Definition of Geography – Three Main Branches of Geography PDF

branches of geography

Definition of Geography

  • By definition, geography is the study of location under various spatial variation in both physical and human phenomena on Earth and distribution of living things.
  • Geography is the science that studies the land, features, inhabitants and phenomena of Earth.
  • The word geography adopted in the 2nd century BC by the Greek Scholar Eratosthenes. It has been derived from the Greek words ‘Geo’ means ‘earth’ and ‘graphein’ means to ‘describe’ or ‘write’.

Branches of Geography

Geography is divided into three main branches i.e. human geography, physical geography and regional geography.

Branches of Geography based on systematic approach

What is human geography

Human geography is a branch of the Geography that studies the world, its people, communities and cultures with an emphasis on relation of land across space and place. This field also deals with Locational analysis, Radical, Behavioural, Human and welfare approaches, languages, religion and secularisation. The fields of human geography are

  1. Cultural geography : Cultural, heritage, architecture and civillizations have grown together over several centuries under these contexts. It examines the location and extent of belief customs and other cultural trades, the geographic distributions of cultural practices are also studied in this subject. It also emphasis to the study of cultural regions and areas theories of human races, tribal groups dwelling paces and cultural expressions. Topics like religious and ethnic diversity, religious minorities and cultural convergence are also studied under this geography.
  2. Development geography
  3. Economic geography : It deals with primary secondary tertiary and qua-ternary sectors of economy availability and distribution of natural resources  productivity and their role in industrial development. It focuses on the role of Geographic elements in the growth of economy of the region and the whole world. It is also dealing with the energy crisis food and nutrition problems and patterns of the world trade.
  4. Health geography
  5. Historical geography
  6. Political geography : People are spread all over the globe. Politics become a part of human life. It becomes more serious when sea and land frontiers are invaded by others. Political geography deals with Geopolitics, Global strategic views and trends, concepts of a state, nation and nation-states, boundaries and frontiers, political instability and pattern of voting. It also emphasizes the study of the ways people in different places make decisions are gained and used power within a political federalism and politics of world resources are also studied under political geography.
  7. Population geography : It is the study of origin growth and distribution of population and the reasons for changes occurring in these patterns. It also focuses on the birth and death rates, spatial population of family and communities, migration of population, demographic transition and population resource regions
  8. Settlement geography : The history of life mostly deals with human civilization, settlements and locations of employment marketing products and entertainment. It deals with site, situation, types, size, spacing and internal morphology of rural and urban settlement city region.
  9. Urban geography : It deals with location and extent of cities, towns and municipalities and their patterns. The geographic importance of a location in the development of cities is the prime focus of this subject, origin and growth of cities, their communities including slums urban morphology are studied in urban morphology. Analysing the problems and remedies of urbanization and the sustainable development of cities are also coming under this subject.
  10. Hazards Geography : All of you aware that the earth is a dynamic evolving system. Natural hazards are happening every few minutes. Disasters are dangerous to all life. It is under these issues the subject. It is modern branch of geography mainly dealing with natural and man-made hazards, the location of disasters, impacts and disaster management initiatives are all coming under hazards geography. This subject also includes landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and droughts and epidemics.
  11. Agriculture Geography : Many human civilization started with agriculture hunting fisheries and animal rearing. It deals with the concepts of delimitation of agricultural regions measurement of agricultural productivity and efficiency. The topics like crop combinations and diversification and agricultural systems of the world are all studied under this subject. Land capability analysis, Agro forestry, social forestry, dry farming, acquacutural , Sericultural, Apiculture & livestock resources and Poultry are the notable aspects come under agriculture geography.
  12. Transportation Geography : Migration and movement have become the most inevitable aspects of all life. It is also equally important for materials and commodities transportation.It deals with the history of transport modes and needs of transport systems, transport networks and models of transportation, cost of transport and accessibility and connectivity of transport. It also includes the study of inter regions and intra regional transport, the functioning of transport terminals commodity chains and freight transportation, traffic counts, transport security come under this geography.
  13. Social Geography : It examines the relationship of group of people with one another.
  14. Industrial Geography : Increase in human population invited industrial revolution in this world. Exploration of minerals oil coal and biological resources have contributed to industrial development. It deals with the growth development and geographic distribution of industries classification of industries geographic condition of natural resources and availability of raw of material used in industries.

