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Exploration

  • By: Susana Servello
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The history of geographic knowledge is closely bound up with explorations. Exploration is a means by which the geographical horizons and imaginations of cultures and peoples are extended, bringing the unknown world into the known.

Historically, explorations required curiosity and initiative as motivating forces, as well as endurance and force to stand up to the perils that harsh climates, hostile landscapes, and rough waters present; but above all, they require a courageous temperament to face the unknown. As centuries went by, new aims were added to the list of the reasons for exploring other regions and continents: economic and commercial goals, political conquest, or scientific missions that allowed people to acquire a deeper familiarity with the planet. Nowadays, virtually no place on Earth remains unexplored.

When explorations ...

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