20 January, 2015

Class VII: Chapter 7 (Human Environment – Settlement, Transport & Communication)

Human beings depended entirely on nature for food, clothing and shelter; but with time they learnt new skills to grow food, build homes and develop better means of transport and communication.  In this way they modified the environment where they lived.


1.  Earlier man lived a nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of food and shelter, later man invented agriculture and started leading a more settled life.

2.  The settlements grew near the river valleys as water was available and land was fertile. With the development of trade, commerce and manufacturing, human settlements became larger.

What is settlement?

Ans: It is a place where people build their homes and interact with each other, carrying out various occupational activities which help making life more comfortable.




Settlements can be classified into two types: - Temporary or Permanent Settlements


Permanent Settlements can be classified into two types: - Rural and Urban settlements


Rural Settlements can be classified into two types: -  Isolated and Compact Settlements



Transport is the means by which people and goods move from one place to another.In the early days it took a great deal of time, to travel long distances. People had to walk and used animals to carry their goods.Invention of the wheel made transport easier. With the passage of time different means of transport developed to a great extent.





  • The most commonly used means of transport are the roads. Especially, for short distances. 
  • Roads can be metalled (Pucca) and unmetalled (Kutcha).
  • Roads are the best means to link the rural and urban places across the country.
  • In developed countries road network is very good.
  • The plains have a dense network of roads because it is easy to construct roads in plain than in the mountains.
  • In India we have National Highways connecting all major cities of the country. 
  • There are state highways and district roads which connects all cities and towns.
  • Manali-Leh highway in the Himalayan Mountains is one of the highest roadways in the world.



  • Railways is the fastest and the cheapest means of land transportation.
  • Diesel and electric engines have largely replaced the steam engines.
  • Electric engines are fast and eco-friendly and don't cause pollution.
  • Factors responsible for the construction of railway lines: - Relief Features, Climatic Conditions, Density of Population and availability of resources.
  • Railway network is more developed in the plains than in the mountiains.
  • Indian railway network is well developed. It is the largest in Asia.



  • Waterways are the oldest  and the cheapest means of transportation to carry heavy and bulky goods from one country to another.
  • Waterways are mainly of two types – inland waterways and sea routes.
  • Inland Waterways: Navigable rivers and lakes are used as inland waterways. Some of the important inland waterways are the Ganga-Brahmaputra  river system, the Great Lakes in North America and the river Nile in Africa.
  • 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. Some of the important ports of the world are 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.
  • Important Sea Routes of the world: North Atlantic Route which connects North America with Europe. Mediterranean Sea – Indian Ocean connecting Europe-East Africa-South Asia-Cape of Good Hope-Australia
  • Major sea ports of India: - Mumbai, Kandla, Kochi, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Kolkata.



  • This is the fastest & most comfortable means of transportation and also the most expensive due to high cost of fuels.
  • Air traffic is adversely affected by bad weather like fog and storms, etc.
  • 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.
  • Some of the important airports are Delhi, Mumbai, New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt and Cairo.
  • Air Services are of two types: - (1) Domestic Airways: Fly within the boundaries of a country. (2) International Airways: Fly abroad and connects major cities of the world.




  • Communication is the process of conveying messages (sending or receiving) and ideas to others. 
  • With the development of technology humans have devised new and fast modes of communication.
  • The invention of printing press, radio, television, development of satellites, radar and computers has greatly revolutionized the communication system.
  • Satellites have helped in oil exploration, survey of forest, underground water, mineral wealth, weather forecast and disaster warning.
  • Postal and telegraph services, telephones, e-mails, etc are personal means of communication.
  • Through Newspapers, magazines, radio, television, films, etc. Communication can be done with large no. Of people. This is known as Mass Communication.
  • Mass Communication can provide both education and entertainment.
  • Wireless telephonic communications through cellular phones have become very popular today.
  • Internet not only provides us with worldwide information and interaction but has also made our lives more comfortable.
  • Now, we are a large global society, The world.





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