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Geography Terms

The following definitions are some Geography Terms that you should know if you ever happen to tell someone directions or just to know them.

The following definitions are some Geography Terms that you should know if you ever happen to tell someone directions or just to know them!

Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία – geografia) is the study of the Earth and its lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena. A literal translation would be “to describe or write about the Earth”. The first person to use the word “geography” was Eratosthenes (276-194 B.C.). Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of natural and human phenomena (geography as a study of distribution), area studies (places and regions), study of man-land relationship, and research in earth sciences.Nonetheless, modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost 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. As “the bridge between the human and physical sciences,” geography is divided into two main branches – human geography and physical geography.

Place: A Place is A position which is held; a dwelling; a mansion; a village, town, or city; a fortified town or post; a stronghold; a region or country.

Absolute Location: The longitude and Latitiude of a Place For instance, Lake Maracaibo of Venezuela is at 10°36′ N latitude and 71°33′ W longitude

Relative Location: A location of a place in relation to another place (i.e. south or downhill).

Light-Year : A light-year or light year (symbol: ly) is a unit of length, equal to just under ten trillion kilometres.

Site: A site is the location of an event, structure, object, or other thing, whether actual, virtual, abandoned (eg. an archaeological site), extant, or planned.

Mental Map: The concept of a mental map may refer to a person’s personal point-of-view perception of their own world.

GPS: GPS is short for global positioning system. GPS devices tell you your exact longitude and latitude (it gets the information from orbiting satellites)

Latitude: Latitude is defined as a measurement of distance in degrees north and south of the equator. The word latitude comes from the
Latin word , “latus”, meaning “wide.”

Longitude: Longitude is defined as a measurement of distance in east and west of the prime meridian.

Strait: A strait is a narrow, navigable channel of water that connects two larger navigable bodies of water.

Equator: The equator (sometimes referred to colloquially as “the Line”) is the intersection of the Earth’s surface with the plane perpendicular to the Earth’s axis of rotation and containing the Earth’s center of mass. In more simple language, it is an imaginary line on the Earth’s surface approximately equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole that divides the Earth into a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere.

Prime Meridian: The Prime Meridian is the meridian (line of longitude) at which longitude is defined to be 0°.
The Prime Meridian and the opposite 180th meridian (at 180° longitude), which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.
Unlike the parallels of latitude, which are defined by the rotational axis of the Earth (the poles being 90° and the Equator 0°), the Prime Meridian is arbitrary. By international convention, the modern Prime Meridian is one passing through Greenwich, London, United Kingdom, known as the International Meridian or Greenwich Meridian. Historically, various meridians have been used, including four different ones through Greenwich.

I hope these definitons will help you better understand Geography, Travelling, and anything else you might have learned!

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User Comments
  1. Dan

    On October 4, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Very helpful! I never knew about some of those!

  2. Steve Brown

    On October 24, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Thanks, this helps out a lot with my upcoming geography test!
    Now i have something else to study!

    THANKS A LOT!!!!


  3. Jas128

    On October 30, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Wow nice, helped me alot in geography!

  4. Mythili Kannan

    On October 7, 2009 at 2:46 am

    According to my husband, me poor in GPS :(

  5. Lowgrant

    On October 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm


    Most of these I needed for an assignment, thanks!

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