World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization
Pub Date: 2016
ISBN 13: 978-1-9461352-7-8
Publisher: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
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The book achieves its stated goal of being “…designed for students to experience and study as much of the world as possible within a limited amount read more
The book achieves its stated goal of being “…designed for students to experience and study as much of the world as possible within a limited amount of time….” The book is written in a “student friendly” manner that encourages students who may lack the background knowledge in the subject matter to challenge themselves to read an unfamiliar content area. Students I work with frequently may feel confident as readers in general, but lack confidence in reading science specific topics. The book does a good job or presenting essential vocabulary in a clear manner. The book makes good use of a variety of images and charts which help students gain multiple layers of reading skills. Many of the concepts used in this book are interrelated. Understanding one concept can assist a reader in learning about another concept and how they apply to different geographic regions. The discussion, study questions, and activities at the end of each chapter are helpful in tying key concepts together for students. I have been looking for a book like this one!
The content of this book is accurate. I like the use of images to support the reading content of the textbook, but I did notice in Chapter 1, section 1.2 Figure 1.19 is mislabeled. The photo says,” A man in Malawi carrying firewood for cooking and heating purposes.” The photo is titled,” Girls Carrying Firewood” by David Stanley. I think that would be important to correct this information if the book was adopted for classroom use, but that is the great thing about an OER, they can be adapted!
The textbook has been updated since its original publishing and seems current enough for today’s use. Chapters like the first one, that includes many basic geography concepts, lends itself more easily to staying current without needing much attention. I noticed in Chapter 4, which is about Regions of the United States and Canada, in section 4.5 the author doesn’t seem to know much about the Pacific Northwest and mentions that Bill Gates lives near Seattle. The detail seems out of place since the textbook doesn’t mention other specific people living in geographic areas. Details like that would need to be checked for accuracy in terms of updates when the textbook was used in the classroom.
The textbook is very clear and does an excellent job of explaining key vocabulary, especially for students new to topics related to geography. The textbook is very easy to read. The textbook integrates cross curriculum topics such as politics and economics and their relationship to geography which helps readers tie concepts together and understand interrelationships. The textbook also relates geography to other related science topics like hurricanes, earthquakes, plate tectonics etc. in a manner that helps create a “big picture” for readers.
The version of the textbook I evaluated was very consistent in the delivery and format of the material presented. I evaluated the textbook in the online format and found it very easy to view and use. The organization of the chapters begins with key concepts and builds from there. The integration of information in the cross-curriculum concepts helps students learn information efficiently while gaining a broader perspective of the overall topics.
The textbook has an effective and efficient format. Each chapter is a complete unit with an overview and subdivisions and concludes with discussion, study questions and/or activities at the end of each subsection. The chapters can be used in their entity or in smaller sections which makes the textbook very adaptable to classroom use. The format of the textbook uses standard heading and paragraph style with documentation at the end of each subsection. The images and charts are well documented and support the content of the chapters.
The organization and overall flow of the book worked for me. My goal was to find an open source textbook that would serve as an introduction to geographical concepts for students who have little to no information about geography. This textbook accomplishes what I was hoping to find. The PressBooks format makes it easy to see chapters and subsections which would allow for use of some or all of the material presented. It is a very useful open source textbook.
The interface of the textbook in its online format was very clear and easy to use. The interface reads well on computers as well as mobile devices. The Table of Contents organizes the material in a very usable format. The textbook is well organized in terms of chapters and subsections within the chapter aiding in the easy navigation of the textbook online. The use of supportive images and charts within the content of the textbook is visually appealing and creates appropriate breaks from long passages of text, as well as providing useful information.
No grammar errors were noted. I did find an image mislabeled in Chapter 1, section 1.2, figure 1.19. As noted, earlier in this review, the photo says,” A man in Malawi carrying firewood for cooking and heating purposes.” The photo is titled,” Girls Carrying Firewood” by David Stanley. I think that would be important to not and correct if the book was adopted for classroom use.
The textbook was sensitive to cultural issues around the world as they relate to geography and its integration with other social issues such as economics and politics. The cultural issues presented in the textbook would be an area needing constant updating/evaluating for currency. As a textbook with a goal of providing students with as much world information in a limited time, it seems to be culturally appropriate. The text did not seem offensive or biased in its presentation of material.
