Emergent Geographies of the Sea

These epistemological shifts, in turn, have led to new areas of research in the human geography of the ocean. In the remainder of this section, four areas of human geography are reviewed: political, cultural, environmental, and economic geographies of the sea.

A Sea Change in Epistemology

In recent decades, each of these barriers to human geographic research on the ocean has been challenged by broad reaching shifts in social thought. Turning first to the barrier of state centrism, since the 1970s the rise of globalization studies has led to the emergence of a number of perspectives that challenge the prevailing view of the world as a […]

Oceans

Oceans

The Forgotten 71% Oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface and contain 97% of the planet's water. Over 20% of the world's petroleum is derived from offshore sources and 95% of world trade by weight, or two thirds by value, is carried by ship. Eighty percent of the world's fish catch comes from the ocean, supporting the livelihoods of 140 […]

The Future of Agricultural Land Preservation

Government responses to the urbanization of agricultural land have recognized the need to develop programs to support agricultural viability in conjunction with agricultural land preservation policies. However, policies to protect agricultural land must account for the uncertainty of the agricultural economy. If farming becomes too unprofitable an occupation, it will not be economically viable for governments or private landowners to […]

Approaches for Preserving Agricultural Land

Since the realization was made that the conversion of agricultural lands to urban uses in the post World War II era was having an impact on the ability of farmers to operate, and threatening future food security in the Western world, a range of approaches have been implemented. Some were designed specifically for, or dominated by, agricultural interests. Others […]

Agricultural Land Preservation

Why Protect Agricultural Land The success of today's agricultural sector is vital to the economy of most nations. In Canada, for example, agriculture is the third largest contributor to the gross domestic product and employs over 762 000 people, but its supply of agricultural land is limited and unevenly distributed, with only 11% of the land base […]

The Second Half of the Twentieth Century

From the 1950s, agricultural policy was a main driving force within the growing European Economic Community (EEC). Already during the 1950s, agriculture in France and the Netherlands had recovered from wartime damage and searched for new export markets. Germany, that had lost many of its most productive agricultural regions, aimed at reestablishment of its position as an industrial nation and expected […]

The Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

The Agrarian crisis of the 1880s brought yet another transformation. Again, this was mainly a grain crisis, caused by the competition of Russian and, particularly, American grain. The transport revolution – intercontinental trains and ever larger transatlantic steamships – tipped the balance and within a few years American grain, cheaply produced on large farms, flooded the European market. European countries reacted […]

Estimates of labour productivity and land productivity in agriculture in England & Wales, France, Belgium and the Netherlands

The Early Modern Period

A slow recovery started during the fifteenth century and continued during the 'long sixteenth century'. A new phase of economic integration started during this period, in which the European economies and landscapes re grouped around northwestern Europe, the only re maining core region. The main center of trade moved within the core region from Antwerp (sixteenth century) to Holland (particularly Amsterdam, seventeenth […]

The Late Middle Ages

During the first half of the fourteenth century, the population had reached a maximum. A population that had become increasingly dependent on grain, was hit hard by a succession of bad harvests and, in the years after 1346, by the large plague epidemic. Within a few decades, the European population dropped by almost a third. There were exceptions. In the Low […]

European cultural landscapes

Early and High Medieval Europe

In many parts of Europe, within as well as outside the struggling Roman Empire, the third to fifth centuries AD were a period of crisis and de population. This was followed by a slow recovery in the following centuries. During the seventh to ninth centuries, the peripheries of Europe, Scandinavia, Ireland, Muslim Spain, and the Byzantine Empire, showed the more […]

Production and demographic responses to population pressures

Agrarian Transformations

For thousands of years, landscape and society have been heavily influenced by developments in agriculture. In most preindustrial societies, agriculture occupied the majority of the population. Holland was an early exception, with the majority of the population already living in towns at the end of the sixteenth century. Most countries in Western Europe reached this point somewhere during the first […]

Gendered Boundaries

In considering what it is about the gender(ing), situation(s) and treatment of women that entails their heightened susceptibility to agoraphobia, geographers have considered the potential significance of gender role stereotypes. For women, such stereotypes involve characteristics not dissimilar to those found in agoraphobia; a woman's place is commonly described as in the home. Such notions about proper behavior and roles […]

