Tagged: Geography

South East Asia

I became interested in South East Asia in recent years, and I traveled through the region during the summer of 2017. I live in the Bay Area of California,  which is increasingly influenced not only by China, but also by Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand. America’s identity is deeply intertwined with Asia: The American defeat in the Vietnam war changed America’s political consciousness, and from then on, the US was perceived as the “bad” superpower by many people in the rest of the world. South‐East Asia is largely the product of external cultural influences. It was formed in the intersection...

Development in Africa

The development of Africa is an under-rated success story at the beginning of the 21st century. It has economic growth rates above 5% for the last 15 years, and it is modernizing at a fast pace. In 2015, the continent has 1.2 billion people, living in 54 different countries. The borders for most of these countries were drawn during the era of European colonialism, which already explains much of the political instability in the 20th century. Most people also don’t understand how large the continent is: It covers the same surface as the United States, China, India – and the whole of Europe,...

What is Geography?

As a discipline, Geography cannot easily be defined. It’s the study of our spatial environment, and the relations between the physical and the human sphere. It examines the landscapes, peoples, places and environments of the earth. Geography starts with map-making, and the maps reflect our understanding of the world. If you look at the map above, which is  fairly typical world map, you can see, for instance, that Europe/Africa is in the center. Why do we choose to view the world from this perspective? In recent years, Google Earth has revolutionized our understanding of the world again, because it allows...