Source: 2nd Green Revolution

Absolute location: The location of a point on the Earth's surface that can be expressed by a grid reference such as latitude and longitude.

Accessibility: The ease with which one place can be reached from another. It can be measured in terms of distance, time, or cost. Access to certain places may be made less easy by non-physical barriers such as social class or ethnicity.

Acid rain: Rain that contains a high concentration of pollutants, notably sulphur and nitrogen oxides. These pollutants are produced from factories, power stations burning fossil fuels, and car exhausts. Once in the atmosphere, the sulphur and nitrogen oxides combine with moisture to give sulphuric and nitric acids which fall as corrosive rain.
Source: Ace Geography
Aerial photograph: A photograph taken from above the ground. There are two types of aerial photograph – a vertical photograph (or ‘bird’s eye view’) and an oblique photograph where the camera is held at an angle. Aerial photographs are often taken from aircraft and provide useful information for map-making and surveys.

Afforestation: The conversion of open land to forest; the planting of coniferous trees in upland areas for commercial gain.
Source: Pinterest
Agriculture: Human management of the environment to produce food. The numerous forms of agriculture fall into three groups: commercial agriculture, subsistence agriculture and peasant agriculture.
Source: Food Tank
Alp: A gentle slope above the steep sides of a glaciated valley, often used for summer grazing.

Altitude: Height of an object in the atmosphere above sea level.

Antarctic Circle: Imaginary line that encircles the South Pole at latitude 66o 32'S.

Aquifer: An underground reservoir of water which can be extracted for surface use.

Atlas: A collection of maps.

Atmosphere: The air which surrounds the Earth, and consists of three layers: the troposphere (6 to 10km from the Earth’s surface), the stratosphere (50km from the Earth’s surface), and the mesosphere and ionosphere, an ionised region of rarefied gases (1000km from the Earth’s surface). The atmosphere comprises oxygen (21%), nitrogen (78%), carbon dioxide, argon, helium, and other gases in minute quantities.

Bay: An indentation in the coastline with a headland on either side. Its formation is due to the more rapid erosion of softer rocks.

Beach: A strip of land sloping gently towards the sea, usually recognized as the area lying between high and low tide marks.

Source:10 Best
Bedrock: The solid rock which usually lies beneath the soil.

Biodiversity: The existence of a wide variety of plant and animal species in their natural environment.

Source: The Blue Dot Post
Biogas: The production of methane and carbon dioxide, which can be obtained from plant or crop waste. Biogas is an example of a renewable source of energy.

Biomass: The total number of living organisms, both plant and animal, in a given area.

Biome: A complex community of plants and animals in a specific physical and climatic region.

Source: Wikipedia
Biosphere: The part of the Earth which contains living organisms. The biosphere contains a variety of habitats, from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans.

Birth Rate: The number of live births per 1000 people per year.

Boundary: A line indicating the limit of a country, state, or other political jurisdiction.

Bushfire: An uncontrolled fire in forests and grasslands.

Canal: An artificial waterway, usually connecting existing rivers, lakes or oceans, constructed for navigation and transportation.

Canyon: A deep and steep-sided river valley occurring where rapid vertical corrasion takes place in arid regions. In such an environment the rate of weathering of the valley sides is slow. If the rocks of the region are relatively soft then the canyon profile becomes even more pronounced.

Source: Found the World
Capital: There are two types of capital. Physical capital (all useful assets e.g. money and machinery) and human capital (people’s knowledge, skills and energies), used to produce goods and services. The amount of money belonging to a country, factory or a person.

Cartographer: A person who draws or makes maps or charts.

Cartography: The technique of drawing maps or charts.

CBD (Central Business District): This is the central zone of a town or city, and is characterized by high accessibility, high land values and limited space. The visible result of these factors is a concentration of high-rise buildings at the city centre. The CBD is dominated by retail and business functions, both of which require maximum accessibility.

Census: a counting of people by the government every ten years to gather important data.

