: an area of study that deals with the location of countries, cities, rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.
: the natural features (such as rivers, mountains, etc.) of a place
Going back to our observation on extraterritorial concepts in our science fiction writing, I find the geographical development of a strange new world is key to a successful story. By developing the natural features of an exotic planet far away, we can set the tone of the first impression of the species on that planet.
The natural features provide boundaries around which a writer can map out the location of countries and cities. Each of these places can be shaped by the landscape and climate around them. Mountainous species that thrive in the rugged terrain can live high above the folks in the valley who make their trade on the lakes and rivers around them.
I myself am a fan of the “water is needed” concept for life to exist. There is something familiar and calming about water to humankind and can be used to connect with another species when there are struggles in early communication.