AP HUGE Chapter One Vocabulary

Agricultural density

The ratio of the number of farmers to the total amount of land suitable for agriculture

Arithmetic density

The total number of people divided by the total land area

Base line

An east-west line designated under the Land Ordinance of 1985 to facilitate the surveying and numbering of townships in the United States


The science of making maps


The spread of something over a green area


Relationships among people and objects across the barrier of space

Contagious diffusion

The rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend throughout a population

Cultural ecology

Geographic approach that emphasizes human-environment relationships

Cultural landscape

Fashioning of a natural landscape by a cultural group


The body of customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits that together constitute a group's distinct tradtion


The frequency with which something exists within a given unit of area


The process of spread of a feature or trend from one place to another over time

Distance decay

The diminishing in importance and eventual disappearance of a phenomenon with increasing distance from its origin


The arrangement of something across Earth's surface

Environmental determinism

A 19th and early 20th century approach to the study of geography which argued that the general laws sought by human geographers could be found in the physical sciences. Geography was therefore the study of how the physical environment caused human activities

Expansion diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process

Formal region (or uniform or homogeneous region)

An area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics

Functional region (or nodal region)

An area organized around a node or focal point

Geographic information system (GIS)

A computer system that stores, organizes, analyzes, and displays geographic data

Global positioning system (GPS)

A system that determines the precise location of something on Earth through a series of satellites, tracking stations, and recievers


Actions or processes that involve the entire world and result in making something worldwide in scope

Greenwich mean time (GMT)

The time in that zone encompassing the prime meridian (0 degree longitude)


The region from which innovative ideas originate

Hierarchical diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend from one key person or node of authority or power to other persons or places

International date line

An arc that for the most part follows 180 degree longitude, although it deviates in several places to avoid dividing land areas. When you cross the International Date Line heading east (toward America), the clock moves back 24 hours. When you go west (toward Asia), the calendar moves ahead 1 day

Land Ordinance of 1785

A law that divided much of the United States into townships to facilitate the sale of land to settlers


The numbering system used to indicate the location of parallels drawn on a globe and measuring the distance north and south of the equator


The position of anything on Earth's surface


The numbering system used to indicate the location of meridians drawn on a globe and measuring distance east and west of the prime meridian


A 2-D representation of Earth's surface or a portion of it

Mental map

A representation of a portion of Earth's surface based on what an individual knows about a place, containing personal impressions of what is in a place and where places are located


An arc drawn on a map between the north and south poles


A circle drawn around the globe parallel to the equator and at right angles to the meridians


The geometric or regular arrangement of something in a study area

Physiological density

The number of people per unit of area of arable land, which is land suitable for agriculture


A specific point on Earth distinguished by a particular character


Land created by the Dutch by draining water from an area


The theory that the physcial environment may set limits on human actions, but people have the ability to adjust to the physical environment and choose a course of actions from many alternatives

Prime meridian

The meridian, designated as 0 degree longitude, that passes through the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England

Principal meridian

A north-south line designated in the Land of Ordinance of 1785 to facilitate the surveying and numbering of townships in the United States


The system used to transfer locations from Earth's surface to a flat map


An area distinguished by a unique combination of trends or features

Regional (or cultural landscape) studies

An approach to geography that emphasizes the relationships among social and physical phenomena in a particular study area

Relocation diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend through bodily movement of people from one place to another

Remote sensing

The aquisition of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or from other long-distance methods


A substance in the environment that is useful to people, is economically and technologically feasible to access, and is socially acceptable to use


Generally, the relationship between the portion of Earth being studied and Earth as a whole; specifically, the realationship between the size of an object on a map and the size of the actual feature on Earth's surface


A square normally 1 mile on a side. The Land Ordinance of 1785 divided townships in the United States into 36 sections


The physical character of a place


The location of a place relative to another place


The physical gap or interval between 2 objects

Space-time compression

The reduction in the time it takes to diffuse something to a distant place as a result of improved communications and transportation systems

Stimulus diffusion

The spread of an underlying principle, even though a specific characteristic is rejected


The name given to a portion of Earth's surface


A square normally 6 miles on a side. The Land Ordinance of 1785 divided much of the United States into a series of townships

Transnational corporation

A company that conducts research, operates factories, and sells products in many countries, not just where its headquarters or shareholders are located

Uneven development

The increasing gap in economic conditions between core and peripheral regions as a result of the globalization of the economy

Vernacular region (or perceptual region)

An area that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity