AskDefine | Define geographic

Dictionary Definition

geographic adj
1 of or relating to the science of geography [syn: geographical]
2 determined by geography; "the north and south geographic poles" [syn: geographical] [ant: magnetic]

User Contributed Dictionary



From geographicus, see géographique.


  1. Pertaining to geography.
  2. Determined by geography, as opposed to magnetic (i.e. North.)


Extensive Definition

Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία - geografia) is the study of the earth and its 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 world 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.


Traditionally, geographers have been viewed the same way as cartographers and people who study place names and numbers. Although many geographers are trained in toponymy and cartology, this is not their main preoccupation. Geographers study the spatial and temporal distribution of phenomena, processes and feature as well as the interaction of humans and their environment. As space and place affect a variety of topics such as economics, health, climate, plants and animals, geography is highly interdisciplinary.
Geography as a discipline can be split broadly into two main sub fields: human geography and physical geography. The former focuses largely 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. The latter examines the natural environment and how the climate, vegetation & life, soil, water, and landforms are produced and interact. As a result of the two subfields using different approaches a third field has emerged, which is environmental geography. Environmental geography combines physical and human geography and looks at the interactions between the environment and humans.
The first rigorous system of latitude and longitude lines is credited to Hipparchus. He employed a sexagesimal system that was derived from Babylonian mathematics. The parallels and meridians were sub-divided into 360°, with each degree further subdivided 60′ (minutes). To measure the longitude at different location on Earth, he suggested using eclipses to determine the relative difference in time. The extensive mapping by the Romans as they explored new lands would later provide a high level of information for Ptolemy to construct detailed atlases. He extended the work of Hipparchus, using a grid system on his maps and adopting a length of 56.5 miles for a degree.
During the Middle Ages, the fall of the Roman empire led to a shift in the evolution of geography from Europe to the Islamic world. Scholars such as Idrisi (produced detailed maps), Ibn Batutta, and Ibn Khaldun provided detailed accounts of their Hajj. Further, Islamic scholars translated and interpreted the earlier works of the Romans and Greeks and established the House of Wisdom in Baghdad for this purpose. From the 3rd century onwards, Chinese methods of geographical study and writing of geographical literature became much more complex than what was found in Europe at the time (until the 13th century). the Royal Geographical Society in 1830, Russian Geographical Society in 1845, American Geographical Society in 1851, and the National Geographic Society in 1888. The influence of Immanuel Kant, Alexander von Humbolt, Carl Ritter and Paul Vidal de la Blache can be seen as a major turning point in geography from a philosophy to an academic subject.
Over the past two centuries the advancements in technology such as computers, have led to the development of geomatics and new practices such as participant observation and geostatistics being incorporated into geography's portfolio of tools. In the West during the 20th century, the discipline of geography went through four major phases: environmental determinism, regional geography, the quantitative revolution, and critical geography. The strong interdisciplinary links between geography and the sciences of geology and botany, as well as economics, sociology and demographics have also grown greatly especially as a result of Earth System Science that seeks to understand the world in a holistic view.

