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Place: Site/Situation
Why places and people
are where they are:
Environment/Ecumene!
Where… How their
location affects other
places: Diffusion!
Contemplate don’t write
but what exactly is it?
A way of thinking spatially about what our world is = Take any
social, environmental, or physical question or problem and ask
yourself whether there is a spatial aspect to it. Chances are that
space and place play a role in the explanation and distribution of
that question.
☼
Why do there always seem to be been so many wars in
Africa?
☼ Why is corn such an important part of a traditional
Mexican diet?
☼ Why are some beers known as India Pale Ales?
Absolute is a measure of latitude/longitude; a specific
mathematical location
Relative is a description using the nearby surroundings or unique
features of the location; it’s situation in relations to others
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displays a degree of uniformity / differentiates
areas
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basic unit of study for the geographer
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Thing we identify is called a phenomenon
…are areas that have some degree of
homogeneity in one or more phenomena.
activity or cultural trait like corn production, bible belt
…are legally bound or defined by something
they share.
A country, state, city
or region
Formal Education systems
in Switzerland
…are defined by a set of activities or
interactions that occur within it.
A city and its suburbs
Newspaper, baseball team, or
an airport
Vernacular regions (common term)
A perception of an area using environment,
culture, ideology…like a stereotype

Regions exist within a vertical order, and
one place can be part of several regions
simultaneously.
World Realms
The United States
Texas
Austin
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Landscape is the material character of a place /
natural habitat.
Aspects introduced by humans is “built
environment” or “cultural landscape”

Every place is unique. Imagine where you lived
as a child. What made that special?
Sensory
 Architecture
 Symbolic
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Cultural and Built Landscape show us the
human impact and provides evidence of 2
theories of human and environment interaction
What kinds of
cultural values are
reflected in each of
these American
houses?
Gated community?
Where are we? What values are reflected
in each? What relation to physical
environment?
Timber House, Switzerland
Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
Yurt on Mongolian Steppe
Suburban Home, Chicago

The result of the natural environment and all
of the changes to it as a result of a particular
culture. (Carl Sauer)
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Environmental Determinism: environment is
primary determinant of culture.
Possibilism: humans are primary determinant of
culture.
Is it we who impact the environment or is it
the environment that impacts us????
N.Y.C.
Environmentally Determinism or
Possibilism?
What about Bali,
Indonesia?
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As you view each of the slides, ask
yourself these questions:
Who wins the fight woman/man or
nature?
Why?
Can woman/man conquer all
environments?
Does the environment determine
our destiny?
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