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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Human geography is an interdisciplinary field combining approaches from academic geography with the traditional subject matter of social science, thus emphasizing population issues such as tourism, urbanisation, and so on.

Human/mankind geography broadly differs from physical geography in that it has a greater focus on studying intangible or abstract patterns surrounding human activity and is more receptive to qualitative research methodologies. It encompasses with a compass human, political, cultural, social and economic aspects of the social sciences. While the major focus of human geography is not the physical landscape of the Earth (see physical geography), it is not possible to discuss human geography without going into the physical landscape on which human activities are being played out and environmental geography which is an important link between the two. Human geography is methodologically diverse, using both qualitative methods and quantitative methods, including case studies, survey research, statistical analysis and model building, among others. Thematically, human geography may be concerned with an array of human enterprises, from villages and cities, schools, health, commerce and trade, to name a few. The spatial human architecture of a variety of institutions and practices unites these entities within the discipline. For example, a human geographer might be concerned with the geographic patterns of communicable diseases like leprosy, school performance in rural versus urban school districts, or the rise of innovative technology clusters.


Fields of human geography

The main fields of study in human geography focus around the core fields of:



Development is the study of the Earth's geography with reference to the Standard of living and the Quality of life of its human inhabitants, study of the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the Earth. The subject matter investigated is strongly influenced by the researcher's methodological approach.


Economic geography examines relationships between human economic systems, states, and other actors, and the biophysical environment.


Health geography is the application of geographical information, perspectives, and methods to the study of health, disease, and health care. Historical Geography is the study of the human, physical, fictional, theoretical, and "real" geographies of the past. Historical geography studies a wide variety of issues and topics. A common theme is the study of the geographies of the past and how a place or region changes through time. Many historical geographers study geographical patterns through time, including how people have interacted with their environment, and created the cultural landscape.


Political geography is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures.


Population geography is the study of the ways in which spatial variations in the distribution, composition, migration, and growth of populations are related to the nature of places.


Tourism geography is the study of travel and tourism as an industry, as a human activity, and especially as a place-based experience.

study of tropical regions and their inhabitants. It is closely affiliated with the development and criticism of imperialism and colonization of urban areas with specific regards to spatial and relational aspects and theories. That is the study of areas which have a high concentration of buildings and infrastructure. These are areas where the majority of economic activities are in the secondary sector and tertiary sectors. They probably have a high population density.

Philosophical approaches

Within each of the subfields, various philosophical approaches can be used in research; therefore, an urban geographer could be a Feminist or Marxist geographer, etc.

Such approaches are:

List of notable human geographers

Carl Ritter - considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern geography

Human geography journals

As with all social sciences, human geographers publish research and other written work in a variety of academic journals. Whilst human geography is interdisciplinary, there are a number of journals with a human geography focus.

These include:

See also



  • de Blij, Harm Jan; Murphy, Alexander B. (2003). Human geography: culture, society, and space (7th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-44107-4. 

Further reading

  • Blij, Harm Jan, De (2008). Geography: realms, regions, and concepts. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-12905-0. 
  • Cloke, Paul J.; Crang, Philip; Goodwin, Mark (2004). Envisioning human geographies. London: Arnold. ISBN 978-0-340-72013-4. 
  • Cloke, Paul J.; Crang, Phil; Crang, Philip; Goodwin, Mark (2005). Introducing human geographies (2nd ed.). London: Hodder Arnold. ISBN 978-0-340-88276-4. 
  • Crang, Mike; Thrift, Nigel J. (2000). Thinking space. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-16016-2. 
  • Daniels, Peter; Bradshaw, Michael; Shaw, Denis J. B.; Sidaway, James D. (2004). An Introduction to Human Geography: issues for the 21st century (2nd ed.). Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-13-121766-9. 
  • Flowerdew, Robin; Martin, David (2005). Methods in human geography: a guide for students doing a research project (2nd ed.). Harlow: Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0-582-47321-8. 
  • Gregory, Derek; Martin, Ron G.; Smith, Graham (1994). Human geography: society, space and social science. Basingstoke: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-45251-6. 
  • Harvey, David D. (1996). Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. Blackwell Pub. ISBN 978-1-55786-680-6. 
  • Johnston, R.J. (2009). The Dictionary of Human Geography (5th ed.). Blackwell Publishers, London. 
  • Johnston, R.J (2002). Geographies of Global Change: Remapping the World. Blackwell Publishers, London. 
  • Moseley, William W.; Lanegran, David A.; Pandit, Kavita (2007). The Introductory Reader in Human Geography: Contemporary Debates and Classic Writings. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-1-4051-4922-8. 
  • Soja, Edward (1989). Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. Verso, London. 

External links

  • CommonCensus Map Project - Drawing a human-geographic map of the United States based on votes from its website
  • [1] - Social and Spatial Inequalities


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection


In the 50,000 years since humans successfully settled the world's habitable continents, a long story emerges of environmental stimuli and human response. Innovation, migration, settlement, development of material culture are likely responses, but result in landscape modification. The modern human world is the culmination of these stimuli-response iterations.

Earth processes create regions of climate, landforms, soils, vegetation, and other resources. Variations in human population distributions coincide with all possible permutations of physical environmental factors. These permutations are not randomly distributed. A property of geographical distributions is that similarity amongst features is directly related to their proximity.

Thusly, human population distribution is not random. It is the result of human exploration and expansion to lands suitable for supporting a population. Conversely stated, it is the slow culmination of individual and group decisions to choose habitats suitable for survival, and secondarily, for comfort.


Geography -- What Is It?

  • A Content Area
  • A Mode of Inquiry
  • A history of man and with necessary accident.

Scale and Perspective

  • Types of Stimuli
  • Types of Human Response
  • Scales of Human Response
    • Individual
    • Group
    • Community
    • City
    • State
    • National
    • International
  • Time
    • Modern
    • Historical
      • Years
      • Decades
      • Centuries
      • Millennia
  • Space
    • Local
    • Regional
    • National
    • International
    • Global

Basic Concepts

  • The First Law of Geography
  • Distribution
    • Cluster
  • Diffusion
  • Connections
  • Place
  • Region
  • Scale

Human Requirements

  • What all humans do
    • Eat
    • Drink
    • Sleep
    • Reproduce
    • Defecate
    • Communicate
    • Think
    • Innovate
    • sex( men and women)
  • What all Humans Need
    • Food
      • Hunter-Gatherer
      • Agriculture
        • Subsistence
        • Trade
        • Agribusiness
    • Water
    • Shelter
    • Fuel
    • Clothes
    • Other Humans
  • How Human Needs Are Expressed
    • Materials in Environment

Humans coincide with the distribution of physical factors

  • Climate
  • Vegetation
  • Landforms
  • Soils
  • Resources

Current and Historical Population Distributions

  • Ecumene
  • Combination of the physical factors and human innovation dictate how much population a piece of land can support
  • Population Density
  • Arable
  • Environmental Determinism
  • Environmental Possiblism
    • Innovation


  • Material Culture
  • Religion
  • Ethnicity
  • Language
  • The Effect of Isolation


Urban Geography


history of rural geography.


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