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The word ‘geography’ originates from two greek words.  The first is ‘geo’ which means ‘the earth’ and the second Greek word is “graph” which means  ‘to write about the Earth ’ or graphy comes from ‘graphein’, which means “description”.

Therefore, Geography is the science that deals with the description of the Earth’s surface.

Geography is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography. There are additional branches in geography such as regional geography, cartography, and integrated geography.


1. Human Geography

This is a main branch in geography and it mainly covers studies of the human race. This normally involves their backgrounds, how they interact and the perceptions that they have for various ideologies affecting them. In addition to this, the discipline also studies the way in which the groups of people that inhabit the earth organize themselves on the particular regions that they inhabit. As a matter of fact, many other branches of geography normally fall under human geography.

Human geography focuses on the role that human play in the world.  Human geography focuses on understand processes about human populations, settlements, economics, transportation, recreation and tourism, religion, politics, social and cultural traditions, human migration, agriculture, and urbanization.


a. Economic Geography

Geographers under this branch normally study the manner in which products are usually produced and consequently distributed in their respective niche markets. In addition to this, they also study the way in which wealth is distributed in various regions over the planet. In general, the structures which control and influence the conditions of the economy are usually dissected microscopically here.


b. Population Geography

In most cases, scholars usually equate population geography to demography even though this is usually not the case. This is mainly owing to the reason that population geography is deeper than the study of the patterns of a group of people with regards to birth, marriage & death as is the case with demography. Geographers who are involved in this discipline normally study the population of regions in much more detail. This means that they normally look at the manner in which the population of a given area is distributed, how the people there migrate, and the rate as well as pattern of the population growth.



c. Medical Geography

In this branch, geographers normally study the patterns in which particular diseases spread. This means that pandemics & epidemics are usually studied here as well as common illnesses, general health care and death as well.


 d. Military Geography

Geographers who practice this discipline normally conduct their research and studies within the military fraternity. They mainly study the manner in which military facilities are distributed as well as the best ways in which the troops can be able to utilize the facilities that they have at their disposal. In addition to this, the branch also covers the techniques that can be implemented in developing solutions to the common problems that military units commonly face.


e. Political Geography

This is a very interesting branch of geography that is involved in the investigation of every aspect of politics. This is with regards to the boundaries of a country, the states it has and the development strategies that it has in place. In addition, there are other details which are also covered such as: Voting, sub-divisions, diplomacy and international organizations.


f. Transportation Geography

Geographers who are involved in this branch of geography are usually involved in the research of the available networks for transportation. This includes both the public ones as well as private ones. Once the networks have been studied, ways in which to maximize their use in the movement of people and products can be explored.


g. Urban Geography

With the development of urban cities worldwide, the branch of urban geography came into play since it enables researchers to study these trends much more effectively. In addition to this, these geographers are able to investigate potential locations that are suitable fore development for the tiniest of villages to sprout into the desired huge cities.




2. Physical Geography

Physical geography is a major branch of the science and it mainly deals with the study of the natural characteristics of the earth. Physical geography focuses on geography as an Earth science (and is sometimes called Earth System Science). It covers both the ones that are on the earth’s surface as well as those near it.

Physical geography is one of the two primary branches of geography.  Listed here are sub-branches or sub-fields of physical geography.  These sub-fields of physical geography study processes and patterns in the natural environment.


a. Biogeography

Animals and plants on earth are usually distributed in specific patterns and biogeography is the discipline that is involved in this study.


b. Water Resources Geography

This is a branch of geography that normally deals with the study of how water resources are generally managed in a particular region. Geographers who are involved in this discipline normally look at the manner in which water is collected, distributed and lastly used in various places across the planet. In addition to this, systems developed by humans that are meant to aid the entire process are also studied so that they can consequently be enhanced for maximum efficiency.


c. Climate Geography

Geographers in this branch of geography are usually concerned in the investigation of the weather patterns of the earth and the way in which they affect the climate as a result. Moreover, activities that are taking place within the atmosphere of the earth are also studied in this discipline.



d. Geomorphology

The land forms on earth usually develop in interesting ways and there are numerous processes that normally lead to their eventual vanishing. Geographers who are involved in this field usually study the entire process from start to finish and erosion has been discovered to be a major factor that influences the vanishing of the land forms.


e. Lithology

Deals with the characteristics of rocks.


f. Oceanography

The study of ocean currents, waves and tides.


g. Orology

Study of mountains.


h. Potamology

Study of rivers.



Geographers who study cartography are usually more involved in the mapping of things. In general, every geographer must have the essential knowledge that is required in displaying data on maps. Cartography focuses on ways in which the entire mapping procedure can be technologically advanced by creating maps that are generally of higher quality.

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