Humans have shaped their environment for millenia, converting natural landscapes to farmland, villages, towns, cities, and most recenty even megacities. Thereby, the patterns in these human-shaped landscapes depend on the prevailing philosophies, on the way the societies are organized, but also on the economic possibilities and constraints. Depending on the light conditions or the time of the day, both natural and human-made landscapes may change their appearance. Particularly the impression of large cities may be very different between daytime and nighttime.
Actions are strongly influenced by humans' way of thinking. Even though thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes are private and abstract, as soon as shared among the members of a society they evolve into a common understanding which may serve as a basis for shaping cultural landscapes. The belief of religious groups is expressed through houses of worship such as temples, mosques, or churches, whereas political or economic philosopies such as communism or capitalism leave their traces in the cultural landscape as well.
Originally, buildings were invented to shelter people or stock from adverse wether conditions. This concept has greatly diversified, so that societies of different kinds have constructed a broad variety of buildings dedicated to various purposes such as living, working, administration, representation, or defense. Huge palaces of the rulers sometimes contrast with small houses of the under-privileged classes. Buildings may follow the latest technologies when constructed, but over time decay to ruins if not managed properly or exposed to hazardous processes such as earthquakes.
Traditional, but even more modern societies depend upon infrastructures enabling people to move from one place to another, or serving for the exchange of goods. Traffic lines include facilities such as roads, railway lines, or cable cars. Bridges and tunnels are needed to overcome natural or anthropogenic obstacles such as water courses. Water, on the other hand, has been used for a long time for navigation, whereas air travel is a rather new phenomenon in history.