Why geography is important, have you ever given it a thought? The essence of studying the geography of a place is that when one sees a place on the map, one must be able to visualize the living conditions of people there, the politics of that place along with the terrain of that place. To get a complete idea, the importance of Geography in every field is thoroughly discussed in this article along with its branches.
1. What is Geography?
The great Geologist Dr. H.R. Mill defines geography as a discipline, and according to him, Geography is the exact and organised knowledge of the distribution of phenomena on the surface of the earth, culminating in the explanation of the interaction of a man with his terrestrial environment. It is to be noted that the importance of Geography covers not only scientific aspects but also history, art, and majorly philosophy. (See What are Geologic Features?)
2. What are the Five Themes of Geography with Pictures & Examples?
In 1984, The Association of American Geographers and the National Council for Geographic Education defined five themes of Geography for K-12 Classrooms. The National Geography Standards supplanted these five themes for organizing instruction of geography and to get a better understanding of the importance of Geography.
The five themes are:
A. Human-Environment InteractionPhoto by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
This theme refers to the way humans adapted to the kind of environment or climate of the place they inhabit to suit their survival needs. For example, the Lumberjacks of Canada adapted to the profession of cutting wood because of the abundance of timber in their area. Woodcutting is also profitable because people may use firewood to keep themselves warm, given that the place is cold for a quite significant time of the year. (See How many Biomes are there in Africa?)
B. LocationPhoto by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash
The base of studying Geography is to know the location of a place. There are two ways of expressing the location: Absolute location and Relative location.
- Absolute location is the one where one gives the exact address or coordinates of a place. For example, House no 128, Nashville. Or, the coordinates of the soldier are 52 degrees 58`N, 92 degrees 36`W. Also, check out What is the Absolute Location of the Philippines?
- Relative location is the one in which the location of a place is found with respect to another. For example, my house is just behind Supermarket.
C. MovementPhoto by Juan Encalada on Unsplash
This aspect studies migration and transport of people or goods from one place to another. For example, the movement of ethnic tribes from one place to the other, the flowing of water in the Gulf Stream, etc. (See What is the Importance of Transportation in your Life?)
D. RegionPhoto by Raj Rana on Unsplash
To study a place, geographers tend to divide it into smaller units called regions. There are three types of regions:
- Formal Region: These are officially defined regions. These regions have politically defined boundaries. These are cities, countries, etc.
- Functional region: These areas are defined in terms of their connections to other regions. For example, the metropolitan core is busier than the suburbs.
- Vernacular Region: These areas are expressed in relative terms. This type of region mapping is done in mental maps. For example, Rajasthan lies north of Maharashtra. Also, check out What is the Imaginary Line that Runs from the Geographic North To South Pole?
E. PlacePhoto by vicky munde on Unsplash
Place refers to the physical and human characteristics of a geographical region.
- Physical characteristics include a description of relief features, like topographical features. (See How many States are Along the East and West Coasts?)
- Human characteristics include folklore, beliefs, and culture of that area.
3. What is the Importance of Geography? Why is Geography important?
Geography has profound importance because:
- Geography empowers a person with the skills and knowledge for spatial analysis and thinking to contribute to society. It helps to navigate through real-world problems in a meaningful way. Must read about the Weight of Earth and Moon.
- Geography widens the scope of research activity on human and physical aspects of Geography.
- Geography is linked with several other branches of science, like anthropology, data science, sociology, politics, economics, earth science, etc.
- The importance of Geography helps one in understanding the planet’s issues like climate change, deforestation, etc.
4. Why should you study Geography? List 10 reasons why Geography is importantPhoto by Arshla Jindal on Unsplash
The importance of Geography is as follows:
- Geography makes people more aware of their locality and world in general. It may be about the culture, politics, etc of a place or the topographical features.
- Geography makes one understand the theory of global interdependence. People prosper as collective humanity by understanding the theory of the origin of different cultures.
- Geography tells us how different cultures co-exist and prosper with each other and this is one of the primary reasons why geography is important.
