What Do Geographers Do?

by admin on May 28, 2011

Geography: – It’s the word which is derived from Greek and its literal meaning is “to write about the Earth”. It aims at understanding the world-its human and physical features by thorough understanding of the place and its location. Now it is often associated with maps because schools provide a subject titled as Geography in which map is referred for studying.  But in reality Geography is much more than studying map. It is a wide field which includes production of maps and various other topics.

What is it that Geographers do?

The view of Geographers 60 years ago was quite different from today. Earlier it reflected a common misconception. It said Geographers just study “what” is “where” which comprises of bays, lakes, highest mountains and largest cities type of information. But with the evolution there is change in this field from declarative discipline to an intellectual one, devoted to discovering spatial science. They study the physical and cultural phenomena that are distributed around the world. Geographers emphasize on examining the relationship between the unique vigorous features and characteristics of biosphere of the human organization and of the activity within it, and it study various spots and spaces to know some additional information of the world. A number of Geographers are found working as map makers (cartographies), researchers, scientists, GIS specialist, planners, analysis and many more. They are even found working at Universities, schools or college as instructors, professors etc.

Geographers often get specialization in particular region at different level of analysis. They make use of geography lab, statistics, and interview and field techniques to geographical information systems, qualitative survey material, computerized data analysis or remotely sensed imagery to gather data.

Geographers are broadly classified into two pairs as

  • Physical geographer.
  • Human geographer.

Physical geographers study earths natural phenomena and its surface. They deal with topics as ecosystems, relationship between living organisms, distribution of water, climate pattern, terrain, soil, vegetation etc. There interest may be in knowing seasonal weather pattern and their impact on our environment’ adaptation of animals in various situations. It is an earth science discipline.

On the other hand humans geographers study relationship between people and places. They study rural and urban environment, provision of medical facilities, and environment impact on human activities. It is a Social Science disciplines.

In order to become a geographer one need to have a master or doctoral degree in geography or related field, along with the training in mathematics and statistics as there is a lot of usage of quantitative and mathematical research methods. They should be acquainted with computer too for research and keep in touch with the latest technology.

Geographers have job opportunities in areas commonly of government organization such as in education, disaster response, environmental management, city or the country planning, development of the community, epidemiology studies for department of health and many more. They even have job opportunity for private companies as in company which is interested in sponsoring the spread of electricity in rural area.

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