Managing Social Space

Common Coping Mechanisms Given the crisis state of spatial affairs entailed by agoraphobia, it is unsurprising that the subjects should attempt to find ways to protect themselves. Erving Goffman's sociology has been inspirational for feminist studies of agoraphobia because of his attempts to elucidate the nature of less pathological social anxieties (such as everyday embarrassments) and the tactics by which they […]

Embodying and Theorizing Agoraphobia

Placing Panic Drawing on in depth interviews with agoraphobics, geographical studies have stressed that the phenomeno logical aspects of agoraphobia of overwhelming signifi cance for its sufferers relate primarily to the experience of panic. A panic attack involves a wide range of terrifying mind–body symptoms, including: chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath; feelings of going crazy and losing control […]

Agoraphobia

Introduction Since the late 1970s, there has been a surge of interest in agoraphobia and panic among clinicians, and publications on the subject often begin by drawing attention to its contemporary prevalence. Agoraphobia is described by clinical researchers as one of the most common – as well as distressing – phobic disorders encountered. The significance of phobic anxieties for contemporary […]

How Do Agglomerations Emerge and Develop – Historical Approaches

Spatial agglomerations of similar and related economic activity often have deep historical roots. An alternative way to understand the agglomeration phenomenon is to study real agglomerations historically in order to analyze their birth, growth, saturation, decline, and possible reinvigoration. The origin of the agglomeration in such accounts, that is, the event or action which triggered subsequent developments, sometimes turns out to […]

What Factors Make Up Agglomeration Economies?

Identifying and analyzing those advantages that may accrue to firms located in close juxtaposition to other similar and related firms, rather than being located in isolation, is one way to account for the agglomeration phenomenon. The concept of agglomeration economies (or localization economies) refers to these advantages. The basic understanding of this concept was in place already a century ago. Thus, Alfred […]

False Paradoxes and ‘Circular Logics’

The research problem attached to the agglomeration phenomenon may seem to be trivial. We have a phenomenon that can be observed in reality. Firms in the same or related industries often – although far from always – tend to co locate in space, and this should reasonably indicate that there should be some advantages connected to such a […]

The Core Issue of Economic Geography

In the context of economic geography, agglomeration may refer to a concentration in space of some entity, or the process by which such a spatial formation is created. While the dictionary definitions signal that agglomeration is to be understood as an unsystematic, haphazard process, where some entities pile up together in space but are not really affected in any particular […]

Agglomeration

The term agglomeration can be used both as a noun and as a verb. Dictionary entries of agglomeration as a noun will typically refer to a ''collection or mass of things rudely or loosely thrown or huddled together,'' an ''unmethodical assemblage,'' a ''confused or jumbled mass,'' or merely a ''clustering or cluster.'' As a verb, consequently, agglomeration refers to […]

Conclusion: Performing age

Recent work within geography has highlighted the performed nature of identity. This approach has been very useful in deepening understandings of the ways gender and sexuality, for example, are not fixed or given but continually performed and endlessly capable of disruption and reinvention. There has been very little work approaching age in this way, although such an approach offers many […]

Relational Geographies of Age

This section considers current trends and directions being addressed by and impacting upon geographies of age. Relational approaches to age help render the operation of age explicit within all geographical analysis and support greater awareness of age and ageism throughout human geographical research. This has strong parallels with the way understandings of gender and race now inform a vast range of […]

Geographies of Older People

Geographies of Older People

While there has been significantly less geographical work on older than younger people, there is a growing willingness among geographers to explore the ways space, place, and scale impact upon and are shaped by older people. Geographers have thus looked at ageism within spatial planning and the ways older people experience the built environment as well as how older age […]

Children’s Geographies

Children’s Geographies

There has been sufficient research, publication, and teaching activity in the field of children's geographies since Alison James' seminal piece in the journal Area in 1990 that a distinct subdiscipline has emerged, complete with its own journal (Children's Geographies, founded in 2003) and a specialty research group of the RGS IBG (Children, Youth and Family Working Group, formed in 2006). As the […]

Ageism and Age

Age is important. Alongside gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, dis/ability, and other axes of social difference, age shapes the social world at every scale and in many different ways. In common with all lines of social difference, age is also the site of oppression and prejudice. Ageism, or prejudice based on age, takes many forms. It is one […]

Mobility and Older People’s Quality of Life

Studies of migration tend to feature the more visible and radical forms, like retirement to Spain or Costa Rica, or the return from London or New York to Jamaica, when most migrations by older people are local housing adjustments – like those by adults of all ages. Many local moves make an important contribution to maintaining older people's independence and […]

