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Geography 1400F/G Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Ethnography, Neoliberalism, Spatial Analysis

Course Code
GEOG 1400F/G
Godwin Arku
Study Guide

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Intro & Chapter 1
What Is Geography?
-Geo means “the world”
-Graphei means “to write”
-“description of the world”
-Three themes central to any study of the humans and world
1. Relations between humans and the land
2. Regionalization
3. Spatial Analysis
-Key geographic concept: everywhere is different
-Basic concerns:
-Spatial patterns – description (what is where)
-Spatial processes – explanation (why there)
-Spatial meaning – interpretation (so what)
Human Geography
-Human geography studies the distribution of humans and their activities and the processes that
generate these distributions
-Gritzner: “what is there? why there? and why care?”
-Goal: writing about the human world to increase our understanding
-Practical and relevant study that teaches us about the world we live in and how we live in it
-Geographic facts represent and affect human life
-One strength of human geography is that it considers more than just one variable
-i.e. when studying population distribution we need to know about climate and the human perception
of those climates
-Central subject matter is human behaviour as it affects earths surface
-Human geography is not restricted to one defined subject
Humans and Land
-The human world is the ever-changing product of human beings as individuals and group members
(communities, governments)
-Human geographers focus on the evolution of the human world with reference to people, cultures, and
physical environments - over a certain period of time
-Human world = a landscape
-Exists as a result of human modification to physical geography
-Significant symbolic meaning (church)
-Geographers study landscape for both what it is and what is means to live in it
-Ecological analysis; a view which relates human and physical variables and identifies links
Regional Studies
-Divide large areas into smaller areas that exhibit a degree of unity
-Referred to as regions - regions share similarities
-The world is divided by regions because it is so large
-Human geography considers regions at a wide range of scales—from local to global.
-Our ability to regionalize tells us that human landscapes make sense
-Groups of people occupying a specific space over a period of time create regions
-Most modern study of regions;
-Social organization
-The effects or creating regions based on social and economic life
-Interactions between regions
-Regional boundaries as barriers
Spatial Analysis
-Understanding the human world requires that we explain location (why things are there)
-Spatial analysis approach to tackle this question through:
-Theory construction
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-Hypothesis testing
-Using quantitative methods
-Primary goal: explain locational regularities
-Secondary goal: identifying alternative locational patterns that might be more efficient
-All things are related
3 Main Concepts
-Dynamic — create problems and solutions
-Information processors — humans change from time to time
-Decision makers — make choices which force us to interact with the world
-Preference makers
-Creative/destructive force
-Part of the environment
Places - A place has meaning
-Physical site or location - an object located in space
-Includes the values that we associate with that location
-Have identities (e.g. home, neighbourhood, country)
-How we live where we live
-Sense of place created through
-Personal experience
-Secondary sources
-Characteristics of the site
Why Places Matter
1. Setting of our daily lives
2. Carry meaning and influence our lives
3. Allow us to express ourselves
4. Form group and personal identities
5. Express political, economic or religious views
Landscape: Our view of the surrounding environment
-Scape: view of
-Land: ‘environment’
-Human landscape: arrangement of human-made artifacts and activities
-Everyone sees the world differently
-Many ways of ‘scaping’ a ‘land’
Lecture 2a & Chapter 2
Geographers Research
- Two basic endeavours:
1. Establish facts (geographic literacy)
2. Understand and explain the facts (geographic knowledge)
Core Geographic Concepts
-Absolute (objective): heart of mapmaking and spatial analysis
-Relative (perceptual): socially-produced and subject to change
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-Geography is a spatial discipline
-A particular position within space, usually on earths surface
-Absolute: latitude: 43º 00’ 31”, longitude: 81º 16’ 30”
-Relative: “behind the stairs in UCC” - subject to changes
-Location can be described in reference to its place name (Canada, Toronto, Western)
-Refers to the values we associate a location
-‘Place’ is not about where we live, but rather how we live
-Sense of place is an attachment to locations with personal significance (home)
-Some places evoke a feeling without even visiting (Disney world)
-Sacred space: a space viewed highly for a group of people usually religious reasons
-Mundane space: no special quality
-Placelessness is a term used to describe land that lack local character
-Topophilia: Love for a certain space
-Topophobia: Fear or a particular space
-Distance: the spatial dimension of separation
-Tobler’s First Law of Geography: “Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more
related than distant things”
-Distance Decay
-Level of interaction between places is influenced by distance in terms of cost and time
-Decline in an activity with increasing distance from point of origin
-Friction of Distance
-Measure of the restraining effects (cost, time) of distance decay on human movement
-Critical Distance - ‘when it is too far
-Challenge the assumptions of distance decay
-Innovation in transportation and communications
-We travel faster, have the internet, cellphones
-Improvement in friction of distance
-Universal accessibility- ‘Amazon ships everywhere’
-Ability to record interactions no longer limited to face-to-face
-Accessibility: how easily a location can be reached
-Interaction: any relationship of linkage between locations
-Agglomeration: spatial grouping of humans to minimize the distances between them
-Deglomeration: spatial grouping of humans to maximize distance
-Distance is usually measured as a unit but can also be measured in terms of time and cost
-Resolution levels used in any geographic study
-Scale can be large or small, over a period of time or one moment, many people or one person
-The scale used depends on the question being asked
-Use spatial scales in three different ways
-Map scales
-Determining if a location is clustered or dispersed
-Refers more generally to the area being studied
-Temporal scales are important for questions concerning the evolution of a landscape
-The spread of any phenomenon over space and its growth through time (migration of people)
-Hagerstand three main concepts:
-The neighbourhood effect = a phenomenon first spread to individuals closest to its place or origin
-Hierarchal effect = a phenomenon spreads to large centres then to smaller ones
-The S-shaped curve = phenomenons spread slowly then rapidly increase then finish off slowly
-Humans relate to their perception of an environment not the physical or social environment
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