GEOG 202 TAMU O'Reilly - Chapter 1 Terms


is a foundational discipline, inspired and informed by the long-standing human curiosity about our surroundings and how we are connected to the world.

Physical Geography

examines climate, landforms, soils, vegetation, and hydrology.

Human Geography

concentrates on the spatial analysis of economic, social, and cultural systems.

THematic or Systematic Geography

is the focus on a specific topic or theme

Regional Geography

analysis of a specific place or a region


as a geographic concept, is not just the characteristics of a location; it also encompasses the meaning that people give to such areas, as in the sense of place.

Cultural Landscape

is the tangible, material expression of human settlement, past and present. (A common tool for the analysis of place)


represents a more abstract, quantitative, and model-driven approach to understanding how objects and practices are connected to and impact each other.


each a contiguous bounded territory that shares one or many common characteristics.

Formal Regions

is defined by some long-term aspect of physical form, such as a climate type or mountain range. (Ex: Rocky Mountains, Amazon Basin, etc.)

Functional Regions

is one where a certain activity (or cluster of activities) takes place. (Ex: The Rust Belt)


the increasing interconnectedness of people and places.


(which combines globalization with locale) is the process of modifying an introduced product or service to accommodate local tastes or cultural practices. (Ex: McDonald's in Japan serving shrimp.)

Human Trafficking

is the illegal trade of humans for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation that is often integrated into these illegal networks.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

an institution that deals with the global rules of trade among nations. In some world regions

World Bank

primary function is to make loans to poor countries so that they can invest in infrastructure and build more modern economic foundations.


marked differences in culture (language, religion, architecture, foods, and other attributes of daily life), economies, and politics�as well as in the physical environment�from place to place


run east-west around the globe and are used to locate places north and south of the equator (0 degrees latitude).


run from the North Pole (90 degrees north latitude) to the South Pole (90 degrees south latitude)

Global Positioning System (GPS)

These systems use time signals sent from your location to a satellite and back to your GPS receiver (which can be a smartphone) to calculate precise coordinates of latitude and longitude

Map Projections

defined as the different ways to project a spherical image onto a flat surface.

Map Scale

or the mathematical ratio between the map and the surface area being mapped

Choropleth Map

in which color shades represent different data values, with darker shades generally showing larger average values.

Remote Sensing

Even more information about Earth comes from electromagnetic images taken from aircraft or satellites.
Unlike aerial photography, remote sensing gathers electromagnetic data that must be processed and interpreted by computer software to produce images of

Geographic Information System (GIS)

Vast amounts of computerized data from sources such as maps, aerial photos, remote sensing, and census data are brought together

Population Density

is the average number of people per square kilometer.

Rate of Natural Increase (RNI)

which provides the annual growth rate for a country or region as a percentage

Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

which is the average number of live births a woman has in her lifetime

Replacement Rate

the total fertility rate needed for a population to replace itself
- A TFR of 2.1 is considered the replacement rate and suggests that it takes two children per woman, with a fraction more to compensate for infant and child mortality, to maintain a stable

Population Pyramid

which depicts the percentage of a population (or, in some cases, the raw number) that is male or female in different age classes, from young to old

Demographic Transition model

a conceptualization that tracks the changes in birth rates and death rates over time.

Economic Migrants

immigrants who arrive for employment opportunities


monies sent by individuals working abroad to families in the origin country


migrants fleeing a well-founded fear of persecution

Net Migration Rate

the difference between immigration and emigration in a given year per 1,000 people in a country
- A positive figure means that a country's population is growing because of migration, whereas a negative number means more people are leaving


a city with more than 10 million inhabitants
- There are currently 33 in the world


An increase in the percentage and in the number of people living in urban settlements.
- Today 54 percent of the world's population lives in cities.

Urban Primacy

a state in which a disproportionately large city dominates the urban system and is the center of economic, political, and cultural life
- urban primacy, in which a primate city (often the capital) is three or four times larger than the country's next larg

Primate City

The largest settlement in a country, if it has more than twice as many people as the second-ranking settlement.


is learned, not innate, behavior shared by a group of people, empowering them with what is commonly called a "way of life.

Cultural Imperialism

The active promotion of one cultural system at the expense of another


This is the process of protecting and defending a cultural system against diluting or undesirable cultural expressions, while at the same time actively promoting national and local cultural values.

cultural syncretism

The most common product of cultural exchange is the blending of forces to form a new, synergistic form of culture

Cultural Assimilation

which is the adoption of the language, customs, or norms of the host society by the newcomer

Language Families

Group of languages with a shared but fairly distant origin

Lingua Franca

A language mutually understood and commonly used in trade by people who have different native languages


is a sociocultural construct, linked to the values and traditions of specific cultural groups that differentiate the characteristics of the two biological sexes, male and female.

Gender Roles

the cultural guidelines that define appropriate behavior within a specific context.


is used to describe the close link between geography and politics


can be defined geopolitically as the ability (or inability) of a government to control activities within its borders


the delimited area over which a state exercises control and which is recognized by other states


- Nation describes a large group of people with shared sociocultural traits, such as language, religion, and shared identity.
- State refers to a political entity that has a government and a clearly delimited territory that is maintained and con-trolled.


a social group with a common or distinctive culture, religion, language, or history

Autonomous Areas

groups of people who seek autonomy from the central government and argue for the right to govern themselves


consists of the formal establishment of rule over a foreign population


refers to the process of a colony gaining (or, more correctly, regaining) control over its own territory and establishing a separate, independent government


Also called economic imperialism, this is the domination of newly independent countries by foreign business interests that causes colonial-style economies to continue, which often caused monoculture (a country only producing one main export like sugar, oi


A strategy for economic development that calls for free markets, balanced budgets, privatization, free trade, and minimal government intervention in the economy.
- it emphasizes privatization, foreign investment, and free trade


challenges to a centralized political state or authority have long been part of global geopolitics as rebellious and separatist groups seek independence, autonomy, and territorial control


which can be defined as violence directed at non-military targets, has also been common, albeit to a far lesser degree than today.


the organization of society for the purposes of manufacturing

Informal Economy

self-employed low-wage work that is usually unregulated, such as street vending and artisan manufacturing

Core-Periphery Model

A model of the spatial structure of development in which underdeveloped countries are defined by their dependence on a developed core region.
- According to this model, developed countries and regions constituted the global economic "core", centered for t

More Developed Country (MDC)

A country that has progressed relatively far along a continuum of development.

Less Developed Country (LDC)

A country that is at a relatively early stage in the process of economic development

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

A measurement of the total goods and services produced within a country.

Gross National Income (GNI)

When GDP is combined with net income from outside a country's borders through trade and other forms of investment

Per Capita

per person

Purchasing Power Partiy

which accounts for the value of goods that can be purchased with the equivalent of one international dollar in a particular country

Human Development Index (HDI)

which combines data on life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, gender inequality, and income.
- A 2015 analysis ranks the 188 countries that provided data to the UN from high to low, with Nor-way achieving the highest score, Australia in second

Gender Inequality

a measure of the relative position of women to men in terms of employment, empowerment, and reproductive health (in terms of maternal mortality and adolescent fertility).