Meaning and Scope of Geography


Meaning of Geography

The word Geography is coined from two Greek words: geo, meaning the earth and graph, meaning to describe. So, Geography can simply be defined as the description of the earth. It may also be said to be the systematic study of the earth and its features.

The first person to use the word “γεωγραφία  geographia,  which means “earth description” was the Greek mathematician and philosopher, Eratosthenes of Cyrene (276–194 BC).

However, geography is more than just the description of the earth. Hence, it is better defined as the study of people, their activities, places and physical things within the earth.

Geography includes the study of different people in different locations of the earth including their activities like agriculture, mining, fishing, trading, manufacturing and construction. It also involves the study of places like Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, etc.

Above all, Geography also deals with the study of physical things within the earth such as rocks, mountains, plains, plateaus, oceans, rivers, climate, vegetation, soils, atmosphere, etc.

Scope of Geography

Geography is a social science subject which deals with the study of man and his activities within his environment. In order words, geography ideas are real, practical and easy to understand because they are relevant to our everyday life experiences.

Geography as a discipline may be broadly divided into three (3) fields which are;

  • Human geography: this is concerned on the built environment and how human beings create, view and influence space.
  • Physical geography: This is concerned about the natural environment, and howorganisms, climate, soil, water produce and interact.
  • Environmental geography: it combines the human and physical geography and is concerned about the interactions between the environment and humans. It was brought about due to the difference between human and physical geography.

Geography touches many other disciplines such as Agricultural science, Government, History, Economics, Health Science etc. It is a subject which cuts across many other fields of human study.

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