international date line

THE INTERNATIONAL date line (IDL) is the imaginary line on Earth slicing through the center of the PACIFIC OCEAN that separates two consecutive calendar days. Countries in the Eastern Hemisphere to the left of the line up to the Prime Meridian are always one day ahead of countries to the right of the line and […]

intercropping

THE CULTIVATION OF TWO or more crops in combination in the same field at the same time is known as intercropping. This is one of two types of multiple cropping, the other being sequential cropping, whereby two or more crops are grown in sequence in the same field. There are four types of intercropping: Mixed […]

insurgent state

INSURGENT STATE is a term that refers to the creation of a geographic area that not only claims independence from the larger state, but whose leaders and policies also seek to replace the existing political order and state, or to become independent. It is not a segment of the country that seeks independence (civil war). […]

Industrial Revolution

THE INDUSTRIAL Revolution is one of the most dramatic events in modern world history, an event which has more or less influenced all nations of the world in one form or another. The Industrial Revolution began in the late-18th century in England, UNITED KINGDOM, in a region of the country known as the West Midlands—the […]

Indus River

THE INDUS RIVER in PAKISTAN flows 1,900 mi (3,000 km) from southwestern TIBET to the Arabian Sea. From the dawn of human culture, the Indus River has sustained societies along its banks; the earliest civilization that can be reliably distinguished is called the Indus Valley civilization (or Harappan). This sophisticated society is dated back to […]

Indonesia

Area 741,110 square mi (1,919,440 square km) Population 254.5 million 2014 Capital Jakarta Highest Point 16,502 ft (5,030 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $888.5 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas, nickel, copper. COMPOSED OF 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the world’s sixth-largest nation and the world’s largest archipelago, stretching over 5,000 mi (8,047 […]

Indiana

KNOWN AS THE Hoosier State, the north central state of Indiana (“Land of Indians”) was formed from the Northwest Territory in 1800 and entered the Union in 1816 as the 19th state. Roughly rectangular in shape, Indiana is approximately 270 mi (434 km) north to south and 140 mi (225 km) east to west. The […]

Indian Ocean

MEASURING approximately 26.5 million square mi (68.5 million square km), the Indian Ocean includes the Andaman Sea, ARABIAN SEA, BAY OF BENGAL, Flores Sea, Great Australian Bight, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Java Sea, Mozambique Channel, PERSIAN GULF, RED SEA, Savu Sea, Straits of Malacca, Timor Sea, and other tributary water bodies. The ocean […]

India

Area 1,284,215 square mi (3,287,590 square km) Population 1.295 billion 2014 Capital New Delhi Highest Point 28,201 ft (8,598 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $2.067 trillion 2014 Primary Natural Resources coal, iron ore, manganese, mica, bauxite. INDIA IS LOCATED in South Asia bordering the INDIAN OCEAN, ARABIAN SEA, and the BAY OF BENGAL in […]

imperialism

FEW TOPICS ARE MORE emotion-provoking than imperialism, which many consider to be a product of the 20th century and of Europeans. Nothing is further from the truth. By definition, imperialism is the act of imposing one’s will (personal or national) on another culture or state to create an empire, or an empire is the consequence […]

immigration

ALIENS OR NONCITIZENS who reside or seek to reside temporarily or permanently within the borders of a country are generally termed as immigrants. The term immigrant refers to someone who enters a country, while the word emigrant refers to someone who leaves a country. In the early times, the tendency was to look upon the […]

Illinois

ILLINOIS IS A midwestern state located in the northcentral part of the UNITED STATES. Lake MICHIGAN and INDIANA border the state in the east, while WISCONSIN borders the state in the north. KENTUCKY lies to the southeast, across the Ohio River, while the MISSISSIPPI RIVER separates the state from MISSOURI and IOWA in the west. […]

Idaho

IDAHO’S VAST areas of unspoiled beauty and natural wilderness give every reason for the 1,293,953 residents (2000) to know their home as the “Gem” state. Idaho is bounded by CANADA in the north, MONTANA and WYOMING in the east, UTAH and NEVADA in the south, and WASHINGTON and OREGON in the west. The capital and […]

