Sunday, October 31, 2010

Principles of Geography

4 Principles of Geography

Geographical principle is the foundation to analyze and disclose geographical phenomena on earth’s surface. Theoretically, geographical principles are as follow:

1. spreading Principle
Spreading principle can be used to describe geographical phenomena and facts in the map, also to express relationship between one geographical phenomenon and another. That is because the spreading of geographical phenomena and facts is not uniform from one region to another region.

2. Interrelationship Principle
Interrelationship principle is used to analyze the relationship between physical and non-physical phenomena. That principle can express geographical phenomena or facts in a certain region.

3. Descriptive Principle
Descriptive principle in geography is used to give further illustration about geographical phenomena and problem analyzed. This principle does not only show description in the form of a map, but also in the form of a diagram, graph or table.

4. Chorological Principle
By chorological principle we can analyze geographical phenomena, facts, and problems seen from their spreading, interrelationship and interaction in space.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Essential Concepts of Geography

10 Essential Concepts of Geography

Geography is basically the study about real phenomena in human life. Geographical phenomena that exist around us are the product of all spatial interrelationships between physical and non-physical factors. In learning geographical phenomena, there are real patterns and abstract patterns. Abstract patterns are in the form of abstract understanding that is called concept.

There are 10 essential concepts of geography as follows:

1. Concept of Location
Concept of location in geography analyzes the positive and negative aspects of a place on earth’s surface.

Concept of location is usually used to answer the question of where geographic location is divided in two kinds, they are:
i. Absolute location, that is location of a region based on latitude and longitude.
ii. Relative location, that is the location of a region on earth’s surface that has changing properties because it is influenced by the regions around it. Example: Land in urban area is usually more expensive.

2. Concept of Distance
Distance is a natural separator. Distance is related with location and efforts to satisfy basic needs of life.
a. Traveling distance to transport raw material to factory, influences the amount of tranportational cost.
b. Land that is located far from a highway is cheaper.

3. Concept of Achievability
Achievability is related to the condition of earth’s surface. For example: a region is isolated because its earth’s surface condition causes it to be hard to reach. Dependency commonly changes according to the development of economy, science and technology and transportation.
Example: A village that is surrounded by swamps and forest is usually harder to reach than a village that is located on the beach.

4. Concept of Pattern
Pattern is related to dependency on various geographical phenomena on earth’s surface. Geography learns about patterns of form and spreading of geographical phenomena.
a. Pattern of settlements in mountainous area is dominated by spreading pattern.
b. Pattern of river in fold regions is commonly trellis.

5. Concept of Morphology
Concept of morphology corresponds to the shape of earth’s surface as product of endogenic and exogenic powers.
Example: Low land along Java’s north coast is dominated by sugarcane plantation.

6. Concept of Agglomeration
Agglomeration is spread that tends to group in a region that is relatively narrow and most profitable.

7. Concept of Utility Value
Utility value is geographical phenomenon or natural resource on earth’s surface that is relative to each other among regions.
a. The sea has more utility value for fishermen, compared to farmers.
b. Forests have more utility value for natural lovers compared to students.

8. Concept of Interaction
Interaction is mutual relationship between two regions or more that can produce new phenomena, appearance and problems. In interaction, one phenomenon depends on another.
Example: Interaction of city-village happens because there are differences of natural potentials, for example: the village produces raw material, while the city produces industrial products. Because both regions need each other, then interaction happens.

9. Concept of Area Differentiation
Area differentiation corresponds to interregional characteristics on earth’s surface. Concept of area differentiation is used to study differences of geographical phenomena between one regional another on earth’s surface.
Example: The kinds of plant cultivated in highland will be different from the kinds of plant in low lands. Detailed examples are found in Junghuhn’s climate, for example:
a. Zone of height 0-700m, the kinds of plants cultivated are: sugarcane, coconut and corn.
b. Zone of height 700-1500m, the kinds of plants cultivated are: tea, coffee, cacao, tobacco and quinine.
c. Zone of height 1500-2500m, have plants such as pine and casuarinas tree.
d. Zone of height more than 2500m, the kind of its plants is dominated by fungi.

Besides, concept of area differentiation can also be used to see the kind of means of livelihood, for example inhabitants that live in coastal region have dominant means hood as fishermen, different from people that live in lowland who tend to work as farmers as their means of livelihood.

