•What is Geography and
how is its significance on
• the study of the physical features of the earth and
its atmosphere, and of human activity as it affects
and is affected by these, including the distribution
of populations and resources, land use, and
11 ASPECTS OF
• People across the world are interconnected in numerous ways.The displays of
abundant goods for sale in local stores often reveal a network of global
connections.Tropical fruits and the movement of products.
• The World Wide Web implies globalization: it enables companies and individuals
to sell and purchase goods services from nearly any place on Earth.Those global
Domestic political decisions and foreign policy decisions are made within a
• Businesses large and small respond to outlets in other countries. U.S. goods and
services are sold in many countries, and brands representing other countries are
available in the United States. Geography provides the information necessary for
making successful consumer decisions in a spatially connected world.
• A wealth of geographically oriented information is emerging
from aerial photography satellite remote sensing, image
processing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic
Information Systems. The expansion and evolution of geospatial
technologies is permitting all layers of society, influencing
everyone from the internet user to the advance scientist.
• Geospatial technologies enable people to understand the
relationships among the many layers of data within a place.
Decision-makers apply geospatial data to understand and
address contemporary issues regarding the environment,
business, defense, economics, planning a vacation and population
• Whether planning a vacation locating a new business, learning
about another culture, or expanding trade, the use of geospatial
technologies provide an innovative and powerful means for
understanding and living in our community.
• Now more than ever, geographic tools, techniques, and technologies
contribute to making choices about the best locations for factories, retail
outlets, social service providers, government offices and various other
economic activities. Many geographers work in fields that support locationbased decision-making, such as real estate appraisal, market research,
business operations, statistical analysis and GIS development.
• Choosing the best site for an enterprise can reduce operating costs, improve
access to products and services, enhance efficiency, and provide competitive
advantages in the marketplace.
• Careful attention to the placement of facilities such as health clinics
community centers daycares, and schools fosters equal access to and efficient
delivery of public services.
• People Identify with each other through language,
religion, ethnicity and their traditions and values.
People with similar traditions share cultures that
shape the characteristics of places including world
regions, countries and neighborhoods.
• Cultural diversity has shaped the United States. Its diversity is the
result of immigration, trade and tourism. The mosaic of many different
cultures is a source of American strength. Sharing cultural
perspectives with others makes life more interesting in our schools,
workplaces and communities. Americans and our political, economic,
educational diplomatic and military leaders recognize the importance
of cultural diversity at local, national, and global scales.
• Understanding the benefits of cultural diversity
is a personal and national goal. Geography offers
pathways to so much understanding and
improves our interactions with the rest of the
• Geographers engage in a broad range of careers within the
social and environmental sciences, technology fields, and the
humanities. Professional with educational backgrounds in
geography work in hundreds of occupations in business,
government, non profit organizations and educational
• Geographers acquire a variety of unique skills such as
interpreting and representing spatial information and using
geospatial technologies. A well rounded geography education
starting with a strong foundation at K-12 level, equips students
with the expertise to fill and retain the geospatial jobs that
currently exist and those that emerge as technology advances.
• Geography students also develop general skills that diverse
employers seek, including oral and written communication,
project management, field research, and problem solving.
Because geography integrates information from multiple
sources at various scales, it helps meet the rapidly evolving
demands of today’s industries.
• Infrastructure is the set of physical and organizational structures that
enables society to operate. It includes the pipes that bring water to our
homes, the bridges that span rivers, the highways that enable the
movement of goods, and the communication networks that bind people
together. Infrastructure allows economies to function, and services and
facilities to run smoothly.
• Natural hazards such as tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes expose
the vulnerability of infrastructure and amplify the critical role it plays in
our lives. The planning, management, and maintenance of infrastructure
provides thousands of jobs and our economic prosperity are also
intimately tied to its development and modernization.
• Geography with a focus on the spatial interaction between people and
places helps us to identify needed improvements and expansions of the
national infrastructure and enables planning for the future.
• Every day people weigh new environmental concerns against the path of
material progress. Resource management involves an array of critical
interests for our nation, such as the development of mineral, fuel and
energy resources; and balancing various competing land uses.
• Resource management is a growing field that addresses present needs while planning for
the future and provides new jobs as demand for resources increases both locally and
globally. Twenty-first century citizens need to be responsible and knowledgeable critical
thinkers who understand the interdependent systems and processes involved with the
daily human interchanges to avoid abuse and overuse of finite ecosystems. Their decisions
will affect our nation’s ability to sustain and wisely use resources.
• Geographers have developed a unique holistic approach to problem
solving that considers multiple perspectives and understandings of
resource use and sustainability. They are interested in sustaining resources,
developing industries that prudently use resources, and planning for future
• Earth’s weather patterns change form from day to day, but climate
patterns may persist for millennia. The theories explaining climate
variability have their roots in geography, the first discipline to study
climate scientifically. Geographers and other scientists investigate how
green house gases delay energy from leaving the atmosphere, warming the
oceans and land.
• Geographers also research the ways that variability in natural systems and
human activity influence climate. For example, a large volcanic eruption
may lower Earth’s temperature, but increased atmospheric concentrations
of carbon dioxide and methane may increase global temperatures.
Geographers use geospatial data to map and compare and present
climates, analyze changes, and investigate the probable causes for those
• Geographic research informs work in agriculture, energy, water resources,
emergency management, national security and economic planning that
addresses current and future climate trends and their potential impacts.
• The energy that powers our world is unevenly distributed. Geographic
knowledge helps us to understand patterns of energy production and
consumption. As a result Western Europe and Japan rely heavily on oil
from the Middle East, China is investing in energy exploration in Africa.,
and the United States continues to import a significant amount of the oil
it consumes. These important resources linkages are sometimes strained
when political and economic alliances shift.
• The search for environmentally safe, renewable sources of energy is a vital
concern. Wind and solar power are on the rise, and more cropland is
being used to grow corn for ethanol production. The expanding nuclear
power is under discussion and scientist are exploring techniques for
cleaner use of the worlds coal reserve.
• New methods for extracting oil and natural gas are also being introduced.
All of these developments, combined with the conservation and increased
energy efficiency, can lead toward a more safe and energy clean world.
• Floods, droughts, hurricanes, high winds and tornadoes are related to
weather extremes: tectonic forces cause earthquakes, tsunamis, and
volcanic eruptions; winds spread wild fires; and unstable slopes cause
landslides and avalanches. As populations increase more people experience
the impacts of natural disasters.
• Geographers study and explain complex human-environment interactions.
The study of natural hazards helps mitigate the effects of natural disasters
on populations at risk. Analyzing geographic information enhances planning
• Geographers are also interested in reducing the risks of technological
hazards. Modern technologies, industry, and urban areas create waste
materials and air, water, and land pollution.
• In recent years, Americans have developed a heightened awareness of the
geographical nature of international conflicts and how they affect U.S.
national security. A strong national security requires understanding where
and why conflicts occur, and how they might spread to other countries
• Geography provides a framework for examining the geospatial, political,
economic, cultural, environmental, and behavioral factors that can ignite
global conflict. Those same factors may also create opportunities for
international cooperation and can lead to resolution of critical global
• Geographic patterns and relationships, often reveal international tensions,
criminal activity and changes in governments resulting from political
instability. Geographic knowledge enables citizens to understand conflicts
and potential threats to our national security.