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Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline Notes | Study NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

Document Description: Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline for UPSC 2022 is part of Class 11 Fundamentals of Physical Geography for NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) preparation. The notes and questions for Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline have been prepared according to the UPSC exam syllabus. Information about Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline covers topics like What is Geography?, Geography as an Integrating Discipline , Physical Geography and Natural Sciences, Geography and Social Sciences, Branches of Geography: Based on Systematic Approach, Branches of Geography: Based on Regional Approach, Physical Geography and Importance, Some Solved Questions and Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline Example, for UPSC 2022 Exam. Find important definitions, questions, notes, meanings, examples, exercises and tests below for Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline.

Introduction of Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline in English is available as part of our NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) for UPSC & Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline in Hindi for NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) course. Download more important topics related with Class 11 Fundamentals of Physical Geography, notes, lectures and mock test series for UPSC Exam by signing up for free. UPSC: Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline Notes | Study NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC
Table of contents
What is Geography?
Geography as an Integrating Discipline 
Physical Geography and Natural Sciences
Geography and Social Sciences
Branches of Geography: Based on Systematic Approach
Branches of Geography: Based on Regional Approach
Physical Geography and Importance
Some Solved Questions
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What is Geography?

Geography is the description of the earth.

  • As the earth has variations in its physical, social, and cultural features too.
  • The term geography was first coined by Eratosthenese, a Greek scholar (276-194 BC.). 
  • The word has been derived from two roots from Greek language geo (earth) and graphos (description).

Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline Notes | Study NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

  • The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents.
  • Landforms provide the base on which human activities are located. The plains are utilized for agriculture.
  • Plateaus provide forests and minerals.
  • Mountains provide pastures, forests, tourist spots and are sources of rivers providing water to lowlands.

Question for Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline
Try yourself:Which one of the following scholars coined the term ‘Geography’?
View Solution


Why Should We Study Geography?
• We live on the surface of the earth.

• Our lives are affected by our surroundings in many ways.

• We depend on the resources to sustain ourselves in the surrounding areas.

• Primitive societies subsisted on ‘natural means of subsistence.

• To know about all the phenomena which vary over space.

• To learn about the diverse lands and people.

• To understand the changes which have taken place over time.

• To investigate the causes responsible for creating such variations over time and space.

• To understand the globe converted into maps and have a visual sense of the earth’s surface.


Geography as an Integrating Discipline 

  • Geography as an integrating discipline has an interface with numerous natural and social sciences.
  • Geography not only takes note of the differences in the phenomena from place to place but integrates them holistically which may be different at other places.
  • Geography influences historical events.
  • In traditional warfare, countries with large size in the area, gain time at the cost of space.
  • In India, Himalayas have acted as great barriers and provided protection but the passes provided routes to the migrants and invaders from Central Asia.
  • The sea coast has encouraged contact with people from East and Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Physical Geography and Natural Sciences

  • All the branches of physical geography, have connections with natural sciences.
  • Traditional physical geography is linked with geology, meteorology, hydrology, and pedology, and thus, geomorphology, climatology, oceanography, and soil geography respectively have a very close link with the natural sciences as these derive their data from these sciences.

Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline Notes | Study NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

  • Bio-Geography is closely related to botany, zoology, as well as ecology as human beings, are located in a different locational niche.
  • The cartographic and quantitative techniques require sufficient proficiency in mathematics, statistics, and econometrics.

Geography and Social Sciences

  • The history of geographical thought as the mother branch of geography is included universally in its curricula.
  • All the social science disciplines, viz. sociology, political science, economics, and demography study different aspects of social reality.
  • Geography and Civics: The core concern of political science is territory, people, and sovereignty while political geography is also interested in the study of the state as a spatial unit as well as people and their political behavior.
  • Geography and Economics: Economics deals with basic attributes of the economy such as production, distribution, exchange, and consumption are part of economic geography.

Question for Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline
Try yourself:Which of the following is not studied under economic geography?
View Solution


Branches of Geography: Based on Systematic Approach

Revision Notes: Geography as a Discipline Notes | Study NCERT Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

1. Physical Geography:

  1. Geomorphology is devoted to the study of landforms, their evolution and related processes.
  2. Climatology encompasses the study of the structure of the atmosphere and elements of weather and climates and climatic types and regions.
  3. Hydrology studies the realm of water over the surface of the earth including oceans, lakes, rivers, and other water bodies, and its effect on different life forms including human life and their activities.
  4. Soil Geography is devoted to studying the processes of soil formation, soil types, their fertility status, distribution, and use.

