What is Geography?

Geography is defined as the scientific study of earth’s lands, its features, its inhabitants and the phenomena surrounding the earth. It is an all-round discipline that explains an understanding of the earth and its human, physical and environmental complexities. Geography can be divided into three main branches or types. These are human geography, physical geography and environmental geography.


Three Types of Geography:

1. Human Geography:

human Geography

Image: World Population

This is an important branch of geography that mainly involves the study of human race. This involves the study of the race, their origins, their interactions and the perceptions they have regarding various ideologies that affect them. It also includes the study of how these groups of people organize themselves in the places that they inhabit. Human geography has the following sub braches:

Population geography: This is the study of geography that is mainly concerned with the demographic distribution of the people. It includes the study of population distribution, migration, origin and growth in a particular region.

Economic geography: Economic geographers study the manner in which different products and services are produced and distributed in the various niche market. Additionally, this branch also examines the manner in which wealth is distributed over various regions across the planet.

Medical Geography: This is the branch of geography that deals with the study of patterns and spread of diseases. This involves epidemics and pandemics and their origins and distribution over a given geographical location.

Religious geography: This is the branch of human geography that studies the spread and distribution of religious groups, their culture and the built environment.

Political geography: This branch of human geography studies and investigates the political aspects of humans. This involves the boundaries of countries, the development strategies put in place and the voting patterns and behaviors within each jurisdiction.


2. Physical geography:

 Physical geography:

Image: World Climate Change Projections, NASA

Physical geography is another major branch of geography that deals with the physical characteristics of the earth. This is not limited to the characteristics on the earth’s surface but also beneath the earth and around the earth surface. This branch of geography is also referred to as physiography. Physical geography has the following sub-branches.

Biogeography: This is the study of animals and plants and their distribution and patterns on the earth’s surface.

Water resources geography: This is the branch of physical geography that deals with water resources and how the various water resources are managed and distributed across the physical earth. This also involves the study of how water is collected, distributed and used in different places spread across the planet.

Climate Geography: This is a branch of physical geography that deals with the study of the weather patterns and how these weather patterns affect the climate of a region on the planet. This also includes the study of all the activities that take place within the atmosphere and the atmospheric composition.

Geomorphology: This is a branch of physical geography that deals with the study of land and the processes that different land formations go through. It also studies the various land forms and the subsequent disappearance of these forms through such factors as erosion.

Soil geography: This involves the study of the upper layer of the earth’s surface, the lithosphere and its categorization and distribution.


3. Environmental Geography:

Environmental Geography:

Image: World Map, histroy of human migration

Environmental geography is the study of spatial aspects of interactions between humans and their immediate environment and the resultant repercussions of this interaction. This branch of geography helps in understanding the various types of human activities over an area and their resultant effect on this area.

Importance of environmental geography: Environmental geography helps in understanding the physical land forms and their relationship with human activities. This helps researchers identify what human activities lead to what land forms and how to avoid or encourage certain activities that affect the environment.Environment geography also helps in simplifying life by studying the causes of diseases based on the environmental activities and their spread.