Central Place: any settlement that provides goods and services for smaller neighbouring settlements.

CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons): Chemicals used in the manufacture of some aerosols, the cooling systems of refrigerators and fast-food cartons. These chemicals are harmful to the ozone layer.

City: cities are urban places. They are usually large (more than 20,000 people) and are economically self- sufficient (unlike a large dormitory or suburban town). A large urban settlement with a dense population that is usually a centre of government and administration, culture, social networking and economic enterprise.

Source: PC Wallpaper
Climate: The average atmospheric conditions prevailing in a region, as distinct from its weather. A statement of climate is concerned with long-term trends. Thus the climate of, for example, the Amazon Basin is described as hot and wet all the year round; that of the Mediterranean Region as having hot dry summers and mild wet winters.

Cloud: A mass of small water drops or ice crystals formed by the condensation of water vapour in the atmosphere, usually at a considerable height above the Earth’s surface. There are three main types of cloud: cumulus, stratus and cirrus, each of which has many variations.

Condensation: The process by which cooling vapour turns into a liquid.

Congestion: overcrowding on roads causing traffic jams.

Conservation: The preservation and management of the natural environment. In its strictest form, conservation may mean total protection of endangered species and habitats, as in nature reserves. In some cases, conservation of the manmade environment, e.g. ancient buildings, is undertaken.

Continent: One of the large, continuous areas of the Earth into which the land surface is divided. The world’s continents are generally defined as Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Oceania and Antarctica.
Source: Enchanted Learning
Contour: A line drawn on a map to join all places at the same height above sea level.

Coordinates: A set of numbers that defines the location of a point with reference to a system of axes.

Co-variation: The study of two or more geographic distributions which vary over the same area, such as unemployment and crime.

Crust: The outermost layer of the Earth, representing only 0.1% of the Earth’s total volume. It comprises continental crust and oceanic crust, which differ from each other in age as well as in physical and chemical characteristics. The crust, together with the uppermost layer of the mantle, is also known as the lithosphere.

Dam: A barrier built across a stream, river or estuary to create a body of water.

Data: A series of observations, measurements or facts which can be operated on by a computer programme.

Database: A large store of information. A GIS database includes data about spatial locations and shapes of geographical features.

Death rate: the number of deaths per 1000 people per year.

Deforestation: The practice of clearing trees. Much deforestation is a result of development pressures, e.g. trees are cut down to provide land for agriculture and industry.

Source: Image Airy
Delta: A fan-shaped mass consisting of the deposited load of a river where it enters the sea. A delta only forms where the river deposits material at a faster rate than can be removed by coastal currents.

Demography: The study of population statistics and trends, such as births, deaths, and disease.

Desert: An area where all forms of precipitation are so low that very little, if anything, can grow.
Source: Wikipedia
Desertification: The encroachment of desert conditions into areas which were once productive. Desertification can be due partly to climatic change, i.e. a move towards a drier climate in some parts of the world (possibly due to global warming), though human activity has also played a part through bad farming practices. The problem is particularly acute along the southern margins of the Sahara desert in the Sahel region between Mali and Mauritania in the west, and Ethiopia and Somalia in the east.

Developing countries: A collective term for those nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America which are undergoing the complex processes of modernization, industrialization and urbanization.

Diffusion: The spatio-temporal process concerned with the movement of objects from one area to another through time.

Distance: The extent of space between two objects or places; it can be measured absolutely, in terms of kilometres, or in terms of other units, such as time or cost to cross.

Drainage: The removal of water from the land surface by processes such as streamflow and infiltration.

Drought: A prolonged period where rainfall falls below the requirement for a region.

Earthquake: A movement or tremor of the Earth’s crust. Earthquakes are associated with plate boundaries (see plate tectonics) and especially with subduction zones, where one plate plunges beneath another. Here the crust is subjected to tremendous stress. The rocks are forced to bend, and eventually the stress is so great that the rocks ‘snap’ along a fault line.

