UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Academics

GISOpen2014

What is Geography?

Geography is the study of place, or space, in the same sense that history is the study of time. The geographer's method of inquiry concentrates on asking two essential questions:

"WHERE are things located?" and "WHY are they located where they are?"

While the answer to the former is largely descriptive, the answer to the latter is entirely analytical. The geographer is concerned primarily with interpreting and explaining the occurrence, distribution, and interrelationships of the physical and cultural elements which can be discerned in the landscape. Geography analyzes phenomena according to the attributes of dimension-succession. The constantly changing physical and human landscapes on the earth's surface challenge the geographer to provide continuing interpretations of all parts of the world form the spatial point of view.
(Geography as a Discipline, Huke and Malmstrom, 1988).