Outline of geography

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to geography:

Geography study of earth and its people.[1]

A map of the world.

Nature of geography

Geography is

  • an academic discipline a body of knowledge given to − or received by − a disciple (student); a branch or sphere of knowledge, or field of study, that an individual has chosen to specialize in. Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities − not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called 'the world discipline'.[2]
  • a field of science widely recognized category of specialized expertise within science, and typically embodies its own terminology and nomenclature. Such a field will usually be represented by one or more scientific journals, where peer reviewed research is published. There are many geography-related scientific journals.
    • a natural science field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of natural environment (physical geography).
    • a social science field of academic scholarship that explores aspects of human society (human geography).
  • an interdisciplinary field a field that crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions have emerged. Many of the branches of physical geography are also branches of Earth science.

Branches of geography

As "the bridge between the human and physical sciences," geography is divided into two main branches:

  • human geography
  • physical geography[3][4]

Other branches include:

  • integrated geography
  • geomatics
  • regional geography

All the branches are further described below...

Physical geography

  • Physical geography examines the natural environment and how the climate, vegetation & life, soil, water, and landforms are produced and interact.[5]
Fields of physical geography
  • Geomorphology study of landforms and the processes that them, and more broadly, of the processes controlling the topography of any planet. Seeks to understand why landscapes look the way they do, to understand landform history and dynamics, and to predict future changes through a combination of field observation, physical experiment, and numerical modeling.
  • Hydrology study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water throughout the Earth, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
    • Glaciology study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.
    • Oceanography studies a wide range of topics pertaining to oceans, including marine organisms and ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries.
  • Biogeography study of the distribution of species spatially and temporally. Over areal ecological changes, it is also tied to the concepts of species and their past, or present living 'refugium', their survival locales, or their interim living sites. It aims to reveal where organisms live, and at what abundance.[6]
  • Climatology study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time.[7]
  • Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and short term forecasting (in contrast with climatology).
  • Pedology study of soils in their natural environment[8] that deals with pedogenesis, soil morphology, and soil classification.
  • Palaeogeography study of what the geography was in times past, most often concerning the physical landscape, but also the human or cultural environment.
  • Coastal geography study of the dynamic interface between the ocean and the land, incorporating both the physical geography (i.e. coastal geomorphology, geology and oceanography) and the human geography (sociology and history) of the coast. It involves an understanding of coastal weathering processes, particularly wave action, sediment movement and weather, and also the ways in which humans interact with the coast.
  • Quaternary science focuses on the Quaternary period, which encompasses the last 2.6 million years, including the last ice age and the Holocene period.
  • Landscape ecology the relationship between spatial patterns of urban development and ecological processes on a multitude of landscape scales and organizational levels.[9][10][11]
Approaches of physical geography

