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Modern Age

Carl Ritter (1779-1859)

A German geographer
Specialized in the theory
and writing of geography.
Founded modern
geography and is known
as one of the fathers of
modern geographical
Wrote Geography of the
Earth World, based on
his extensive travels.

Carl Ritter (1779-1859)

Geography was a kind of physiology and
comparative anatomy of the earth: rivers,
mountains, glaciers, etc., were so many
distinct organs, each with its own
appropriate functions; and, as his physical
frame is the basis of the man, determinative
to a large extent of his life, so the structure
of each country is a leading element in the
historic progress of the nation."

Alexander von Humboldt

Considered as the Father of Geophysics,
combining geography and astronomy
Explored the tropical parts of South and
Central America.
Material from his observations in the
Americas were enough to fill 29 volumes.
Published over a fifty-year period, and
contained 1429 maps and drawings.

Wrote the famous book Cosmos

Race to the Poles

The largest blank areas on the map in the
late 18th century were in the Polar
Antarctica had never been seen by man.
Exploring expeditions had penetrated only
the margins of the Arctic.

The Arctic Explorers

The ocean is covered by what is called as
drift ice.
This is composed of great masses of ice,
called ice floes, moved by winds and ocean

Arctic Explorers
At first, the Arctic explorers were seeking
the Northwest Passage or the Northeast
Later on, expeditions were sent to reach
the North Pole.

Robert Peary
877: Graduated from Bowdoin College in
Maine, worked as a local surveyor, and
later worked with the US Coast and
Geodetic Survey
1886: Was exploring the Greenland ice
cap with the US Navy
Arranged Arctic explorations while on
leave from the Navy

Robert Peary

Robert Peary
Observed Eskimos and
their practices: dog
sleds, furs, and igloos
Determined Canadas
Ellesmere Island as the
best starting point for
their trek to the Pole
Also determined that
greater success can be
achieved by travelling
in late winter

The Antarctic
The South Pole is located on a great land
mass covered with an ice sheet
Cold-air masses of the Southern Hemisphere
are larger and stronger, and moved out more
frequently than those of the Northern
As a result, the ocean around Antarctic is the
stormiest in the world.

The Race to the South Pole

Robert Scott
An English Naval Officer
Became a naval cadet at
the age of 13 and served
on a number of Royal Navy
ships in the 1880s and the
Appointed by the Royal
Geographic Society to
command the National
Antarctic Expedition of
Began to plan an
expedition to be the first
to reach the South Pole,
and spent years raising
funds for the trip

The Race to the South Pole

Roald Amundsen
Born in Norway in 1872
Wanted to pursue the
North Pole, but Robert
Peary had reached it
Decided to embark on an
expedition to be the first
man to reach the South

The Race to the South Pole

Roald Amundsen
December 14, 1911:
Amundsen and his crew
reached the South Pole
Even after his success, he
tried to be the first to fly
over the North Pole

The Modern Age

Beginning in the 1950s, geographers made
increasing use of quantitative methods.
Quantitative Revolution
Geographers have also broadened their
efforts to find practical applications for
geographic studies.