Recent Developments in Retirement Migration

The percentage of United States retirees who migrate abroad is very small, but given the very large population and the recent surge of international travel and communications, the absolute number is growing. The phenomenon has recently attracted a major study by the Migration Policy Institute in 2006 in Washington DC. This found that ''the US born senior population (aged […]

Migrants in Advanced Old Age

A particular concern of both older people's welfare organizations and the public authorities in areas with high concentrations of older migrants is that some, through poor planning, bad luck, or sickness, end up in situations in which they are isolated, impoverished, and out of touch with both formal and informal support. Most who move long distances for retirement, whether within […]

Older Minority-Group Migrants in Rich Countries

In most developed countries, many surveys of the health and treatment needs of minority group older migrants are now undertaken by health and social services agencies, which of course have privileged access to their patients, and have the resources needed to translate questionnaires and employ bilingual interviewers. The findings of such surveys are largely descriptive and policy and practice oriented, and have […]

Return and Family-Joining Older Migrants

Alongside the two main types of older migrants, there are others about which much less is known. The most apparent are 'return migrants', the labor migrants of long residence who return to their native regions and countries when they cease work. They are themselves diverse, and their migrations straddle internal and international moves. In all countries, some who moved […]

Aged Labor Migrants

A contrasting group of older migrants comprises labor migrants who have reached old age in the countries to which they moved in their early adult years. They are also socially diverse, but in Europe very many migrated from the Caribbean, north and west Africa, Turkey, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent to the cities of northwest Europe from the 1950s […]

International Retirement Migration

The first international retirement flow to attract the attention of American researchers was of Canadians to Florida, and the first to attract the attention of European population geographers was the settlement of northern European retirees in various regions of southern Europe. The latter moves began to increase rapidly during the 1960s for a host of reasons: the new democratic regimes in […]

Internal Retirement Migration

A third interest shared by population geographers and social gerontologists has been to understand the motivations, patterns, and consequences of retirement migration. Until the 1980s, almost all such moves were within various European countries, the United States, and Australia. The settlement of estranged aristocrats and retired senior soldiers and sailors to coastal resorts and spas was evident even before the […]

Migration and Old Age

Although migration researchers focus on young adults' moves, for more than 25 years, population geographers and social gerontologists have studied old age migrations and migrants. The first interest, in the 1940s, was whether moves into nursing homes or between hospitals entailed a mortality risk. By the early 1980s, Pastalan, in Rowles and Otha in 1983, was able to review 34 US […]

Ageing and Mobility

Ageing and Mobility

Migration can be defined as a change in residence from one location to another. Such movements are immensely diverse, from short distance house changes to intercontinental moves. Many moves are short term, have little impact on the migrants' lives, and are reversible; others are permanent and life changing. As migration is a spatial process, it has been keenly studied by […]

Emerging Critical Perspectives

Reflecting the emergence of critical perspectives in both social gerontology and human geography, research published since the mid 1990s draws much more on social theory, focuses on constructions and representations of aging and challenges accepted social norms about aging. Moving away from treating older people as 'objects' of study, several studies engage with aging and the concept of embodiment, and talk […]

Residence and Care

Residence and Care

It is typical for studies in this field to simultaneously capture elements of older peoples' residential (living) arrangements, and their health and social care. This is because in older age, many older people require both assistance with their everyday living activities and various health and social services. Consequently many places – including nursing homes, residential homes, assisted living arrangements, retirement communities, and […]

Negotiating Environments

Negotiating Environments

Some of the earliest geographical research, which engaged with older peoples' changing relationships with environments, drew heavily on environmental psychology published in the 1960s and 1970s, and in particular on the pathbreaking work of gerontologist Powel Lawton. Lawton's ecological theory of aging was most famously articulated through his environmental docility hypothesis (also associated with terms such as aging and […]

The Health of Older Populations

The Health of Older Populations

Another long standing strand of research is focused on the health of older populations. Population geographers and demographers, along with epidemiologists and health geographers have played central roles. At the national scale, life expectancy in specific countries is an important consideration and bodies such as the World Health Organization have produced a number of publications outlining rates and variations in expectancy. Health […]

Movements of Older Population

Movements of Older Population

Over the last 20 years, a great deal of research has focused on movements of older population. At one level, research has focused on broad migration patterns. Other studies – often which are qualitative have investigated some important social contexts and consequences such as family networks and the pushes and pulls to and from different locations in migration decision making, […]

