield of human geography?
a. atmosphere
b. behavioral
c. economic
d. political
20. Which of the following statements concerning longitude is not correct?
a. Longitude is depicted by north-south lines called meridians.
b. Longitude is the angular distance east or west of the prime meridian.
c. Meridians are parallel to the equator.
d. Meridians converge at the poles.
21. Modern geography traces its origins to the:
a. 17th century.
b. 18th century.
c. 19th century.
d. 20th century.
22. The characteristics of places today are the result of:
a. current inhabitants.
b. constantly changing past and present conditions.
c. Technology.
d. level of education.
23. The “turfs” of the urban clubs or gangs is an example of which type of region?
a. formal
b. functional
c. nodal
d. perceptual
24. The distance between the North and South Poles is:
a. 0 degrees.
b. 90 degrees.
c. 180 degrees.
d. 360 degrees.
25. Which of the following is not true with respect to “places”?
a. They cannot interact with other places.
b. They have location.
c. They may be large or small.
d. They have both physical and cultural characteristics.
Matching Questions
Absolute Direction – a
Absolute Distance –f
Absolute Location – e
Relative Distance – b
Relative Direction – i
Relative Location – g
Scale – c
Site – d
Situation – h
Fill In the Blanks
Regions have location.
Regions have boundaries.
Regions have spatial extent.
Regions are hierarchically arranged.
North and South Poles – given Equator – given
Prime Meridian – artificial
They measured the earth.
They devised a global grid of latitude and longitude in order to draw sophisticated maps.
3. They discussed the patterns and processes of climates, vegetation, landforms, and their
areal variations.
Multiple Choice Questions
1.A 2.D 3.B 4.D 5.B 6.D 7.B 8.D 9.A 10.D
11.A 12.C 13.B 14.A 15.C 16.A 17.C 18.C 19.A 20.C
21.A 22.B 23.D 24.C 25.A
Human Geography Chapter 1 Quiz
Question 1: The Greeks defined the following concepts of scale, which describe the relationship
between locations and the interconnectedness of places:
a) chorography, cosmography, teleology b) geography, chorography, teleology
c) chorography, geography, topography
d) cosmography, chorography, topography
Question 2:The concept of latitude and longitude, which describe the grids in maps, were developed by
a) European civilization
b) Islamic civilization
c) Greek civilization
Question 3:What was one serious difficulty early mapmakers encountered in drawing accurate maps?
a) The lack of a printing press
b) How to represent a sphere on a flat surface
c) Describing the relationship between humans and their physical surroundings
d) All of the above.
Question 4:Geography is the study of ________.
a) human activities as they relate to their physical environment
b) the influence of the physical environment on humans
c) the human landscape
d) All of the above.
Question 5:The first formalized definition of geography was developed in the seventeenth century by
a) Gerardus Mercator
b) Bernhardus Varenius
c) Alexander von Humboldt
d) Friedrich Ratzel
Question 6:Three main approaches in contemporary human geography include:
a) regional studies, spatial analysis, and a landscape approach
b) spatial analysis, physical geography, landscape approach
c) chorology, regional studies, and the landscape approach
d) regional studies, chorology and spatial analysis
Question 7:Geography has contributed to ________.
a) exploration
b) facilitation of political expansion
c) an understanding that human activities are connected to their environment
d) All of the above.
Question 8:Contemporary regional geography ________.
a) is a concern with regions as settings or locales for human activity
b) explains the location of geographic facts
c) explains the ways in which regions reflect the characteristics of the occupying society
d) Both a and c.
Question 9:What is the cause of the radical change from geographers being concerned with exploration,
mapping, and description towards a concern with creating an understanding of the ways humans and
nature relate?
a) The writings of Immanuel Kant
b) The establishment of geography as an academic discipline
c) The writings of Humboldt and Ritter
d) The ability to project a sphere onto a flat surface
e) Both b and c.
Question 10:Contemporary spatial geography incorporates ________.
a) Humanist and Marxist perspectives
c) possibilism
b) quantitative approaches and techniques
d) environmental determinism
Question 11: The first geography department was established in ________.
a) France
b) Australia
c) Canada
d) Prussia
Research Questions
1. Describe the different traditions of geography as they arose from
different civilizations of the world, namely, Greece, China, the
Islamic world, and Europe. Outline some of the major differences
and similarities.
