Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Scope of Geography

The Scope of Geography

Geography is a science that studies interaction between man and his environment, so geography has clear objects and scope. The object of geography basically is divided into two, that is material objects and formal objects.
The material objects of geography are geospheric phenomenan that cover several layers, they are lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and anthorosphere. Meanwhile, the formal objects correspond to points of view on a spatial phenomenon on earth’s surface.

Formal objects are regions on earth surface that have their own characteristics, so they can be distinguished from other regions, usually based on natural and social aspects.

Formal object geography are indicators and differenciators from other sciences, while the scope of geographical study enables man to gets answer to questions from the world around that emphasize on spatial and ecological aspects. Geographical study involves the earth, its aspects and formation process, causal and spatial relation of humans with their environment, also the interaction of humans with the environment around them.

Rhoad Murphey, in his book “The Scope of Geography”, proposed three scopes of Geographical study:
(1) Geography learns the spread and relation of mankind on earth’s surface. Beside, it studies about aspects of humans’ living place also how to use it.
(2) Geography studies mutual relationship between man with physical environment (nature) as part of regional diversity study.
(3) Geography studies a regional frame and analyses a region that has specific characteristics.

From the analysis above, it is clear that the scope of geography is inseparable from natural aspects and human aspects. The meaning of environment in geography is not only limited to natural environment, but also man-made environment.

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