Some influential geographers


See also

Main lists: List of basic geography topics and List of geography topics

External links

sisterlinks Geography
geographic in Extremaduran: Heugrafia
geographic in Afrikaans: Geografie
geographic in Tosk Albanian: Geografie
geographic in Abkhazian: Географи
geographic in Arabic: جغرافيا
geographic in Aragonese: Cheografía
geographic in Franco-Provençal: G·eografia
geographic in Assamese: ভূগোল
geographic in Asturian: Xeografía
geographic in Guarani: Tetãnguéra
geographic in Avaric: География
geographic in Aymara: Uraqita
geographic in Azerbaijani: Coğrafiya
geographic in Bambara: Dùgùkòlòkùnnàkalan
geographic in Bengali: ভূগোল
geographic in Banyumasan: Geografi
geographic in Bashkir: География
geographic in Belarusian: Геаграфія
geographic in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Геаграфія
geographic in Central Bicolano: Heograpiya
geographic in Bavarian: Geografie
geographic in Bosnian: Geografija
geographic in Breton: Douaroniezh
geographic in Bulgarian: География
geographic in Catalan: Geografia
geographic in Chuvash: Географи
geographic in Cebuano: Heyograpiya
geographic in Czech: Geografie
geographic in Corsican: Geografia
geographic in Welsh: Daearyddiaeth
geographic in Danish: Geografi
geographic in German: Geographie
geographic in Dhivehi: ޖުޣުރާފީ
geographic in Estonian: Geograafia
geographic in Modern Greek (1453-): Γεωγραφία
geographic in Spanish: Geografía
geographic in Esperanto: Geografio
geographic in Basque: Geografia
geographic in Persian: جغرافیا
geographic in Faroese: Landafrøði
geographic in French: Géographie
geographic in Western Frisian: Geografy
geographic in Friulian: Gjeografie
geographic in Irish: Tíreolaíocht
geographic in Gan Chinese: 地理
geographic in Galician: Xeografía
geographic in Gujarati: ભૂગોળ
geographic in Korean: 지리학
geographic in Hindi: भूगोल
geographic in Upper Sorbian: Geografija
geographic in Croatian: Zemljopis
geographic in Ido: Geografio
geographic in Iloko: Heografia
geographic in Indonesian: Geografi
geographic in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Geographia
geographic in Interlingue: Geografie
geographic in Inuktitut: ᓄᓇᐅᔪᖅ/nunaujuq
geographic in Ossetian: Географи
geographic in Icelandic: Landafræði
geographic in Italian: Geografia
geographic in Hebrew: גאוגרפיה
geographic in Javanese: Geografi
geographic in Pampanga: Geografia
geographic in Georgian: გეოგრაფია
geographic in Kashubian: Geògrafijô
geographic in Cornish: Dorydhyeth
geographic in Kirghiz: География
geographic in Swahili (macrolanguage): Jiografia
geographic in Komi: География
geographic in Haitian: Jewografi
geographic in Kurdish: Erdnîgarî
geographic in Ladino: Jeografiya
geographic in Lao: ພູມສາດ
geographic in Latin: Geographia
geographic in Latvian: Ģeogrāfija
geographic in Luxembourgish: Geographie
geographic in Lithuanian: Geografija
geographic in Ligurian: Geografia
geographic in Limburgan: Geografie
geographic in Lingala: Mambí ma mabelé
geographic in Lombard: Geugrafìa
geographic in Hungarian: Földrajztudomány
geographic in Macedonian: Географија
geographic in Malagasy: Jeografia
geographic in Malayalam: ഭൂമിശാസ്ത്രം
geographic in Maltese: Ġeografija
geographic in Marathi: भूगोल
geographic in Mazanderani: Jəögrafi / جئوگرافی
geographic in Malay (macrolanguage): Geografi
geographic in Mongolian: Газар зүй
geographic in Burmese: ပထဝီဝင္‌
geographic in Dutch: Aardrijkskunde
geographic in Nepali: भूगोल
geographic in Japanese: 地理学
geographic in Norwegian: Geografi
geographic in Norwegian Nynorsk: Geografi
geographic in Narom: Géographie
geographic in Novial: Geografia
geographic in Occitan (post 1500): Geografia
geographic in Ndonga: Geografi
geographic in Uzbek: Geografiya
geographic in Pushto: ځمکپوهنه
geographic in Central Khmer: ភូមិវិទ្យា
geographic in Low German: Geographie
geographic in Polish: Geografia
geographic in Portuguese: Geografia
geographic in Romanian: Geografie
geographic in Vlax Romani: Phuvipen
geographic in Romansh: Geografia
geographic in Quechua: Allpa saywachi
geographic in Russian: География
geographic in Samoan: Geography
geographic in Sardinian: Geografia
geographic in Scots: Geography
geographic in Albanian: Gjeografia
geographic in Sicilian: Giografìa
geographic in Sinhala: භූගෝල විද්‍යාව
geographic in Simple English: Geography
geographic in Slovak: Geografia
geographic in Slovenian: Geografija
geographic in Somali: Juquraafi
geographic in Serbian: Географија
geographic in Serbo-Croatian: Zemljopis
geographic in Sundanese: Géografi
geographic in Finnish: Maantiede
geographic in Swedish: Geografi
geographic in Tagalog: Heograpiya
geographic in Tamil: புவியியல்
geographic in Telugu: భూగోళ శాస్త్రము
geographic in Thai: ภูมิศาสตร์
geographic in Vietnamese: Địa lý học
geographic in Tajik: Ҷуғрофия
geographic in Tok Pisin: Jiograpi
geographic in Turkish: Coğrafya
geographic in Turkmen: Geografiýa
geographic in Ukrainian: Географія
geographic in Urdu: جغرافيہ
geographic in Venetian: Giografia
geographic in Volapük: Taledav
geographic in Võro: Maatiidüs
geographic in Walloon: Djeyografeye
geographic in Waray (Philippines): Heyograpiya
geographic in Wolof: Melosuuf
geographic in Yiddish: געאגראפיע
geographic in Contenese: 地理
geographic in Zeeuws: Heografie
geographic in Samogitian: Geuograpėjė
geographic in Chinese: 地理学

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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