Geography - Term Overview

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Geography is the social science in charge of the description and graphic representation of planet Earth. He is interested in their landscapes, territories, places, regions, populations and the ways in which all these elements interrelate. Its name comes from the Greek gea, "earth", and graphos, "writing."

Geography is one of the oldest social sciences. He was born in Ancient Greece thanks to the work of Eratosthenes (276-194 BC) and the historian Herodotus (484-420 BC), who were particularly interested in the study of the different regions of the earth's surface known for its culture, as well as the populations that inhabited it.

Since then until today, much has changed in the way of understanding our planet, but there are still four main historical traditions of geographical research from ancient times:

- Spatial analysis, which covers natural and human phenomena;
- Area studies, focused on places and regions;
- The relationships between humans and land, which doesn't require further explanation;
- Earth sciences, focused solely on the dynamics of the planet.
- Geography is often considered the "world discipline" and the "bridge" between the natural sciences and the human sciences.

Study of geography

Broadly speaking, geography studies planet Earth. This encompasses a huge set of processes, dynamics and elements both natural and human. It has a rich multiplicity of perspectives, depending on the particular focus of the study.

Geography is a dynamic discipline that draws on other social sciences in order to better understand the way in which the world today was built: both geologically and humanly. In that sense, geography tries to make a whole of our planet.

Importance of geography

Geography is one of the most widely applied social sciences in the different development fields of the world. It's used both in the accumulation of knowledge to understand what dynamics are underway in today's world, and in the identification and resolution of specific problems between human beings and the planet they inhabit.

In addition, it's an important point of contact between the social sciences and the so-called exact sciences. In other words, his field of knowledge incorporates tools and knowledge that no other social science even contemplates.

Branches of geography

Geography has an enormous diversity of branches, but it's broadly divided into two main perspectives:

- General geography: As its name indicates, it aspires to understand the planet as an organic whole, although from various specific perspectives. For this it's subdivided into:

  • Human geography: Dedicated to the study of human beings and their communities, cultures, economies and interactions with the environment. In turn it covers the population geography, rural geography, urban geography, economic geography, political geography, social geography, historical geography, cultural geography, etc.
  • Physical geography: On the contrary, it's dedicated to the study of natural processes and factors that occur in the world, whether in the atmosphere, the hydrosphere or the geosphere. It covers climatology, palaeogeography, hydrology, hydrography, glaciology, etc.
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- Regional geography: Understand the planet from its subdivisions into countries, nations, states, regions, regions, etc., at different scales of detail and precision.

Auxiliary sciences of geography

As in other social sciences, geography incorporates methodological, theoretical or procedural tools from other areas of study, to enrich its perspectives. They often inaugurate novel lines of analysis.

Some of these auxiliary sciences are Political Sciences, Astronomy, Economics, History, Geology, Biology, Demography, Sociology or Geometry, to name just a few.

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