What has been the relationship of the development of scientific
knowledge and scientific and mathematical instruments to the
development of geographic thought, tools and techniques?
What is the importance of the teachings of Immanuel Kant,
Alexander von Humboldt, Carl Ritter, and Paul Vidal to the
development of geographic thought? How are their teachings
and writings incorporated into contemporary geographical
methods and subjects of analysis?
How did institutionalization of geography as an academic
discipline change the organization of the knowledge held by
geographers and their subsequent studies?
Describe the contemporary geography approaches of regional
studies and spatial analysis. What are the core differences in
these approaches and subjects of study? Describe any
similarities between them.
Chapter 2: Studying Human Geography
Research questions
1. How is the social theory of Marxism applied by human geographers? What
are some common contemporary subjects or contexts this area of thought
is applied to?
2. What are some major similarities and differences between humanist and
Marxist geographies and how they are applied?
3. What are some contemporary techniques and applications of remote
sensing? How has remote sensing contributed to advancing knowledge
about the state of the environment?
4. Globalization integrates concepts of space, location, place, region, and
distance. What are some human processes or issues positively and
negatively affected by globalization and how?
5. What are some contemporary techniques and applications of geographic
information systems? How has the use of GIS advanced knowledge in an
increasingly complex world?
Chapter 3: A Fragile Home
Research Questions
1. Examine the fuel mix for energy supply in your region and your regions’
energy plans. Are they sustainable? If not, how could they be improved
for sustainability?
2. Describe how sustainable development policy differs from economic
policy and illustrate your case with examples.
3. Do scientists agree about whether humans have passed the point of no
return concerning environmental degradation? Consider climate
change, water use, and biodiversity loss.
4. How has human activity affected the global water cycle? Using specific
case studies, discuss how our impacts on water quality and quantity
have been felt in different regions of the world.
What is systems thinking, and what is its importance to environmental knowledge?
Chapter 4: A Crowded Home
Research Questions
1. Whether or not population will encounter limits to resources has been
debated since Malthus perceived this issue. Is there merit to this
argument today? Give some examples of resource problems which
enhance or dispel Malthus’ argument, making use of current facts and
the arguments of other thinkers who contributed to this debate.
2. What is the current thinking on fertility policies? Does government
intervention work as expected? Support your discussion with empirical
3. What are some of the issues that arise when a population is aging?
What measures are governments taking when they encounter this issue
and are they successful?
4. What have been some of the responses from governments and other
political or religious bodies in addressing the AIDS pandemic? Where
has there been successes, and where could there be improvement in
responses and why?
5. Describe what is learned about women and gender issues from regions
and states which are experiencing declining fertility rates. How has this
affected academic study and thinking on government policy?
Chapter 5: An Unequal Home
Research Questions
1. How do governments respond to migration? Consider situations of
forced, mass, primitive, and free migration.
2. What is the relevance of world systems theory? How is this theory
typically applied to the study of development? Give examples.
3. Good governance is associated with improved living conditions in many
less-developed countries. Should good governance be a core policy
goal of international aid? Illustrate your argument with examples.
4. Some scholars say that food shortage and famine are associated with a
lack of good governance. To what extent is this accurate? Are there
other underlying factors influencing food shortage and famine?
5. Why are developing countries vulnerable to disaster and diseases?
Illustrate your argument with examples and case studies.
Chapter 6: Cultural Identities and Landscapes
Research Questions
1. What is the cultural landscape where you live? Research and describe the
history of language and religious beliefs where you are.
2. Do human geographers view cultural globalization as a positive or
negative phenomenon in the world?
3. How does language relate to culture? Can cultures exist without
language? Does culture change when new languages appear in a region?
4. When religion views space as sacred there can be both positive and
negative outcomes. What are these? Use examples to support your
5. Describe the relationship of language to landscape. How is landscape understood
through language?
Chapter 7: Social Identities and Landscapes
Research Questions
1. Drawing from examples, discuss the history of the concept of
‘genocide’. Discuss which international bodies are concerned with it and
why it is difficult to define and identify its occurrence.
2. Drawing from examples, describe the factors that facilitated the rise of
mass tourism. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this form of
economic development in locales.
3. Discuss how feminist geographers study gender and landscape and,
drawing from examples, describe the importance of this type of study.
4. Examine how human geographers study regions and sense of place.
What are the features of the regions they select to study? What are their
methods of analysis?
