geography G L O S S A R Y


Agriculture
The science and art of cultivating the soil,
raising crops and rearing livestock. It is
also called farming.
Balance of Trade
The difference between the total value of a
country’s exports and imports. An excess
of export over import makes a favourable
balance of trade, and the converse an unfavourable balance.
Barter
A direct exchange of excess produce
b e twe e n   two   p a r t i e s   t o   t h e  mu t u a l
advantages of both, without the use of
tokens, credit or money in the transaction.
Census
Official enumeration of population along with
certain economic and social statistics in a
given territory at some time interval.
Chemical Fertilisers
Substance of natural or artificial origin
containing chemical elements such as
phosphorus, potassium and nitrogem that
are necessary to plan life. They are added
to the soil for increasing its productivity.
Contour Ploughing
Tilling or ploughing hillsides or sloping lands
along the contour lines, that is, around
rather than up and down a slope mainly
with a view to conserving soil and water.
Crop Rotation
Growing of different crops in succession
on the same field from season to season to
maintain soil fertility
Dairy Farming
 A kind of agriculture in which major
emphasis is on breeding and rearing milch
cattle. Agriculture crops are raised mainly
to feed these cattle.
Density of Population
The average number of inhabitants living
within a specified unit of area, such as a
sq km.
Dry Farming
A method of farming adopted in certain regions
of inadequate rainfall and devoid of irrigation
facilities by conserving moisture in the soil
and by raising drought-enduring crops.
Economic Geography
The aspect or branch of geography which
deals with the influences of the environment,
both physical and cultural, on the economic
activity of man, bringing out similarities and
differences from place to place in the ways
people make a living.
Environment
Surroundings or the conditions under
which a person or things exist and develop
his or its character. It covers both physical
and cultural elements.
Exports
Goods despatched from one country to
another.
Extensive Agriculture
Farming in which the amount of capital and
labour applied to a given area is relatively
small.
Fazenda
A coffee plantation in Brazil.
Foreign Exchange
The mechanism or process by which
p a yme n t s   b e twe e n   a n y   two   p l a c e s
operating under different national currency
systems are effected without passing of
actual money or gold, etc.
Freeways
The wide highways on which cross-roads
are avoided by providing overhead links
where one turns in only one direction to
ensure smooth and speedy traffic.
Harbour
An extensive stretch of deep water where
vessels can anchor securely to obtain
protection from sea and swell either through
natural features or artificial works.
Highway
Public road connecting distant places. Such
a road of national importance is called the
national highway.
Horticulture
Cultivation of vegetables and fruits; often on
small plots, involving higher intensiveness
than in field cultivation.
Imports
Goods brought into a country from another
country.
Industrial Revolution
The change in manufacturing from handoperated tools to power-driven machinery
began in England during the middle of the
eighteenth century.
Industry
Systematic production characterised by
division of labour and extensive use of
machinery.
Intensive Agriculture
Farming in which large amounts of capital
and labour are applied per unit area of
land, in order to obtain high yield.
Inter Cropping
It is a practice of growing two or more crops
together on the same field in the same
season
International Trade
Trade carried on between nations primarily
to exchange their surpluses and make up
their deficits.
Metropolis
A very large city or agglomeration of
population in a district or a country, and is
often the chief centre or seat of some form
of activity— administrative, commercial or
industrial. It generally serves a large
hinterland.
Mine
An  excavation made in the earth for
digging out minerals such as coal, iron-oreand precious stones. A mine usually
denotes underground working except in
open-pit mines.
Mineral
A substance that is found in the earth’s crust,
a n d  wh i c h   g e n e r a l l y   h a s   a   d e f i n i t e
chemical composition unlike most rocks.
Mineral Fuel
Non-metallic minerals such as coal and
petroleum which are used as fuel.
Mineral Oil
A mixture of hydrocarbons in solid,
gaseous or liquid form found in the earth. It
is commonly known as petroleum. It became
a commercial product only in 1859.
Mineral Ore
Metals in their raw state as extracted from
the earth.
Mining
An economic activity concerned with the
extraction of commercially valuable minerals
from the bowels of the earth.
Mixed Farming
A type of farming in which cultivation of crops
and raising of livestock go hand in hand.
Both these activities play an important part
in the economy.
Natural Resources
We a l t h   s u p p l i e d   b y   n a t u r e - m i n e r a l
deposits, soil fertility, timber, fuel, water,
potential water-power, fish and wild life, etc.
Nomadism
A way of life of the people who are required
to shift their dwellings frequently from place
to place in search of pastures for their
animals— the mainstay of their economy.
Open-cast Mine
A place where soil and its outward cover
are first removed and a mineral or ore is
extracted by quarrying. In a way, it is a
quarry on a large scale. This method of
mining is known as open-cast mining.
Pastoralism
An economy that solely depends upon
animals. Whereas nomadic pastoralism is
practised mainly for subsistence, the
modern ranches present an example of
commercial pastoralism.
Plantation Agriculture
A large-scale one-crop farming resembling
f a c t o r y   p r o d u c t i o n .   I t   i s   u s u a l l y
characterised by large estate, huge capital
investment, and modern and scientific
techniques of cultivation and trade.
Port
T h e   c o m m e r c i a l   p a r t   o f   a   h a r b o u r
containing facilities for embarking and
disembarking passengers, loading and
unloading, and some facilities for the storage
of cargo.
Primary Activity
 Activities concerned with collecting or
making available materials, provided by
nature, for example, agriculture, fishing,
forestry, hunting or mining.
Quarry
 An open-air excavation from which stone
is obtained by cutting, blasting, etc.
Ranches
Large stock farms, usually fenced in, where
a n i m a l s   a r e   b r e d   a n d   r e a r e d   o n   a
c o m m e r c i a l   s c a l e .   T h e y   a r e   f o u n d
especially in the United States.
Rotation of Crops
 A systematic succession of different crops
on a given piece of land  carried out in
order to avoid exhaustion of the soil.
Secondary Activity
Activities which transform the material
p r o v i d e d   b y   p r i m a r y   a c t i v i t i e s   i n t o
commodities more directly useful to man.
Sedentary Agriculture
F a r m i n g   p r a c t i s e d   m o r e   o r   l e s s
permanently on the same piece of land,
the same as settled agriculture.
Shaft Mine
 An underground excavation made deep
into the earth for digging minerals  like coal,
precious stones and iron. Such mines
contain vertical and inclined shafts and
horizontal tunnels at various levels.
Shifting Agriculture
 A method of farming in which a patch of
ground is cultivated for a period of few
years until the soil is partly exhausted or
overrun by weeds, and after which the
land is left to natural vegetation while
cultivation is carried on elsewhere. In due
course, the original patch of land is
cultivated again when the natural growth
has restored fertility.
Subsistence Agriculture
Farming in which its produce is mainly
consumed in the farmer’s household unlike
commercial agriculture whose products
enter into trade on a very large scale.
Transhumance
 A seasonal movement of herdsmen with
their livestock and  from and to the
mountains or between the regions of
differing climates.
Transport
The action of carrying persons and goods
from one place to another.
Truck Farming
Growing of vegetables around the urban
centres to meet the daily demand of the
people is known as truck farming. It is
governed by the distance a truck can cover
overnight between the farm and the market.
Urbanisation
 A general movement of people from small
rural or agricultural communities or villages
to larger towns engaged in varied activities
such as government, trade, transport and
m a n u f a c t u r e .   I t   a l s o   i n d i c a t e s   t h e
concentration of an increasing proportion
of total population in towns and cities.
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