Difference between Geography and Topography

Key Difference:  Geography is the study of the description of the Earth. It includes the study of land features, climate, inhabitants, etc. of the Earth. On the other hand, Topography is the study and mapping of the shapes and features of the places. Unlike Geography, it is not limited to the study of the Earth.

Geography deals with the study of places, in contexts to where they are, how they differ and why. On the other hand, Topography is more about detailed study of land features. Geography is the study of spatial variations. It is aimed to find out the reasons for the questions like how and why things differ from one place to the other place. It also takes account of the history of spatial patterns so that one can know that how they evolved through time.

In addition to these studies, it also deals with the study of inhabitants and phenomenon related to Earth. According to Wikipedia, the first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). This field of knowledge is treated as a base for many other fields of knowledge. An important feature of Geography is mapping. These maps are used to record information. In precise, Geography can be called the study of place, space and the environment.

Geography is mainly divided into two main branches – Human and Physical Geography. Physical Geography analysis and examines the natural environment. It deals with the production and interaction in context to climate, soil, water, landforms, etc. Human Geography deals with finding out the relations between human activities and the Earth’s surface.

Topography is a branch of planetary science which deals with the study of natural and artificial features of a place. It takes account of the factors like relative positions and elevations related to a particular landscape.  It includes the study of these features on any of the land like the Earth, the moon, an asteroid, or on a distant planet. Topography also includes the study of Geology and Geography of land’s features. The main aim of Topography is to find out the out the latitude (the distance north or south of the equator,) the longitude (the distance east or west of the Prime Meridian,) and elevation (the distance above sea level) of various landforms. 

Elements of the Topography includes –

Slopes, Elevation of a point , Contour lines  and Topographic Maps 

Topography and Geography are different from each other. Geography is focused on studying the description of the Earth, whether it be climate, inhabitants or its features. On the other hand, Topography deals with the shapes and features of places. It is not limited to just the study of the Earth.

Comparison between Geography and Topography:

 

Geography

Topography

Definition

Geography is the study of spatial variation. It is aimed to find out the reasons for the question like how and why things differ from one place to the other place.

Topography is a branch of planetary science which deals with the study of natural and artificial features of a place. It takes account of the factors like relative positions and elevations related to a particular landscape. 

Application Programming Interface

Greeks, whose geo and graphein were combined to mean “earth writing” or “earth description.”

Greek-rooted combo of topos meaning "place" and graphein "to write."

Scope

Earth

Any land including the Earth, the moon, an asteroid, or on a distant planet.

Main Study Area

Study of the Earth and its features.

Shape of a surface, including its relief.

Image Courtesy: oneonta.edu, sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov

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