General Question

DominicX's avatar

How is your geography knowledge? Were you taught it in school?

Asked by DominicX (28803points) June 18th, 2009

How would you rate your geography knowledge? What kinds of things do you know and what kinds of things don’t you know? Some of you may know that my geography knowledge is kind of exceptional…I won my middle school’s Geography Bee three years in a row and I’d be willing to bet I could label all the countries of the world, their capitals, all the counties of California and Nevada and their county seats, Australian and Canadian states and provinces and their capitals, and a bunch of other crap.

Were you taught geography in school? We did a bunch of U.S. geography in 8th and 11th grade. We did European countries and capitals in 10th grade. We did African countries in 9th grade. Other than that, not a whole lot. I taught myself most of what I know from atlases, encyclopedias, and educational placemats. :P

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

i know i’m here and you’re there.

i do alright.

gymnastchick729's avatar

I’m still in school and I’m pretty sure the only thing I could manage of geography is…continents?

ragingloli's avatar

I would consider my geographic ability to be mediocre.
We had geography in school. A lot was about ground structure, sediments, environmental processes, meteorology, and glacier stuff.
Sporadically we had tests involving locating and naming rivers, mountains cities etc.
Always learned the night before the test with my atlas, which worked pretty well. Of course thise knowledge was temporary and fleeting, but as my chemistry teacher always said: “You don’t have to know everything. You have to know where it is written.”

OpryLeigh's avatar

We were taught Geography at school but for the final 2 years we had the option to continue with certain subjects and drop others. I dropped geography and so my knowledge is not great but I know the basics.

scamp's avatar

So much has changed since I was in school, I would probably be pretty lousy on a geography test now.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@scamp yeah, Pangaea separated, so things are quite complex now.~

MrItty's avatar

Horrible. I could name all 50 states and their capitals – but only by singing Wakko’s America to myself. I could probably correctly place 75% of the countries in South America, if you gave me their names first. In Europe, I could locate the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, and Greece. In Africa, I know where Egypt and Madagascar are, and nothing else. In the mid-east, I could get Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Israel right…

Yeah. My geography sucks monkey butt. I couldn’t come close with the former Soviet republics or the former Yugoslavian states, and other than China and Japan, I’d probably do miserable in the Orient too.

… wow that was depressing. :-(

wundayatta's avatar

Geography is a lot more than the names of places. I figure I know enough about Geography that it is extremely difficult for me to get lost. I can read maps. I can make maps. I have studied maps. I like Google Earth, and I can tell a lot about a neighborhood or an area just by looking at it from above. I can tell you about the climate of a lot of places, the demographics of a lot of places, the culture of a lot of places, the politics of a lot of places and industry in a lot of places.

If you gave me a map with outlines, I could probably name at least a half of all the nations on earth. I could identify most of the major rivers, and show you where the tectonic plates are located. So, I dunno. I think I’m more geographically literate than the average person, but I don’t really know how I compare to anyone else.

Dorkgirl's avatar

I don’t remember being taught geography in school, but I’m sure we learned some stuff.
Most of what I know has been gleaned as an adult and enhanced by research done when we are planning trips.
I can ID all 50 states, am not very good with capitals. I can ID most European countries.
I’d rate myself as an intermediate with geography.

MissAusten's avatar

Geography is not something I have mastered. I get confused about where things are in my own state, let alone the rest of the world.

I thought I had the US states down until I had to help my daughter learn them this year. Then I realized that I couldn’t fill in a blank US map quite right (who decided to make so many of the western states square-shaped?!). By the time my daughter had learned them, so had I. Give me a few months and I’ll forget again.

As for the rest of the world, I can do continents and lots of places in Europe. I have a rough idea of where other countries are located. Don’t ask me about capitals. I don’t remember learning anything other than US geography in school and it isn’t something I’d spend time on willingly!

susanc's avatar

In my family life of the last 30 years, conversation almost always included use of the atlas.

In an earlier thread, I missed 9 of the 56? current nations in Africa.
Capitals? I don’t think so. Let’s see, Cairo, um, Johannesburg….

I learned almost nothing about geography in my 1,000 years of formal education.
Travel, both physical and armchair.
In six weeks I’m going to Iceland – because I don’t know anything about it,
not because I do.

SarahBeth's avatar

My memory of geography I learned in Highschool is embarassingly nonexistant. I’m not sure if I didn’t retain it because of lack of interest at the time or what…

I do have a pretty good handle on The United States now only because I have traveled within the states quite extensively. As others mentioned, I am very good at navigating while traveling. I am most excited when going to places I’ve never been. I am much more likely to adventure to a place I’ve never been, rather than read about a place (and keep my interest).

Who knows, but I tend to feel bad about how poor my knowledge-base of world geography is. I feel it’s definately, exincusabley bad. Yet my sense of adventure is stronger than most, so hey it evens out :)

DominicX's avatar


I can read and make maps as well. It’s fun. Whenever I’m traveling, I have an overwhelming sense of where I am. I know some people that barely have any idea of how far it is from here to L.A. or have no idea which roads and highways go where. I always have to inform people…. :P

aprilsimnel's avatar

I wouldn’t be exactly the best in identifying the breakaway states of the former Soviet Union, or for much of Mittel Europa, but I’d do all right on the rest of the world. We were drilled in grade school on geography.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think I have a good knowledge of geography – I know most states in the US but don’t care to know their capitals. I am a lot more concerned with the world outside of the U.S. and I have traveled plenty, I think, but I still don’t know all the capitals. I want to say I know enough to stay current and I know the world is always changing so geographical knowledge from middle school or high school is irrelevant now.

Jack79's avatar

@DominicX ok, now that’s impressive. I consider myself pretty good, but not that good. I could probably name all the countries in the world and their capitals, but I might forget a few. And I have no idea which is the second longest river or the second highest peak. I might even get the top one wrong.

I was pretty good at Geography as a student, but I also travelled a lot, so I think that’s the main reason. I can tell you all about various places for the simple reason that I’ve actually been there. And I’m very good at finding myself around anywhere, anytime.

gymnastchick729's avatar

@MrItty I wish I knew that song in 4th and 5th grade!!

scamp's avatar

@eponymoushipster that was at least 5 years before I was born~ :P

eponymoushipster's avatar

@scamp well, at least you had fire growing then. no wheel, but fire for sure. lol

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s key in the corporate world in an international context. Nothing could be more embarrassing than thinking Africa is a country. Thank God Sarah Palin isn’t Vice President.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther