Ritter, Karl, 1779–1859, German geographer, a founder of modern human geography. He was a professor of geography at the Univ. of Berlin from 1820. He helped define the scope of geography and its relationship to other sciences, and he emphasized the influence of natural environment on the development and activities of man. His Comparative Geography (1852) was translated into English in 1865 and 1881. His most important work, Die Erdkunde (2 vol., 1817–18), was revised and enlarged in the second edition (19 vol., 1822–59).