This textbook met my expectations for finding an introductory level geography book to use with students who lack confidence reading scientific materials. As an open source textbook, it is well designed and easy to use in its online format, another aspect I was looking for. The discussion, study questions, and activities provided along with the content of the chapters make this resource very useful. Excellent find for my needs and those of my students!
With the rise in the cost of textbooks, many students avoid buying textbooks and instead, try to rely heavily on lecture notes, which cannot cover read more
With the rise in the cost of textbooks, many students avoid buying textbooks and instead, try to rely heavily on lecture notes, which cannot cover course material alone. So, many instructors are mostly concerned to find an open textbook that would be interesting for students to read and at the same time covers contemporary physical and human aspects of the world from a geographic perspective. This open access textbook meets these criteria. The book covers a good understanding about the concept of contemporary globalization and the world. An understanding of the world can be learned so many different ways, but a student must understand the concepts of geography first and then concepts like globalization can be better explained to understand today’s world. This textbook did that job very well in a brief and concise manner. I like the fact all of the regions of the world are covered in this textbook that including treating Southeast Asia and East Asia separately. This book has balance between physical and human aspects of each regions and interconnection between economic development and the physical environment. While this book is not as comprehensive as one might intendeds to cover in the class, instructors can collect information from other sources for their lecture materials such as short video clips, readings etc... Despite having to use other works, I like the fact that it is an open textbook and it will allow students to read and follow the outline of lecture notes. Bolder fonts emphasize key terms in the text making it easier for students to follow. The subheadings also make this book more easy to read.
In terms of content and accuracy, this book is fine.
This book is clearly well-written and up-to-date and holds a good understanding about the concept of contemporary globalization and the world. However, some chapters are too inadequate. For example, only India is discussed in South Asia chapter, which is miss representation of the regions. Other limitation of this textbook can be absence of contemporary environmental, cultural, political or economic “point-counterpoint” view sections. However, one can address the limitation by adding supplementary readings on topics.
This book is clearly well-written and up-to-date on topics . The author covers topics in a story-like fashion without using too much technical jargon—very easy and interesting to follow. The colors of the illustrations are aesthetically appealing. The ratio of maps to photos seemed appropriate.
This open textbook is compatible for entry-level undergraduate students and used traditional methods to illustrate geographic views such as presenting the concepts of regions for each chapter. The geographic concepts and terminology are well explained and consistent throughout the textbook, making it easier for students to follow.
The table of contents of the book translate well for most world regional geography syllabus. This book presented each chapter with a series of objectives—very easy to follow. I think it is important for students to understand the physical settings of each region before approaching human concepts and this book meet that expectations. Each chapter of the book provided physical settings (e.g. landforms, climate, vegetation) of a region and then subdivided the discussion on the human and environmental aspects.
The organizational structure of this book is logical and should make appealing to world regional geography instructors.
With the increase in ease of access to information technology over the years, we have witnessed that the vast majority of today’s students love reading online. The PDF format of the book makes it much easier for students to navigate.
The text contains no grammatical errors.
This textbook doesn’t provide sections that are offensive to anyone.
Though this textbook is not grounded with theoretical foundations, the straightforward writing style of the book will certainly be more attractive to students. Given the cost associated with the textbook, if any instructors/institutions is trying to save the cost for their students, this open textbook is exactly what we need for engaging students in the course.
The focus of this text is "regional geography", and it carries this out very well, especially considering that this text can save student upwards of read more
The focus of this text is "regional geography", and it carries this out very well, especially considering that this text can save student upwards of $100. While the concept of "region" in geography can be problematic, it is part of the range of study, and the text is comprehensive in its coverage and breakdowns. The section covering Africa is a good example; in this section, the author incorporates an extensive description of the physical and historical geography along with the analysis of social and economic geography that addresses the thematic issue of modern globalization. The book's introduction contributes to the comprehensive nature by covering important technological aspects of contemporary geographic practice, and does a decent job of introducing key general geographic concepts.
A caveat here: I believe strongly that the quest for sterile "objectivity" is both impossible and undesirable. The time has come for geographers to take a stand on the issues we study. Having said that, this text does a reasonable job of remaining fair in its biases, and the book is extremely accurate to the best of my knowledge. I found no glaring errors.
Considering the original publication year of 2012, I have been impressed with the relevance of the content. The use of Wikipedia links for well-proven supplemental or tangential information contributes to the continued viability of the material, as wiki's are routinely maintained and updated as world events unfold, or as new research-based knowledge is constructed.
