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Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία - geographia, lit. "earth describe-write"[1]) is the study of the Earth and its lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena.[2] A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276-194 B.C.). Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of natural and human phenomena (geography as a study of distribution), area studies (places and regions), study of man-land relationship, and research in earth sciences.[3] Nonetheless, modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. As "the bridge between the human and physical sciences," geography is divided into two main branches—human geography and physical geography.[4][5]

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved on 2009-04-17.
  2. Geography. The American Heritage Dictionary/ of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. Retrieved on October 9, 2006.
  3. Pattison, W.D. (1990). "The Four Traditions of Geography". Journal of Geography 89 (5): 202–6. doi:10.1080/00221349008979196. ISSN 0022-1341. Reprint of a 1964 article.
  5. 1(b). Elements of Geography. Retrieved on 2009-04-17.