Human Geography: Project Summary

Title: Human Geography: Principles and Applications
Lead Authors: Dr. Paul Hackett (USask) ; Dr. Arthur Gill Green (UBC) / @arthurgreen4
Rebus Project Manager: Zoe Wake Hyde / @zoe
Project Support: Heather Ross (Educational Developer, USask)
License: CC-BY
Target Audience: First-year human geography classes/students (in Canada and elsewhere)
Subject: Human Geography

This book will cover the major themes or sub-areas within human geography. Each section will introduce and define key themes and concepts in human geography and will be supplemented by openly licensed images and illustrations. Where appropriate the text will introduce students to the work and wisdom of practicing geographers from a variety of subfields. The students should benefit from this project by having a textbook that covers a good deal of the discipline, while emphasizing the practical aspects of a geography education. Additionally, it is anticipated that by having a text with a broad range of resources and media types it will be more engaging for the students, resulting in greater uptake in the form of completing the assigned readings, and, potentially, larger numbers of students in the course or program. Finally, a not-insignificant benefit for students will be a sharp reduction in the costs of mandatory materials.

In future, the text will also be accompanied by an open lab manual with exercises related to human geography.

Our aim in developing ‘Human Geography: Principles and Applications’ is to provide an alternative to the traditional human geography textbook and, ultimately, a replacement. Over the long term our objectives are to develop a textbook that will provide students with:
i) the fundamental principles and concepts of human geography;
ii) the ability to understand those principles and concepts through practice; and
iii) the opportunity to develop applied skill sets in human geography.

All of these will be accomplished by introducing students to a context that is uniquely and intrinsically Canadian.

Having said that, our plan is to roll out the full text over three phases, as resources and expertise permit. We are currently focusing on Phase 1, and will move onto the others in future iterations of the book.

Phase 1: The first phase will focus on the basics of human geography (as expressed in objective i).
Phase 2: Subsequent revisions will see us bring on board practising geographers, who will provide case studies that highlight how the discipline can be applied outside of the academic environment (objective ii).
Phase 3: Finally, we hope to develop datasets and exercises that enable students to explore the practical application of human geography (objective iii).

We are also using a modular approach to develop the text such that local examples or materials can be swapped out by instructors in other jurisdictions and anticipate the book will be adapted into other international editions in future.

Read the full project description.

In the long run, we will also be looking for help with:

  • Peer review
  • Collection and creation of images/cartography/maps (Public Domain CC0)
  • Statements from working geographers
  • Development of ancillary resources such as question banks, assessment activities, videos, and slide decks.

If you’d like to help with these activities down the line, let us know and we will keep you posted.

If you’re excited by this project just post below for project updates. Give us an idea of your background, particular area of expertise, and interests. We’ll follow up and make sure we find ways to have you participate!

This project couldn’t happen without your participation. All contributing authors will be credited prominently in their chapter, the book, the metadata and promotional materials. All editors, reviewers and other contributors will also be credited.

The chapters covered in the book are as follows:

See the full outline.

Here’s a list of useful documents:


Want to help create an open text for human geography in Canada? Contribute here! @opengeog #openhumangeography

@arthurgreen4, @zoe… and you?