Defining the World

Definitions and History

What does the word “geography” mean?

The word geography is of Greek origin and can be divided into two parts, geo, meaning the Earth, and graphy, which refers to writing. So geography can be loosely translated to “writing about the Earth.” Ancient geography was often descriptions of far away places, but modern geography has become much more than writing about the Earth. Contemporary geographers have a difficult time defining the discipline. Some of my favorite definitions include “the bridge between the human and the natural sciences,” “the mother of all sciences,” and “anything that can be mapped.”


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