AP Human Geography 01: Basic Concepts

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Built Landscape
an area of land represented by its features and patterns of human occupation
Sequent Occupance
The notion that societies leave their cultural imprints on a place contributing to the cultural landscape.
Cultural Landscape
A combination of cultural features such as language and religion that result from human transformation
Density
the frequency with which something occurs in space
Arithmetic density
Total number of objects in an area, commonly used to compare the distribution of population
Physiological density
number of persons per unit of area suitable for agriculture. Could mean a country has difficulty growing enough food.
Agricultural Density
number of farmers per unit area of farmland.
Diffusion
process by which a characteristic spreads across space from one place to another over time
Hearth
the place from which an innovation originates
Relocation Diffusion
The spread of an idea through physical movement of people from one place to another
Expansion Diffusion
The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process
Contagious diffusion
rapid, widespread diffusion of a characteristic throughout the population
Stimulus diffusion
spread of an underlying principle, even though a characteristic itself apparently fails to diffuse.
Absolute Direction
A compass direction such as north or south.
Relative direction
Directions based on people’s perception of places
Dispersion
The pattern of spacing among individuals within geographic population boundaries
Concentration
The extent of a feature’s spread over space; not same as density. Can have same density but completely different this
Clustered/Agglomerated
If the objects in an area are close together
Dispersed/Scattered
If objects in an area are relatively far apart
Absolute Distance
The distance that can be measured with a standard unit length, such as a mile or kilometer.
Relative Distance
A measure of distance that includes the costs of overcoming the friction of absolute distance separating two places. Often describes the amount of social, cultural, or economic, connectivity between two places.
Distribution
Arrangement of features in space; three main properties: density, concentration, pattern
Cultural ecology
Geographic study of human-environment relationships
Environmental determinism
An approach made by Humboldt and Ritter, 19th century geographers, which concentrated on how the physical environment caused social development, applying laws from the natural sciences to understanding relationships between the physical environment and human actions
Location
The position that something occupies on Earth’s surface
Absolute Location
The position of place of a certain item on the surface of the Earth as expresed in degrees, minutes, and seconds of latitude, 0° to 90° north or south of the equator, and longitude, 0° to 180° east or west of the Prime Meridian passing through Greenwich, England. (Also known as Mathematical Location)
Relative Location
The regional position or situation of a place relative to the position of other places.
Site
a physical character of a place, such as characteristics like climate, water sources, topography, soil, vegetation, latitude, and elevation
Situation
The location of a place relative to other places; valuable to indicate location: finding an unfamiliar place and understanding its importance by comparing location with familiar one and learning their accessibility to other places
Toponym
The name given to a place on earth; may be named for person, founder, or random famous person with no connection to place. Places can change names.
Patterns
The geometric or regular arrangement of something in a sturdy area.
Linear pattern
straight pattern, ex. houses along a street
Centralized pattern
clustered or concentrated at a certain place
Random pattern
a pattern with no specific order or logic behind its arrangement
Natural Landscape
A physical landscape or environment that has not been affected by human activities.
Possibilism
The theory that the physical environment may set limits on human actions, but people have the ability to adjust to the physical environment and choose a course of action from many alternatives
Region
An area of Earth distinguished by a distinctive combination of cultural and physical features
Formal/Uniform/Homogeneous Region
An area within which everyone shares in common one or more distinctive characteristics, generally identified to help explain broad global or national patterns, generally illustrating a general concept rather than a precise mathematical distribution
Functional/Nodal Region
Area organized around a node or focal point/place where there is a central focus that diminishes in importance outward. Used to display information about economic areas.
Vernacular/Perceptual Region
A place that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity from people’s informal sense of place such as mental maps.
Scale
Relationship between the portion of Earth being studied and the Earth as a whole.
Spatial
of or pertaining to space on or near Earth’s surface. Often a synonym for geographical and used as an adjective to describe specific geographic concepts or processes.
Spatial Interaction
the movement and flows involving human activity
Accessibility
the opportunity for contact or interaction from a given point or location, in relation to other locations.
Connectivity
the directness of routes linking pairs of places; an indication of the degree of internal connection in a transport network; all of the tangible and intangible means of connection and communication between places.
Network
the areal pattern of sets of places and the routes (links) connecting them along which movement can take place.
Distance Decay
the diminishing in importance and eventual disappearance of a phenomenon with increasing distance from its origin.
Friction of distance
a measure of the retarding or restricting effect of distance on spatial interaction; the greater the distance, the greater the “friction” and the less the interaction or exchange, or the greater the cost of achieving the exchange.
Time-space compression
an influence on the rate of expansion diffusion of an idea, observing that the spread or acceptance of an idea is usually delayed as distance from the source of the innovation increases.
Categories: Geography