The geographical space refers to any place on the planet that is habitable, transformable and colonizable by human beings, obtaining from it some economic benefit and allowing them to satisfy their basic needs for food, housing and work.
This geographic space is located constantly changing by the actions of man, and therefore it is also a product of human history and the transformations that it brings to the planet. It is a diverse and complex geographic area, with great nuances and richness, as well as dynamic, as it is in continuous transition and mutation.
The geographic space comprises three dimensions of interest to the geographical sciences that interpret it:
- Biotics Concerning life and the ecological system.
- Abiotic. Regarding natural and terrestrial formations.
- Anthropic. Regarding the action and presence of man.
Likewise, the study of geographical spaces is usually done from a historical perspective, location, technology or from the rural-urban duality, among others.
Components of geographic space
All forms of geographic space can be classified based on their five components essential, each of which encompasses a specific category of analysis and a specific set of elements and considerations, namely:
- Natural components. Those that come from the natural history of the planet, such as rivers, lakes, mountains, seas, etc. These components affect the geographical space independently of the presence of man. Wild flora and fauna are also included here, if applicable.
- Social components. These components are those that concern human distribution on the earth’s surface, in cities, towns and other forms of community.
- Economic components. An economic component is understood as the fruit of the interrelation between natural and social components, that is, the activity of transformation of matter carried out by human societies and the impact that this has on the geographical space as a whole.
- Political components. Those derived from the artificial borders into which man has divided the world, as well as the way in which he governs each territory and establishes agreements and policies that limit transit between them.
- Cultural components. Those that respond to the ways of living that each human community has, whose local value makes each territory unique and enriches the social presence in them.
Examples of social components of geographic space
- Population density. Humans are trillions in all, but not evenly distributed. There are territories more populated than others, some overloaded with people and others almost uninhabited; This is what population density deals with: measuring how many people live on how much land area.
- Ethnic distribution. Something similar occurs with the various races that make up humanity, whose distribution on the earth’s surface obeys historical, political, and sometimes warlike criteria.
- Territorial conflicts. Of course, human coexistence is anything but simple, and tensions and confrontations abound in our history and have marked the way in which we organize geographic space. Tension zones influence all human activities, being both a cause and a consequence of wars and enmities.
- Rural and urban distribution. Urban life, that is, life in the city is imposed in today’s world as the coveted model, but it is unable to survive without an equally developed rural population. These tensions and human distributions between the countryside and the city are vital for the study of the social geographic space.
- Language distribution. Hand in hand with cultural elements, the study of the distribution of languages in geographical space is much more eloquent than it might seem, since many languages have been imposed through subjugation and colonization, and new ones have emerged as a result of syncretism and the mixture resulting from the prolonged coexistence of two or more cultures.
Examples of economic components of geographic space
- Cattle raising. The presence of grazing animals or soils that allow animal husbandry is a very important factor in the geographical configuration of the world today, given that food production is an industry that is constantly in demand and producing dividends.
- farming. The counterpart of livestock, considered one of the main economic activities in the history of humanity, requires extensive territories and specific climatic conditions according to the food grown, although there are much more productive and focused intensive variants, but with a higher incidence in the environment.
- Transport. One of the most robust economic sectors in the globalized world is transport, whose configuration is directly due to borders and political limitations established by man, such as natural barriers and the distribution of resources made by nature.
- Mining. One of the economic activities with the greatest impact on the environment and the greatest use of geography, since it requires locating mineral resources (such as oil, for example) to extract them for their subsequent commercialization and industrialization.
- Fishing. Naturally associated with geographic aquifers, be they seas, lagoons, rivers or lakes, both large and small-scale fishing is one of the main economic activities in the world.
Examples of natural components of geographic space
- Relief. Mountains, mountain ranges and other elevations, as well as depressions and trenches, are of importance in the study of the earth’s crust, since they directly affect the human way of understanding natural borders and the transit from one place to another.
- Flora. Flora plays a vital role in the constitution of many geographic spaces, such as coniferous forests or humid tropical forests, often in a wild state that contrasts with cities and the paved world.
- Fauna. The presence of animals and microorganisms in a geographic space cannot be ignored under any circumstances, since many economic activities depend on them and, in addition, man is not outside the ecological circle of the location in which he lives.
- Hydrography. The presence of rivers, lakes, lagoons or seas in the spatial geographic complex is a determining factor of it, since it constitutes a natural border and also makes it susceptible to floods and certain coastal climatic forms.
- Weather. Climates, from the most temperate to tropical, from polar cold to coastal humid heat, affect geographic life in multiple ways, since they forge human presence, respond to and feed on flora, and can also be a source of catastrophic natural phenomena (such as floods) or exploitable (such as the coastal wind in wind power plants).