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 and use of natural resources [Changing attribute of a place]
Sequent Occupance
The notion that successive societies leave their cultural imprints on a place, each contributing to the cumulative cultural landscape. This is an important concept in geography because it symbolizes how humans interact with their surroundings. [Changing attribute of a place]
Cultural Landscape
A combination of cultural features such as language and religion, economic features such as agriculture and industry, and physical features such as climate and vegetation. (defined by Carl Sauer as an area fashioned from nature by a cultural group) [Cultural Attributes]
the frequency with which something occurs in space (can be measures of people, houses, cars, volcanoes, or anything, with any method of measurement)
Arithmetic density
Total number of objects in an area, commonly used to compare distribution of population in different countries. (# people / sq. kilometer / mile) [no correlation of high density & large population or high density to poverty]
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. Could mean that a country has inefficient agriculture.
High Housing Density
The number of dwelling units per unit of area — may mean people live in overcrowded housing
process by which a characteristic spreads across space from one place to another over time (through complex transportation, communications, resulting in complicated interactions) Can mean people in different regions can modify ideas at the same time in different ways.
the place from which an innovation originates; diffuses from there to other places [diffusion]
How a hearth emerges
Cultural group must be willing to try something new and be able to allocate resources to nurture the innovation. Group of people must have the technical ability to achieve the desired idea and economic structures, to facilitate implementation of the innovation.
Relocation Diffusion
The spread of an idea through physical movement of people from one place to another; migrate for political, economic, envir. issues that bring their culture with them to a new place; helps understand spread of AIDS
Expansion Diffusion
The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process
Hierarchical diffusion
Spread of ana idea from persons or nodes of authority or power to other persons or places of power (hip-hop: low-income people, but urban society); from people/places of power
Contagious diffusion
rapid, widespread difufsion of a characteristic throughout the population; diseases and ideas spread without relocation
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 such as left, right, forward, backward, up, and down based on people’s perception of places
The pattern of spacing among individuals within geographic population boundaries
The extent of a feature’s spread over space; not same as density. Can have same density but completely different this
If the objects in an area are close together
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.
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
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.
a physical character of a place, such as characteristics like climate, water sources, topography, soil, vegetation, latitude, and elevation
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Relationship between the portion of Earth being studied and the Earth as a whole.
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
the opportunity for contact or interaction from a given point or location, in relation to other locations.
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.
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: Human Geography