Iceland

Area 39,769 square mi (103,000 square km) Population 327,600 2014 Capital Reykjavík Highest Point 6,950 ft (2,119 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $17.07 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources hydropower, geothermal heat. ICELAND IS A volcanic island lying on the Mid-Atlantic Rift 170 mi (280 km) southeast of GREENLAND and 500 mi (800 km) northwest […]

Ibn Battuta (1304–1377)

BORN IN TANGIER, MOROCCO, Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Battuta was a famous Arab traveler and writer who explored in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Ibn Battuta’s journey began in North Africa in 1325 with travels that included visits to EGYPT, SYRIA, Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula, northeastern IRAN, southern IRAQ, the RED SEA, YEMEN, East Africa, […]

Huron, Lake

LAKE HURON IS ONE of the five Great Lakes and is named for the Hurons, a Native American people who once lived along its shores. Lake Huron covers 23,000 square mi (59,570 square km) and is 206 mi (332 km) long. At its greatest width, it is 193 mi (295 km) across. It lies at […]

Hunza

THE HUNZA VALLEY in north PAKISTAN is noted for two features: Burushaski, a language that appears to be unrelated to any other language in the world, and secondly, the myth of the health and longevity of its inhabitants, the Hunzakuts. This valley was the reputed location of novelist James Hilton’s Shangri-La. The valley is located […]

Huntington, Ellsworth (1876–1947)

CONTEMPORARIES WERE impressed by the clarity of Ellsworth Huntington’s style, the intensity of his reasoning, the simplicity of his grand theories, and his unique ability to generalize: “With devastating logic and sound scholarship, Ellsworth Huntington shows how climate, weather, geographical location, diet, health and heredity control the character of a nation—and determine its dominant or […]

Hungary

Area 35,919 square mi (93,030 square km) Population 9.862 million 2014 Capital Budapest Highest Point 3,346 ft (1,014 m) Lowest Point 257 ft (78 m) GDP $137.1 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources bauxite, coal, natural gas. HUNGARY IS UNIQUE among the nations of Europe in many ways: a relatively flat country among hillier neighbors, a […]

Humboldt Current

THE HUMBOLDT CURRENT, also known as the Peru Current, is an ocean current that flows along the western coast of South America, affecting the water and air temperatures of coastal CHILE and PERU. It is one of the largest ocean currents in the world, bringing cold water north from the South PACIFIC for thousands of […]

Humboldt, Alexander von (1769–1859)

ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT is significant to the study of geography because of the breadth of his scientific inquiries and knowledge and his ability to integrate these studies within larger works that were both scientifically advanced and appealing to a wider nonspecialist public. He was known as a natural scientist of the highest order, working to […]

human geography

HUMAN GEOGRAPHY FOCUSES on interpreting and describing the various ways in which humans in all places and cultures adapt to and possibly modify their natural geographic environments. At the local or national scale, human geographers look at how economic, political, and cultural issues are related to spatial organization in different parts of the planet. How […]

human-environment relationships

THE ENVIRONMENTAL approach in geography, history, anthropology, psychology, and other spheres of humanitarian thought remains one of the most alluring and unequivocal since its origin in ancient times. At the beginning of the 21st century, interdisciplinary studies of cultural history using contemporary methods of instrumental analysis are often bringing scientists to the necessity of taking […]

Hudson River

“THE RIVER THAT Flows Both Ways” is located between Lake Tear of the Clouds and the southern tip of Manhattan in NEW YORK. It flows 315 mi (507 km) and empties into the ATLANTIC OCEAN. Its low and high tides, along with its salty water, account for the river’s bidirectional water flow. The Lower Hudson […]

Huang (Yellow) River

THE YELLOW RIVER, called the Huáng Hé by the Chinese, is the second longest river in CHINA reaching 5,500 km (3,000 mi), second only to the CHANGJIANG (Yangzi River). The regions to the north and south of the Huang River are called, respectively, the Hebei (north) and Henan (south). The chief tributaries of the Huang […]

horst

HORST IS THE German word for a high-nesting area for a bird, so the term infers a high elevation. Early geomorphologists fittingly applied the German word to a fault block mountain range. The faulting and vertical displacement is due to tension stresses in the crust. Tension causes crustal rock to spread apart and break to […]

