Geography involves far more than looking at a map or asking a map app to find the place you're looking for. Understanding geography means knowing what the different regions of the world are like and how the environment has affected the people who live there. The Earth is filled with tall mountains, rushing rivers, deep oceans and vast deserts — and the study of geography helps you understand how all these pieces fit together.
When you learn about geography, you also learn about the relationship people have with the land around them. Why do so many people live in cities, and how is that affected by weather, the existence of roads and the type of environment? And yes, geography also involves all sorts of maps, which are a way of helping people understand the area they live in and explore different regions all around the world.
Did you know that the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal is actually located to the west of the Pacific side? That doesn't make sense when you first think about it but take a look at a map of Panama. Central America takes a twist as it hits the country. As a result, from the Caribbean Sea, on the Atlantic side of the Canal, you actually have to go southeast to get to the Gulf of Panama, technically on the western side of the Canal.
Here's another fun geographical fact. Because Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on Earth at 29,035 feet, you'd think that it's the closest to the moon. Actually, it's not. Remember, the Earth has a slightly oval shape, with the equator closer to the moon than the North and South Poles. So Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is actually closer to the moon, even though at 20,564 feet, it's only about 70 percent the height of Everest.
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