The general clarity of the book is just fine. The most important enhancement to clarity found in the document is the wonderful call-outs that float over key words when moused-over, providing a definition or example for readers without cluttering the prose.
The book is fairly consistent. After an introduction to the general geographic delineation of a region, each of the "realm" sections start with a focus on historical geography, thereby setting a linear stage for contemporary geography. Even as the book primarily utilizes "Core-periphery" to to frame subject conversations, it continues to weave historical context into the narrative.
Although there are three format versions of this book available from Saylor, only the html online format provides ready modularity. This is mainly by virtue of the table of contents, which is notably absent in both the PDF and DOCx versions available for download. The html version may be found by following the link to Saylor's website at the bottom of their pdf pages. Using the html book allows a user to access each chapter and subsets of each chapter, on top of the ability to search for specific text within the web pages. Apart from the introductory chapter, each chapter covers a general geographic "region". This generalization is then used as a framework for exploring geographic relations within the region, as well as between various regional entities. This provides an important continuity, reminding students that no "region" is truly isolated, while simultaneously allowing the instructor to compartmentalize material for instruction.
The chapters are laid-out in similar format, providing consistent structure and flow. It is hard to justify any particular organization in the "regional" geography model that is any better than the one that the author has chosen. Having said that, I would have appreciated seeing a region OTHER than Europe as the first one described. Euro-centrism persists, and should be undermined wherever possible.
Use the html version, or manually reformat the pdf or docx version to mimic the functionality of the html web-interface, which is good.
No perceived grammatical errors.
I found this book to be quite culturally sensitive overall. The author addresses important issues of globalization by placing it in context to people actually living in the regions, often referring to the local struggles against extra-regional forces. This is in stark contrast to the relative lack of exposure students will have had via mainstream media to the cultural struggles of people outside their own narrow identification groups.
The book provides a comprehensive, if somewhat superficial, introduction to the subject of geography. It does a good job of covering all world read more
The book provides a comprehensive, if somewhat superficial, introduction to the subject of geography. It does a good job of covering all world regions, but it falls short of its stated goal to present geography as the study of the world as a whole. Chapters are divided by world region. Beyond the introduction (Chapter 1), which discusses the aims, subdisciplines, and fundamental concepts of geography, the book does not integrate multiple world regions or draw comparisons or connections among them. In addition, the book suffers from the absence of a conclusion. It also lacks an index, but as an online, open source text available exclusively in PDF form, the text technically is searchable.
The book's depiction of world geography is constructive and well balanced, with relatively equal attention to all world regions. It objectively reflects world geography's fundamental concepts and content.
The book is most successful at presenting themes within physical and environmental geography. It deals relatively well with controversial topics such as deforestation and climate change. Its treatment of such issues is current and up-to-date, but broad enough that the book will remain relevant in the short term to medium. It is less successful at presenting new themes, currents, and debates within cultural geography. The book's depiction of this subfield is somewhat outdated already. It almost entirely ignores the deeply theoretical nature of contemporary cultural and historical geography. Instead, it perpetuates some of the field's former narratives, such as environmental determinism and the idea of group / national culture and identity.
The book is extremely straightforward. Its prose is clear and succinct. Concepts are explained clearly and fully, and occasionally illustrated with maps or other images.
The book is consistent in its approach to the subject.
The book is clearly divided into distinct chapters, and the number of chapters (13) translates well to a semester schedule. The length of these chapters varies significantly, and some of them (e.g. Chapter 2: Europe) are too long for a weekly reading assignment. At over 1,000 pages, the book as a whole is a bit long for a semester survey course, but the added length improves its comprehensiveness.
The book is very clearly organized. As a textbook on "World Regional Geography," its organization according to geographical world region is straightforward and logical.
The book's format (PDF) makes it much harder to navigate than a hard copy textbook or a more interactive online resource. A few of the charts, maps, graphs, and images could be improved or sharpened. The url links to certain maps are a helpful addition.
The text contains very few proofreading issues.
The book is not offensive in any way, but certain aspects could be viewed as culturally insensitive. For example, equating the evolution of group culture and identity with climatic and environmental factors is a pursuit that most contemporary scholars within the field of geography have rejected because it has the potential to suggest the superiority of certain peoples over others. While the latter obviously is not the book's intention or implication, the text would benefit from an update in its geographical theory.
Overall, the book presents a decent, cost-effective, no-frills introduction to the subject.
