Unit 1: Introduction to Geography


The study of where things are and why they are there

Branches of Geography

physical and human

Spatial Perspective

The way geographers look at everything. In relation to space -- Where are things?. A way of looking at the human and physical patterns on Earth and their relationships to one another.


A two-dimensional, or flat, representation of Earth's surface or a portion of it.


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


a change in the shape, area, distance, or directions of a place when it is projected on a map

map title

tells the subject of the map

map key/legend

explains the lines, symbols, and colors used on a map

map scale

the relationship between a distance on the map and the actual distance on the ground


distance north or south of the Equator, measured in degrees


Distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees

Reference Maps

show locations of places and geographic features

political map

A map showing units such as countries, states, provinces, districts, etc.

physical map

A map that shows mountains, hills, plains, rivers, lakes, oceans, etc.

absolute location

The exact position of an object or place, measured within the spatial coordinates of a grid system.

relative location

The position of a place in relation to another place

spatial distribution

the arrangement of items on the earth's surface


the numbers of things in a certain area


The extent of a feature's spread over space


Gathered closely together in a group


scattered; distributed or spread over a considerable extent

large scale map

Maps that cover smaller areas with greater detail

small scale map

A map that shows a larger area without much detail

scale of analysis

The way in which areas of the world are grouped together for study

primary source

an account of an event created by someone who took part in or witnessed the event

secondary source

Information gathered by someone who did not take part in or witness an event


taking credit for someone else's writing or ideas

MLA format

set of guidelines on how to format citations


A particular preference or point of view that is personal. Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Fake news

Hoax news, fake information or propaganda published under the guise of being authentic news

Fake news is not _________.

-opinions you disagree with
-reporting you don't want to believe
-reporting errors made in good faith

Layers of the Earth

crust, mantle, outer core, inner core

Earth's Spheres

atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere

plate tectonics

A theory stating that the earth's surface is broken into plates that move.

Earth's revolution

Movement of Earth around the sun, 365 days

Earth's rotation

causes day and night, 24 hours

factors influencing climate

latitude, elevation, landforms, wind, ocean currents