APHG Unit 1

Field Work

the study of geographic phenomena by visiting places and observing how people interact with and thereby change those places

Geospatial Technology

refers to equipment used in visualization, measurement, and analysis of earth's features, typically involving such systems as GPS (global positioning systems), GIS (geographical information systems), and RS (remote sensing).

Geographic Information System (GIS)

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

Remote Sensing

A method of collecting data or information through the use of instruments that are physically distant from the area or object of study.

Cultural Landscape

the visible imprint of human activity and culture on the landscape


A location without a sense of place. No distinct attributes.

Distance Decay

the effects of distance on interaction, generally the greater the distance the less interaction


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

Cultural Ecology

Geographic approach that emphasizes human-environment relationships.

Environmental Determinism

the view that the natural environment has a controlling influence over various aspects of human life including cultural development


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

Cartographic Scale

refers to the way the map communicates the ratio of its size to the size of what it represents

Mercator Projection

projection that preserves direction, shape, and right angles of longitude and latitude

Peters Equal Area

map projection where area of land masses are accurate, but shapes are distorted at poles and equator

Robinson Projection

Projection that attempts to balance several possible projection errors. It does not maintain completely accurate area, shape, distance, or direction, but it minimizes errors in each.


the physical and human characteristics of a location

Formal Region

A region united by one or more measurable characteristics

Functional Region (Nodal Region)

An area organized around a node or focal point

Perceptual Region (Vernacular Region)

a region defined by popular feelings and images rather than by objective data