Horn of Africa

THE PENINSULA OF NORTHEAST Africa is called the Horn of Africa. It lies opposite of the southern Arabian Peninsula. This area is also known as the Somali Peninsula because within it lies the countries of SOMALIA and eastern ETHIOPIA. It is the easternmost extension of the African continent separating the Gulf of Aden from the INDIAN […]

Hong Kong

HONG KONG IS A FORMER British colony that returned to the People’s Republic of CHINA on June 30, 1997, and is now officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong consists of the island of Hong Kong and about 200 islands and the New Territories that are on Kowloon Peninsula on the mainland. Hong […]

Honduras

Area 43,278 square mi (112,090 square km) Population 6,669,789 Capital Tegucigalpa Highest Point 9,416 ft (2,870 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP per capita $2,600 Primary Natural Resources timber, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc. Honduras is located right in the heart of Central America, sharing borders with EL SALVADOR, NICARAGUA, and GUATEMALA. Most of the […]

homeland security

AS DEFINED BY the executive branch of the U.S. government, homeland security is “a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur” (July 2002 National Strategy for Homeland Security, issued by President George W. Bush). In […]

Hokkaidô Island

NORTHERNMOST OF the four main islands of JAPAN, Hokkaidô is surrounded by the Sea of Okhotsk to the north and east, the Sea of Japan to the west, and the PACIFIC OCEAN to the south. Its northern location and frigid ocean currents from the Sea of Okhotsk make Hokkaidô’s climate considerably colder and drier than […]

historical geography

GEOGRAPHERS SEEK TO understand the world by examining spatial relationships. The types of questions they might ask are: Why are things located where they are? How are places different from each other? How are places like each other? How are places interconnected with each other? How do people affect their natural environment and how does […]

hinterland

FROM THE GERMAN umland, a hinterland is inland territory behind and bordering a town on a coast or river, or the backcountry extending from an inland town. In both cases, the hinterland generally falls under the legal and economic jurisdiction of the same state to which the city belongs. The hinterland supplies a city with […]

Hindu Kush

HINDU KUSH (or Hindukush) is the main mountain range in the Central Asian state of AFGHANISTAN. Hindu Kush is the westernmost extension of the Pamir mountain, the Karakoram (K-2), and the western HIMALAYAS. The origin of the term Hindu Kush (which translates as “Hindu Killer” or “Killer of Hindus”) is a point of controversy among […]

Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN mountain region, located between INDIA and TIBET, has the world’s highest peaks. It stretches from the INDUS RIVER in the west to the Brahamaputra in the east and has a length of 1,500 mi (2,414 km) and a width from 100 to 150 mi (161 to 241 km). Northwest of the Indus, the […]

hemisphere

THE WORD hemisphere means “half a sphere.” In geography, the term refers to half the Earth, and the enclosing boundary line of a hemisphere is a great circle. A space traveler viewing the Earth from a great distance will see only half the earth, a hemispheric perspective. This is true because the Earth is a […]

heartland

THE HEARTLAND THEORY was developed by Scottish geographer, Sir Halford J. MACKINDER. He read his paper “The Geographical Pivot of History” before the Royal Geographical Society in London in 1904, and soon afterward published his views on the influence of geography on politics in the Geographical Journal. Mackinder’s argument introduced into POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY the view […]

Heard and McDonald Islands

TWO OF THE MOST isolated spots on the globe, the Heard and McDonald Islands have only been visited a few times, and much remains to be discovered about them. The islands are located at the bottom of the world, where the INDIAN OCEAN meets the Antarctic seas, and have recently been declared a United Nations […]

