geography definition

A USGS elevation benchmark in Bryce Canyon National Park. Photo: Alex Demas, USGS, public domain.

Survey Markers and Benchmarks

Mark Altaweel

Benchmarks are a type of survey markers whose elevations have been surveyed as accurately as possible based on the technology at the time.

Water vapor imagery of the eastern Pacific Ocean from the GOES 11 satellite, showing a large atmospheric river aimed across California. Image from United States Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey. (Captured December 20, 2010).

Atmospheric Rivers

Caitlin Dempsey

Atmospheric Rivers are trails of moisture in the atmosphere composed of condensed water vapor.


Caitlin Dempsey

Chorology is the study of places and regions, also referred to as regional geography.

Shaded-relief map showing the Panama Canal with the Pacific Ocean in the foreground and the Caribbean Sea in the distance. Source: NASA.


Caitlin Dempsey

An isthmus is a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land masses which is bounded by water on two sides.

Geographical definitions by the Bancroft Company, circa 1870.

Geography Terms Visualized

Caitlin Dempsey

This chart by the Bancroft Company from around 1870 defines a range of geographical terms.