What Is the Discipline Geography and What at All in the World Is a Geographer?

Topics: Geography, Natural environment, Earth Pages: 4 (1478 words) Published: March 3, 2011




The word Geography is derived from the Greek words “gê” ("Earth") and “graphein” ("to write"). It means "to write about the Earth". The word was first used by a scientist called Eratosthenes (276-194 B.C.). It must be pointed out that Geography is much more than describing “foreign” places or memorizing the names of capitals and countries. The dynamic nature of the discipline has made it somewhat difficult to devise just a single definition for it. Geographic study encompasses the environment of the earth’s surface and the relationships of humans to this environment, which includes both physical and cultural geographic features. Geography looks at the spatial connection between people, places, and the earth. With the development of science, scientific Geography is said to be a late product of it. It was established during the 19th Century or earlier from the 17th Century. The definition of the scope and content of the discipline could not have been possible without the contribution of people like Immanuel Kant, Carl Ritter, Friedrich Ratzel and Ferdinand von Richthofen. The contribution of the Greeks to the development of Geography within the purview of geographic thinking begun with the Ionian school of Philosophers and with the great librarian, Eratosthenes who is believed to have been the first man to use the word “Geographica” did his part with the measurement of the circumference of the Earth.” To set the records straight, people like the Babylonians, the Sumerians, the Assyrians and the Egyptians made great in-roads to the development of the discipline Geography. Geography is commonly divided into human geography and physical geography. Geographers tend to study the surface of the earth, its landscapes, its features, and why they are where they are. Geologists look deeper into the earth than do geographers and study...

References: 1. http://www.geography.siu.edu.grad/overview.html
2. Bradshaw, Michael. Foundations of Physical Geography, Kerper Boulevard, Dubuque:Wm.C. Brown Publishers,1995
3. Bonnett, Alastair. What is Geography? London, Sage, 2008
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