Human geography

  • Human geography one of the two main subfields of geography, it is the study of human use and understanding of the world and the processes which have affected it. Human geography broadly differs from physical geography in that it focuses on the built environment and how space is created, viewed, and managed by humans as well as the influence humans have on the space they occupy.[5]
Fields of human geography
  • Cultural geography study of cultural products and norms and their variations across and relations to spaces and places. It focuses on describing and analyzing the ways language, religion, economy, government and other cultural phenomena vary or remain constant, from one place to another and on explaining how humans function spatially.[12]
    • Children's geographies study of places and spaces of children's lives, characterized experientially, politically and ethically. Children's geographies rests on the idea that children as a social group share certain characteristics which are experientially, politically and ethically significant and which are worthy of study. The pluralisation in the title is intended to imply that children's lives will be markedly different in differing times and places and in differing circumstances such as gender, family, and class. The range of foci within children's geographies include:
      • Children and the city
      • Children and the countryside
      • Children and technology
      • Children and nature,
      • Children and globalization
      • Methodologies of researching children's worlds
      • Ethics of researching children's worlds
      • Otherness of childhood
    • Animal geographies studies the spaces and places occupied by animals in human culture, because social life and space is heavily populated by animals of many differing kinds and in many differing ways (e.g. farm animals, pets, wild animals in the city). Another impetus that has influenced the development of the field are ecofeminist and other environmentalist viewpoints on nature-society relations (including questions of animal welfare and rights).
    • Language geography studies the geographic distribution of language or its constituent elements. There are two principal fields of study within the geography of language:
      1. Geography of languages deals with the distribution through history and space of languages,[13]
      2. Linguistic geography deals with regional linguistic variations within languages.[14][15][16][17][18]
    • Sexuality and space encompasses all relationships and interactions between human sexuality, space, and place, including the geographies of LGBT residence, public sex environments, sites of queer resistance, global sexualities, sex tourism,[19] the geographies of prostitution and adult entertainment, use of sexualised locations in the arts,[20][21] and sexual citizenship.[22]
    • Religion geography study of the influence of geography, i.e. place and space, on religious belief.[23]
  • Development geography study of the Earth's geography with reference to the standard of living and quality of life of its human inhabitants. Measures development by looking at economic, political and social factors, and seeks to understand both the geographical causes and consequences of varying development, in part by comparing More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs) with Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs).
  • Economic geography study of the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the world. Subjects of interest include but are not limited to the location of industries, economies of agglomeration (also known as "linkages"), transportation, international trade and development, real estate, gentrification, ethnic economies, gendered economies, core-periphery theory, the economics of urban form, the relationship between the environment and the economy (tying into a long history of geographers studying culture-environment interaction), and globalization.
    • Marketing geography a discipline within marketing analysis which uses geolocation (geographic information) in the process of planning and implementation of marketing activities.[24] It can be used in any aspect of the marketing mix – the product, price, promotion, or place (geo targeting).
    • Transportation geography branch of economic geography that investigates spatial interactions between people, freight and information. It studies humans and their use of vehicles or other modes of traveling as well as how markets are serviced by flows of finished goods and raw materials.
  • Health geography application of geographical information, perspectives, and methods to the study of health, disease, and health care, to provide a spatial understanding of a population's health, the distribution of disease in an area, and the environment's effect on health and disease. It also deals with accessibility to health care and spatial distribution of health care providers.
    • Time geography study of the temporal factor on spatial human activities within the following constraints:
  1. Authority - limits of accessibility to certain places or domains placed on individuals by owners or authorities
  2. Capability - limitations on the movement of individuals, based on their nature. For example, movement is restricted by biological factors, such as the need for food, drink, and sleep
  3. Coupling - restraint of an individual, anchoring him or her to a location while interacting with other individuals in order to complete a task
  • Historical geography study of the human, physical, fictional, theoretical, and "real" geographies of the past, and seeks to determine how cultural features of various societies across the planet emerged and evolved, by understanding how a place or region changes through time, including how people have interacted with their environment and created the cultural landscape.
  • Political geography study of the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures. Basically, the inter-relationships between people, state, and territory.
    • Electoral geography study of the relationship between election results and the regions they affect (such as the environmental impact of voting decisions), and of the effects of regional factors upon voting behavior.
    • Geopolitics analysis of geography, history and social science with reference to spatial politics and patterns at various scales, ranging from the level of the state to international.
    • Strategic geography concerned with the control of, or access to, spatial areas that affect the security and prosperity of nations.
    • Military geography the application of geographic tools, information, and techniques to solve military problems in peacetime or war.
  • Population geography study of the ways in which spatial variations in the distribution, composition, migration, and growth of populations are related to the nature of places.
  • Tourism geography study of travel and tourism, as an industry and as a social and cultural activity, and their effect on places, including the environmental impact of tourism, the geographies of tourism and leisure economies, answering tourism industry and management concerns and the sociology of tourism and locations of tourism.
  • Urban geography the study of urban areas, in terms of concentration, infrastructure, economy, and environmental impacts.
Approaches of human geography

Integrated geography

  • Integrated geography branch of geography that describes the spatial aspects of interactions between humans and the natural world. It requires an understanding of the dynamics of geology, meteorology, hydrology, biogeography, ecology, and geomorphology, as well as the ways in which human societies conceptualize the environment.


  • Geomatics branch of geography and the discipline of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographic information, or spatially referenced information. It is a widespread interdisciplinary field that includes the tools and techniques used in land surveying, remote sensing, cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Navigation Satellite Systems, photogrammetry, and related forms of earth mapping.
Fields contributing to geomatics

Regional geography

Regional geography study of world regions. Attention is paid to unique characteristics of a particular region such as its natural elements, human elements, and regionalization which covers the techniques of delineating space into regions. Regional geography breaks down into the study of specific regions.