Ecology: The study of living things, their interrelationships and their relationships with the environment.

Ecosystem: A natural system comprising living organisms and their environment. The concept can be applied at the global scale or in the context of a smaller defined environment. The principle of the ecosystem is constant: all elements are intricately linked by flows of energy and nutrients.

Education: The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university. The theory and practice of teaching.

El Niño: The occasional development of warm ocean surface waters along the coast of Ecuador and Peru. Where this warming occurs the tropical Pacific trade winds weaken and the usual up-welling of cold, deep ocean water is reduced. El Niño normally occurs late in the calendar year and lasts for a few weeks to a few months and can have a dramatic impact on weather patterns throughout the world.

Elevation: The height of a point on the Earth's surface above sea level.

Environment: Physical surroundings: soil, vegetation, wildlife and the atmosphere. All external conditions and factors, living and non-living (chemicals and energy), that affect any living organism or other specified systems. Physical, biological, social, cultural conditions affecting people’s lives and the growth of plants and animals.

Epicentre: The point on the earth's surface directly above the hypocentre, where the energy of an earthquake is first released.

Equator: The great circle of the Earth with a latitude of 0º, lying equidistant from the poles.

Erosion: The wearing away of the Earth’s surface by running water (rivers and streams), moving ice (glaciers), the sea and the wind. These are called the agents of erosion.

Estuary: The broad mouth of a river where it enters the sea. An estuary forms where opposite conditions to those favourable for delta formation exist: deep water off shore, strong marine currents and a smaller sediment load.
Source: Geo Wiki
Eutrophication: high nitrate levels combined with phosphates cause excessive plant and algae growth, a deteriorating process that results in loss of oxygen and the biological death of the river.
Source: BBC
Evaporation: The process whereby a substance changes from a liquid to a vapour. Heat from the sun evaporates water from seas, lakes, rivers, etc., and this process produces water vapour in the atmosphere.

Fauna: Animal life.

Flash flood: A sudden increase in river discharge and overland flow due to a violent rainstorm in the upper river basin.

Flora: Plant life.

Geographers: Study the environment in four major ways: 1) the natural environment using scientific methods and techniques; 2) the impact of human behaviour on the environment; 3) environmental influences on human behaviour; and 4) the different cultural perceptions of the environment and how these perceptions are expressed in the surrounding landscape.

Geography: Literally, writing about the earth, Greek. The study of the earth's physical and human features. Geography refers to the Greek words geo and graphein, meaning earth writing. Geography is about studying and understanding the deliberate and unintentional changes caused by humans transforming the earth’s surface. It comprises the dynamic interaction and real-world relationship and movement between natural (the earth and its living organisms) and non-natural phenomena (societies, human activities, cultural features), and space relative to a spatial dimension.

Geology: Science of the earth's crust, strata, origin of rocks, etc.

GIS: The use of computer systems to organise, store, analyse, and map information. It merges information in a computer database with spatial coordinates on a digital map.

Glacier: A body of ice occupying a valley and originating in a corrie or icefield.

Global warming or greenhouse effect: The warming of the Earth’s atmosphere caused by an excess of carbon dioxide, which acts like a blanket, preventing the natural escape of heat.

Globalization: The process that enables financial markets and companies to operate internationally (as a result of deregulation and improved communications). Transnational corporations now locate their manufacturing in places that best serve their global market at the lowest cost. The organisation of any activity treating the entire globe as one place. It is a complex of related economic, cultural, and political processes that have served to increase the interconnectedness of social life in the contemporary world.

Globe: A true-to-scale map of the Earth that duplicates its round shape and correctly represents areas, relative size and shape of physical features, distances, and directions.

Gorge: a steep-sided, narrow rocky valley marking the retreat of a waterfall.

GPS (global positioning system): A system of earth-orbiting satellites, transmitting signals continuously towards earth, which enable the position of a receiving device on the earth’s surface to be accurately estimated from the difference in arrival of the signals.