Hawaii

HAWAII IS a U.S. state located in the central PACIFIC OCEAN near the EQUATOR and consists of eight major islands: Hawaii, Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau; 129 smaller islands are also part of Hawaii. Hawaii is not the equivalent of the Hawaiian Islands or the Hawaiian Chain, which includes other islands, such […]

hammada

HAMMADA IS AN Arabic word used to describe “desert pavement.” The deserts of the world that have sand dunes capture the imagination, but many of the world’s desert areas are bleak, stony deserts. Usually, the stony deserts are level plains that are virtually devoid of vegetation and also have very little, if any, soil. These deserts can have a relatively smooth, […]

Haiti

Area 27,750 square mi (44,658 square km) Population 10.57 million 2014 Capital Port-au-Prince Highest Point 8,792 ft (2,680 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $8.713 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources bauxite, copper, calcium carbonate, gold. HAITI IS LOCATED on the western third of the island of Hispaniola in the CARIBBEAN SEA. The country is mainly […]

Hainan Island

THE SECOND-largest island (after TAIWAN) in CHINA with an area of 13,104 square mi (33,940 square km), Hainan Island is the most southerly province located in the South China Sea. The island is situated south of Guangdong province and west of VIETNAM. The topographic structure of the island resembles a staircase, with towering mountains in […]

Guyana

Area 76,772 square mi (196,850 square km) Population 763,900 2014 Capital Georgetown Highest Point 9,355 ft (2,835 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $3.228 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood. THE NAME Guyana possibly comes from a local native word meaning “land of water,” but it could also derive from the word […]

Gulf Stream

THE GULF STREAM, a relative newcomer on the geological scene, is an odd, fast-moving circulation of warm water that travels in an unfixed position, a few hundred miles north of FLORIDA, up the east coast of the UNITED STATES to Cape Hatteras, NORTH CAROLINA, then onto Nantucket Island, before kicking eastward across the ATLANTIC OCEAN […]

Gulf of Aqaba

THE GULF OF AQABA is the north arm of the RED SEA; it is bordered by ISRAEL, JORDAN, EGYPT, and SAUDI ARABIA. Created by seismic activity along the Afro-Syrian Rift, it is the northernmost extension of the Red Sea. It is a semi-enclosed water body that extends south some 111 mi (180 km) from Eilat […]

Guinea-Bissau

Area 13,942 square mi (36,120 square km) Capital Bissau Population 1.801 million (2014) Highest Point 984 ft (300 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $1.022 billion (2014) Primary Natural Resources fish, timber, phosphates, bauxite, petroleum. THE REPUBLIC OF Guinea-Bissau, commonly called Guinea-Bissau, is a tropical West African nation-state. The borders include the ATLANTIC OCEAN on […]

Guinea

Area 94,925 square mi (245,857 square km) Population 12.28 million (2014) Capital Conakry Highest Point 5,748 ft (1,752 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $6.624 billion (2014) Primary Natural Resources bauxite, iron ore, diamonds, precious metals. GUINEA IS LOCATED in the southwestern part of West Africa. It is bordered by GUINEA-BISSAU, SENEGAL, and MALI to […]

guerrilla base

A GUERRILLA BASE or base area is a physically secure geographic location used by political dissidents from which they can launch military attacks. Historically, such bases were local or national. In 2003, the process became global, with guerrilla bases of al-Qaeda staged in AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, the PHILIPPINES, SUDAN, and possibly South America. Since guerrilla bases […]

Guatemala

Area 67,661 square mi (108,890 square km) Population 16.02 million 2014 Capital Guatemala City Highest Point 13,815 ft (4,211 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $58.73 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources petroleum, nickel, rare woods. THE REPUBLIC OF GUATEMALA is located in Central America and is bordered by the PACIFIC OCEAN, the Gulf of Honduras, […]

Guam

A U.S. TERRITORY, the island of Guam is one of the largest islands in the north PACIFIC OCEAN, located about three-quarters of the distance from HAWAII to the PHILIPPINES. Its harbor, one of the best in the world, underlies the importance the island has held for the last five centuries to foreign powers in the […]