5. How is Marxist theory relevant to the study of social identities and
landscapes? Drawing from examples, describe the relevance of Marxist
theory to contemporary human geography.
Chapter 8: Political Identities and Landscapes
Research Questions
1. Discuss the extent to which theories of state creation are most accurate
and why.
2. Have there been successful cases of the devolution of power in
multinational states? Give examples in your discussion.
3. Discuss the importance of examining space and voting patterns.
4. Discuss the factors which contribute to a failed state. Consider history,
geopolitics, and internal processes in your answer.
5. Is the world closer now to democracy and perpetual peace? Why or why
Chapter 9: A Globalizing World
Research Questions
1. Research and explain the differences of opinion between pro- and
anti-globalization advocates.
2. What is the role of networks in globalization processes? Describe how
changes in networks have created conditions for increased
3. Describe how the evolution of the transport system has led to increased
trade and globalization.
4. What are the key events and agreements in history which have affected
trade relationships? How have these led to current states of trade and
Describe the process of fair trade as an alternative to free trade. Describe and
discuss the effectiveness of this movement.
Chapter 10: Agricultural Lives and Landscapes
Research Questions
1. Vandana Shiva is a leading voice in a movement opposing the green
revolution and biotechnology. Evaluate her arguments against these
agricultural methods.
2. Describe and discuss the factors related to the increasing
homogenization of food preferences on a global scale.
3. Select a type of local food production. Describe how it relates to the
local culture, religion, economy, climate, and physical features—space
and place.
4. Discuss the implications of Europe’s opposition to the import of
genetically modified products. How has this affected the agricultural
system and consumption patterns inside and outside of Europe?
5. What are the Marxist, feminist, and/or postmodern perspectives on the
current dominant agricultural system? How is the current agricultural
system implicated in the replication of inequalities? What are its impacts
on culture?
Chapter 11: Settlement Patterns
Research Questions
1. Research and discuss the value of central place theory. To what extent is it
useful? Are there major criticisms or factors it neglects?
2. What is the history of development of the region you live in? How has this
affected local culture, economic development, and ways of life?
3. Is the definition of a world city universally agreed upon? What are some of
the debates surrounding the definition and classification of world cities?
4. What research exists to date comparing rural and urban ways of life?
5. The number of mega-cities has grown over the past few decades and their
relationships to each other and the regions they occupy are changing.
Research and discuss the emergence and growth of megacities and how
these cities alter the relationship of their populations to the surrounding
areas and to other cities.
Chapter 12: Urban Form and Governance
Research Questions
1.Planning is one of the ways that particular values are imposed on landscapes.
Describe the planning processes where you live—identify how your area is designed
spatially, which land uses it is occupied by, and how this reflects which values are
most important in the city.
2 What has been the value of Marxist and postmodern thought on analyzing cities?
How has this altered the way we view cities and how they are planned?
3 Describe the rise of the New Urbanism model of planning. What was this model a
reaction to? Has it been implemented successfully and should it become a dominant
form of planning?
4 What was Le Corbusier’s vision of a city? Describe where it has been implemented,
whether or not it achieved its original goals, and its degree of success in other factors.
5 Historically, how has the Chicago school influenced planning theory and practice?
Chapter 13: Living and Working in Cities
Research Questions
6. Where are some countries where housing is a right? What are the effects of
these types of laws on land use, homelessness, cities, culture, and
economic development?
7. Discuss the various explanations of poverty. Which ones might help to
implement solutions?
8. Research and discuss the value of the ethnic segregation of
neighbourhoods. Which ways of promoting multiculturalism are found to be
of value?
9. Select a neighbourhood undergoing gentrification and explain how this
process is occurring, debates surrounding the change, and the local
impacts of the change.
10. Are cities still a main site for manufacturing? Describe how industrial space
in cities has changed over time.
Chapter 14: Industrial Lives and Landscapes
Research Questions
11. Discuss the factors which influenced an increase in industrialization in
newly industrializing countries. Make sure to consider the merits of the
various strategies used by these countries.
12. Discuss the relationship between post-Fordism and industrial restructuring.
What have been the outcomes of industrial restructuring?
13. Research and describe how transnational corporations have altered
industrial location decisions. What impacts have these decisions had?
14. What are the factors that have encouraged an increase in women working
in industrial settings? What are the impacts caused by this increase? Are
they all positive?
15. Discuss the theories and findings related to uneven development. Is it