- It tells us about the shape of the culture of a place and the generic behavioral pattern of the locals of a region.
- Geography promotes non-fictional study areas like analysis, research, etc. It involves the study of first-hand accounts like analysis of data statistics, research papers, etc.
- Geography acts as the base for the study of history. It provides the map for understanding the events of history in a better way by answering the questions- why, how, and where.
- Geography helps us to travel smarter. It is easier to make full use of the itinerary when one knows the area well. Geography indirectly helps us to understand globalization. When we travel abroad, we pick up pieces of people’s cultures and contribute to their economy. Travels propel globalization and traveling is possible only due to the study of Geography.
- We can understand the happenings around the globe in a better way if we know the location of the said places. If one knows the physical location of a region, they will be able to relate the news and its implications on their region.
- The study of geography improves a person’s navigation skills.
- The study of Geography helps one to understand how the availability of resources, relief features, etc. (See What is the Smallest City in the World?)
5. What is the importance of Geography in Tourism?
Physical Geography is a branch of Geography that studies the processes which have caused specific spatial features on the Earth, the plants and animals which inhabit it, and the climatic conditions there. If one is aware of the climatic conditions of a place and how and why geography is important, one can make a better decision about whether to visit the place. Nowadays, with the advent of better technology, people can even check the weather of a place using their mobile phones and pack accordingly. This is possible only due to the study of Geography. (See What are the Seven wonders of the World?)
6. What is the importance of Geography in Human Life?Photo by Landon Arnold on Unsplash
Of all benefits, the utmost importance of Geography is its profound effect on human life. Geography helps us in:
- By knowing the position of a region on the globe, one can make a better attempt at understanding its position and stance on globalization.
- By knowing the location and culture of a region, one can understand how a piece of particular news about that place has an effect on different regions across the globe. For example, Russia’s attack on Ukraine had a profound effect on the economies around the world. To understand that, one must know the locations and cultures of all those places on the globe.
- Geography helps us to navigate better. By knowing the directions to a place, one can save time in traveling long distances, sailing, and hiking.
- Geography helps us to know about climate change and its effects on human and animal health. It also suggests measures to curb such problems and save the forest and aquatic life, which in turn, affects human life. (See What is North Pole Temperature today?)
7. What is the importance of Geography in History?
The events of the past are inextricably linked to the geography of those places. The importance of Geography included the study of history from the days when science and technology were not a part of life. People were reliant on the natural features of the area more compared to this day.
Let us understand the aforementioned statement with the help of an example. The Indus Valley Civilisation developed around the river Indus. The river is of extreme importance as it was the source of all activities required to sustain life there. When we try to understand the location of the river, the kind of soil found there, etc, we also discover trade routes, the means of transportation, the metals found there, etc. This, in turn, helps us to understand their culture and their lifestyle better. (See What does Fool’s Gold look like?)
8. What are Branches of Geography?Photo by GeoJango Maps on Unsplash
There are two main branches of Geography: Physical Geography and Human Geography. However, there are many more branches of Geography:
- Urban Geography
- Population Geography
- Economic Geography
- Political Geography
- Cultural Geography
- Hazards Geography
- Transportation Geography
- Agricultural Geography
- Tourism Geography
- Environmental Geography
- Settlement Geography
- Industrial Geography
- Social Geography
- Geographic Thought
- Medical Geography
- Geographic Information Systems
- Military Geography
- Geography of Water Resources
- Geography of Mountains
- Geography of Deserts. (See How many Hemispheres on Earth?)
9. What do Geographers do?
Geographers study places and their relationship with their environments and people. They study the structure and origin of the earth, as well as the way people are spread across the earth. Geographers also attempt to deconstruct the relationship between the climate and culture of a region. They research and appreciate why geography is important and the reasons why certain geologic features are found and where, what changes they have been through, what changes they are likely to go through, and how is that going to affect life. (See How Big is Israel Compared to a US State?)