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GEG1302 Final: GEG1302 Complete Exam Notes

Course Code
GEG 1302
Brian Ray
Study Guide

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WEEK 1B: Why Geography Matters & Core Concepts
Why study human geography?
1. To understand the ways in which space influences the organization of society.
2. To understand the role of scales in constructing interconnections between people and places.
3. Because it provides a setting for critical events.
4. Critical events shape geography and geography shapes critical events.
5. Places are interdependent.
6. The relationship between global and local.
7. The first law of geography is “everything is related o everything else, but near things are more related
than different things”.
1. Absolute Space
- a mathematical or coordinate system
2. Relative Space
- socio-economic space: boarders, nations and countries
- experiential or cultural space: ethnic or cultural groups give meaning to space
- cognitive space: values, believes and perceptions that people have about a location
3. How space is produced:
- human activities
- society constantly produces space by assigning economic, cultural or social value
- called into meaning by human activity, given purpose
Importance of Space
-economic, social, cultural and political relations build the characteristics of place through time
-meaning of place is dynamic and changing
-place is a result of layer activities that constantly make and remake it
Influence of Place
-physical well-being and opportunities available in the area
-emotional and cultural symbols
-resistance and conflict
-both space and place evolve over time
-place is more important than space in human geography
-places can create conflict, or represent conflict (ie. Belfast in North Ireland)
-creating space meanings can create bias towards certain groups of people
Environmental Racism: Characteristics of the environment influence those who live there which effects
race. Schools are often not as good in poorer neighbourhoods.
Place as a Social Process
-the activities of people and institutions over the course of everyday life bring three characteristics of
place (location, locale and sense of place) together
-place is more than a static material entity
John Agnew’s Definition: “Place refers to discrete if elastic area in which settings for the constitution of
social relations are located with which people can identify.”
Making of Places
-place making is always incomplete and dynamic

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-place making is always a two-way process (interdependence between processes and places)
-social, economic, cultural and political factors constantly remaking places
-places are not just the outcome processes but can also effect processes
Scale: used to frame our understanding of the world
1. Cartographic Scale: refers to the representation of space into dimensions and map resolution
2. Methodological Scale: the scale at which is used to collect data, scale has to be meaningful for
answering a research question
3. Geographical Scale: the ways in which space can be organized (globe, continent, nation, state,
province, metropolitan area, region, city, neighbourhood, household, human)
Spatial Levels:
The World Economy: subdivided into core, semi-periphery and periphery
World Regions: major clusters of humankind with broadly similar cultural attributes
Nation States: subdivided into de jure regions or functional regions, legally recognized boarders,
including provinces and municipalities
Human Settlements: the world experience, community, home and body
pp. 3-13, 29-30, 36-48
Human Geography: the study of spatial organization of human activity and of people’s relationship with
their environment
Geodemographic Research: investigation using census data and commercial data (such as sales data
and property records) about the populations of small districts, creating profiles for marketing research
Geographic Information System (GIS): an organized collection of computer hardware software and
geographical data that is designed to capture, store, update, manipulate and display spatially referenced
Interdependence: places are tied into wider processes of change that are reflected in a wider
geographical pattern
Geographers and The Human Body
-represent an intimate location where differences (physical, social normalities, body image) are
ultimately defined
-cultures justify body differences through perceptions (ie. “mens worlds” and “women’s worlds”)
Places and the Dynamic Phenomenon
-created by people responding to opportunities and constraints presented by their environments
-people modify places while being influenced by their settings
Physical Geography: deals with the earth’s natural processes and their outcomes
Human Geography: the spatial organization of human activity and with people’s relationship to their
Fundamental Concepts of Geography
Region: larger sized territory that encompasses many places, all or most of which share similar attributes
that are distinct from elsewhere

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Regional Geography: the study of the ways in which unique coronations of environmental and human
factors produce territories within distinct landscapes and cultural attributes
Location: can be nominal (expressed sold in terms of names given to places) or can be an absolute
(quantitative) concept
Latitude: measured north to south
Longitude: measured east to west
Prime Meridian: centre of longitude and latitude, zero degrees, located in Greenwich, England
Global Positioning System (GPS): satellites orbiting earth on precise paths which broadcast highly
accurate time and location
Site: the physical attributes of a location such as its terrain, soil, vegetation and water sources
Situation: the location of a place relative to other places and human activities
Cognitive Images (Mental Maps): psychological representations of locations that are created from
people’s individual ideas and impressions of these locations
Distance: useful as an absolute physical measure, whose units we may count in kilometres ir as a
relative measure expressed in time, effort or cost
Social Distance: the distance between social groups
Cognitive Distance: the distance that people perceive to exist in a given situation
Friction of Distance: the deterrent or inhibiting effect distance on human activity
Distance-Decay Function: the rate at which a particular activity or process diminishes with increasing
friction of distance
Utility: the usefulness of specific place or location to a particular person or group
Topological Space: the connections between particular points in space
Place Making: any activity, deliberate or unintentional that enables space to acquire meaning
Accessibility: the opportunity for contact or interaction from a given point or location in relation to other
Spatial Interaction: shorthand for all kinds of movement and flows involving human activity,
fundamentals of spatial interaction can be reduced to four concepts:
1. Complimentary: interdependence between to places, there must be a demand in one place and a
supply that matches, three factors influence this:
1. variation in environment and resources
2. international division of labour
3. economies of sale: cost advantages from high volume production, since the average cost of
production, since the average cost of production falls with increasing output
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