Region an area, defined by physical characteristics, human characteristics, or functional characteristics. The term is used in various ways among the different branches of geography. A region can be seen as a collection of smaller units, such as a country and its political divisions, or as one part of a larger whole, as in a country on a continent.


Continent one of several large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any specific criteria, but seven areas are commonly regarded as continents. They are:

1. Africa   (outline)
2. Antarctica
3. Australia   (outline)
The Americas:
4. North America   (outline)
5. South America   (outline)
6. Europe   (outline)
7. Asia   (outline)

Subregion (list)

Biogeographic regions
Map of six of the world's eight biogeographic realms
  Oceania and Antarctic realms not shown
Biogeographic realm

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) developed a system of eight biogeographic realms (ecozones):


Ecoregion Biogeographic realms are further divided into ecoregions. The World has over 800 terrestrial ecoregions. See Lists of ecoregions by country.

Geography of the political divisions of the World
Other regions

History of geography

Reconstruction of Hecataeus' map of the World, created during ancient Greek times

Topics pertaining to the geographical study of the World throughout history:

By period

By region

By subject

By field

Elements of geography

Topics common to the various branches of geography include:

Tasks and tools of geography

The equal-area Mollweide projection
  • Exploration  Act of traveling and searching for resources or for information about the land or space itself
  • Geocode, also known as Geospatial Entity Object Code
  • Geographic information system (GIS)  System to capture, manage and present geographic data
  • Globe  A three-dimensional scale model of a spheroidal celestial body
  • Map  Symbolic depiction of relationships between elements of some space
  • Demographics
  • Spatial analysis  Formal techniques which study entities using their topological, geometric, or geographic properties
  • Surveying  The technique, profession, and science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them

Types of geographic features

Geographic feature component of a planet that can be referred to as a location, place, site, area, or region, and therefore may show up on a map. A geographic feature may be natural or artificial.

Location and place
Population density per square kilometre by country, 2006
  • Location
    • Absolute location
      • Latitude  Geographic coordinate specifying north–south position
        • Prime meridian  A line of longitude, at which longitude is defined to be 0°
      • Longitude  geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface
        • Equator  Circle of latitude
        • Tropic of Cancer  Line of northernmost latitude at which the sun can be directly overhead
        • Tropic of Capricorn  Line of southernmost latitude at which the sun can be directly overhead
        • Arctic Circle  Boundary of the Arctic
        • Antarctic Circle  Boundary of the Antarctic
        • North Pole  Northern point where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface
        • South Pole  Southern point where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface
      • Altitude  Height in relation to a specified reference point
        • Elevation  Height of a geographic location above a fixed reference point
  • Place
    • Aspects of a place or region
      • Climate  Statistics of weather conditions in a given region over long periods
      • Population  All the organisms of a given species that live in the specified region
      • Sense of place  Term used in behavioral sciences and urban planning
      • Terrain  Vertical and horizontal dimension and shape of land surface
      • Topography  Study of the forms of land surfaces
      • Tourist attraction  Place of interest where tourists visit
    • Lists of places  List of Wikipedia's list articles of places on earth sorted by category
Natural geographic features

Natural geographic feature an ecosystem or natural landform.


Ecosystem community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are regarded as linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows.

  • Biodiversity hotspot  A biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened with destruction
  • Realm broadest biogeographic division of the Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms.
    • Ecoprovince biogeographic unit smaller than a realm that contains one or more ecoregions.
      • Ecoregion  Ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion
        • Ecodistrict  Environmental planning
        • Ecosection
          • Ecosite
            • Ecotope  The smallest ecologically distinct landscape features in a landscape mapping and classification system
              • Ecoelement
  • Biome  Community of organisms associated with an environment
    • Bioregion  Ecologically and geographically defined area smaller than a biogeographical realm, but larger than an ecoregion or an ecosystem
      • Biotope  Habitat for communities made up of populations of multiple species
        • Bioelement
Natural landforms
The Ganges river delta in India and Bangladesh is one of the most fertile regions in the world.
The volcano Mount St. Helens in Washington, United States.

Natural landform terrain or body of water. Landforms are topographical elements, and are defined by their surface form and location in the landscape. Landforms are categorized by traits such as elevation, slope, orientation, stratification, rock exposure, and soil type. Some landforms are artificial, such as certain islands, but most landforms are natural.

