Q. 1. Distinguish between the following pairs :
(i) Regional Geography (ii) Systematic Geography.
Ans. The geographical study of an area is done with the help of two approaches.
(i) Regional Geography: It is an integrated study of the geographical factors of an area. The main geographical features of a continent or a country or a region are studied. This study examines manenvironment relationship. Each geographical factor of a region is examined separately. These findings are integrated to create a distinct character of the region treating it as a unit. Each region is studied in its total setting. The different regions can be compared. Thus the study of regional geography implies the demarcation of regions and sub-regions having similar characteristics.
(ii) Systematic Geography : Systematic Geography implies the detailed study of a single specific geographical factor. For example, the study of climate. The climate of the world as a whole is studied ; climatic types and sub-types are recognised over the globe. This approach is explanatory and is largely interpretative. A detailed study of Agriculture is done by marking agricultural regions of India.
Thus the study of a specific geographical factor is known as systematic geography. It studies geographical facts in an individual manner.
Q. 2. Distinguish between : Physical Geography and Bio-geography.
Q. 3. Describe the main branches of Geography.
Ans. Branches of Geography
Geography is an interdisciplinary subject of study. The study of every subject is done according to some approach. The major approaches to study geography have been (a) Systematic and (b) Regional.
The systematic geography approach is the same as that of General Geography. This approach was introduced by Alexander Von Humboldt, a German Geographer (1769-1869) while regional geography approach was developed by another German Geographer and a contemporary of Humboldt, Karl Ritter (1779-1859).
(a) Human Geography. Human Geography studies the influence of environment on human life. Man tries to modify his environment and creates manmade or cultural features. These features include agriculture, towns, settlements, means of transportation etc. The study of these man-made features is called Human Geography. Human Geography may be divided into following main branches :
1. Social/Cultural Geography. This branch deals with the cultural aspects of different human groups.
The cultural aspects include the following aspects : (i) Shelter, (ii) Food, (iii) Clothing, (iv) Skills, (v) Tools, (vi) Language, (vii) Religion (viii) Social organisation. Some geographers prefer to call it Social Geography. It studies the dynamic as well as cultural elements contributed by the society.
2. Economic Geography. Economic Geography studies the economic activities of man. It studies the distribution and utilisation of resources of the earth.
It is a study of products in the form of their production, consumption and exchange.It studies agriculture, industry tourism, trade, transport infrastructure and services etc.
3. Population and Settlement Geography. Population Geography deals with the study of biological and cultural characteristics of human groups. It studies the distribution of population, population growth, migration, occupational structure death rate, birth rate, age, sex composition, literacy, rural and urban settlements. Settlement Geography studies the characteristics of rural and urban geography.
4. Historical Geography. Historical Geography studies the geographical development of an area from time to time in the past. It helps us in understanding the region as it is at present. Every region has undergone some historical changes. These temporal changes form the concerns of historical Geography.
5. Political Geography. It analyses the political and administrative decisions in different political units. It is concerned with boundaries, capitals, local government, international politics and regional planning, political events, delimitations of constituencies, election scenario. It provides a frame work to understand the political behaviour of the people.
6. Other Branches. Social Geography, Urban Geography Rural Geography, Agriculture, Industrial, Trade/Transport. (b) Physical Geography. Physical Geography is the study of physical elements or factors of our environment. It is the study of physical or natural features of the earth. These features include mountains, rivers, vegetation, landforms, soils etc. which have been created by nature. These physical features form the basis of human activities. Physical Geography may be divided into the following branches :
1. Geomorphology. It studies the different landforms of the earth. Geomorphology provides the base for geography. These landforms affect the field of geology, geography and climatology.
2. Climatology. It is the study of different elements of atmosphere. These elements include temperature, rainfall, winds, pressure, humidity and cloudiness. It is almost an independent science.
3. Hydrology. It is the study of the science of waterbodies like oceans. The nature of water, its movements, its temperature, ocean relief etc. are studied in this science.
4. Soil Geography. This branch of Physical Geography deals with kinds of soils, their formation and distribution. It helps in the study of land use of an area.
(c) Bio-Geography. The interface between physical geography and human geography has led to the development of Bio-Geography which includes :
1. Plant Geography studies the spatial pattern of natural vegetation in their habitats.
2. Zoogeography studies the spatial patterns and geographic characteristics of animals and their habitats.
3. Ecology/Ecosystem deals with the scientific study of the habitats characteristics of species.
4. Environmental Geography. The environmental concerns world over leading to the realization of environmental problems such as land gradation, pollution and concerns for conservation lead to the introduction of this new branch in geography.
Q. 4. Discuss the relation of Geography with other disciplines.
“Geography is a science of integration or synthesis.” Discuss.
