The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to geography:
An outline, also called a hierarchical outline, is a list arranged to show hierarchical relationships and is a type of tree structure. An outline is used to present the main points or topics (terms) of a given subject. Each item in an outline may be divided into additional sub-items. If an organizational level in an outline is to be sub-divided, it shall have at least two subcategories, as advised by major style manuals in current use. An outline may be used as a drafting tool of a document, or as a summary of the content of a document or of the knowledge in an entire field. It is not to be confused with the general context of the term "outline", which a summary or overview of a subject, presented verbally or written in prose. The outlines described in this article are lists, and come in several varieties.
Geography – study of earth and its people.
Natural science is a branch of science concerned with the description, prediction, and understanding of natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer review and repeatability of findings are used to try to ensure the validity of scientific advances.
Social science is a category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. Social science as a whole has many branches. These social sciences include, but are not limited to: anthropology, archaeology, communication studies, economics, history, musicology, human geography, jurisprudence, linguistics, political science, psychology, public health, and sociology. The term is also sometimes used to refer specifically to the field of sociology, the original "science of society", established in the 19th century. For a more detailed list of sub-disciplines within the social sciences see: Outline of social science.
As "the bridge between the human and physical sciences," geography is divided into two main branches:
Other branches include:
All the branches are further described below...
Physical geography is one of the two major sub-fields of geography. Physical geography is the branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.
Oceanography, also known as oceanology, is the study of the physical and biological aspects of the ocean. It is an important Earth science, which covers a wide range of topics, including 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. These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers blend to further knowledge of the world ocean and understanding of processes within: astronomy, biology, chemistry, climatology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology and physics. Paleoceanography studies the history of the oceans in the geologic past.
Geomorphology is the scientific study of the origin and evolution of topographic and bathymetric features created by physical, chemical or biological processes operating at or near the Earth's surface. Geomorphologists seek to understand why landscapes look the way they do, to understand landform history and dynamics and to predict changes through a combination of field observations, physical experiments and numerical modeling. Geomorphologists work within disciplines such as physical geography, geology, geodesy, engineering geology, archaeology, climatology and geotechnical engineering. This broad base of interests contributes to many research styles and interests within the field.
Hydrology is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the water cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability. A practitioner of hydrology is a hydrologist, working within the fields of earth or environmental science, physical geography, geology or civil and environmental engineering. Using various analytical methods and scientific techniques, they collect and analyze data to help solve water related problems such as environmental preservation, natural disasters, and water management.
Glaciology is the scientific study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.
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.
List of supercontinents A supercontinent is a landmass comprising more than one continental core, or craton.
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:
Ecozone The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) developed a system of eight biogeographic realms (ecozones):
Ecoregion Ecozones are further divided into ecoregions. The World has over 800 terrestrial ecoregions. See Lists of ecoregions by country.
Topics pertaining to the geographical study of the World throughout history:
Topics common to the various branches of geography include:
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.
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.
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.
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).
Some awards and competitions in the field of 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.
Educational frameworks upon which primary and secondary school curricula for geography are based upon include:
Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of geography that deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Human geography attends to human patterns of social interaction, as well as spatial level interdependencies, and how they influence or affect the earth's environment. As an intellectual discipline, geography is divided into the sub-fields of physical geography and human geography, the latter concentrating upon the study of human activities, by the application of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics, human impact characteristics, and the interaction of humanity and the environment. Geographic regions and sub-regions are mostly described by their imprecisely defined, and sometimes transitory boundaries, except in human geography, where jurisdiction areas such as national borders are defined in law.
A geographer is a scientist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society. The Greek prefix, "geo," means "earth" and the Greek suffix, "graphy," meaning "description," so a geographer is someone who studies the earth. The word "geography" is a Middle French word that is believed to have been first used in 1540.
Topography is the study of the shape and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface shapes and features themselves, or a description.
Economic geography has been defined by the geographers as the study of human's economic activities under varying sets of conditions which is associated with production, location, distribution, consumption, exchange of resources, and spatial organization of economic activities across the world. It represents a traditional subfield of the discipline of geography. However, many economists have also approached the field in ways more typical of the discipline of economics.
A landscape is the visible features of an area of land, its landforms, and how they integrate with natural or man-made features. A landscape includes the physical elements of geophysically defined landforms such as (ice-capped) mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of land use, buildings, and structures, and transitory elements such as lighting and weather conditions. Combining both their physical origins and the cultural overlay of human presence, often created over millennia, landscapes reflect a living synthesis of people and place that is vital to local and national identity.
This page is a list of geography topics.
Regional geography is a major branch of geography. It focuses on the interaction of different cultural and natural geofactors in a specific land or landscape, while its counterpart, systematic geography, concentrates on a specific geofactor at the global level.
The history of geography includes many histories of geography which have differed over time and between different cultural and political groups. In more recent developments, geography has become a distinct academic discipline. 'Geography' derives from the Greek γεωγραφία – geographia, a literal translation of which would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes. However, there is evidence for recognizable practices of geography, such as cartography prior to the use of the term geography.
Cultural geography is a subfield within human geography. Though the first traces of the study of different nations and cultures on Earth can be dated back to ancient geographers such as Ptolemy or Strabo, cultural geography as academic study firstly emerged as an alternative to the environmental determinist theories of the early Twentieth century, which had believed that people and societies are controlled by the environment in which they develop. Rather than studying pre-determined regions based upon environmental classifications, cultural geography became interested in cultural landscapes. This was led by Carl O. Sauer, at the University of California, Berkeley. As a result, cultural geography was long dominated by American writers.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Earth science:
Physiographic regions of the world are a means of defining the Earth's landforms into distinct regions, based upon the classic three-tiered approach by Nevin M. Fenneman in 1916, that separates landforms into physiographic divisions, physiographic provinces, and physiographic sections. The model became the basis for similar classifications of other continents, and is still considered valid.
Geographical features are naturally-created features of the Earth. Natural geographical features consist of landforms and ecosystems. For example, terrain types, are natural geographical features. Conversely, human settlements or other engineered forms are considered types of artificial geographical features.
Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.
This glossary or terminology of geography terms is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in geography and related fields, which describe and identify natural phenomena, geographical locations, spatial dimension and natural resources. Geographical terms are classified according to their functions, such as description, explanation, analysing, evaluating and integrating.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to social science:
Cognitive geography is an interdisciplinary study of cognitive science and geography. It aims to understand how humans view space, place, and environment. It involves the formalization of factors that influence our spatial cognition to create a more effective representation of space. These improved models assist in a variety of issues, for example, the developing maps that communicate better, providing navigation instructions that are easier to follow, utilizing space more practically, accounting for the cultural differences on spatial thinking for more effective cross-cultural information exchange, and an overall increased understanding of our environment.
The compilation of Edrisi marks an era in the history of science. Not only is its historical information most interesting and valuable, but its descriptions of many parts of the earth are still authoritative. For three centuries geographers copied his maps without alteration. The relative position of the lakes which form the Nile, as delineated in his work, does not differ greatly from that established by Baker and Stanley more than seven hundred years afterwards, and their number is the same.
It focuses on what geography students should know to be competent and productive 21st century citizens, and uses three content areas for assessing the outcomes of geography education. These content areas are Space and Place, Environment and Society, and Spatial Dynamics and Connections.