Portal:Geography
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Portal:Geography

The Geography Portal


Settlement geography

[[Image:|200px|Settlement geography]]

Geography (from Greek , geographia, literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of Earth. The first person to use the word "" was Eratosthenes (276-194 BC). Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of the Earth and its human and natural complexities--not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be.

Geography is often defined in terms of the two branches of human geography and physical geography. Human geography deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Physical geography deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.

The four historical traditions in geographical research are: spatial analyses of natural and the human phenomena, area studies of places and regions, studies of human-land relationships, and the Earth sciences. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical sciences".

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Antarctica is the continent at the extreme southern latitudes of the Earth, containing the South Pole. It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean and divided in two by the Transantarctic Mountains. On average, it is the coldest, driest, windiest, and highest of all the continents. Although it is 98% covered in ice, because there is little precipitation, the entire continent is technically a desert and is thus the largest desert in the world. Cold-adapted plants and animals, including penguins, fur seals, mosses, lichens, and many types of algae live on the continent. Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis ("Southern Land") go back to antiquity, the first sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1821 by the Russian expedition of Mikhail Lazarev and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. Antarctica is not under the political sovereignty of any nation, although seven countries (Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom) maintain territorial claims, which are not recognized by other countries. Human activity on the continent is regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed in 1959 by 12 countries and prohibits any military activity, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone.

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Title page Certaine Errors in Navigation
Edward Wright was an English mathematician and cartographer noted for his book Certaine Errors in Navigation, which for the first time explained the mathematical basis of the Mercator projection, and set out a reference table giving the linear scale multiplication factor as a function of latitude, calculated for each minute of arc up to a latitude of 75°. This was the essential step needed to make practical both the making and the navigational use of Mercator charts. In 1589 Elizabeth I requested that he carry out navigational studies with an expedition organised by the Earl of Cumberland. The expedition's route was the subject of the first map to be prepared according to Wright's projection, which was published in Certaine Errors in 1599. The same year, Wright created and published the first world map produced in England and the first to use the Mercator projection since Gerardus Mercator's original 1569 map. Apart from a number of other books and pamphlets, Wright translated John Napier's pioneering 1614 work which introduced the idea of logarithms from Latin into English. Wright's work influenced, among other persons, Dutch astronomer and mathematician Willebrord Snellius; Adriaan Metius, the geometer and astronomer from Holland; and the English mathematician Richard Norwood.

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Deadvlei
Credit: Ikiwaner

Dead Acacia erioloba trees in Deadvlei, a white claypan inside Namib-Naukluft Park in the Namib Desert of Namibia. Deadvlei is surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world, averaging 350 metres (1,150 ft) high. About 900 years ago, drought caused the dunes to block the Tsauchab river, which in turn killed the trees. However, because the desert is so dry, they do not decompose.

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