Ans. Modern Geography describes the earth and its natural and man-made features. It is a descriptive and analytical study. Geography draws a good deal of facts from natural and social sciences. There is a close relationship between Geography and following other allied sciences :
1. Chorological Sciences. Chorological Sciences are concerned with the study of an area. Thus Astronomy and Geography are closely related to each other. Different aspects of Astronomy such as size and shape of the earth, solar system, latitude and longitude have laid the foundation of geography as a science.
2. Chronological Sciences. History is a Chronological Science concerned with the elements of time. History and Geography are linked with each other. History helps us to understand the different stages of human development through different periods.
3. Systematic Sciences. Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology are systematic sciences. These help us to study man-environment relationship.
4. Relation with Economics. Geography is closely related to Economics. Economics helps us to solve problems of economic development of an area and human welfare.
5. Relation with other Sciences. Many branches of Geography have contributed a lot to allied Sciences. Geography is related to Geology; Historical geography is related to History; Political Geography is related to Political Science; Geography is also related to Psychology and Sociology.
Every science contributes some relevant aspects to Geography. These relevant aspects are integrated for our study. The importance of these aspects is understood in a composite or synthetic form. We try to relate physical and man-made features. There is a close relationship between the relief of the land and human development of an area. This is a process of integration or synthesis. Maps and data are integrated to give a composite picture. It is from this point of view that Geography is called a “Science of integration or synthesis.”
Q. 5. Discuss the scope of Geography with changing times.
Ans. SCOPE OF GEOGRAPHY
The term ‘geography’ means ‘description of the earth’ (geo = earth + graphos = description). The term was first used by Eratosthenes, a Greek geographer who lived in Alexandria, Egypt during 276-192 B.C.E.
This is how geography was conceived in ancient times. At present, it is no longer confined to the description of the earth. It has now acquired the status of a science.
It explains the arrangement of various natural and cultural features on the earth surface.
Geography-The mother of all Sciences
Geography is often called the ‘mother of all Sciences’. In early periods, Nature was considered omnipotent and omnipresent. Nature was personified and its elements were presented as gods and goddesses and devils and evil spirits. Humans adjusted themselves to natural environment. Domestication of animals and plants, Agricultural Revolution and industrial revolution changed the man-nature relationship. Due to Scientific Inventions, knowledge about continents and oceans, mountains and plains, rivers, lakes, people and places increased many times.
Maps and charts were prepared. Thus Geography became really global.
Specialised Disciplines in Geography
A variety of cultural and natural features gave rise to many specialisations. These disciplines unravel the mysteries of nature and human behaviour. The importance of Geography grew as a science. It looks as the causes and effects of arrangement of various cultural and natural features of earth surface. It takes knowledge from other sciences. It builds theories and principles to explain the changes on earth surface. It is really an interdisciplinary field of study. It is engaged in understanding the changing spatial structural at different territorial levels, global to local and from past to the future.
Q. 6. ‘Geography is a natural-cum-human Science.’ Discuss.
Ans. Different cultures have developed due to interaction between man and nature. It is an ever evolving and ever changing phenomenon. That is why in similar natural settings, cultures and civilisations are not always the same. The earth surface that geographer studies is, therefore, not homogeneous or isometric; it is marked by vast differences in both natural and cultural features. Geography is thus, a natural-cum-human science engaged in the study of factors and processes, both natural and human, that shape the earth surface and give rise to different cultures and civilisations. It classifies and delineates the earth features to arrive at regional patterns and structures; it identifies the agencies and processes at work to change the existing patterns; and predicts the possible outcomes of the processes at work. Thus, geography tries to answer the following questions :
(i) What are the natural and cultural features on the surface of the earth ?
(ii) How have they come into being ?
(iii) How are they distributed and why ?
(iv) How are they associated with each other ?
(v) Are the existing patterns of distribution conducive to human welfare ?
(vi) What can be done to modify them ?
(vii) What are the implications of the proposed changes for humans ?
To sum up, geography is a science that studies the spatial arrangement of things on the surface of the earth resulting from a dynamic interaction between humans and nature.
Q. 7. Describe the subject-matter of Physical Geography and its importance.
Ans. Physical Geography and its importance : This chapter appears in the book entitled “Fundamentals of Physical Geography”. The contents of the book clearly reflect its scope. It is therefore, appropriate to know the importance of this branch of geography. Physical Geography includes the study of lithosphere, (landforms, drainage, relief and physiography), atmosphere (its composition, structure, elements and controls of weather and climate; temperature, pressure, winds, precipitation, climatic types etc.), hydrosphere (oceans, seas, lakes and associated features with water realm) and biosphere (life forms including human being and macro organism and their sustaining mechanism viz. food chain, ecological parameters and ecological balance).
Soils are formed through the process of pedogenesis and depend upon the parent rocks, climate, biological activity and time. Time provides maturity to soils and helps in the development of soil profiles. Each element is important for human beings. Landforms provide base on which human activities are located. The plains are utilised for agriculture. Plateaus provide forests and minerals. Mountains provide pastures, forest, tourist spots and are sources of rivers providing water to lowlands.