Introduction

True-color image of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center image.
True-color image of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center image.
Physical map of Earth with political borders as of 2016

Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία, geographia, literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Geography is often defined in terms of two branches: human geography and physical geography. Human geography deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Physical geography deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.

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Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe, first emerging as prehistoric Vinča in 4800 BC. It was settled in the 3rd century BC by the Celts, before becoming the Roman settlement of Singidunum. It first became the capital of Serbia in 1403, and was the capital of various South Slav states from 1918 until 2003, as well as Serbia and Montenegro from 2003 until 2006. The city lies at the confluence of the Sava and Danube Rivers in north central Serbia, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkan Peninsula. The population of Belgrade, according to the Serbian census of 2002, is 1,576,124. Belgrade has the status of a separate territorial unit in Serbia, with its own autonomous city government. Its territory is divided into 17 municipalities, each of which has its own local council. It is the central economic hub of Serbia, and the capital of Serbian culture, education and science.

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Friedrich Ratzel

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Dry Fork dome at Coyote Gulch, part of the Canyons of the Escalante

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Edward Drinker Cope
Edward Drinker Cope was an American paleontologist and comparative anatomist, as well as a noted herpetologist and ichthyologist. Born to a wealthy Quaker family, Cope distinguished himself as a child prodigy interested in science; he published his first scientific paper at the age of nineteen. Cope had little formal scientific training, and eschewed a teaching position for field work. He made regular trips to the American West prospecting in the 1870s and 1880s, often as part of United States Geological Survey teams. A personal feud between Cope and paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh led to a period of intense fossil-finding competition now known as the Bone Wars. Cope's scientific pursuits nearly bankrupted him, but his contributions helped define the field of American paleontology. He was a prodigious writer, with 1,400 papers published over his lifetime, although his rivals would debate the accuracy of his rapidly published works. Cope discovered, described, and named more than 1,000 vertebrate species, including hundreds of fish and dozens of dinosaurs. His theories on the origin of mammalian molars and "Cope's Law", on the gradual enlargement of mammalian species, are among his theoretical contributions.

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Tartini Square
Credit: Plamen Agov

An aerial view of Tartini Square, the largest and main town square in Piran, Slovenia. It is named after violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini, who was born in Piran. The square was once an inner dock for smaller vessels such as fishing boats, and was located outside of the first city walls. The dock was replaced by a formal town square in 1894.

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Jacques-Yves Cousteau

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