Free Online Geography Courses

Geography is a science dedicated to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the planet Earth. The first person to use the word “geography” was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Four historical traditions in geographical research are spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), area studies (places and regions), study of the relationship between man and land, and research in Earth sciences. Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that primarily seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities. This involves the study of not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called “the world discipline” and “the bridge between the human and the physical science”.

Geography is divided into two main studies: human geography and physical geography. Human geography focuses on the environment created by man and how humans create, view, manage, and influence space. Physical geography examines the natural environment, and how organisms, climate, soil, water, and landforms produce and interact. The difference between these two distinct approaches led to the creation of a third field, environmental geography. Environmental geography combines the physical and the human geography, and looks at the interactions between the environment and humans.