Green Belt: An area around a city, composed mostly of parkland and farmland, in which development is strictly controlled. Its purpose is to prevent the outward growth of the city, preserve countryside for farming, wildlife and recreation, and, often to prevent two or more cities from merging to form one huge urban area.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): The total value of all goods and services produced domestically by a nation during a year.

Habitat: A preferred location for particular species of plants and animals to live and reproduce.

HDI (human development index): A measurement of a country’s achievements in three areas: longevity, Knowledge, and standard of living.

Hemisphere: Any half of a globe or sphere. The earth has traditionally been divided into hemispheres by the equator (northern and southern hemispheres) and by the prime meridian and International Date Line (eastern and western hemispheres).

Hierarchy: a ranking of settlements or shopping centres according to their population size or the number of services they provide. A ranking of settlements or shopping centres according to their population size or the number of services they provide.

Human Geography: The study of people and their activities in terms of patterns and processes of population, settlement, economic activity, and communications.

Humidity: The amount of water vapour in the air.

Hurricane, cyclone or typhoon: A wind of force 12 on the Beaufort wind scale, i.e. one having a velocity of more than 118 km per hour. Hurricanes can cause great damage by wind as well as from the storm waves and floods that accompany them.

Hydroelectric power: The generation of electricity by turbines driven by flowing water.

Hydrosphere: All the water on Earth, including that present in the atmosphere as well as in oceans, seas, ice sheets, etc.

Immigration: The movement of people into a country or region from other countries or regions.

Infrastructure: The basic structure of an organization or system. The infrastructure of a city includes, for example, its roads and railways, schools, factories, power and water supplies.

International Date Line: An imaginary line which approximately follows 180° longitude. The area of the world just east of the line is one day ahead of the area just west of the line.

Island: A mass of land, smaller than a continent, which is completely surrounded by water.

La Niña: A periodic cooling of the ocean waters in the Pacific Ocean which affects global weather patterns.

Latitude: Imaginary lines that cross the surface of the Earth parallel to the Equator, measuring how far north or south of the Equator a place is located.

Life Expectancy: the average number of years a person born in a particular country might be expected to live.

Literacy Rate: the proportion of the total population able to read and write.

Location: The position of population, settlement and economic activity in an area or areas. Location is a basic theme in human geography.

Longitude: Imaginary lines that cross the surface of the Earth, running from north to south, measuring how far east or west of the prime meridian a place is located.

Map: Diagrammatic representation of an area – for example part of the earth’s surface. A map is a graphic representation of a place. There are many different types of maps that have different
uses. Different maps differ in the relative accuracy of the depiction of the area, the shapes of objects, actual distances, and compass direction. Maps that accurately reflect area are often called equal-area maps (an example is the Albers equal-area conic map). Maps that maintain the shape of objects are called conformal. Maps that correctly show the distance between areas are often called equi-distant maps (note that the shortest distance between two points on a map is generally not a straight line. but a curve). Navigational maps need accurate compass directions maintained on the map (like the Mercator map).

Meander: A large bend, especially in the middle or lower stages of a river’s course.

Mobility: The ability to move between different activity sites.

Monsoon: The term strictly means ‘seasonal wind’ and is used generally to describe a situation where there is a reversal of wind direction from one season to another.

Mountain: A natural upward projection of the Earth’s surface, higher and steeper than a hill, and often having a rocky summit.

Mouth: where a river ends, at a lake or the sea.

National Park: An area of scenic countryside protected by law from uncontrolled development.

Neighbourhood: An urban district, in a strict sense defined as one in which there is an identifiable subculture to which the majority of residents conform.

Non-renewable resources: Resources of which there is a fixed supply, which will eventually be exhausted. Examples of these are metal ores and fossil fuels.

North and South: A way of dividing the industrialized nations, found predominantly in the North from those less developed nations in the South. The gap which exists between the rich ‘North’ and the poor ‘South’ is called the development gap.