What is physical geography

Physical geography deals with  the physical environment and the various processes that bring about changes in the physical environment on the Earth surface. The fields of physical geography are

  • Geomorphology It is the scientific study of landforms and processes that shape the surface features of the earth and the role of geomorphic cycle. The dynamic aspects of various natural processes acting on earth are also studied under geomorphology. Geomorphologists seek to understand the history of landforms and predict the future changes based on varieties of field investigations and analyze their quantitative characteristics. Here, emphasis is placed on exogenus and endogenus processes shaping the surface features of the earth and the role of geomorphic cycle studied in the subject.
  • Hydrology It is the study of the movement, distribution and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrological cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
  • Climatology It is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time. Topics like insulation, head budget of the earth, atmospheric pressure, its distribution and circulation of winds, monsoon and jet stream, stability and instability of the atmosphere, air-masses, air fronts, cyclones and a patterns of rainfall distribution. It also deals with various meteorological equipment measurements which are used for climatological assessments of the atmospheric systems.
  • Pedology It is the study of soils in their natural environment.
  • Glaciology It is the study of glaciers and ice sheets.
  • Bio-geography It is the study of relationships of organisms with their environment. It deals with the study of physical factors influencing the world distribution of plants and animals, their forms and functions ecosystems like forests grassland, plains and mountains. Biodiversity and its depletion through natural and man-made causes conservation and management of ecosystems, migration of animals over different regions and different climatic zones are all studied under biography.
  • Plaeogeography : It is the study of the distribution of ancient life through various geograhical records which are available from the fossil evidence. It gives us the details about the movement of continents and the plate tectonics
  • Environmental Geography : Environment is the total set of circumstances surrounding any life geography. It is the location and pattern of distribution of living things on earth, hence environmental geography deals with the spatial distribution of various ecosystems habited plants animals and human life man-made changes and developments are many over the globe. They have profound effects on the environment. It includes the study of location and the impacts of industries urbanization and deforestation on human settlements pollution and environmental issues of municipal or industrial and agricultural waste soil and coastal erosion are also studied under this gegraphy.
  • Oceanography : It is the study of distribution characteristics and global impacts of oceans and seas. It covers a very wide range of topics including marine organisms and their life dynamic of oceanic systems origin and distribution of ocean currents, waves and tides distribution of light temperature salinity and density in oceanic water, floor sediments and relief features and natural resources of oceans. Human impacts on thermal and marine pollution dredging and marine operation like drilling and destroyed coral reefs are all studied under this geography.
  • Cartography : Ancient human civilisations have adopted crude drawings and illustrations to represent their spatial understanding of the treasures locations of importance and routes of transportation drawing and using of maps. It is the art and science of making maps. It deals with the global coordinate systems, projections choropleth, isopleth and koro chromatic maps pie diagrams accessibility and flow maps, location maps symbols attributes and feature codes, digitisation which are represented on the maps.
  • Eratosthenes  was the first person to calculate the circumstances of the Earth and also calculate the tilt of the Earth’s axis.
  • Hecataeus is called father of geography.
  • Anaximander created the first map of world.
  • Ainville made the first map of India.
  • Ptolemy first presented India on the world map.
  • Anthropogeographie was written by Friedrich Ratzel.

Branch of Geography based on Regional Approach

What is Regional Geography

Regional geography includes aspects such as delineation of regions, their geographical characteristics and processes of change.

Geography thought is an essential concept of geography. There are some other branches of Geography like geography of mountains, geography of water resources, geography of deserts. The knowledge of geography is needed for environmental planning and for all development studies. It is one subject which deals with all spheres of planet Earth in space. Geography is a major subject developed as a consequence of human-beings immediate need for functioning in physical world around them. There was a need to familiarize with the surrounding environment of people with reference to seas, lakes, rivers, forests soil and mineral resources climatic conditions and many more aspects.

Any basic understanding of geography always start with the study of physical geography. Physical geography focuses on the earth in the solar system, the Earth’s physical systems like atmosphere, biosphere and geo sphers landforms and processes working of various ecosystems , their relationship with one another. It is an integrated study of Earth’s visible natural environment and understanding of the characteristics of land water and climate.

Geography PDF


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Updated: May 18, 2020 — 11:33 am

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