Natural terrain feature types
  • Continent  Very large landmass identified by convention
  • Island  Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water
  • Mainland  Continental part of any polity or the main island within an island nation
  • Mountain  Large landform that rises fairly steeply above the surrounding land over a limited area
  • Mountain range  Geographic area containing several geologically related mountains
  • Subcontinent  A large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent
Natural body of water types
  • Natural bodies of water  Any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface
    • Bodies of seawater  Water from a sea or an ocean
      • Channel  Type of landform in which part of a body of water is confined to a relatively narrow but long region
      • Firth  Scottish word used for various coastal inlets and straits
      • Harbor  Sheltered body of water where ships may shelter
      • Inlet  Hollow of a shoreline that often leads to an enclosed body of salt water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon, or marsh
        • Bay
          • Bight  Shallowly concave bend or curve in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature
          • Gulf
        • Cove  Small sheltered bay or coastal inlet
        • Creek (tidal)
        • Estuary  Partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with river stream flow, and with a free connection to the sea
        • Fjord  Long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial activity
      • Kettle  Depression/hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters
      • Kill  Creek, tidal inlet, river, strait, or arm of the sea
      • Lagoon  Shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform
        • Barachois  Coastal lagoon partially or totally separated from the ocean by a sand or shingle bar
      • Loch  Scottish Gaelic, Scots and Irish word for a lake or a sea inlet
        • Arm of the sea
        • Mere  Shallow lake, pond, or wetland
      • Ocean  Body of salt water covering the majority of Earth
      • Phytotelma  Small water-filled cavity in a terrestrial plant
      • Salt marsh  Coastal ecosystem between land and open saltwater that is regularly flooded
      • Sea  Large body of salt water
        • Types of sea:
          • Mediterranean sea  Mostly enclosed sea with limited exchange with outer oceans
          • Sound  A long, relatively wide body of water, connecting two larger bodies of water
        • Sea components or extensions:
          • Sea loch  Scottish Gaelic and Irish word for a sea inlet
          • Sea lough  Anglicised version of Scottish Gaelic and Irish word for a sea inlet
      • Strait  Naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water
    • Bodies of fresh water
      • Bayou  French term for a body of water typically found in flat, low-lying area
      • Lake  large body of relatively still water
      • Pool  Stretch of a river or stream in which the water is relatively deep and slow moving
        • Pond  Relatively small body of standing water
          • Billabong  Australian term for a seasonal oxbow lake
        • Tide pool  Rocky pool on a seashore, separated from the sea at low tide, filled with seawater
        • Vernal pool  Seasonal pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals
        • Puddle  Small accumulation of liquid, usually water, on a surface
      • River  Natural flowing watercourse
      • Roadstead  Open anchorage affording some protection, but less than a harbor
      • Spring  A point at which water emenges from an aquifer to the surface
        • Boil -
      • Stream  Body of surface water flowing down a channel
        • Beck  Body of surface water flowing down a channel
        • Brook  Body of surface water flowing down a channel
        • Burn  Term of Scottish origin for a small river
        • Creek  Body of surface water flowing down a channel
          • Arroyo (creek)  Dry creek or stream bed with flow after rain
            • Wash  Dry creek or stream bed with flow after rain
            • Draw  Dry creek or stream bed with flow after rain
        • Run  Body of surface water flowing down a channel
      • Wetland  Land area that is permanently or seasonally saturated with water
        • Freshwater marsh  wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species
        • Slough (wetland)  A forested wetland
          • Mangrove swamp  A shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water
Artificial geographic features

Artificial geographic feature a thing that was made by humans that may be indicated on a map. It may be physical and exist in the real world (like a bridge or city), or it may be abstract and exist only on maps (such as the Equator, which has a defined location, but cannot be seen where it lies).

