The Heart of Geography

Landscape is what Geography is all about.

The idea of Landscape is at the heart of Geography. Matthews and Herbert (2008, p.100), quoting Alexander von Humboldt's definition of landscape as "the total character of an Earth region", wrote that landscape: “subsumes three core concepts of geography – space, place and environment – and can lay claim to providing geographers with their elusive ‘object of study’.”

It is possible to look at landscape in a very straightforward way, so it's easy to get started on this project. Look out of the window: what do you see? At first glance we might notice the hills, the trees, the buildings, the people, the sky; and we think we are seeing the landscape. Let's look deeper.

To begin with, let's ask some simple questions: what is landscape, and what do we see when we look at landscape? If you follow the way-marked route over the next few pages we'll look some examples that will help us to explore those questions.

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