Northern Hemisphere: Is the half of the Earth that is north of the equator.

North Pole: Is the point on the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth that is farthest north. It is 90° north of the equator.

Ocean current: A movement of the surface water of an ocean.

Ocean: A large area of sea. Oceans cover more the two-thirds of the Earth's surface. The world’s oceans are the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic. The Southern Ocean is made up of the areas of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans south of latitude 60ºS.

Overpopulation: where there are too many people and not enough resources to support a satisfactory quality of life.

Ozone: A form of oxygen found in a layer in the stratosphere, where it protects the Earth’s surface from ultraviolet rays.

Photosynthesis: The process by which green plants make carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water, and give off oxygen. Photosynthesis balances respiration.

Physical Geography: The study of our environment, comprising such elements as geomorphology, hydrology, pedology, meteorology, climatology and biogeography.

Place: A unique and special location in space where the regular activities of human beings occur and which may furnish the basis of our sense of identity as human beings, as well as of our sense of community.

Plate Tectonics: The theory that the Earth’s crust is divided into seven large, rigid plates, and several smaller ones, which are moving relative to each other over the upper layers of the Earth’s mantle.

Plateau: An upland area with a fairly flat surface and steep slopes. A plateau is a large, flat area of land that is higher than the surrounding land. Rivers often dissect plateau surfaces.

Pollution: Environmental damage caused by improper management of resources, or by careless human activity.

Population Density: The number of people per unit area. Population densities are usually expressed per square kilometre.

Population Distribution: The pattern of population location at a given scale.

Population Growth: An increase in the population of a given region. This may be the result of natural increase (more births than deaths) or of in-migration, or both.

Precipitation: Water deposited on the Earth’s surface in the form of e.g. rain, snow, sleet, hail and dew.

Quality of life: The level of wellbeing of a community and of the area in which the community lives.

Reef: A ridge of rock, sand or coral whose top lies close to the sea’s surface.

Region: A territory that exhibits a certain uniformity. A two dimensional space on the surface of the Earth. It is a definable space that can be demarcated and mapped. An area of land which has marked boundaries or unifying internal characteristics. Geographers may identify regions according to physical, climatic, political, economic or other factors.

Relative Location: A location of a place in relation to another place (i.e. south or downhill).

Remote Sensing: The gathering of information by the use of electronic or other sensing devices in satellites.

Renewable Resources: Resources that can be used repeatedly, given appropriate management and conservation.

Resource: Any aspect of the human and physical environments which people find useful in satisfying their needs. Anything obtained from the environment to meet human needs and wants. It can also be applied to other species.

River: A large natural stream of fresh water flowing along a definite course, usually into the sea.
Source: Full HD Pictures
Rural–Urban Migration: The movement of people from rural to urban areas.

Satellite Image: An image giving information about an area of the Earth or another planet, obtained from a satellite.

Scale: The proportional relationship between a linear measurement on a map and the distance it represents on the Earth's surface. A quantitative statement of the relative sizes of an object on a map and in reality.

Sea Level: The average height of the surface of the oceans and seas.

Sedimentation: The settling out of suspended particles from a body of water (or in some cases, very fine particles settled from the air or blown by the wind).

Seismograph: An instrument which measures and records the seismic waves which travel through the Earth during an earthquake.

Services: Services are things such as retailers (shops), professionals (doctors, lawyers etc), entertainment, government functions and leisure. The theory goes that the larger a settlement is, and therefore the higher it is on the urban hierarchy, the more services and functions it will have.

Settlement: Any location chosen by people as a permanent or semi-permanent dwelling place.

Smog: A mixture of smoke and fog associated with urban and industrial areas that creates an unhealthy atmosphere.

Solar Power: Heat radiation from the sun converted into electricity or used directly to provide heating. Solar power is an example of a renewable source of energy.

South Pole: Is the point on the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth that is farthest south. It is 90° south of the equator.

Southern Hemisphere: Is the half of the Earth that is south of the equator.