Population Aging

Population Aging

Since the 1950s, a long standing strand of aging and health research has been concerned with population aging. It is an area of interest dominated by the work of demographers and population geographers who have particular expertise in handling and analysing large population data sets that are essential sources for these studies. Researchers have identified the spatial patterning and characteristics of demographic […]

Ageing and Health

Ageing and Health

When considering the potential importance of the geographical study of older people and populations, some basic facts are well worth remembering. Older people – typically defined by governments and other officialdom as being over 65 years of age – constitute a significant and growing proportion of the general populations of both developed and developing world counties; the former approximately 15%, the […]

Postcolonial Africa

Postcolonial Africa

The phrase, 'postcolonial Africa' is literally a reference to the continent in the period after the end of European colonialism. However, the usage of the phrase in this sense is actually inadequate, because the autonomy of African states is so circumscribed and the legacies of colonialism so great as to lead many to question how far African countries can be considered […]

(Under)Developing Africa

(Under)Developing Africa

1In the nineteenth-century, European geographers explored the African continent and then aided and abetted the colonial conquest. In the twentieth century, they mostly served the cause of establishing and maintaining colonial rule during the first half, and then worked in the cause that came to be called Africa's 'development', in combination with new generations of African professional geographers. This project of […]

Representing Africa II: Exploration, Colonialism, and Imperialism

Representing Africa II: Exploration, Colonialism, and Imperialism

The earliest European human geographies of Africa were geographies of exploration and conquest, and from the era of the Atlantic slave trade through colonialism (a span of exploitation of Africa stretching from about 1450 into the 1960s and 1970s), they shaped the way much of the world views Africa. Through the Atlantic slave trade, an estimated 11.6 million Africans were forcibly […]

Africa

Representing Africa I: The Early Years

When non Africans talk about Africa today, it is often in the context of discussions of poverty, disease, warfare, or political instability. Africans are often represented as villains or victims. This was not at all the way the outside world's understanding of Africa began. Indeed, the whole notion of any generalized collective understanding of a landmass or entity called 'Africa' took […]

Defining Africa

Introduction: Defining Africa

Africa is huge, diverse, and complex. Africa is identified as the world's second largest continent, covering more than 30 million square kilometers. Its diversity and complexity extend to its physical geography, climatology, and biogeography. Africa has many vast plateaus, five major basins, long stretches of fertile volcanic mountains not far from desolate wastelands below sea level, lakes that are among the world's […]

Conclusion: The Politics of Affect

Conclusion: The Politics of Affect

For human geography, and for our roles as researchers, thinking with and using the concept of affect plugs us into the qualitative means and strategies we have for investigating the everyday worlds in which we live. Affect based research thus operates a strong political gesture in directing attention to the affective affinities produced among forms of life where we […]

Modes of Thinking Affect

Summarizing and working through the concept of affect, it is helpful to think of it in four different ways. The first two take affect to be a material thing, firstly understanding it as a phenomena and secondly as a force; then it can be addressed directly as a theory before finally understanding affect as a mode of expression. So […]

Affect

Affect

Affect is at once an actual phenomenon and a virtual force, a material effect and an immaterial disposition. As a conception, it pairs dangerously close to our understandings of emotion and therefore exists as something familiar and seemingly knowable despite not having objective tangibility. As a result of this it is often rendered academically in fairly abstract and philosophically […]

Activism and Academia: Contradictory Spaces?

Activism and Academia: Contradictory Spaces?

Many of the remarks above gesture to the complications of working in the 'third space' between activism and academia, not least because the academy is traditionally suspicious of highly engaged, participatory, and transparently ethico politically 'committed' inquiry, but also sometimes because activists are (often justifiably) suspicious of what these academics are 'really' after (ultimately career boosting or wishing to make a […]

Responsible Activist Geographies

Responsible Activist Geographies

First, the motivation of activist geographies is to develop practices aimed at social transformation rather than merely the 'production of knowledge' and/or the 'solving' of 'local' problems. Activist research moves beyond the acquisition, cataloging, ordering, and the publishing of information toward jointly producing knowledge with resisting others to produce critical interpretations and readings of the world which are accessible, understandable to […]