Guadeloupe

GUADELOUPE, IN THE CARIBBEAN SEA, is one of the four French overseas departments (similar to states in the UNITED STATES). Guadeloupe is also a French region. There are two main islands, Basse Terre and Grande Terre, separated by a strip of water called the Rivière Salée. Other outlying inhabited islands are dependencies, namely Saint Martin, […]

growth pole

GROWTH POLE REFERS to the concentration of highly innovative and technically advanced industries that stimulate economic development in linked businesses and industries. This concept was first introduced by François Perroux in 1950, was further sharpened in following publications, and finally evolved into an idea that came to take on a meaning rather different from the […]

grid/graticule

THE EARTH IS NOT spherical but rather an ellipsoidal shape where the north and south poles are flattened and the equator bulges. This unique shape is called a geoid. In order to uniquely locate features on the Earth’s surface, a reference system is required. An imaginary network of lines called a grid or graticule is […]

Grenada

Area 133 square mi (344 square km) Population 106,300 (2014) Capital Saint George’s Highest Point 2,756 ft (840 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $882.2 million 2014 Primary Natural Resources timber, tropical fruit, agricultural products. GRENADA IS AN independent island country in the CARIBBEAN SEA. It is a member of the British Commonwealth. The country was in the news in 1983, […]

Greenland

ONE OF THE MOST northerly territories in the world is Greenland, located between the North ATLANTIC, the northeastern coasts of CANADA (Ellesmere and Baffin islands), and the ARCTIC OCEAN. More than two-thirds of the region lies above the ARCTIC CIRCLE. Greenland is technically considered part of North America, though ICELAND (usually considered part of Europe) […]

Greece

Area 51,012 square mi (130,800 square km) Capital Athens Population 10.96 million 2014 Highest Point 9,626 ft (2,917 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $237.6 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources bauxite, lignite, magnesite, petroleum. FOR OVER 4,000 years, Greece has been at the crossroads of civilizations. The great empires of the Western and Eastern worlds […]

great circle

A GREAT CIRCLE IS defined as a direction line that forms a full circle. This is also called a true azimuth. A great circle divides the Earth into equal halves and on the idealized surface of the Earth, the shortest distance between two points lies along a great circle. The equator is a great circle, […]

Great Barrier Reef

THE GREAT BARRIER REEF, located on the northeast coast of AUSTRALIA, is comprised of the world’s largest cluster of coral reefs. It is 1,250 mi (2,012 km) long; running along 10 mi (16 km) of the eastern Australia shore in the north to 100 mi (161 km) in the south. Its length is comparable to […]

grasslands

MANY DIFFERENT TYPES of ecosystems throughout the world are described as grasslands because they are dominated by species of grass with a range of other plant types as subordinates within the community. Grasslands occur at most latitudes and altitudes reflecting the wide range of environmental tolerances that characterize this huge taxonomic group of plants known […]

Grand Canyon

WITH DIMENSIONS of 277 mi (446 km) long and 18 mi (29 km) wide, the Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world. Crafted by the Colorado River, it is an enduring and unchallenged natural symbol of North America. At its present size of 1,904 square mi (4,911 square km), […]

Grand Canal (China)

THE GRAND CANAL is one of the wonders of the world. Built in the 7th century by CHINA’s Sui Dynasty, it stretches about 1,100 mi (1,800 km) across eastern China—about the same distance as MIAMI, FLORIDA, to NEW YORK CITY, or LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, to Vancouver, CANADA. The canal was built to transport rice and […]

Golan Heights

THE GOLAN HEIGHTS (in Arabic, Al-Jaw-lan) is a hilly region in southwest SYRIA, bordering nearby regions of LEBANON and JORDAN, with a highest point of 7,297 ft (2,224 m). The area is one of the most heavily disputed areas in the history of the 20th century. When the state of ISRAEL emerged after the vote […]