The book attempts to cover both the basics of geography and specifics about the different regions of the world. As such the author needed to read more
The book attempts to cover both the basics of geography and specifics about the different regions of the world. As such the author needed to chose which concepts to include that would be necessary when studying the different regions. Concepts included were necessary, but the instructor of the course would have to add both depth as well as other necessary concepts not included. (Migration was a concept that would need more coverage). A second decision by the author, was to cover each country in a region, unlike some other world geography texts that give more general information about each region. This approach attempts to give specifics, but some countries only get 3-4 lines- not really enough information to know about a country. Had the book chosen to organize information more general topics, more details could have been included. The book includes review questions, but there is no glossary or index. One last item concerns the choice of what to cover. For example, in North America, the author talks about minority populations and religion, but doesn't discuss energy resources or politics.
The content is accurate, but doesn't avoid bias. Words chosen to describe people, events, and situations contain the author's perspective- words like "sadly, dominion, violently, and fortunate". In most cases, it would be hard to argue with the descriptions chosen, but they don't present an objective view of the content. A minor problem was missing text on p.149 and the word "country" instead of "county" was found on p. 240.
The book does make short term predictions about political and economic trends that would be outdated in a short time. However, finding and updating those portions of the text would not be too difficult a process. The majority of the information is fairly stable and newer additions would not be necessary. There is a mixture of data that creates a a complete look at population, economics, etc., but the some of the data is very current, while other parts are from the 2000 census.
The clarity is one of the strong points of the book. The language used is free of jargon (although when previously defined geographic terms are used, they are not reviewed when used again). The readability of the text is similar to a newspaper. Variations in sentence length and the use of common vernacular makes the text easily understandable.
The text is very consistent in what is described for each region as well as perspectives that are taken. There is history, physical geography, resources, and current trends or issues for the region/countries involved. Rural to urban migration is an example of a concept that is used frequently throughout the book since it is a world-wide phenomenon.
The book lends itself to a very efficient format- each chapter is a different region. The table of contents gives reference numbers which makes it easy to locate any particular section. Within each section, there are sub-headings, but there are also places where a change in topic occurs with a new paragraph, but no heading to indicate the change. The pictures and charts are well marked and legends are included. Because of the need for space on a screen-page for a chart or map to fit, sometimes the title is on one page, and the object shows up on the next page. Once you figure this out, you know to keep scrolling to find what you're looking for.
The overall layout of the book is logical. It topics presented within each region are consistent (as mentioned previously), but there is no self-evident reason for the organization within each region. The order the countries are discussed, the topics for each region do not have a obvious pattern, so if the reader was searching for a country within a region, they would have to scroll within a region to find the country (the table of contents only lists the order of the regions- it doesn't give page numbers for the chapters or anything within the chapters). The lack of page numbers is definitely an issue when attempting to find something. I was searching for information about Sudan and it took a fair amount of time scrolling through the North African region in order to find what I was looking for.
The only issues have already been mentioned: lack of page numbers for finding a region/section or when object titles appear on one page and the object appears on the next page.
No grammatical error encountered. I did find that the one page which ended in mid-sentence, and a map that showed counties by said "countries" in the title.
The authors seemed to pay special attention to covering issues related to culture- especially in areas where culture currently plays a significant role in the lives of the people within the region. Examples would include the immigration issue that faces both the United States and developed countries in Europe (both of which attempt to maintain their cultural heritage while integrating peoples from other cultures into their perspective societies. Also, coverage was given to ethnic cleansing the occurred in eastern Europe and the conflicts in the Darfur region of Sudan.
For an open access textbook this is a comprehensive and serviceable resource for classes in world regional geography. It begins with an read more
For an open access textbook this is a comprehensive and serviceable resource for classes in world regional geography. It begins with an introductory chapter that covers, in a rather basic fashion, human and physical geography and then progresses to cover the world in 12 regional chapters that add considerable and appropriate depth to geographical themes. The regional chapters are divided into: Europe, Russia, North America, Middle America, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Southwest Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and the Pacific and Antarctica. The assignment of regions is always contested, but here they are clear and well delineated; e.g. dividing 'Latin America' into Middle America and South America as well as treating the Pacific Islands separate from Australia and New Zealand. The inclusion of Antarctica with the Pacific is a bit awkward, but the additional coverage of Antarctica turns out to be an improvement over other world regional geography texts. Further, and importantly, each regional chapter begins with a general overview of the physical and human geography of each region and then subdivides them for more specific coverage; e.g. Middle America broken up into Mexico, Central America, and then the Caribbean. That being said, the pdf document lacks a table of contents and a glossary which places extra effort on the instructor to create their own.
