Wednesday, 31 August 2017

Friday, 1 June 2018

History of Geography

Geography is the study of the physical environment, in relation to the human world. The concept, History of geography basically emphasizes on how and what changes geography has undergone in the past years. Geography doesn't possess the same concepts like the past years. But it may be said that each new concepts and phenomena that arises with the arrival of time, is somewhat related to the History of geography.

The concepts of Geography, are seen to have rooted in the thinking of the philosophers and geographers in different forms. Different geographers have contributed a lot in the History of geography, which are well known even now.


History of Geography

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The History of geography has been briefly but accurately described below.

(i) Geography mainly paid emphasis on the study of location, since 200 BC to 1800 AD. During that period, only two questions were under concern and they were 'where located' and 'what is where.
(ii) Eratosthenes, who is known as the father of geography was the first person to develop a method of location with some accuracy, in the History of geography. The concept of latitude and longitude was used by Ptolemy, for map making.

(iii) After the decline of Western Geography, mathematical concepts or calculations like rectangular grid, which was based on map construction, was adopted by the Chinese geographers.

(iv) Geographers started groupism of identical places based on regional variations, after 1800 AD. This is when, Regional Geography came into existence. Methodological foundation of descriptive geography was developed by Immanuel Kant.

(v) After the study of Humboldt on vegetation and climate on regional, continental and world basis, Geography has been recognized as systematic science. The foundation of Regional Geography got strengthened after the study of Carl Ritter.

(vi) The concept of relative space was developed after 1950, which proved to be a great change in the history of geography, as in opened a new way for geography to construct map.

(vii) Geographers paid concern not only on questions where in the History of geography, but also questions like what, how, why and who. Geographical thought has been grown in the way given below :
a) Early period - where located, what is where

b) Medieval period - where located, what is where, how are the places under different environment 

c) Modern period - what is where, why are spatial distribution are structured in the way they are

(viii) Geography has been dynamic in nature, as its theme has been constantly changing.

(ix) Many philosophical changes in definition, concept and approaches in geography has been occurred, in the history of geography, that is from the middle of 19th century. Germans developed the major concept and methods, which was followed by France, British, American and Soviet scientists.

(x) For more than 200 years, Geography has faced generalisation and theory building. The importance of mathematical geography has been recognized by the geographers, after the second world war. Due to which statistical techniques got more importance, rather than Descriptive Geography, which was known as Qualitative revolution in geography.

From the above discussion, we came to know what changes the History of geography has undergone till present date. With due course of time, the definition and nature of geography has subjected many changes. But one should keep in mind that, the study of the history of geography shall continue, in order to understand and strengthen the present phenomena.

 Unlike the History of geography, today geography, mainly emphasises on providing accurate, rational description and interpretation of the character of earth's surface.

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