When most people hear the term geography, they immediately begin to think of maps, but it is so much more than that. To understand why studying geography is relevant, you must first understand what it means. Geography is the study of places, landscapes, environments, and people, and how they have affected each other over time to become what it is today. It combines natural sciences (physical geography) and social sciences (human geography) in a way no other field of science does.
Some of the top educational institutes in the world understand the importance of geography and offer a variety of courses. Here are a few reasons why studying geography is significant today.
- To learn and understand how the world’s basic physical systems work and affect our everyday life. For example, the role the sun plays in providing heat and life on earth and how wind and ocean currents affect the weather. This not only helps us to better predict and prepare for severe weather, but also how we can use the earth’s resources for our benefit.
- To learn about other cultures, where they live, and how their location and climate affects their lifestyle. This can help us understand their differences as well as the similarities we all share.
- To learn more about the geography of a different era and the role it played in people’s lives, environments and ideas. Geography plays a major role in our history and has helped mold the world we live in today.
- To learn all the different places on earth as well as their cultural and physical characteristics in order to be more productive and effective in a world that has become interdependent. Considering how global our market economies have become, it’s important to know more about countries and their locations to better understand the effect they have on the market.
- To have a better understanding of society and why we live in the places we do. How has urbanization changed the world and its societies? Why did certain areas flourish while others didn’t? Geography helps us understand why certain locations are ideal for living and why others are not.
- To better understand why and how global interdependence has grown. Technological breakthroughs in transportation have not only made this world smaller, but have also created societies that depend on external resources. Some areas are ideal for agriculture, while other areas are rich in natural resources such as metals. You need metal from one place to build the machines that work the land in another.
- To have a better appreciation of Earth as our home and have a better understanding of its limitations. Knowing how much resources are available can help us be more responsible in the way we manage and treat our home.