Definition of geography. The science that studies the geographic envelope of the Earth

Geography is one of the oldest sciences in the world. Even primitive people studied their terrain, drawing the first primitive maps on the walls of their caves. Of course, modern science geography sets itself a completely different task. Which ones? What does she study? And what definition can be given to this science?

Definition of geography: the main problems and difficulties

If physics teaches "how," history explains "when" and "why", then geography tells "where." Of course, this is a very simplistic view of this subject.

Geography - science is very old. The term itself has ancient Greek roots and is literally translated as "land description". And its foundation was laid in antiquity. The first scientist-geographer called Claudius Ptolemy, who in the second century published a book with an unambiguous title: "Geography." The work consisted of eight volumes.

definition of geography

Among other scientists who have made a solidcontribution to the development of geography as a science, it is worth mentioning Gerhard Mercator, Alexander Humboldt, Karl Ritter, Walter Kristaller, Vladimir Vernadsky, Vasily Dokuchaev.

An accurate and unified definition of geography so farremains a rather difficult task. According to one of several interpretations, this is a system of sciences that study various aspects of the functioning and structure of the Earth's geographic envelope. There is one more definition of geography, according to which this science studies the patterns of the propagation of any phenomenon on the earth's surface. But Professor V.P. Budanov wrote that although the content of geography is very difficult to determine, but its surface is beyond any doubt the surface of the entire globe.

Geography as a science about the geographic shell of the Earth

Yet the main object of study is thethe geographic envelope of the Earth. Domestic science gives the following definition of this term. The geographic envelope is an integral and continuous envelope of the planet Earth, which consists of five structural parts:

  • lithosphere;
  • hydrosphere;
  • atmosphere;
  • biosphere;
  • anthroposphere.

And, all of them are in close and constant interaction, exchanging substance, energy and information.

the science of the geographic shell of the Earth

The geographic environment has its own parameters(power - about 25-27 kilometers), and also has certain regularities. Among these are the integrity (unity of components and structures), rhythmicity (periodic recurrence of natural phenomena), latitudinal zoning, altitudinal zonality.

Structure of geographical science

The distinction between natural and humanscience fatty line passed through the "body" of the once unified geographic science, scattering its individual disciplines in completely different planes of scientific research. Thus, some physico-geographical branches are more closely related to physics or chemistry than to the population or economy.

geography of the Earth

Geography of the Earth is divided into two large disciplines.

  1. Physical.
  2. Social and economic.

The first group includes hydrography,climatology, geomorphology, glaciology, geography of soils and others. It is not difficult to guess that they are engaged in the study of natural objects. The second group includes economic, population geography, urban studies (the science of cities), regional studies and others.

Connections with other sciences

How closely geography is related to other sciences? What place does it occupy in the system of scientific disciplines?

Geography has the closest ties with suchsciences, such as mathematics, history, physics and chemistry, economics, biology and psychology. Like any other discipline, it is also genetically related to philosophy and logic.

It is worth noting that some of these inter-scientific ties were so strong that they gave birth to completely new so-called through disciplines. These include:

  • cartography (geography + geometry);
  • toponymy (geography + linguistics);
  • historical geography (geography + history);
  • soil science (geography + chemistry).

The main geographical problems at the present stage of the development of science

Strange as it sounds, but one of the most importantgeographical problems is the definition of geography as a science. Moreover, methodologists and theorists are so carried away by the solution of this problem that a question has already arisen, but is there such a science in general?

modern science geography

In the 21st century, the role of prognostic function has increasedgeographical science. With the help of a huge amount of analytical and factual data, various geomodels are being built (climatic, geopolitical, ecological, etc.).

The main task of geography at the present stage -not only to realize the deep links between natural phenomena and social processes, but also to learn how to anticipate them. One of the most important branches of science today is georbanistics. Every year the number of urban population in the world is growing. The largest cities in the world are facing new challenges and challenges that require an immediate and constructive solution.

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