Gobi Desert

THE 650,000-square-mi (1,600,000-square-km) Gobi is the largest desert in CHINA and MONGOLIA; both the Taklamakan Desert (in XINJIANG) and the Changtang Desert (in TIBET and Qinghai) are only half the size. Only the SAHARA is bigger than the Gobi among the world’s deserts. The Gobi separates the Republic of Mongolia from the province of Inner […]

globalization

GLOBALIZATION IS A term that is used quite frequently but whose meaning remains obscure. One definition of globalization is that is a process of complex interconnections between societies, cultures, institutions, and individuals that takes place worldwide. It also describes the increased mobility of goods, services, labor, technology, and capital. Although globalization is not a new […]

global warming

GLOBAL WARMING IS an increase in the temperature of the Earth due to an increase in greenhouse gases that reduce natural cooling. Periodically, the natural changes in the Earth’s climate have produced increases and decreases in average temperature and the changes have altered the climate of the Earth. The current debate over global warming centers around […]

glaciation

THE ACTION OF GLACIERS has made a huge difference in the appearance of the Earth’s surface. Changes in the land from the action of glaciers is called glaciation. A glacier is a moving mass of ice, air, water, rock and sediment. Glaciers flow very slowly with gravity created by their own mass. During the last […]

Gibraltar

GIBRALTAR IS AN overseas territory of the UNITED KINGDOM. Historically known as one of the Pillars of Hercules, the Rock of Gibraltar has guarded the entrance to the Mediterranean world since the beginning of Western civilization. Held by Great Britain since 1704 (formally since 1713), the peninsula remains one of Britain’s last overseas territories, with little […]

Ghana

Area 92,090 square mi (238,500 square km) Population 26.44 million (2014) Capital Accra Highest Point 2,904 ft (885 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $38.65 billion (2014) Primary Natural Resources gold, bauxite, diamonds, hydropower. GHANA IS LOCATED in west-central Africa and is bordered by CÔTE D’IVOIRE to the west, TOGO to the east, and BURKINA […]

Germany

Area 137,845 square mi (357,021 square km) Population 80.89 million 2014 Capital Berlin Highest Point 9,721 ft (2,963 m) Lowest Point -11 ft (-3.54 m) GDP $3.853 trillion 2014 Primary Natural Resources iron ore, coal, potash, timber, lignite. THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC of Germany is one of the largest countries and has the largest population in […]

geostrophic winds

GEOSTROPHIC WINDS blow above the friction layer of the Earth, balanced between pressure gradient forces and the Coriolis force. Geo, meaning “Earth,” and strophic, or “turning,” refer to the Coriolis force of the Earth’s rotation. The Coriolis force causes wind to bend, eventually equalizing with the pressure gradient force. Geostrophic winds blow aloft and parallel to […]

Georgia (U.S. state)

ONE OF THE 13 original American colonies, the state of Georgia was founded by General James Oglethorpe under a charter signed by King George II of England in June 1732. Georgia is bounded on the east by the ATLANTIC OCEAN and SOUTH CAROLINA, on the west by ALABAMA, on the south by FLORIDA, and on […]

Georgia

Area 43,310 square mi (69,700 square km) Population 4.504 million 2014 Capital T’bilisi Highest Point 17,064 ft (5,201 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $16.53 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources forests, hydropower, manganese, iron ore, copper. LOCATED IN THE REGION known as the Caucasus or Caucasia, Georgia is a small country, about the size of […]

geopolitics

GEOPOLITICS IS POLITICS taking place in regard to geographical circumstances, territorial relations and aspirations of political entities. It derives from the spatial settings of place as well as from territoriality as a universal dimension of human (and animal) behavior. While the spectrum of geopolitical action is very wide, it is never just derived from “geographic […]

geomorphology

GEOMORPHOLOGY IS the study of landforms. Landforms are surface expressions of rocks, as are various features made by rivers, groundwater, waves and currents, winds, glaciers, and corals. Landforms come in all shapes and sizes. A DELTA, PLATEAU, VOLCANO, sinkhole, and beach are all landforms. Geomorphologists are geologists and physical geographers who specialize in the study […]

geographic information system

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION systems are widely known by their abbreviation, GIS. The most popular definition of GIS is: a computer-assisted system for the acquisition, storage, analysis, and display of geographic data. Conceptually, GIS has been defined as the digital representation of the landscape of a place (a site, a region, a planet), structured to support analysis. A […]