Activist Methodologies, Collaborations, and Everyday Life

Activist Methodologies, Collaborations, and Everyday Life

This eruption of activist and related geographies within the discipline is taking place at a time in which there is increased social mobilization and conflict around the world. Issues such as globalizing capitalism, trade agreements, failed development, neoliberalism, and the war on terrorism have been met by opposition ranging from the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, itself both locally played out and stretching […]

Toward More Fully Activist Geographies

Toward More Fully Activist Geographies

Since the 1970s, Marxist, feminist, and, more broadly, radical and critical geographers have produced outstanding scholarship and theorizing, substantively researching sociospatially constituted oppressions, inequalities, and injustices. Yet, there has often remained an uneasiness about the relative disconnect between such work and the potential of the discipline to contribute genuine activist interventions aiming to right the wrongs of such oppressions and the […]

Activist Geographies

Activist Geographies

Geographers have been activists in two primary ways. First, geographers have constructed new theories and explanations for social phenomena that have both substantially altered the ways that students and researchers understand problems, and the ways that academia evaluates research. Geographers, and other social scientists, have challenged the status quo in scholarly approaches, methods, and substantive areas by offering conceptual frameworks that have highlighted the […]

Geographies of Activism Types and Catalysts of Activism

Geographies of Activism Types and Catalysts of Activism

Activism centers on a variety of different issues, can be reformist or radical in its objectives, and consists of distinct methods ranging from peaceful civil disobedience to violence. The catalysts for activism often center on visible and substantial change in social values, political debates and decision makers, economic activities, or urban land use patterns, but require awareness or knowledge of the […]

Network Geographies

Network Geographies

ANT can be said to be proposing network geographies. There are two aspects of this proposal that need mentioning: first are the basic characteristics of the geographical imagination advocated by ANT, and second is the methodological implication of this perspective for geographical research. Topological World Space and time are central to ANT. Actor-networks necessarily depend on nonhuman actors […]

Moves into Geography – Bypassing Dualisms

Moves into Geography – Bypassing Dualisms

The move of ANT into the realm of human geography happened parallel to a general conceptual development in the field. This was not least expressed by the cultural turn, the general rise of feminist studies to prominence, and a broad relational view as, for instance, framed in the non representational theory. The import of ANT perspective into the fields of […]

Actor-Network Theory

Actor-Network Theory

Material Relationalism The origins of actor-network theory (ANT) can be traced to science and technology studies (STS) and sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) in the early 1980s. The approach has from the start been especially associated with the figures of Bruno Latour, Michel Callon, and John Law, who are much inspired by the French philosophers Michel Foucault, Michel Serres, Gilles Deluze, and […]

Activist Geographies

Activist Geographies – Introduction

Activist geographies are concerned with action, reflection, and empowerment (of oneself and others) in order to challenge oppressive power relations. As a fusion of theory and practice (praxis), activist geographers seek to forge mutual solidarity with resisting others – communities, groups, social movements, or nongovernment organizations who are challenging various practices of dominating power – through critical collaboration. The objectives can […]

Activism

Activism

Introduction Activism is most commonly associated with collective or group action by ordinary people, usually volunteers, who come together to change what they consider to be unacceptable or unfair circumstances. These individuals come together in a shared belief about the nature of the problem, and the means to best address the issue, using political opportunity structures to enable their influence on […]

zones of convergence/divergence

zones of convergence/divergence

A BROAD AREA WHERE two tectonic plates are colliding is a zone of convergence. An area where plates are moving apart is a zone of divergence. Convection in Earth's mantle drives the two motions. Convergence occurs above descending limbs of convective cells, whereas divergence takes place above cells' rising limbs. The two zones' geologies are similar in many ways—they both have mountain […]

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Area 150,803 square mi (390,580 square km) Population 15.25 million (2014) Capital Harare Highest Point 8504 ft (2,592 m) Lowest Point 531 ft (162 m) GDP $14.20 billion (2014) Primary Natural Resources corn, cotton, wheat, coffee, peanuts. ZIMBABWE IS a LANDLOCKED country in southern Africa. It is bordered by SOUTH AFRICA, MOZAMBIQUE, BOTSWANA, and ZAMBIA. The name […]

Zambia

Zambia

Area 290,584 square mi (752,614 square km) Population 15.72 million (2014) Capital Lusaka Highest Point 7,549 ft (2,301 m) Lowest Point 1,079 ft (329 m) GDP $27.07 billion (2014) Primary Natural Resources copper, zinc, lead, coal, gold. ZAMBIA IS LOCATED in central Africa and is slightly larger than the state of TEXAS. It is completely LANDLOCKED, with […]

