What’s the Difference Between Site and Situation in AP® Human Geography

Attention:  This position was written a few years ago and may not reflect the latest changes in the AP® program. We are gradually updating these posts and will remove this disclaimer when this military post is updated. Thank you for your solitaire ! about half of the earth ’ mho population live in cities, and the urban population is growing much faster than the rural population. This mass migrating into cities and urban areas is a good reason for you to know about urban dynamics. It is a fact that the form, size, and function of urban settlements is constantly changing .
The CollegeBoard wants you to know that there are factors that initiate and drive both urbanization and suburbanization. Two of those factors are site and situation. Site and site influence the lineage, affair, and increase of cities and is an significant concept to understand when you study cities and urban land habit for the AP® Human Geography Exam. This discipline guide will explain the difference between site and situation in the context of AP® Human Geography .

The Nature and Function of Cities

urban settlements date back more than 5,000 years. You will find the global ’ randomness first cities in Mesopotamia and Egypt, China, and Meso-America ( contemporary Mexico ). Why did cities first develop in those areas ? There was a combination of factors like agricultural excess, access to a water source, increasing population, defense, religion, and trade.

The kernel of every advance culture is the city. The city acts as the hub of a geographic region or area and is the agent for political, economic and social activities. The larger the city becomes, the more it serves as a potent pull within its sector of influence. There is a myriad of functions that the city provides its residents. Those functions include department of transportation, communication, retail and wholesale operations, political, aesculapian, condom, defense, legal and fiscal services .
A city does not operate independently but relies on other cities within the region, and often has a particular role or function, within that region. Almost all cities were well planned out before being built, taking into bill two crucial locational aspects. Those aspects were web site and situation ; two terms that are crucial in the study of geography .

What is Site and Situation in AP® Human Geography

The origin, officiate, and growth of a particular settlement depend upon both its locate, arsenic well as its position. Settlements can be rural, a humble greenwich village, for exemplar, with a little population, or urban, as a bombastic city with a population in tens of millions. Site and situation can be confusing, even to those conversant with human geography. This AP® Human Geography crash course will explain the differences between web site and position to make it clearer for you when you see them as either a multiple-choice or FRQ on the AP® Human Geography Exam .

What is Site?

The Nature and Function of Cities - AP® Human Geo
Site – The demand placement of a colony on the Earth. If you know its GPS coordinates, you can find it on your smartphone. Cities are contribution of the urban hierarchy. Where they stand in, the hierarchy depends on many factors : population, the number of services, and its sphere of determine. For purposes of this survey guide, and the AP® Human Geography Exam, we will be discussing urban settlements or cities .
A city ’ s site refers to the actual physical attributes of the place it occupies. The land could be two-dimensional or cragged. It could lie on a river or a lake. It could have a trench water port. It could have obstacles for expansion like ridges or marshes. These are conditions that people consider when choosing the locate of a city if those conditions are favorable for living .
Cities with electric potential for emergence have the advantage of a favorable locate. Those favorable conditions would be access to a plentiful/potable water source, substantial for build homes and businesses, an abundant source of fuel for energy, natural barriers to defend the city against enemies and mother nature, climate, flora/fauna, and circumstance of the soil .
You must besides consider the ability to trade when choosing a locate for a city. Bodies of urine were full of life to trade in preindustrial times to allow trade wind through their ports. Most of the universe ’ randomness largest cities were settled on rivers, peculiarly in the placement where they reach the ocean or ocean. many times, this was the first period that explorers landed .
For exercise, the web site of Sydney, Australia, took advantage of the superior, natural seaport, favorable for trade, and surrounding arable cultivated land. Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem were built on hilltops because they were a natural barrier for the department of defense of the city. history shows us that if these conditions are friendly for living, settlements develop and grow into major cities like New York and Paris .
Paris was founded on an island in the Seine River. This site could be easily defended and where crossing the Seine was patronize. When the settlement on this site began was credibly during pre-Roman times, but it functioned as a Roman outstation for 2000 years. For many centuries, this favorable defense aspect continued to be vital to the growth of Paris, because the cardinal government at that time was historically weak. In the end, Paris outgrew the island and started expanding its colony to the banks of the Seine River, but that did not lessen the importance of the security it provided to the politics .
The site of a city can besides create challenges for its inhabitants as well. Cities located in climates that are inhospitable for humans or agribusiness, or extremely rugged, puts the destine of the population in the hands of others, to provide resources they are not able to produce .

