The period of evolution of geography can be divided into several stages, each characterized by different approaches and theories:
1. Ancient Period (Pre-5th century BCE): This period saw the emergence of early geographical knowledge in civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and China. Geographical understanding was primarily based on observations, explorations, and cartography.
2. Classical Period (5th century BCE - 5th century CE): During this period, Greek scholars like Eratosthenes and Ptolemy made significant contributions to geography. They developed concepts like latitude and longitude, calculated the Earth's circumference, and created maps based on mathematical calculations.
3. Medieval Period (5th century - 15th century CE): Geography during this period was heavily influenced by religious beliefs and the works of Islamic scholars. Islamic geographers like Al-Idrisi and Ibn Battuta made extensive explorations and produced detailed maps and travel accounts.
4. Age of Exploration (15th century - 18th century CE): This period witnessed a surge in geographical knowledge due to European explorations. Explorers like Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and James Cook discovered new lands, mapped coastlines, and documented their findings. This era also saw the development of navigational instruments and the establishment of colonial empires.
5. Modern Period (19th century CE - present): The modern period of geography is characterized by the emergence of scientific methods and the development of theories. Geographers like Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Ritter emphasized the study of physical geography, while others focused on human geography, including cultural, economic, and political aspects. The advent of technology, such as satellites and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), revolutionized data collection and analysis.
6. Contemporary Period: In recent years, geography has become more interdisciplinary, integrating concepts from various fields like environmental science, urban planning, and social sciences. Geographers now study complex issues such as climate change, globalization, and sustainable development. The use of advanced technologies continues to play a crucial role in understanding and analyzing spatial patterns and processes.
Overall, the period of evolution of geography has seen a progression from early observations and cartography to the development of scientific theories and interdisciplinary approaches, enabling a deeper understanding of the Earth's physical and human landscapes.