Zagros Mountains

Zagros Mountains

THE ZAGROS MOUNTAINS are a complex chain of mountains and ridges in the westernmost part of IRAN. The range divides the region between the fertile plains of Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf lowlands to the west, and Iran's dry inland plateau to the east. The ridges run roughly northwest to southeast, 930 mi (1,500 km) in length, from Kurdistan to the […]

Zagreb

Zagreb

ZAGREB IS THE capital of CROATIA, and it is emerging as one of the leading cities of the regeneration of the Balkan Peninsula. Although it is one of Europe's oldest cities, it also is one of Europe's newest capital cities, since Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. With a population of nearly 900,000 people, Zagreb is much larger than any […]

Yucatán Peninsula

Yucatan Peninsula

THE YUCATAN PENINSULA is made up of three states: Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan, which also include major resort areas such as Cancun, Cozumel, and Playa del Carmen. The Yucatan Peninsula extends northward from Central America and is bordered on the east by the CARIBBEAN SEA and on the north and west of the peninsula by the Gulf of Mexico. The Yucatan […]

Yenisey-Angara River

Yenisey-Angara River

THE YENISEY AND ANGARA rivers form a dividing line between western and eastern SIBERIA. Like the other major rivers of the region, they flow from highlands in the south across the flat north Siberian plains to the ARCTIC OCEAN. The watershed also includes the subbasin of Lake BAIKAL, the second-largest body of fresh water in the world. Most of the Yenisey-Angara basin […]

Yemen

Yemen

Area 203,850 square mi (527,970 square km) Population 26.18 million 2014 Capital Sana'a Highest Point the jabal an nabi shu'ayb 12,335 ft (3,760 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $35.95 billion 2013 Primary Natural Resources negligible. YEMEN, NO MATTER how it is defined or what its current political structure, has always controlled the southwestern tip of the […]

Xinjiang

Xinjiang

THE XINJIANG UYGUR Autonomous Region (eastern Turkistan) is one of the CHINA's five autonomous regions and the largest provincial division. Xinjiang has an area of 635,871 square mi (1,646,900 square km) and a population of 19,250,000, and its capital is Urumqi. Xinjiang borders Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu, MONGOLIA, KAZAKHSTAN, KYRGYZSTAN, TAJIKISTAN, AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, RUSSIA, and INDIA. Natural resources include crude oil, gas, iron, copper, […]

xerophytes

xerophytes

BIOGEOGRAPHERS AND ecologists usually classify plants according to their water needs. Since the global distribution of water varies from dry to wet, plants also vary in their adaptation to the availability of water. Xerophytes are plants of the arid regions. The Greek prefix xero- means dry in contrast to hygro- (wet) and meso- (intermediate). Xerophytes as a class of plants are […]

Wyoming

Wyoming

Wyoming is one of the ROCKY MOUNTAIN states located in the west-central UNITED STATES. Rectangular in shape, it is bordered by MONTANA to the north, SOUTH DAKOTA and NEBRASKA to the east, COLORADO and UTAH to the south and IDAHO to the west. With an area of 97,818 square mi (253,348 square km), Wyoming ranks 10th nationally in size. With […]

Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Wisconsin lies on the western border of Lake MICHIGAN. Covering some 65,503 square mi (169,652 square km), the state ranks 23rd overall in size. With nearly half of the state's 5,363,675 population (2000) living in five major urban areas, the state has a comfortable country feeling with approximately 44 people per square mi (114 per square km). Madison, the state capitol, […]

Winnipeg, Lake

Winnipeg, Lake

LOCATED IN THE SOUTHEAST portion of the Canadian province of Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg (Cree for “murky or muddy waters”) is 266 mi (428 km) long and has an area of 9,417 square mi (24,390 square km). English explorer Henry Kelsey was the first European to visit the area in 1690 and is believed to have given the lake its name. The […]

wine geography

wine geography

FROM THE TIME THAT the seafaring Phoenicians introduced wine to Egypt—and wealthy Egyptians grew grapes in a warm but otherwise imperfect climate 4,500 years ago—several geographic rules have guided the trade. First, it was never difficult to cultivate a taste for wine. If far-flung commerce proved impossible at certain times and places, the product could be sustained by a few advocates and […]

wetlands

wetlands

WETLANDS ARE WATER-BASED ecosystems that cover approximately 6 percent of the Earth's land area. an estimated 3.3 million square mi (8.6 million square km). Wetlands occur on every continent except ANTARCTICA and in every climatic zone from the humid tropics to DESERT to tundra. Three climatic zones of the world (tropical, subtropical, and boreal) support 70 percent of the world's wetlands. Together, […]