What is Situation?

Situation - AP® Human Geo
Situation – Where a city is, in sexual intercourse to its surrounding features. Those features could be natural surroundings ( mountains, rivers, roads ), nearby areas of generative capacity, the size of its backwoods ( an inland area found behind a interface and claimed by the power that owns the seashore ), the location of competing cities, and transportation routes. In early words, situation is the greater regional framework in within which the city finds itself .
It is not just the encompassing human-made characteristics that are partially of a city ’ south situation, but besides the natural physical features that surround the city. The growth of a city depends on the handiness and handiness of natural resources. Baghdad had an extremely golden situation because it had command of land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

entree to farseeing outdistance commerce was besides a friendly situation for cities grew up along craft routes. Examples are Xi ’ an, China on the Silk Road, Timbuktu, Mali on the Trans-Sahara trade road and maritime trade that helped Singapore thrive .
Using Paris again as an model, its situation was advantageous to rapid growth. Paris lies near the center of a big and golden agricultural sphere, and as a growing marketplace, interactions with these regions continued to increase. The Seine River is navigable by river dealings, with respective tributaries navigable arsenic well. This road led to the Lorraine industrial area and the area of coal-based manufacture near the belgian border. A radial road system was developed in the area during Napoleon ’ s reign. Like Roman roads that focused on Rome, all of these roads led mighty to Paris .
The situation of a city is the most crucial factor for its future and whether it grows into a big city or stays a small town. As cities grow and develop, the predominance of these factors that make up their situation will determine whether or not the city will prosper in the hanker function or decline and become a victim to urban decay .

What is the Difference between Site and Situation?

immediately that you know what site and situation are, you can determine the dispute between the two homo geography terms .

  • Site is the exact location of a city, you can find it on a map. The situation of a city relates to its surrounding features, both human-made and natural.
  • The site of a city has features that are inherent to its location. The situation of the city includes characteristics that are external to the settlement.
  • The site is the land that the city was built upon. The situation contains the surrounding areas of the city.

Are Site and Situation Still Important Today?

We saw that in the shell of Paris, a city ’ s site and site play an important function in its growth and these factors play out again and again throughout the history of urban development as factors in making great cities the comfortable urban centers that they are today. This will be true as we move ahead a well. Whether a city grows or becomes another victim of urban decay, still depends on their site and situation. technological advances in transportation and communication may help to mitigate some of the negative aspects of a city ’ s site or site, by bringing countries closer together .

Site and Situation and the AP® Human Geography Exam

The CollegeBoard has devoted an integral unit, “ Cities and Urban Land Use ”, to urban geography. You are expected to understand several central concepts within this section and site and situation are the beginning topics they identify. For the both the multiple-choice and FRQ sections of the AP® Human Geography examination, you can expect several questions relating to urban geography. Questions on locate and situation have, in the by been restrict. But knowing these concepts will help you to understand the broader ideas, such as urban geography, populace cities, and megacities that tend to be tested more heavily .
When it comes to the examination, you should be prepared to know the definition of site and situation and the difference between the two terms. It is besides good to know how site and situation have influenced the origins of a city and its long-run growth and future. How are you going to approach this subject when you study for the examination ?


For many, site and situation may seem alike and easy to confuse. The easiest way to differentiate them is to remember that the site of an area is its accurate location and the situation describes its surrounding areas and forcible features. favorable features of site and site will ensure that the city will be able to thrive and survive. The site of a city that has access to a good body of water supply, abundant sources of fuel, natural barriers against invasion and a temperate climate all compass point to progress and growth. The position of the city in relative to other settlements in the region is advantageous to its future .
thoroughly luck in your quest to do well on the AP® Human Geography Exam. There are other AP® Human Geography resources you can use to help you prepare for the examination !

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