2. Human Geography:

  1. Social / Cultural Geography encompasses the study of society and its spatial dynamics as well as the cultural elements contributed by the society.
  2. Population and Settlement Geography (Rural and Urban). It studies population growth, distribution, density, sex ratio, migration, and occupational structure, etc. Settlement geography studies the characteristics of rural and urban settlements.
  3. Economic Geography studies the economic activities of the people including agriculture, industry, tourism, trade, and transport, infrastructure, and services, etc.
  4. Historical Geography studies the historical processes through which space gets organized. Every region has undergone some historical experiences before attaining its present-day status. The geographical features also experience temporal changes and these form the concerns of historical geography.
  5. Political Geography looks at the space from the angle of political events and studies boundaries, space relations between neighboring political units, delimitation of constituencies, election scenarios and develops a theoretical framework to understand the political behavior of the population.

3. Biogeography:

The interface between physical geography and human geography has lead to the development of Biogeography which includes:

  1. Plant Geography studies the spatial pattern of natural vegetation in their habitats.
  2. Zoo Geography studies the spatial patterns and geographic characteristics of animals and their habitats.
  3. Ecology / Ecosystem deals with the scientific study of the habitats characteristic of species.

Branches of Geography: Based on Regional Approach

  1. Regional Studies/Area Studies Comprising Macro, Meso and Micro Regional Studies
  2. Regional Planning Comprising Country/Rural and Town/ Urban Planning
  3. Regional Development
  4. Regional Analysis

There are two aspects that are common to every discipline, these are:

1. Philosophy

  • Geographical Thought
  • Land and Human Interaction/Human Ecology

2. Methods and Techniques

  • Cartography including Computer
  • Quantitative Techniques/Statistical Techniques
  • Field Survey Methods
  • Geo-informatics comprising techniques such as Remote Sensing, GIS, GPS, etc.

Physical Geography and Importance
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.)
  • the hydrosphere (oceans, seas, lakes, and associated features with water realm)
  • biosphere ( life forms including human beings and macro-organism and their sustaining mechanism, viz. food chain, ecological parameters, and ecological balance)

Some Solved Questions

Q.1. You have already studied geography, history, civics, and economics as parts of social studies. Attempt an integration of these disciplines highlighting their interface.

Ans: 

Geography is an integrated discipline.

1. Geography and History: The geographical factors have modified the course of history in different parts of the world. Every geographical phenomenon undergoes change through time and can be explained temporarily. The changes in landforms, climate, vegetation, economic activities, occupations, and cultural developments have followed a definite historical course.

2.Geography and Civics: The core concern of political science is territory, people, and sovereignty while political geography is also interested in the study of the state as a spatial unit as well as people and their political behaviour.

3. Geography and Economics: Economics deals with basic attributes of the economy such as production, distribution, exchange, and consumption. Each of these attributes also has spatial aspects and here comes the role of economic geography to study the spatial aspects of production, distribution, exchange, and consumption.


Q.2. Explain the changes that occurred in the civilization of man over the course of time? 

Answer: Many changes have occurred in the civilization of man in course of time.

  • Man moved from stage of necessity to stage of freedom.
  • Created new possibilities from nature.
  • We find now humanized nature and naturalized man.
  • Space got organized with the help of transport and communication.

Q.3. Differentiate between Physical geography and Biogeography.

The main differences between Physical geography and Biogeography are given below:

BasisPhysical GeographyBiogeography
MeaningIt has developed as a subject concerned with study of evaluation and management of natural resources.It has emerged as a result of the interface between physical geography and human geography.
BranchesIt has three sub-branches: Geomorphology, climatology, and hydrology.It has three branches: Plant Geography, Zoo Geography, and Ecology.
Subject matterIt studies abiotic elements of the earth.It studies biotic elements of the earth.

Q.4. As a scientific discipline with how many categories of questions is geography concerned? Explain. 

Answer: Geography as a discipline is concerned with three sets of questions

  1. Some questions are concerned with the identification of the patterns of natural and cultural features as found over the surface of the earth. These are the questions about “what”?
  2. Second type of questions are related to the distribution of the natural and human/ cultural features over the surface of the earth. These are the questions about where?
  3. The third question is related to the explanation or the causal relationships between features and the processes and phenomena.

Q.5. Explain different branches of geography under Biogeography.

Answer: Biogeography has emerged as a result of the interface between physical geography and human geography. It has three branches: Plant Geography, Zoo Geography, and Ecology.

Different branches of Biogeography are as follows:

  • Plant Geography: It studies the spatial pattern of natural vegetation in their habitats.
  • Zoo Geography: It studies the spatial patterns and geographic characteristics of animals and their habitats.
  • Ecology: It is concerned with the scientific study of the habitats characteristic of species.
  • Environmental Geography: It is concerned with environmental problems such as land gradation, pollution, and environmental conservation.
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