Geography is quite a broad topic that covers vast study areas. To understand various concepts, geography tries to organize space around to develop a comprehensive, informative structure. To understand these concepts, geography attempts to answer questions such as: Where is it? Why is it there, and what are the major contributing factors to its presence? To try these questions, the paper uses concepts such as Location, region, and places as the key study areas in the geography theme.
Geographical Location can be defined as an Earth's surface position. When determining the absolute Location, latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates are obtained. The specific Location can, therefore, be given using the coordinates independent of the point being referenced. On the other hand, Relative Location refers to a location defined in terms of another location. An example of a relative position in Paris is the South of Lille. Different circumstances can lead to the application of the two techniques for referencing Location (Hannibal, 2019).
Prime meridian and longitude – when referencing the east/west geographical location position, Longitudes are used. Longitudes are lines running between the southern and northern pole. The Prime meridian marks the zero line for longitudes. The prime meridian is commonly referred to as Greenwich meridian since it runs through Greenwich in England. The Earth is split into Eastern and Western hemisphere by the Greenwich Meridian. Consequently, the international date line is represented in the opposite of the prime meridian. Although all longitudinal lines run parallel to the Greenwich meridian, the International Date Line does not appear to be straight to underlying social issues.
Equator and latitude – the South or North position is denoted by latitudes when defining a geographical location. Unlike longitudes, latitude runs perpendicularly to the longitudes across the Earth's surface. The Earth is divided into two equal land-masses known as southern and Northern hemispheres by the Equator. All latitudes run parallel to the equator line. Southern latitudes define all lines below the Equator, while northern latitudes define all lines above the Equator.
Measurement Units – the main units used when measuring latitude and longitude are degrees, minutes, and seconds. Both the Western and Eastern hemisphere have 180 degrees which add up to 360 degrees. Consequently, the Northern and Southern hemispheres have 90 degrees, which sum up to 180 degrees. To get more precise differences between the degree lines, minutes, and seconds are used. Each degree is assumed to contain a maximum of 60 minutes, each containing 60 seconds as used in normal time.
Using Absolute geographical Location to determine Location – as stated earlier, absolute Location on the Earth's globe is obtained by reading the geographic location coordinates for a given position on the world. On the Earth's surface, a grid is formed when both longitudes and latitudes are presented on the map. Therefore, a location can be easily obtained by obtaining the two coordinates. In cases involving global navigation, the use of the two coordinates is essential. Navigational services, maps, and global positioning devices widely benefit from the application of coordinates in obtaining any position on the Earth's surface.
Location – when dealing with unassisted human navigation used of relative geographical Location is essential. Natural landmarks are used to identify a position on the Earth's surface alongside other interest points in determining the position on the Earth's surface. An example of when driving to Colorado Springs, an individual may find it easier to state 45 miles north of Pueblo drive compared to absolute positioning.
Region in Geography
The region in geography refers to an area on the surface of the Earth denoted by certain homogenous properties that are distinct and inside and from the outside. A region can also be defined as a part of the Earth's surface, sharing certain characteristics that are similar and unique compared to other areas. Regional geography is a branch of geography concerned with studying certain unique attributes for a given place concerning climate, topography, economy, culture, environmental, and political factors (Entrikin, 2016).
Geographers use regions to explore a huge issue from a spatial view. The vast amount of information concerning the Earth can be simplified by using the region as classification mean. Despite regions being made-up of geographer concepts, they are developed in a manner that suggests useful information is provided. Small or large regions make a basic geography study area. A good example of a region in the Middle East, which comprises areas characterized by certain properties such as religious, environmental, or political factors, includes Europe, Asia, and African parts (Entrikin, 2016). The Middle East Region is characterized by a hot and dry climate. Despite having diverse government administration styles, the region has a strong religious tie.
Another example is the Amazon River region located in South America defines all the areas surrounding the Amazon River, which extends from the northern parts of the continent such as Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Brazil. The Amazon region is defined by large animal and plant diversity, heavy rainfall, and warm temperatures.
According to geographers, regions are used in the study of prehistoric environments that may no longer exist. It is because of the plate tectonics alongside the movements with the earth’s crust. Due to this, geographic regions are created and destroyed constantly over time. Geographers use paleography in the study of these ancient environments (Paasi & Metzger, 2017).
An example of one paleographic region is Pangea. It was a supercontinent that existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic era, millions of years ago (Paasi & Metzger, 2017). Due to the movements of the earth’s crust, the supercontinent disintegrated and split into the seven continents that we have presently. It can be associated with the history and development of regional geography. The roots of regional geography are in Europe after geographer Paul Vidal de la Blanche developed ideas about milieu and pays in the 19th century.
According to Paul’s thoughts, the milieu was a natural environment, whereas Pays was a local region. A milieu is a conceptual attribute that is associated with a physical location and a set of occurrences that took place in that region. It is mostly made up of emotions, people, and attitudes alongside physical objects. I addition, a milieu is anything that possesses a significant to a certain setting. Pays is a regional concept where inhabitants share a lot in common. Inhabitants share economic, geographical, social, and cultural interests. People in a particular region have the right to enter communal planning using the law called Loi Pasqua or LOADT (Paasi & Metzger, 2017).
Therefore, according to the concept of region, it is an area on the surface of the earth that is associated and marked by containing certain properties (Paasi & Metzger, 2017). The features are homogeneous inside and are distinct from other regions from the outside. Therefore, a region is a part of the earth’s surface that has several linked characteristics that are unique from any other part.
Concept of place
The concept of place has been one of the tenets of geography from the past. Due to this, place has multiple definitions. Place is a space or location that possesses meaning. It is an area that has unique human characteristics and physical features which interconnect to other locations (Larsen & Harrington Jr, 2018).
As observed, a place is a set of space identified by a unique identity. In geography, humans achieve this by naming and pointing out the differences of one place to the other in terms of the surrounding (Larsen & Harrington Jr, 2018). Geographical researchers differentiate places by identifying the natural, physical and human activities and features of the location.
As observed, the physical features involve mountains, hills, types of vegetation, rivers, valleys, forests, local climate, among others. According to geographers, human characteristics include building and naming cities, different people’s cultures, among others. Among the five themes of geography, the location is one of them (Larsen & Harrington Jr, 2018). Even though the theme of location is not the focus here, it is the one used to point out the physical features and human significance.
The three components of the place are locale, location, and sense of place. As observed, location is incorporated in the concept of place. Location is the specific point of the earth’s surface. Location becomes place through the thoughts and actions of humans. Locale can be defined as the physical setting involved in creating a relationship between people like smoky mountains or the south of France (Larsen & Harrington Jr, 2018). A sense of place encompasses the emotions that geographer associates to a specific area following their experience.
A place can be represented at any scale; there is no need to have it fixed to either space or time. Due to globalization, among other factors, a place can assume change as time passes by (Rawling, 2018). It is because the physical setting and human features are influenced by new technologies and ideas. Also, physical activities lead to a place to change. An example is the Grand Canyon.
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