AP Human Geography Outline

Ch. 1 Thinking Geographically

Key Issue 1: How do geographers describe where things are?

Map- a two-dimensional model of Earth’s surface, or a portion of it.
Place- a specific point of Earth distinguished by a particular character.
Region- an area of Earth distinguished by a distinctive combination of cultural and physical features.
Scale- the relationship between a map’s distances and the actual distances on Earth.
Space- the physical gap between two objects.
Connections- relationships among people and objects across a barrier of space.
Cartography- the science of map-making.
-Earliest surviving maps are from Babylonian clay tablets, (c. 2300 B.C.)
-Aristotle was first to demonstrate that Earth is spherical.
-Eratosthenes was the first person to use the word geography.

Projection- the method of transferring locations on Earth’s surface to a map.
Geographic Information System- (GIS) a computer that can capture, store, query, analyze, and display geographic date.
Remote Sensing- the acquisition of data about Earth’s surface for a satellite.
Global Positioning System- (GPS) a system that determines one’s exact location on Earth.

Key Issue 2: Why is each point on Earth unique?

Location- the position that something occupies on Earth’s surface.
Toponym- the name given to a place on Earth.
Place names commonly have:
-British origins in N. America and Australia
-Portuguese origins in Brazil
-Spanish origins elsewhere in Latin America
-Dutch origins in S. Africa

-The Board of Geographical Names was established in the late nineteenth century to be the final arbiter of names on U.S. maps.

Site- the physical character of a place.
Situation- the location of a place relative to other places.
Meridian- (longitude) an arc drawn between the North and South poles.
Parallel- (latitude) a circle drawn around the globe parallel to equator and perpendicular to meridians.
Greenwich Mean Time- (GMT) the internationally agreed official time reference for Earth.
International Date Line- the longitude at which one moves forward or backward 1 day.
Cultural Landscape- defined by Carl Sauer, it is the area of Earth modified by human habitation. Also regional studies.
Formal region- an area within which everyone shares one or more distinctive characteristics.
Functional region- an area organized around a node or focal point.
Vernacular region- a place that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity. Also the area in which a specific language dialect is widely used.
Mental map- one’s perceived image of the surrounding landscape’s organization.
Culture- the body of customary beliefs, material traits, and social forms that constitute the distinct tradition of a group of people.
Cultural ecology- the geographic study of human-environment relations.
Environmental determinism- belief that the physical environment causes social development.
Proponents include:
-Alexander von Humboldt
-Carl Ritter
-Friedrich Ratzel
-Ellen Churchill Semple
-Ellsworth Huntington (argued that climate was determining factor)

Possibilism- the counter to e.d. (above), it is the belief that while environment can limit certain actions of a people, it cannot wholly predestine their development.
Resources- the substances found on Earth that are useful to people.

-Climate is often classified using the system developed by German Vladimir Köppen. The modified Koppen system divides the world into five main climate regions:

-A Tropical Climates
-B Dry Climates
-C Warm Mid-Latitude Climates
-D Cold Mid-Latitude Climates
-E Polar Climates

Each of these divisions is further subdivided based on precipitation levels and seasons.

Polder- a piece of land that is created by draining water from an area. First built in 13th century in the Netherlands.

Key Issue 3: Why are different places similar?

Globalization- a process that involves the entire world and results in making something worldwide in scope.

-The world, geopolitically and economically, has grown more globalized over the past few centuries. While leading to a wider dispersion of funds, and the increased development of nearly every inhabited place on Earth, the globalization of the economy has heightened economic differences among others. The gap between the rich and the poor has increasingly grown wider (uneven development). From a cultural standpoint, globalization is a delicate issue. While contributing greatly to increased standards of living globally, especially among LDC’s, the spreading of a uniform, and some argue, “western” culture is destroying some of the most defining cultures in the world.

Distribution- the arrangement of a feature in a space.
Density- the frequency with which something occurs.
Arithmetic density- the total number of people in an area.
Physiological density- the total number of people per unit of arable land.
Agricultural density- the total number of farmers per unit of arable land.
Concentration- the extent of a feature’s spread over space.
Pattern- the geometric arrangement of objects