The content of the textbook is accurate and unbiased, with minimal errors. Any discrepancies can be easily handled by the instructor in terms of their perspectives or areas of emphasis.
This version was published in 2012 and includes excellent up-to-date content and current issues, which I was impressed with. However, 'current issues' are constantly changing and requires instructors to provide supplementary up-to-date information, which is a constant for courses in world geography.
The text is extremely clear and easy to read in very concise sentences with description of geographical terminology. The conciseness is welcomed, but initially lacks depth in exploring topics in greater detail, particularly in the introductory chapter. However, in relevant chapters themes are expanded upon in greater detail. For example, the political geography of nation-state formation is expanded upon in the chapter on Europe. And from a physical geography perspective, the science behind hurricanes is provided in the Middle America chapter. These are just two examples, and I found the development of depth in human and physical geography themes within relevant regional chapters a significant strength of the textbook.
The textbook is consistent with terminology and framework. It begins with concise and simple themes in human and physical geography but builds upon them in more depth in the relevant chapters.
This textbook is well organized for dividing it into smaller assignments. Each regional chapter begins with a broad overview of the region and then subdivides it into more specific 'regions within the region'.
The main weakness of the textbook is in the ordering of topics within chapters. It tends to jump from one topic to the next without a proper transition, e.g. Middle America chapter discusses the colonial era and then, afterwards, addresses Native American cultures as they existed before the colonial era. I found the sequence of topics disjointed in many of the chapters. However, the material was excellent, just not ordered correctly.
The interface of a single document that is over 1000 pages without an index or glossary is troublesome, and students will need a good version of Adobe Acrobat to navigate the document easily. The separation of chapters and sections within the chapter are not clear. The images, maps, and graphs are simple but very effective and tied to the text material well.
The grammar is excellent, only a few minor formatting issues in terms of spacing between words here and there and between paragraphs.
The text is culturally relevant and unbiased without offensive material to multiple races, ethnicities, or backgrounds.
This open textbook resource should be seriously considered by instructors looking to reduce student costs and contributing to open access learning. While it has some limitations in terms of the interface and constant need for updating for current events, these should be easily overcome by minimal instructor additions. It provides an excellent basis for studying world regional geography and allows for the instructor to add content in their own courses.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Introduction to the World
- Chapter 2: Europe
- Chapter 3: Russia
- Chapter 4: North America
- Chapter 5: Middle America
- Chapter 6: South America
- Chapter 7: Subsaharan Africa
- Chapter 8: North Africa and Southwest Asia
- Chapter 9: South Asia
- Chapter 10: East Asia
- Chapter 11: Southeast Asia
- Chapter 12: Australia and New Zealand
- Chapter 13: The Pacific and Antarctica
About the Book
World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization is designed for students to experience and study as much of the world as possible within a limited amount of time. It gives students the fundamental concepts and the latest data regarding world places in a concise, easy-to-read format.
This World Regional Geography textbook focuses on the primary issues that have created our cultural and societal structures, and presents them within a framework for global understanding. A pattern of development is outlined from the imprint that European colonialism had on culture to the impact that giant retail corporations like Wal-Mart have on consumerism.
Within this framework, the textbook takes a regional approach to globalization and world geography, as each chapter focuses on one subject or region. The first unit covers the basic concepts of location, the environment, and global economic dynamics. Then, these basic concepts, theories, and principles are presented for each region on a chapter-by-chapter basis.
The basic concepts are covered using real world examples to provide purpose and relevance for the students. And each lesson begins with learning objectives and ends with key takeaways to stimulate critical thinking about each topic or region. Basic spatial concepts are also tracked throughout the text to connect ideas and apply concepts to every region of the world. Special sections on relevant topics are also distributed throughout the book.
With each chapter focused on one region, the textbook provides professors with some course management and flexibility. The text is also brief enough to provide additional flexibility if professors want to include specialized information from outside sources.
World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization provides students with a working knowledge of world geography in an easy-to-read format. Basic geographic concepts of world places are presented in concise chapters, and each chapter provides a foundational framework for understanding the development patterns of world regions. See for yourself and take a look at the book today!
About the Contributors
World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization is adapted from a work produced by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution. This adapted edition is produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.