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How Civil Engineers make use of Human Geography

written by: Jayant R Row • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 6/29/2011

Human geography is the study of how humans use and understand the earth and the process that affect life. This affects people and the environments that they create for themselves. Human geography in civil engineering greatly affects the buildings and structures that a civil engineer designs and buil

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    Human Geography and Its Effect on Life


    Like a work of art, the earth's surface is a beautifully intricate, and often bewildering, mosaic of places and landscapes. These places and landscapes affect how human life is arranged and organized according to specific cultural, economic, social, and political processes. Human geography studies those processes in order to understand the resultant patterns they create and ways of life they support.

    The surface of the earth is a very bewitching mixture of places and landscapes that make up the physical geography of the planet. Human geography studies the patterns that the physical geography creates over human life and how these make a difference to ways of living.

    While mental, and moral, and other habits are more concerned with studies in the humanitarian sciences, the environment which humans create around themselves for their day to day life is linked to the geographical circumstances in which they find themselves. Human geography also determines how the people in a particular geographical region understand the Earth and its effect on their lives to create decent living conditions for themselves.

    Image Source: Flickr

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    Geography and the Civil Engineer

    geog1 Climate is determined by the geography of a place and its location on the planet. This in turn determines the type of habitats that the humans in that area will be comfortable with. So a civil engineer in a hotter climate would have to build houses that take into consideration the temperatures in the region. The materials that the engineer uses to build these houses would again be determined by the sort of materials that are available in the region. Practices in building construction would also be dependent on the geographical climate. For instance in places where the humidity is very high engineers would have to consider the use of dehumidifiers for climate control. Where the weather is very cold, engineers would have to pay more attention to aspects of insulation and thermal efficiency value of the walls. Places that have very high rainfall will require the engineer’s input for proper waterproofing. Proper drainage and the design of the drains to cart away runoff would have to take into consideration rainfall patterns and the intensity of the rainfall in that area. Similarly snowfall in regions would have the civil engineer monitoring likely snowfall patterns that could help him to design loads on roofs. Climate which is directly affected by geographical locations would also have civil engineers deciding on the type of glazing, paints and other materials while building structures.

    Geographical terrain would determine how a civil engineer plans his roads, railways and bridges. The geology of this terrain would determine how the engineer founds his structures, tunneling methods he would adopt and the sort of bridges, dams and canals he would build.

    Image source: Flickr

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