What is Geography?

Geography is in the mountains and the oceans, deserts and sky... the hearts of explorers and our stories of far-flung islands.

It's easy to tell if you are a Geographer; to a Geographer, everything is a map.

1. Geography is the study of the Earth and its inhabitants

Some people say that Geography begins as the study of the Earth's surface and its human occupants, including the oceans, the atmosphere and the land surface along with the people who live here. It is a part both of the Earth Sciences and of the Social Sciences, and leans towards and borrows from every other discipline: history, biology, economics, chemistry... engineering and art. But with its explicit focus on the spatial distributions of phenomena and its concern with the clues that spatial evidence can provide to help answer questions about the Earth and its people Geography brings something unique to the problems considered by all those other disciplines, and must be defined by its approach as much as by its subject matter. Issues become geographical as soon as they are treated geographically. Geography then extends beyond the simple definition of being about Earth and People, and becomes the question of how things fit together and where, in the broadest sense, everything belongs.

2. Geography is all about noticing things

Geography is all about noticing things about the world. What you notice depends on what you are looking for and how you look. What you see depends only partly on what is actually there.


Why study Geography?

What is Physical Geography?