What is a geographic region?

What Does Geographic Region Mean

We explain what a geographic region is, its characteristics and detailed examples. Also, other types of regions.

The boundaries of a geographic region are conventional and depend on the criteria used.

What is a geographic region?

When we speak of a geographic region, we refer to a specific area of the planet that exhibits related geographic characteristics , such as relief , climate , vegetation, fauna , hydrography , human presence , and so on. In some contexts it can be a synonym for natural region.

However, what is and what is not a geographic region is a matter of debate, and responds to the classification needs of geographers, which are not always the same. In fact, the boundaries of a geographic region are conventional and depend on the criteria used, which change over time . Thus, a geographic region may obey a specific object of study, and for the purposes of geographic analysis it would be a synonym for “region”. In no case, however, should it be confused with landscape . See also: Geographic space

Characteristics of geographic regions

The Middle East quickly designates the Arabian Peninsula and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Geographic regions are characterized by:

  • It is about the organization of the terrestrial surface in zones that exhibit more or less homogeneous or similar characteristics, and that therefore can be managed as a geographic unit.
  • Its limits vary according to the elements taken into account : natural, human, economic, etc. and they are decided by convention.
  • It allows a more agile and faster geographical approach to the surface of our planet, discarding irrelevant sectors and focusing on the desired ones.
  • It should not be confused with "landscape" or "area".

They can be of three types, depending on the nature of their limits:

  • Formal When its limits are instituted in some document, agreement or official treaty, or some type of political entity administers them.
  • Functional. When they cover a focal point and other peripherals that depend on it, as is the case of a large city and its satellite cities.
  • Vernacular. When they are joined by an imaginary border, drawn according to more or less homogeneous, changing criteria, when not subjective.

Examples of geographic regions

The Mesoamerican region was occupied by different cultures for thousands of years.

It is not difficult to give examples of geographic regions, more or less strictly defined. To name just a few:

  • The Andean region. This is how the South American countries are known in whose territory the most significant part of the Andes mountain range is located, especially in cases where this implies the presence of the pre-Columbian Quechua or Inca culture, such as Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina.
  • The Middle East or Middle East. This geographic region encompasses the countries of the Arabian peninsula and the eastern Mediterranean, which are mostly Arabic language and Islamic religion , although with notable exceptions. They are located between Asia , Africa and Europe .
  • The Mesoamerican region . It can be spoken in these terms to refer to the territorial area formerly encompassed by the cultures of Mesoamerican civilization, which emerged between the 15th and 12th centuries BC. C. and that includes present-day Mexico (the southern half), Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and the western regions of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Other types of regions

Geographic regions can be organized according to various criteria, as we have just seen, depending on the specific element that we decide to focus on. We have, like this:

  • Natural regions . When we choose to look at the natural conformation of the terrain: relief, hydrography, vegetation, climate, etc.
  • Economic regions . If we look at the type of productive activities and the availability of resources for them that predominate in a portion of the earth's surface.
  • R policies EGIONS . If we look at the way in which human societies are organized ethnically, culturally or ideologically.

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