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Chapter 1

GEO 206 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Geographic Information System, Ecumene, Regional Geography

Course Code
GEO 206
Sue Laskin

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Human Geography: study of spatial organization of human activity and of people’s relationships
with their environments
Geodemographic Research: investigating using census data and commercial data (sales data
and property records) about populations of small districts to create profiles of those populations
for market research
Geographic Information System (GIS): organized collection of computer hardware, software,
and geographical data that is designed to capture, store, update, manipulate, display spatially
referenced information
Imperialism: the extension of the power of a nation through direct or indirect control of the
economic and political life of other territories
Ethnocentrism: the attitude that a person’s own race and culture are superior to those of others
Masculinism: the assumption that the world is, and should be, shaped mainly by men for men
Environmental Determinism: a doctrine holding that human activities are controlled by the
Ecumene: the total habitable area of a country. Because it depends on the prevailing
technology, the available ecumene varies over time. Important because the ecumene is so
much smaller than the country’s total area.
Globalization: the increasing interconnectedness of different parts of the world through common
processes of economic, environmental, political and cultural change.
Remote Sensing: The collection of information about parts of Earth’s surface by means of aerial
photography or satellite imagery designed to record data on visible, infrared, and microwave
sensor systems.
Model: often described as a theory or concept, a model is best thought of as “a simplification of
reality” designed to help generalize our understanding of a particular process or set of
Main Points
Geography matters - specific places provide settings for people’s daily lives (in these
settings, important events happen > significant changes spread and diffuse)
places, regions are highly interdependent(filling specialized roles in complex changing
networks of interaction and change
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important aspects of interdependence seen through the relationships between the global
and the local
1st law of geography: “Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more
related than are distant things.”
distant and connectivity important
Places are settings for social interaction that:
structure the daily routines of people's economic and social life
provide both opportunities and constraints in terms of people's long-term social well-
provide a context in which everyday, commonsense knowledge and experience are
provide a setting for processes of socialization
provide an arena for contesting social norms
Interdependent: places filling specialized roles in complex, far-reaching, and ever-changing
means that individual places are tied into wider processes of change that are reflected in
broader geographical patterns
we must recognize the interdependence that exists between different geographical
The Interdependence of Geographical Scales
study of human geography shows how global trends influence local outcomes and how
events in particular localities can come to influence patterns and trends elsewhere
World Regions are large-scale geographic divisions based on continental and
physiographic settings that contain major groupings of peoples with broadly similar
cultural attributes (Europe, Latin America, South Asia)
regions constantly evolving as natural resources and technologies create -
opportunities and constraint to responding cultures and societies
De Jure (legally recognized) - states are independent political units with territorial
boundaries recognized by other states BUT below this level of the state, there are De
Jure spaces (provinces, countries, municipalities)
National states most important on geographic scale - b/c they have power to enact
regulating laws which affect flows of people, goods, money, and information
Supranational organizations - collections of individual states with a common goal that
may be economic and/or political in nature and diminish ind’l state sovereignty for group
interests of the membership (EU, NAFTA, ASEAN)
the body - represents intimate location where differences are ultimately defined through
physical attributes and socially constructed attributes of the body (norms of personal
space, preferred bodily styles)
the self - represents operational scale for cognition, perception, imagination, free will,
and behaviour - understanding interrelationships b/w nature, culture, etc.
everything is fluid which each other
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