  • Settlement  Community of any size, in which people live
    • Hamlet (place)  Small human settlement in a rural area rural settlement which is too small to be considered a village. Historically, when a hamlet became large enough to justify building a church, it was then classified as a village. One example of a hamlet is a small cluster of houses surrounding a mill.
    • Village  Small clustered human settlement smaller than a town clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand (sometimes tens of thousands).
    • Town  Type of settlement human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while many British "small towns" would qualify as cities in the United States.
      • Urban hierarchy ranks the structure of towns within an area.
        • 1st-order towns bare minimum of essential services, such as bread and milk.
        • 2nd-order towns
        • 3rd-order towns
        • 4th-order towns
    • City  Large permanent human settlement relatively large and permanent settlement. In many regions, a city is distinguished from a town by attainment of designation according to law, for instance being required to obtain articles of incorporation or a royal charter.
      • Financial centre  Locations which are centres of financial activity
      • Primate city  Disproportionately largest city in its country or region the leading city in its country or region, disproportionately larger than any others in the urban hierarchy.
      • Metropolis  A large and significant city or urban area usually with millions of inhabitants very large city or urban area which is a significant economic, political and cultural center for a country or region, and an important hub for regional or international connections and communications.
      • Metropolitan area  Region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated but economically-linked surroundings region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing.[27]
      • Global city  City which is important to the world economy city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system. Globalization is largely created, facilitated and enacted in strategic geographic locales (including global cities) according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade.
      • Megalopolis chain of roughly adjacent metropolitan areas. An example is the huge metropolitan area along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. extending from Boston, Massachusetts through New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland and ending in Washington, D.C..
      • Eperopolis theoretical "continent city". The world does not have one yet. Will Europe become the first one?
      • Ecumenopolis theoretical "world city". Will the world ever become so urbanized as to be called this?
  • Engineered construct built feature of the landscape such as a highway, bridge, airport, railroad, building, dam, or reservoir. See also construction engineering and infrastructure.
    • Artificial landforms
    • Airport  Facility with a runway for aircraft place where airplanes can take off and land, including one or more runways and one or more passenger terminals.
    • Aqueduct artificial channel that is constructed to convey water from one location to another.
    • Breakwater  Structure constructed on coasts as part of coastal management or to protect an anchorage construction designed to break the force of the sea to provide calm water for boats or ships, or to prevent erosion of a coastal feature.
    • Bridge  structure built to span physical obstacles structure built to span a valley, road, body of water, or other physical obstacle such as a canyon, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle.
    • Building  Structure, typically with a roof and walls, standing more or less permanently in one place closed structure with walls and a roof.
    • Canal  Man-made channel for water artificial waterway, often connecting one body of water with another.
    • Causeway  Route raised up on an embankment
    • Dam  Barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface or underground streams structure placed across a flowing body of water to stop the flow, usually to use the water for irrigation or to generate electricity.
      • Dike barrier of stone or earth used to hold back water and prevent flooding.
        • Levee  Ridge or wall to hold back water artificial slope or wall to regulate water levels, usually earthen and often parallel to the course of a river or the coast.[28]
    • Farm  Area of land for farming, or, for aquaculture, lake, river or sea, including various structures place where agricultural activities take place, especially the growing of crops or the raising of livestock.
    • Manmade harbor  Sheltered body of water where ships may shelter harbor that has deliberately constructed breakwaters, sea walls, or jettys, or which was constructed by dredging.
    • Industrial region  Geographical region with a high proportion of industrial use
    • Marina  A dock or basin with moorings and facilities for yachts and small boats
    • Orchard  Intentionally planted trees or shrubs that are maintained for food production
    • Parking lot  Cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles
    • Pier  Raised structure in a body of water, typically supported by well-spaced piles or pillars
    • Pipeline  Pumping fluids or gas through pipes
    • Port  Maritime facility where ships may dock to load and discharge passengers and cargo
    • Railway  Structure comprising rails on a foundation intended to carry trains
    • Ranch  Area of land used for raising grazing livestock
    • Reservoir  Bulk storage space for water
    • Road  Demarcated land route for travel with a suitable surface
      • Highway  Public road or other public way on land
      • Race track  Facility built for racing of animals, vehicles, or athletes
      • Street  Public thoroughfare in a built environment
    • Subsidence crater  Hole or depression left on the surface over the site of an underground explosion
    • Ski resort  Resort developed for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports
    • Train station  Railway facility where trains regularly stop to load or unload passengers and/or freight
    • Tree farm  Plantation for the cultivation of trees for harvest
    • Tunnel  Underground passage made for traffic
    • Viaduct  A multiple span bridge crossing an extended lower area
    • Wharf  Structure on the shore of a harbor or on the bank of a river or canal where ships dock
Provinces and territorial disputes of the People's Republic of China
  • Abstract geographic feature does not exist physically in the real world, yet has a location by definition and may be displayed on maps.
    • Geographical zone  Major regions of Earth's surface demarcated by latitude
      • Hardiness zone  Geographical regions defined by climatic conditions for horticultural purposes
      • Time zone  Area that observes a uniform standard time
    • Political division  A territorial entity for administration purposes
      • Nation  Stable community of people based on a common cultural or political identity
      • Administrative division  Territorial entity for administration purposes
        • Special Economic Zone  A geographical region in which business and trade laws are different from the rest of the country
      • Administrative division  Territorial entity for administration purposes a designated territory created within a country for administrative or identification purposes. Examples of the types of administrative divisions:
        • Bailiwick  The area of jurisdiction of a bailiff
        • Canton  Type of administrative division of a country
        • Commune  An urban administrative division having corporate status
        • County  Geographical and administrative region in some countries
        • Department
        • District  Administrative division, in some countries, managed by local government
        • Duchy  Territory, fief, collection of counties, or domain ruled by, or representing the title of, a duke or duchess
        • Emirate  A political territory that is ruled by a dynastic Muslim monarch styled emir
        • Federal state  Type of political entity
        • Parish  Ecclesiastical subdivision of a diocese
        • Prefecture  An administrative jurisdiction or subdivision in any of various countries
        • Province  A major administrative subdivision within a country or sovereign state
        • Region  Two or three-dimensionally defined space, mainly in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences
        • Rural district  Former type of local government area in England, Wales, and Ireland
        • Settlement  Community of any size, in which people live
          • Municipality  Administrative division having corporate status and usually some powers of self-government or jurisdiction
          • City  Large permanent human settlement
            • Borough  Administrative division in some English-speaking countries
            • Township  Designation for types of settlement as administrative territorial entities
          • Village  Small clustered human settlement smaller than a town
        • Shire  Traditional term for a division of land, found in some English-speaking countries
        • State
        • Subdistrict
        • Subprefecture  Administrative division of a country that is below prefecture
        • Voivodeship  Administrative division in several countries of central and eastern Europe
        • Wilayat  Administrative division approximating a state or province
    • Cartographical feature theoretical construct used specifically on maps that doesn't have any physical form apart from its location.
      • Latitude line  Geographic coordinate specifying north–south position
      • Longitude line  geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface
        • Prime Meridian  A line of longitude, at which longitude is defined to be 0°
      • Geographical pole  Points on a rotating astronomical body where the axis of rotation intersects the surface
        • North pole  Northern point where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface
        • South pole  Southern point where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface
Geographic features that include the natural and artificial
  • Waterway  Any navigable body of water
    • List of waterways  List of navigable rivers, canals, estuaries, lakes, and firths

