In geography, regions, otherwise referred to as regions, lands, or regions, are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human influence characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental geography). Geographical regions and subregions are mostly described by their vaguely defined, and sometimes temporary, boundaries, except in human geography, where jurisdictional areas are defined in law, such as national borders.
In addition to the global continental regions, there are also hydrological and atmospheric regions that cover the oceans and separate climates over the planet’s land and water. Global regions of land and water are geographically divided into subregions bounded by large geological features that affect the large-scale environment, such as plains and features.
As a means of describing spatial regions, the concept of regions is important and widely used in many disciplines of geography, each of which can describe areas in regional terms. For example, ecoregion is a term used in ecological geography, cultural region in cultural geography, bioregion in biogeography, etc. The field of geography that studies the regions themselves is called regional geography.
In physical geography, ecology, biogeography, fauna and ecological geography, regions are based on natural features such as ecosystems or biotopes, biomes, drainage basins, natural regions, mountain ranges, soil types. Where human geography is concerned, regions and sub-regions are described by the discipline of ethnography.
Global regions can be separated from space and are therefore clearly separated by two basic terrestrial environments, land and water. However, they have long been generally recognized by terrestrial cartography because of their impact on human geography. They are divided into the largest land areas known as continents and the largest water areas known as oceans. There are also significant regions that are not included in the classification, such as archipelago regions that are coastal regions, or seismic regions that are defined in geology.
Continental regions are generally based on the broad experience of human history and attempt to reduce very large areas to more manageable regionalizations for study purposes. As such they are conceptual constructs, usually lacking distinct boundaries. Oceanic division into oceanic regions is used in conjunction with the relationship to the central regions of the continents using compass directions.
Some continental regions are defined by the main continental features of their identity, such as the Amazon basin, or the Sahara, both of which occupy a significant percentage of their respective continental land areas.
To a large extent, major continental regions are mental constructs created considering a useful way of defining large areas of continents. For the most part, images of the world are derived from academic studies, from all forms of media, or from personal experience of global exploration. They are the subject of collective human knowledge of their own planet and seek to better understand their environment.
Regional geography is a branch of geography that studies regions of all sizes across the globe. It has a conventional narrative character. The main aim is to understand or define the uniqueness or character of a particular region, which consists of natural and human elements. Attention is also given to regionalization, which covers proper strategies for delimiting space to regions.
Regional geography is also considered a specific method of study in the geographical sciences (akin to quantitative or critical geography; for more information, see History of geography).