The 5 Themes of Geography As we began to learn more about our world, it became clear that a common way of looking at it must be agreed to. To thoroughly understand the geography of our planet, we have broken the subject down into 5 specific themes.
The 5 Themes of Geography LocationPlaceRegionMovement& Human-Environment Interaction
Location Location is quite simply… where a place is on earth. What would you say if someone asked you where you lived?
Location When determining location, geographers can be very specific. Absolute Location refers to the exact spot on earth where a place can be found. How do geographers find an absolute location?
Latitude & Longitude Geographers can locate any place on earth by using a system of imaginary lines that run across it’s surface.
Parallels of Latitude Parallels of Latitude run parallel to the equator and show distance north or south of it.
Meridians of Longitude Meridians of Longitude run between the north and south poles. These lines show distance east and west of the Prime Meridian.
Relative Location Relative Location is a not so specific way of determining location. This refers to where a place is in relation to other places. Example: Georgia is north of Florida, west of the Atlantic Ocean, and south of South Carolina.
Place When Geographers consider “place,” they ask themselves …. “What is it like?” Is it dry? Is it cold? Is it mountainous? Is it hot? Is it covered with vegetation? Is it crowded? Is it open? Place is really just a description of surroundings.
Places Change As time passes, the natural processes of the Earth and the practices of humans can cause places to change.
Region The term region refers to places close to each other that have things in common. Maybe the places have similar physical features (landscapes). Maybe the places have human characteristics (culture) in common.
Region A geographer would call North Africa and Southwest Asia (Middle East) a region. Things these 2 places have in common: Physical Features: Dry, Desert-Like Conditions Human Characteristics: Language-ArabicReligion-Islam
Movement A geographer would use the theme of movement to determine how people, plants, animals, goods, and ideas move from one place to another.
Movement If a geographer was studying New York City, he/she may look at how many people immigrated there from all over the world. They not only brought themselves, but their ideas and traditions.
Movement People and animals migrate for many reasons. Migrate means to move from one place to settle in another.
Movement: Push & Pull Factors Problems like overcrowding, crime, war, famine, and lack of jobs may “push” someone away from a place. Advantages like good jobs, more rights, peace, and safety may “pull” someone towards a place.
Movement: Barriers & Corridors Some of earth’s physical features make it easy to move, but others make it difficult. Rivers, seas, and flat land are easy to move through. These are called corridors. Mountains and forests are difficult to move through. These are called barriers.
Human-Environment Interaction Human-Environment Interaction deals with how the people of a place have come to depend on, adapt to, and use the world around them.
Human-Environment Interaction We depend on our environments for food, goods, and energy. Sometimes, we can interact with our environment in negative ways. Examples:Pollution Global Warming Animal Extinction