GEOGRAPHY is the science which described the earth, the term being derived from two Greek words ge, the earth, and grapho, to write. By means of geography the surface of the earth is delineated and described, boundaries are defined, areas are exactly measured, and the relative positions of places are determined. Geography thus embraces a wide range of subjects, and it has been found necessary to divide its study into several distinct sections.
I. Comparative Geography traces the history of discovery, and records the changes which have taken place in land and sea in historic times.
II. Mathematical Geography explains the figure, magnitude, and motion of the earth, teaches how to determine the positions of places on its surface, and shows how the whole or any portion of the earth may, on the principles of projection, be delineated on a map or chart.
III. Physical Geography is the description of the actual state of the earths surface in its three great divisions -- land, sea, and air.
IV. Political Geography described the earth as divided into countries, occupied by various nations, and improved by human art and industry.
The following article is limited to a view of the progress of geographical discovery, an explanation of the principles of mathematical geography, and a synopsis of physical geography. For details relating to political geography the reader must consult the descriptive articles under their particular headings.
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Geography - Table of Contents