10. Concept of Spatial Interrelatedness
Spatial interrelatedness shows spread relationship between one phenomenon and another, both in terms of physical or non-physical phenomena.
Rural and urban areas, for example: inhabitants of urban region need foodstuff from the rural area, on the contrary inhabitants of the rural area need to market their natural products to the city.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Definition of Geography

The Definition of Geography

Literally, geography comes from Greek words, that is geo that means earth, and graphien that means description. That description involves human environmental nature in certain places. Therefore, human knowledge about environmental nature in certain places, including its difference and similarity, can be considered as geographical knowledge.

So, it can be said that since a long time ago everyone has had knowledge about geography. They only do not know the knowledge they have is geographical knowledge. People just realize that knowledge is geography after they get it formally in school.

In the next development, geography was categorized as science because it was organized systematically. Here geography did not only give description about earth, but its activity was much deeper such as research and analysis, whether from physical or social aspects. In the next, geographical research was not only focused on what was seen from outside, but also arrived to the question: Why do the bodies we see form a unity pattern and its parts are related to each other?

The following are some definitions of geography:

1. Barlow
Geography is a science that studies about prosecces that relate to environment and phenomena, also related pattern that are discussed.

2. James
Geography is a science that sees regularity of natural phenomena  so it gives characteristics of a place. Then he states that geography corresponds to activity that is related to efforts to see similarities and differences of one place to another place.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Geography Expert

Geography Expert

In the next stage, geographical science developed fast. In that era, many figures gave their points of view about geography. The following are opinions of those figures:
1. Ratzel (1844 – 1895)
He was a political geographer from Germany that adopted the ideology of fisis. His famous point of view was Labenstraum (Living Space). According to Ratzel, a country is a living organism. In this process of development, a living organism needs food, drink and living space. To satisfy that need, he will find and dominate region around him, especially the weak region.

2. Huntington
This American geographer saw geography by tressing on climate as life determiner. He stated that people in medium climatic zone undergo very fast development. While in region of tropical climate, desert and polar climate, the development is very slow.

3. Ferdinan Von Ricthoffen (1838 – 1905)
Ferdinan was a German geographer. He argued that geography was a study about phenomena and properties of earth’s surface and its inhabitants that were arranged based on position and tried to explain interaction between those phenomena and properties.

4. Paul Vidal De La Blanche
He argued that geography was a study about quality of countries.

Preston E.James
6. Preston E.James
He argued that geography is the mother of all science.

5. Richard Hartshorne
According to this geographer, geography was a science that tries to describe and interprete characteristics and variables of one region to another region on earth’s surface.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Development of Geography

Development of Geography

Geography is the science that studies similarity and difference of geospheric phenomena with environmental and regional point of view in spatial context. Basically, scope of geography encompasses all phenomena that happen on earth’s surface some variations and spatial organizations. Therefore, geography can obtain data and facts anywhere and anytime.
Geography was first proposed by Eratosthenes in his writing titled Geografika. Geography in the beginning meant about earth’s surface, that involved sea, weather, flora, fauna, soil and humans. What was called earth in that era was earth’s surface that had limited area. Slowly, men realized that what was know about earth’s surface was obviously limited. Facts in everyday life produced unsatisfactory feeling about what had been learned.

In that time, norms of religion were still strong in scientific analysis. In the next stage, geographical knowledge was developed by Copernicus. He argued that earth was not the center of revolution of celestial bodies, but the sun is center of revolution of celestial bodies. This theory was called Heliocentric theory.

In the middle age, Bernadus Veranus divided geography into two parts as below:
1. Generalist Geography => It’s analysis encompassed phenomena of: lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and shape of earth’s surface.
2. Specialist Geography => It’s analysis encompassed demographic and social problems.

In the beginning of 2nd century, a figure in geography named Claudius Ptolemaeus emerged, he defined geography as an explanation of some or all of earth’s surface through the map. The most valuable contribution from Claudius Ptolemaeus to geographical science was his effort to make a map known as Ptolemaeus’s map.

In the next stage, two points of view in geography developed, that is as follows:
1. Fisis Determinis => According to fisis determinis point of view, living organisms are influenced by natural law. Figures that followed this point of view were Ratzel, Huntington, and Karl Richter.
2. Posibilis => According to posibilis point of view, humans besides being influenced by nature, also had role in nature according to the development of his culture. This point of view was pioneered by Paul Vidal de La Blanche.