Spatial Analysis: Any form of analysis using geographical data.

Spatial Distribution: The pattern of locations of, for example, population or settlement in a region.

Spatial Location: The location of a phenomenon is the place or point on the Earth’ surface where this phenomenon is situated or occurs. It can either be absolute (latitude and longitude) or relative.

Spatial Pattern: Everything that has a location in geographic space inevitably creates or contributes to a spatial pattern.

Stratosphere: The layer of the atmosphere which lies immediately above the troposphere and below the mesosphere and ionosphere. Within the stratosphere, temperature increases with altitude.

Sustainable Development: The ability of a country to maintain a level of economic development, thus enabling the majority of the population to have a reasonable standard of living. Development that does not exploit resources more rapidly than the renewal of those resources.

Topography: The composition of the visible landscape, comprising both physical features and those made by people.

Tropical Rainforest: The dense forest cover of the equatorial regions, reaching its greatest extent in the Amazon Basin of South America, the Congo Basin of Africa, and in parts of South East Asia and Indonesia. There has been much concern in recent years about the rate at which the world’s rainforests are being cut down and burnt. The burning of large tracts of rainforest is thought to be contributing to global warming. These forests have unique ecosystems containing millions of plant and animal species and must be protected.
Source: Tropical Rainforest Organisation
Tropics: The region of the Earth lying between the tropics of Cancer (231–2°N) and Capricorn (231–2°S).

Tsunami: A very large, and often destructive, sea wave produced by a submarine earthquake.

Urban Sprawl: The growth in extent of an urban area in response to improvements in transport and rising incomes, both of which allow a greater physical separation of home and work.

Urbanization: the growth of towns and cities leading to an increasing proportion of a country’s population living there. The process by which a national population becomes predominantly urban through a migration of people from the countryside to cities, and a shift from agricultural to industrial employment.

Valley: A long depression in the Earth’s surface, usually containing a river, formed by erosion or by movements in the Earth’s crust.

Volcano: A fissure in the Earth’s crust through which magma reaches the Earth’s surface.
Source: Global Views
Waterfall: An irregularity in the long profile of a river’s course, usually located in the upper course.
Source: 7 Themes
Weather: The day-to-day conditions of e.g. rainfall, temperature, and pressure, as experienced at a particular location.

Wetland: Is an area of land that is often wet; the soil in wetlands are often low in oxygen. Wetland plants are adapted to life in wet soil. There are many types of wetlands, including: swamp, slough, fen, bog, marsh, moor, muskeg, peatland, bottomland, delmarva, mire, wet meadow, riparian, etc.
Source: Wetland Rehab
Worldviews (different value systems)
·         Anthropocentric refer to the view that all and only members of Homo sapiens have moral standing. Humans should have pride of place in a world in which other beings have some, albeit, lesser, standing or significance.
·         Biocentric is the view that any living thing has moral standing. The view may allow that different living things have different magnitudes of intrinsic value or it may hold that all things have the same magnitude. It places the greatest importance on living individuals or living components of the environment and all living things are equally important.
·         Ecocentric world view ecosystems as a whole above humans. It places intrinsic value on all living organisms and their natural environment, regardless of their perceived usefulness or importance to homo sapiens. They attribute equal importance to living and non-living components of ecosystems when making decisions regarding their treatment of the environment.


Enchanted Learning. Geographical Terms. Available at: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/geography/glossary/

Collins for Education. Dictionary of Geographical Terms. Available at: http://resources.collins.co.uk/Wesbite%20images/KS3Geography/TB2/Dictionary%20of%20geographical%20terms.pdf

Helping Your Child Learn Geography. 1996. Glossary. Available at: http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/parents/Geography/glossary.html

Important Geography Terms for High School Students (terms taken from About.com). Available at: http://www.genconnection.com/geog/geogterms.htm

McKeown-ice, R. 1994. Environmental Education: A Geographical Perspective, Journal of Geography, 93:1, 40-42 [online].