AP Human Geography - Unit 1 Vocabulary (Chapter 1) 2016

Absolute Location

Exact location of a place on the earth described by global (mathematical) coordinates.


The science of map making.


The long-term average weather condition at a particular location.

Choropleth Map

A map that uses differences in shading, coloring, or the placing of symbols within predefined areas to indicate the average values of a property or quantity in those areas.


If the objects in an area are close together, a centralized patter.


The spreading of something over a given area.


If objects in an area are relatively far apart, a scattered settlement pattern.

Distance Decay

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


On a map or image, the misrepresentation of shape, area, distance, or direction of or between geographic features when compared to their true measurements on the curved surface of the earth.


Coined the name geography: geo meaning "the earth" and graphene meaning "to write." He is noted for devising a system of latitude and longitude.


The imaginary great circle around the earth's surface, it divides the earth into the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.

Formal (Uniform) Region

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

Friction of Distance

A measure of how much absolute distance affects the interaction between two points.

Functional Region

An area organized around a node or focal point.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

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

Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

A system that determines the precise position of something on Earth through a series of satellites, tracking stations, and receivers.


A set of processes that are increasing interactions, interpendence without regard to country borders.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

The time in that zone encompassing the prime meridian.


Geographer known for creatng the first Geography book, Mediterranean sea center, and genealogies.


An eleventh century Arabian geographer, who worked for the king of Sicily to collect geographical information into a remarkably accurate representation of the world.

International Date Line

An arc that for the most part follows 180 degrees.

Isoline Maps

Map line that connects points of equal or very similar values.

Immanuel Kant

Geographer known for defining Geography as the study of interrelated spatial patterns.


The angular distance north or south of the equator, defined by parallels.

Linear Pattern

Patterns along a straight line.


The position of anything on Earth's surface.


The angular distance east or west of the prime meridian, defined by meridians.

Map Projection

A mathematical method that involves transferring the earth's sphere onto a flat surface.

Map Scale

The relationship between the size of an object on a map and the size of the actual feature on Earth's surface.

George Perkins Marsh

Author of Man and Nature (1864)-First systematic analysis of humanity's destructive impact on natural environment.

Mental Map

A representation of a portion of the Earth's surface based on a person's perspective.

Mercator Projections

A true conformal cylindrical map projection, it is particularly useful for navigation because it maintains accurate direction.


The geometric arrangement of something in a study area.

Peters Projections

Projection where the sizes are accurate but the shape of the continents and direction are distorted.


A specific point on Earth distinguished by a particular characteristic.

Prime Meridian

A meridian that passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England.


Roman geographer-astronomer and author of Guide to Geography which included maps containing a grid system of latitude and longitude.


An area distinguished by a unique combination of trends or features.

Relative Location

The regional position or situation of a place relative to the position of other places.

Relocation Diffusion

The spread of a trend through physical movement of people from one location to another.

Remote Sensing

The acquisition of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet.

Robinson Projection

A map projection that attempts to balance several possible projection errors. It does attempt to minimize the errors of area, shape, distance or direction that are commonly found on all maps.

Carl Sauer

Geography who defined the concept of cultural landscape as the fundamental unit of geographical analysis.


The relationship between the portion of Earth being studied and Earth as a whole.


The physical character of a place.


The location of a place relative to another place.


The physical interval between two objects.

Time-Space Compression

The idea that distance between some places is actually shrinking as technology enables more rapid communication and increased interaction between those places.

Toponym (Place Names)

The name given to a portion of Earth's surface.

Vernacular (Perceptual) Region

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


Patterned along a grid.

Multinational Corporations

Corporations that operate out of countries all over the world.

Physical Geography

This area of study focuses only on the natural environment and not on humans interactions.

Human Geography

This study focuses on people, it often overlaps other social sciences.

Carl Sauer

20th century geographer who argued that cultural landscapes should be the main focus of geographic study

Space-Time Continuum

The changes that rapid connections among places and region, due to faster transportation, communication, and new technologies.

Spatial Perspective

The location of places, people, and events and their connections.


An area of a region that is most distinct.

Greenwich Mean Time

From which all time zones are created.

Local Global Continuum

Interaction of a phenomena at one scale influencing those at other scales.