GEOG 597i
Critical Geospatial Thinking and Applications


Culture is a fundamental variable that influences the ways in which people utilize space and create places. Variances in values, attitudes, and beliefs often result in very different systems of human occupancy in very similar natural environments. For example, the nature of Amish communities in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania are very different from nearby places created by the dominant society. Upon completion of this lesson, participants will be able to clearly articulate the ways in which cultural influences the nature of places and the ways in which people interact in space and time.

Terms and Concepts

In order to understand the spatial realities of Civil Security in a world in which the lives of almost everyone is touched by "globalization," it is useful to understand the following terms and concepts. Participants will regularly encounter these terms and concepts in course materials and in their own research endeavors:

  • accessibility
  • distance-decay
  • economies of scale
  • friction of distance
  • globalization
  • irredentism
  • place
  • regions (formal and functional)
  • regionalism
  • sectionalism
  • sense-of-place
  • site and situation
  • spatial diffusion
  • spatial interaction
  • time-space convergence

Lesson Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, the successful participant will be able to:

  • define culture;
  • describe the First Law of Geography;
  • demonstrate comprehension of the importance of spatial diffusion and dispersal;
  • demonstrate comprehension of the importance of "place";
  • demonstrate the significance of demographic differences and patterns relative to the nature of places and to the ways in which people occupy the earth;
  • describe and define the nature of population pyramids;
  • describe the importance of cultural difference relative to the stability of the world order;
  • describe the ways in which cultural differences affect domestic security;
  • develop a concise statement that characterizes the role and utility of cultural geography in an increasingly smaller world (in terms of human interactions); and
  • describe the utility of the concepts, theories, and models of cultural geography relative to spatial analysis.

What is due for Lesson 2?

This lesson will require one week to complete. Please refer to the Course Syllabus for specific time frames and due dates. Specific directions for the assignment below can be found within this lesson.

Lesson 2: Assignments
Requirements Lesson 2 Assignment Details
To Do Review all the Lesson 2 Material.
To Read Ambler, Adams, Gould, Chapter 11; pp. 389-455.
Assignment Complete Assignments.


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum (not e-mail), located in the Orientation and General Information Module in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.