Study Material and Notes of Ch 7 Human Environment - Settlement, Transport and Communication Class 7th Geography

Topics in the Chapter

• Settlements
→ Rural Settlements
→ Urban Settlements
• Transport
→ Roadways
→ Railways
→ Waterways
→ Airways
• Communication


• Settlements are places where people build their homes.

• Settlements can be of two types:

→ Temporary: Settlements which are occupied for a short time are called temporary settlements. Example: The people living in deep forests, hot and cold deserts and mountains.

→ Permanent: Settlements which are made to live in for a long time are called permanent settlements. Example: People build homes to live in.

Rural Settlements

• The villages are rural settlement where people are engaged in activities like agriculture, fishing, forestry, crafts work and trading etc.
• Rural settlements can be compact or scattered.

→ A compact settlement is a closely built area of dwellings, wherever flat land is available. 

→ In a scattered settlement dwellings are spaced over an extensive area. This type of settlement
is mostly found in hilly tracts, thick forests, and regions of extreme climate.

• In rural areas, people build houses to suit their environment.
→ In regions of heavy rainfall - houses have slanting roofs.
→ In regions where water accumulates in the rainy season - houses are constructed on a raised
platform or stilts.
→ In the areas of hot climate - Thick mud walled houses with thatched roofs.

Urban Settlements

• The towns are small and the cities are larger urban settlements.

• In urban areas the people are engaged in manufacturing, trading, and services.


• Transport is the means by which people and goods move.

• In early days, People had to walk and used animals to carry their goods.

• With the passage of time different means of transport developed but even today people use animals for transport.
→ In India donkeys, mules, bullocks and camels are common. 
→ In the Andes Mountains of South America, llamas are used.
→ In Tibet, yaks are used.

• The four major means of transport are:
→ Roadways
→ Railways
→ Waterways
→ Airways


• Roads are most commonly used means of transport especially for short distances.

• Roads are classified into two types: 
→ Metalled (pucca) 
→ Unmetalled (kutcha)

• The plains have a dense network of roads.

• Roads are also present in terrains like deserts, forests and even high mountains. 
→ Manali-Leh highway in the Himlayan Mountains is one of the highest roadways in the world.
• Roads built underground are called subways/under paths. 

• Flyovers are built over raised structures.


• The railways carry heavy goods and people over long distances quickly and cheaply.

• Today, Diesel and electric engines have largely replaced the steam engines. 

In places super fast trains
have been introduced to make the
journey faster. 

• The railway network is well developed over the plain areas.
• With the advanced technological skills railway lines are also bein laid in difficult mountain terrains also. Howver these are lesser in numbers. 

• Indian railway network is well developed and largest in Asia.


• Waterways are the cheapest for carrying heavy and bulky goods over long distances.

• These are mainly of two types 
→ Inland waterways 
→ Sea routes

Inland Waterways

• Navigable rivers and lakes are used as inland waterways. 

• Important inland waterways: Ganga-Brahmaputra river system, the Great Lakes in North America and the river Nile in Africa.

Sea Routes

• Sea routes and oceanic routes are mostly used for transporting merchandise and goods from one country to another. 
→ These routes are connected with the ports.

• Important ports of the world: Singapore and Mumbai in Asia, New York, Los Angeles in North America, Rio de Janerio in South America, Durban and Cape Town in Africa, Sydney in Australia, London and Rotterdam in Europe.


• Airways is the fastest way of transport developed in the early twentieth century. 

• It is also the most expensive due to high cost of fuels.

• Air traffic is adversely affected by bad weather like fog and storms. 

• It is the only mode of transport to reach the most remote and distant areas especially where there are no roads and railways.
• Helicopters are extremely useful in most inaccessible areas and in time of calamities for rescuing people and distributing food, water, clothes and medicines.
• Important airports are Delhi, Mumbai, New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt and Cairo.


• Communication is the process of conveying messages to others.

• The advancement in the field of communication has brought about an information revolution in the world.

• Different modes of communication are used to provide information, to educate as well as to entertain.

• Newspapers, radio and television are called mass media as they can communicate
with a large number of people.


• The satellites have made communication even faster. 

• Satellites have helped in oil exploration, survey of forest, underground water, mineral wealth, weather forecast and disaster warning. 

• Wireless telephonic communications through cellular phones have become very popular today. 


• We can send electronic mails or e-mails through Internet.

• Internet provides us with worldwide information and interaction 

• We can also reserve tickets for railways, airways and even cinemas and hotels sitting at home.

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