Western Sahara

Western Sahara

Area 102,703 square mi (266,000 square km) Population 261,794 (2014) Capital None; occupied by Morocco Highest Point 2,700 ft (823 m) Lowest Point -180 ft (-55 m) GDP per capita na Primary Natural Resources phosphate. AS OF 2005, WESTERN SAHARA, formerly called Spanish Sahara, was officially occupied by MOROCCO. Western Sahara is one of the most inhospitable […]

West Virginia

West Virginia

WITH ITS CAPITAL at Charleston, West Virginia occupies 24,181 square mi (62,629 square km). Its lowest point is the Potomac River at 210 ft (73m) near Harper's Ferry. It's highest point is Spruce Knob at 4,863 ft (1,483 m) and its primary natural resources are coal, natural gas, stone, salt, oil, and mineral springs. West Virginia (population 1,808,344) is known as the […]

weather

weather

THROUGHOUT HISTORY, humankind has always been in awe of the weather. Ancient civilizations considered it to be the work of the gods. Even as recently as the 1700s, it was thought that weather occurred in only one place and simply stayed put. Benjamin Franklin was one of the first who published his speculations that this was untrue when he learned that […]

Washington

Washington

THE STATE OF WASHINGTON in the northwest UNITED STATES has an area of 71,303 square mi (184,674 square km) and a population of 5,894,121 (2000). Bordered by OREGON to the south and CANADA to the north, Washington State boasts a dramatic range of geographic diversity, including dense forests, mountain ranges, an ocean coast, and arid farmland. The capital is Olympia and the […]

Wallis and Futuna Islands

Wallis and Futuna Islands

THE WALLIS AND FUTUNA ISLANDS (overseas territory of FRANCE) are a collection of tiny islands in the South PACIFIC OCEAN. Consisting of three hereditary kingdoms, its government is an anomaly as an integral part of the French Republic, but there is little impetus for change, in either traditional government or its affiliations with France. Part of an arc of islands stretching […]

wadi

wadi

A WADI IS A RAVINE or gully in the MIDDLE EAST or northern Africa that is dry for most of the year. The word wadi means “valley” or “ravine” in Arabic. When the rainy season comes, great quantities of water may rush through the wadis, destroying lives and property. Most of the year, wadis are either dry or have intermittent stream […]

Von Thünen, Johann H. (1780–1850)

Von Thunen, Johann H. (1780–1850)

JOHANN HEINRICH von Thunen was an important theorist in the science of land use. His work brought together the fields of economics and geography to provide an illustration of the balance between land cost and transportation costs. Although his land system was designed to calculate optimal distribution in the context of preindustrialized Europe—before the development of railroads, for example—the equations and principals he […]

Volga River

Volga River

THE VOLGA RIVER is considered to be the mother of Russian rivers. Europe's longest, it drains an area of 550,288 square mi (1,410,994 square km), roughly 40 percent of European RUSSIA. From its origins in the heavily forested hills near the Baltic Sea to its mouth on the CASPIAN SEA 2,300 mi (3,700 km) away, the river passes through much of […]

volcanoes

volcanoes

A VOLCANO IS ANY vent on the surface of the Earth, or another world, which allows molten rock, ash, steam, gas, or pyroclastic debris to spill out. Volcanoes proliferate along the edges of the Earth's tectonic plates, and are found on other satellites in our solar system, such as Io, one of Jupiter's moons. In a volcano, a tunnel or conduit […]

virtual geography

virtual geography

THE INTERNET TOGETHER with a new generation of related computer software and hardware is producing a revolution in how we conceptualize and interact with geographic places and spaces. This revolution is sustained by the continual diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) into many segments of a globally connected society. These ICT forms include immersive multimedia, video conferencing, computer-aided design (CAD), electronic […]

Virginia

Virginia

NAMED FOR QUEEN Elizabeth I of England who was known as the Virgin Queen, the Commonwealth of Virginia is officially known as The Old Dominion State. The state is also frequently referred to as the “Mother of Presidents” because eight presidents were born in the state, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Jamestown, on the banks of the James River, was one […]

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

Virgin Islands (U.S.)

A TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES, roughly 65 km (40 mi) east of PUERTO RICO, these islands were named by Christopher Columbus in honor of the 11,000 martyred companions of Saint Ursula, Las Once Mil Virgenes. Today, these islands are split into two groups: the largest islands form an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States, while the smaller islands to the […]

Virgin Islands (British)

Virgin Islands (British)

AN OVERSEAS TERRITORY of the UNITED KINGDOM, and poorer cousins to the U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, the British Virgin Islands have looked to their larger and more populous neighbors to the west for much of their economic and cultural influences: most tourists to the islands are from the mainland UNITED STATES, and the islands have used U.S. currency since 1959. But recent British […]

Vinson Massif

Vinson Massif

VINSON MASSIF IS THE highest peak (16,077 ft or 4,901 m) on the ANTARCTICA continent. It forms the southern outlier of the Sentinel Range, the northern range of the Ellsworth Mountains. The Ellsworth Mountains, divided into the Sentinel Range and the Heritage Range by the Minnesota Glacier, lie in the eastern part of Ellsworth Land, inland from the Ronne Ice Shelf. Vinson […]

Vietnam

Vietnam

Area 204,779 square mi (329,560 square km) Population 90.73 million 2014 Capital Hanoi Highest Point 10,315 ft (3,144 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $186.2 billion 2014 Primary Natural Resources phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite. THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC of Vietnam was formed into a single country in 1976 when the North and South Vietnam states were united after […]

Victoria, Lake

Victoria, Lake

WITH AN AREA of 26,830 square mi (69,490 square km), Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa and, after Lake SUPERIOR in North America, the second largest lake in the world. At 3,720 ft (1,130 m) above sea level, Lake Victoria is bordered by UGANDA, KENYA, and TANZANIA. It is 209 mi (337 km) at its greatest length and 150 […]

vernacular housing

vernacular housing

HUMAN GEOGRAPHERS often distinguish between the natural environment and the built environment. The latter, also known as the cultural landscape, consists of that part of our milieu that has been modified by human action. One category of cultural landscape is created by folk cultures, which are often found in rural areas; such people generally change slowly and in small increments. They may […]

Vermont

Vermont

BOUNDED BY THE Canadian province of Quebec to the north, MASSACHUSETTS to the south, NEW HAMPSHIRE to the east, and NEW YORK to the west, Vermont covers an area of 9,609 square mi (24,887 square km) and is located in the westernmost portion of the New England region of the UNITED STATES. Its highest point, Mt. Mansfield, reaches an elevation of […]

Venezuela

Venezuela

Area 352,144 square mi (912,050 square km) Population 30.69 million 2014 Capital Caracas Highest Point 16,427 ft (5,007 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $381.3 billion 2012 Primary Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold. VENEZUELA IS A COUNTRY in northern South America. A former Spanish colony, Venezuela formed part of the country of Gran Colombia […]

vegetation zones

vegetation zones

THE COMPOSITION OF associations among plant species tends to vary regularly across gradients of altitude, latitude, temperature, soil types, and other variables. Making use of this observation, biogeographers are able to delineate distinct sets of conditions along such gradients that reflect changes, sometimes abrupt, in the distribution of plant associations. Where two or more such changes occur, the ecology of a […]

vegetation geography

vegetation geography

GEOGRAPHERS ARE CONCERNED with studying elements of the natural and human environments. They want to determine the relationships between these elements and wish to explain their patterns of location. Vegetation is an important and highly visible element of the natural and cultural environment. To the trained eye, vegetation offers a rapid means of determining habitat suitability for various human endeavors. One way […]

Vatican City

Vatican City

Map Page 1131 Area .273 square mi (.44 square km) Population 911 (2003) Highest Point Vatican Gardens 252.6 ft (77 m) Lowest Point Saint Peter's Square 62.4 ft (19 m) GDP per capita not available Primary Natural Resources none. THE STATE OF VATICAN City is the world's smallest independent state. This tiny city situated on a […]

Vanuatu

Vanuatu

Area 4,758 square mi (12,200 square km) Capital Port-Vila Population 258,900 2014 Highest Point 6,194 ft (1,877 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP $815.0 million 2014 Primary Natural Resources manganese, hardwood forests, fish. UPON ACHIEVING independence from FRANCE and Great Britain in 1980, the peoples of the islands known as the New Hebrides renamed the island nation […]