Some examples of human geography include cultural landscapes and phenomena, such as language, music and art. Other things that are studied under human geography include economic systems, governmental structures and the study of globalization. Human geography is considered a major branch of geography alongside physical geography.
Topics of study under human geography, also known as cultural geography, cover cultural characteristics and how they relate to their places of origin. Cultural landscapes are particularly important, as a people's physical environment is intrinsically linked to how the culture develops. Conditions of the physical environment may limit or encourage certain cultural aspects. In a rural environment, for example, a community's culture is likely heavily linked to the natural environment. This tie may be less likely to exist in a large metropolitan area due to the artificial nature of the environment.
The field of human geography was first developed by Carl Sauer at the University of California, Berkeley. Sauer's geographic study used landscapes as the defining variable for geographic study. He argued that the landscape around a culture plays a large part in its development. However, he also believed that as a culture develops, the landscape around it also becomes changed, developed and evolved.