Understanding and Applying Human Geography
The field of human geography is a very broad endeavor, essentially focusing on the sociological, cultural and economic aspects of people’s interactions across different geographical locations. According to various researchers (Rowntree, Lewis, & Price, 2011; Rubenstein, 2010), human geography is a spin-off of physical geography with specific focus on human activities. As such, this field entails an understanding of the significance of different interactions and activities among people of different regions across the globe. For instance, firm knowledge of human geography will enable me to understand the origins of such distinct socio-cultural aspects of the human society as language and religious beliefs. This, in turn, helps in understanding just how people in different regions influence each other through their interactions, by assessing how their cultures either change or remain the same.
Similarly, human geography in its application to economics will enable me to understand how people’s interactions across different geographical regions influence their respective nations’ economies. For instance, such interactions might be the very basis of mutual bilateral or multilateral trade arrangements among different nations. If one country solely produces a certain type of goods out of cultural norms and traditions, then they might have this as the basis for regional trades with other nations which major in other goods or services. This would then foster mutually beneficial bilateral trade agreements. The same case applies to geopolitics as a fundamental part of human geography (Rubenstein, 2010). Understanding the politics of people in the different regions of the world would equip me with the necessary skills to determine how best international relations and foreign policies might be structured for maximum gain to the majority of participants.
The health aspect of human geography essentially entails a critical examination of how diseases are distributed across various parts of the world (Rubenstein, 2010). Similarly, it looks at the distribution of healthcare systems and services across the world and assesses any discrepancies that might emerge among these regions. Such information is utterly useful for healthcare providers and other stakeholders of the global healthcare industry. This means that analyzing the distributions of diseases reveals each region’s proneness to specific types of diseases and disease-causing agents. Global organizations such as the United Nations agency on health matters, the World Health Origination (WHO), also benefit greatly from such information. This is also true for multinational drug and insurance companies, which spend huge amounts of money on research and development in the global health sector.
Finally, human geography entails the assessment of human population and settlement. This is because populations and settlements essentially vary depending on geographical location. This helps in demystifying such issues as urban planning, migration and settlement trends. According to Rowntree, Lewis and Price (2011), people are diverse in their core nature. This is more so the case with vast regional locations where these differences and diversities become largely visible and therefore increasingly relevant. This branch of human geography is concerned with critical issues such as infrastructural development. This then means that understanding it will enable people to know the most efficient approach to urban planning, with regard to expected settlement trends and distribution as well the core infrastructural requirements.
The above account of the application of human geography merely touches on the major points and is by no means a complete representation of its full extent. The field of human geography is indeed instrumental in understanding the way human activities and people’s interactions vary across different parts of the world, as well as how this might be used for the benefit of the majority. To begin with, understanding culture within the context of its geographical location enables people to become more responsive and tolerant to the diversity and variations that emerge. This means that inter-cultural interactions can be so structured as to maximize the benefits for all people concerned.
The other main point that comes out clearly from the above discourse is that human geography is instrument in demystifying crucial issues such as health, geopolitics, economics, and population trends. Foremost, it is important to understand how diseases and their causative factors are spread across geographical borders. This enables the relevant authorities and stakeholders to understand how best to position themselves so as to tackle any health issues that might arise. A keen understanding of economic interactions also enables the concerned parties to position themselves appropriately as they aim at maximizing their economic returns. Similarly, it is clear from the above discussion that human geography enables people to plan effectively on how to structure their settlements given available constraints and forecasts.
Rowntree, L., Lewis, M., & Price, M. (2011). Globalization & diversity: Geography of a changing world. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Rubenstein, J.M. (2010). The cultural landscape: An introduction to human geography. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.