Geography awards

Hubbard Medal awarded to Anne Morrow Lindbergh, showing her flight route

Some awards and competitions in the field of geography:

  • Geography Cup  Online, international competition between the United States and the United Kingdom, with the aim of determining which nation collectively knows more about geography
  • Gold Medal  Award presented by the Royal Geographical Society
  • Hubbard Medal  Medal awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research
  • National Geographic World Championship  Biennial, two-day-long international geography competition
  • Victoria Medal  Award presented by the Royal Geographical Society for conspicuous merit in research in geography

Persons influential in geography

A geographer is a scientist who studies Earth's physical environment and human habitat. Geographers are historically known for making maps, the subdiscipline of geography known as cartography. They study the physical details of the environment and also its effect on human and wildlife ecologies, weather and climate patterns, economics, and culture. Geographers focus on the spatial relationships between these elements.

Influential physical geographers

Alexander Von Humboldt, considered to be the founding father of physical geography.
Richard Chorley, 20th-century geographer who progressed quantitative geography and who helped bring the systems approach to geography.

Influential human geographers

Sketch of Carl Ritter
David Harvey

Geography educational frameworks

Educational frameworks upon which primary and secondary school curricula for geography are based upon include:

See also


  1. "Geography". The American Heritage Dictionary/ of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
  2. Bonnett, Alastair (2008). What is Geography?. London: Sage. ISBN 9781412918688.
  3. "Geography: The Mother of Sciences" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2003.
  4. Pidwirny, M. (2006). "Elements of Geography". Fundamentals of Physical Geography (2nd ed.). Physicalgeography.net.
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  6. Martiny JBH et al. Microbial biogeography: putting microorganisms on the map Archived 2010-06-21 at the Wayback Machine Nature: FEBRUARY 2006 | VOLUME 4
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