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Created: 04 Sep, 2009; Last Modified: 25 Sep, 2010

Geography

Introduction

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The word “geography” comes from two Greek words that mean “writing about Earth.” Geography is concerned with the study of the features of the Earth's surface, their inter-relationships, and their relationships to the human society. The subject involves study of the physical features of Earth – like landforms, climate, vegetation and soils – as well as how the humans live on the planet, how they manage the natural resources, and what they produce.

Geography is one of the oldest subjects of study. Experts involved in the study of geography are called geographers.

Branches of geography

The three main divisions of geography are physical geography, human geography and regional geography.

Physical geography

As evident from the name, this branch of geography is concerned with the study of the physical features like landforms, climate, vegetation and soils, and how they are influenced and driven by natural and man-made processes. Important branches of this division are geomorphology, climatology and hydrology.

Human geography

This branch of geography studies how humans are distributed and live on the planet, how they interact with each other as groups, and how they utilise Earth's resources to meet the needs of society. Important branches of this division include population geography, economic geography, social geography and political geography.

Regional geography

Regional geography takes the entire discipline of geography and focuses it on particular regions of the Earth, such as demarcations based on individual continents, individual countries, or areas having cultural similarities.

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Bibliography

'geography,' in Britannica Elementary Library, Ultimate Reference Suite, CD-ROM, Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008.
'geography,' in Encyclopedia Britannica, Ultimate Reference Suite, CD-ROM, Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008.
'sciences, the,' in Britannica Student Library, Ultimate Reference Suite, CD-ROM, Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008.