geographic database

A GEOGRAPHIC database can be defined as a catalog that stores data that are spatially referenced. These databases are collections of similar data that are related either through location, data structure or type, or common underlying purpose. Geographic databases can be divided into two main data concepts, graphic and nongraphic. Nongraphic data is data that […]

gender geography

GENDER GEOGRAPHERS, prominent in the discipline since the 1980s, focus their research on the differences between men and women in virtually all aspects of social, economic, and political life and the resulting inequalities that result. The sub-discipline of gender geography has grown dramatically over the past two decades and there is a specialty group within […]

Ganges River

ORIGINATING IN TIBET and flowing 1,557 mi (2,507 km) from northwest to southeast through INDIA, the Ganges River empties into the BAY OF BENGAL. Known as the Ganga in India, it is the most important river in South Asia, sustaining the lives of literally hundreds of millions of people daily. Along with its sister river […]

Gambia

Area 4,361 square mi (11,300 square km) Population 1.909 million (2014) Capital Banjul Highest Point 174 ft (53 m) Lowest Point 0 m, GDP $807.1 million (2014) Primary Natural Resources peanuts, millet, sorghum, corn, sesame, cassava. GAMBIA IS BORDERED by the ATLANTIC OCEAN on the west and surrounded on the remaining three sides by SENEGAL. […]

gallery (galeria) forests

GALLERY FORESTS are commonly defined as any forest along a river or stream, especially in a grassland. Since geographers frequently cite BRAZIL as the best example of this phenomenon, we often use the Portuguese word galeria to identify it. Gallery forests are also found in places other than Brazil. For example, an article in the […]

Gaia

THE IDEA THAT nature is a holistic unity has been constantly existent throughout human history. The major reemergence of the idea took place in the early 20th century in the name of holism. This reappearance of holism became the foundation of the Gaia hypothesis, the most recent recurrence of the ancient belief of the harmonious […]

Gabon

Area 103,347 square mi (267,669 square km) Population 1.711 million (2014) Capital Libreville Highest Point 3,215 ft (980 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $17.23 billion (2014) Natural Resources cocoa, coffee, timber, minerals (gold). LOCATED ON THE ATLANTIC OCEAN coast in Central Africa, Gabon shares borders with CAMEROON, Republic of the CONGO, and EQUATORIAL GUINEA. […]

Fulda Gap

LOCATED IN GERMANY, between the cities of Leipzig and Frankfurt, and oriented along the Fulda River, the Fulda Gap is a name given to a mobility corridor oriented on a line that runs from Leipzig toward Frankfurt. It is bounded on the south by the Vogelsberg Hills and on the north by high ground north […]

frontier

AS WITH SO MANY geographic terms, the concept of frontiers is closely linked with other ideas. In practice, frontiers rarely remain the same; changing with time and technology, and in the process adjusting the world they have affect upon. It has become common to view frontiers in reference to some political or geographical area that lies […]

French Southern Territories

ONE OF THE MOST remote spots on Earth, the French Southern Territories consists of three groups of islands in the southern INDIAN OCEAN, not too far from the coast of ANTARCTICA, and a thin slice of the Antarctic continent itself, known as Adélie Land. No one lives permanently in these territories, but they are seasonally […]

French Polynesia

FRENCH POLYNESIA IS a French overseas territory situated in the south central PACIFIC OCEAN. There are five inhabited archipelagos: the Society, Tuamotu, Gambier, Australes, and Marquesas island chains. The islands are volcanic but the Tuamotu chain is made up of low coral atolls of which there are 80. French Polynesia numbers 121 islands in all, […]

French Guiana

FRENCH GUIANA, or Guyane française, is the only one of the three Guianas (British, Dutch, and French) to retain its political links with Europe. Having been a full part of the French state as an overseas department since 1946—and thus a part of the EUROPEAN UNION— its citizens look to Europe more than to South […]

France

Area 212,796 square mi (545,630 square km) Population 66.20 million 2014 Capital Paris Highest Point 15,863 ft (4,807 m) Lowest Point -6.6 ft (-2 m) GDP $2.829 trillion 2014 Primary Natural Resources coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, potash, timber. ONE OF THE DOMINANT nations of Europe since the 9th century, and of the world since […]

fractal geography

IN THE FRACTAL Geometry of Nature (1983), Benoit Mandelbrot writes, “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth.” In an effort to more properly analyze and represent nature mathematically, Mandelbrot developed a new geometric pattern called a fractal. There are various definitions for the complex structure of […]

forests

FORESTS COVER approximately 27 percent of the ice-free surface of the Earth, 13 million square mi or 34 million square km. The world’s forests mainly occur in two broad zones: one centered in the tropical regions, the other in the Northern Hemisphere between 32 degrees N and 45 degrees N latitude. Globally, forest composition and […]

footloose industries

THE IDEA OF FOOTLOOSE industries has changed along with the transformation from an industrial to a postindustrial economy. The core concept remains the same, however: A footloose industry does not have a strong locational preference because the resources, production skills, and consumers on which it depends can be found in numerous places. Such a company […]

Florida

“THE SUNSHINE State,” covering an area of 58,560 square mi (151,714 square km), is the most southern state of the UNITED STATES and is mainly a large lowlying peninsula, measuring from north to south about 430 mi (690 km), bounded by the ATLANTIC OCEAN on the east, the Gulf of Mexico on the west, and […]

floods

OF ALL THE NATURAL hazards in the world, floods are the most widespread. Historically, floods have killed more people and caused more damage than any other type of natural disaster. A flood is defined as an overflowing of water on an area that is normally dry. There are several types of flooding, including river flooding, […]

floodplain

FLOODPLAINS HAVE been a focal point of settlement throughout history and of controversy in recent decades. Humans are drawn to floodplains to cultivate the fertile soils that compose them. Floodplains are some of the best lands for growing crops, but they come with a price. Sometimes, rivers exit their banks and inundate the flat lands […]

Finland

Area 130,500 square mi (338,000 square km) Population 5.464 million 2014 Capital Helsinki Highest Point 4,426 ft (1,328 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $270.7 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources timber, metals arable land. AS CITIZENS OF the northernmost country in Europe, the people of Finland have long experienced the effects of their nation’s absolute […]

Fiji

Area 6,767 square mi (18,270 square km) Population 887,000 2014 Capital Suva Highest Point Tomanivi 4,343 ft (1,324 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $4.030 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil. THE REPUBLIC OF the Fiji Islands, a part of Oceania, is an archipelago in the South PACIFIC OCEAN, about […]

Fertile Crescent

THE FERTILE CRESCENT, an area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, was called Mesopotamia by the ancient Greeks. This meant “the land between the rivers.” The Fertile Crescent extends from the eastern shore of the MEDITERRANEAN SEA to the PERSIAN GULF and gets its name from its shape. James Breasted, an archeologist from the University […]

federation

GEOGRAPHICALLY, a federation (from the Latin foedus, meaning “league,” “ covenant,” or “ alliance”) is a political system created by the voluntary association of distinct political units and formally established by treaty or compact. It is a system of dual sovereignty. Each unit maintains some form of independent administrative power or local identity and sovereignty. […]

Fayum

FAYUM (also spelled “Faiyum” or “Fayyum”), comes from the Coptic Phiom (“sea”), and geographically designates a muhafazah (governorate), formerly a mudiria (province) of Upper EGYPT, an oasis in northcentral Egypt adjacent to the NILE RIVER, with significant paleontological and archaeological interest. Fayum is one of 26 administrative divisions of the Arab Republic of Egypt and […]

Faroe Islands

THE FAROE OR FAEROE Islands (Faerøerne in Danish, Farøyar in Faroese, meaning the “Sheep Islands”) are located at the intersection of the North ATLANTIC OCEAN and the Norwegian Sea, roughly equidistant between NORWAY, SCOTLAND, and ICELAND. Their closest neighbors are the Shetland Islands, 190 mi (305 km) to the southeast. Like the Shetlands, the Faroes […]