Use Of Scientific Method In Geography
In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Meaning of Scientific Method 2. Key Elements of Scientific Method 3. Routes to Explanation 4. Elements 5. Geographical Application.
Meaning of Scientific Method:
The term scientific method denotes the logical structure of the process by which the search for trustworthy knowledge advances. The primary task of scientific method is to explain empirical phenomena. There is no need to argue that geography ought to be a science.
Geography simply is a science by virtue of the fact that it is a truth- seeking discipline whose raw materials consist of empirical observations. There is no suggestion that geography should undergo any sort of epistemological restructuring.
Hay identifies four categories or groups of geographers with regard to the appropriateness or inappropriateness of scientific method in geography. The first group consists mainly of physical geographers who believe that their discipline is a field of a natural science and, therefore, do not doubt that scientific method is appropriate.
In the second group are those human geographers, who see scientific methods as being appropriate to their discipline as social science, although they may also recognise that such an application poses certain problems not encountered in classical natural sciences like physics and chemistry.
Key Elements of Scientific Method:
1. Theory and Fact:
It is, indeed, a fact that:
Theory is not speculation and
It predicts facts and
The Central Business District
CharacteristicsThe CBD or Central Business District is the commercial centre of an urban area. It contains the main shops, offices and financial institutions of the urban area. It is usually the most accessible part of the city. This is because most of the main transport routes lead here. Due to high land values, buildings tend to be tall and building density is high.
The CBD in Newcastle
Land ValuesLand values tend to be very high, this is the result of great competition to locate here. It is cheaper to build up than out. Also, there is a limited amount of open space available. New developments tend to focus on redeveloping existing areas rather than using the limited open space available.
Population Density During the day the CBD is densely populated. This is due to the high number of pedestrians and shop and office workers. However, the CBD has a limited number of houses and flats due to the high land values in this area.
Geography’s Contributions To Decision Making
Geography’s long-standing concern with the evolving spatial organization and material character of the Earth’s surface is of great relevance to decision makers in business and government. Whether the issue at hand is the location of a new public facility or the development of a stream restoration project, decision makers must consider such geographic matters as location, the relationship between processes at different scales, and the changing character of particular environments and landscapes. As such, geographic expertise can be of great importance in helping organizations and individuals operate more efficiently and make better-informed decisions.
Geographers contribute to policy and decision making in a variety of ways . One contribution is through the publication of research findings in professional journals and other open-literature outlets. These insights usually influence decisions indirectly. Scholarly publications tend to influence society’s general “climate of understanding” about issues, and society’s opinions are transmitted to decision makers through a variety of channels . Although most geographers believe that published research is more valuable before decisions are made, it is often more visibly used in justifying decisions made on other grounds, at least in public policy making . One area of contribution in geography, incidentally, has been in understanding how geographic circumstances fundamentally influence decisions made by public policy makers .
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Vast Employment Opportunities For Geography Grads
If you decide to study geography in college, your opportunities after graduation are vast. Many geography grads go into urban and regional planning, a field that is growing fast. Other geographers work in environmental management and consulting and can have a direct impact in the fight against climate change. Also, the skills learned during a geography degree, such as cartography, data representation, and research writing, transfer well into the workforce and can make you a standout applicant!
A Brief History Of Geography As A Field Of Study
The Greeks are the first known culture to actively explore geography as a science and philosophy, with major contributors including Thales of Miletus, Herodotus, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus, Aristotle, Dicaearchus of Messana, Strabo, and Ptolemy. Mapping by the Romans as they explored new lands added new techniques.
During the Middle Ages, Arabs such as Idrisi, Ibn Battuta, and Ibn Khaldun built on and maintained the Greek and Roman learnings. Following the journeys of Marco Polo, interest in geography spread throughout Europe.
During the Renaissance and into the 16th and 17th centuries the great voyages of exploration revived a desire for solid theoretical foundations and accurate detail. The Geographia Generalis by Bernhardus Varenius and Gerardus Mercators world map are prime examples.
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What Can I Do With My Geography Degree
The knowledge and skills gained by majoring in Geography position graduates for careers as geospatial analysts, planners, researchers, and teachers. Mary Washington alumni with degrees in Geography currently work for a range of federal agencies, local and state governments, industry leaders in geospatial technologies, and service organizations. In addition, many alumni have excelled in top graduate programs. Profiles of Geography Department alumni can be found on this page.
Common employers for geography majors include:
- Intelligence Agencies
- City, Regional, and State Planning Departments
- Environmental, Engineering, or Architectural Consultation Firms
- Manufacturing Firms
- Government Agencies
- Schools and Teaching
Theres More To Geography Than You Think
When you think of geography, what comes to mind? Memorizing maps and capitals? Thats not all geography is! Its actually much more. Geography is the study of humans and people through space, throughout time, and how those spaces have shaped history. Its a fascinating field of study, and important too. Why is geography important? Lets find out!
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The Four Traditions Of Geography
There are some other ways to conceptualize the field of geography. Parkinson suggested that geography has four traditions: The Earth Science Tradition, Culture-Environment Tradition, Locational Tradition, and Area Analysis Tradition. Geographic techniques support these traditions. The chart below shows how selected subdisciplines fit within these four traditions.
Reflections On Geography’s Contributions To Science
If geography is to increase its contributions to scientific understanding, however, both geography and the other sciences need to develop more productive partnerships that combine their unique perspectives and approaches to problem solving. Geography itself needs to be engaged more often in research activities that embrace and pursue broader contributions to science, at least partly by showing a greater concern for critical research problem definition by the larger research community. The family of sciences, in turn, needs to be better informed about geography and how its perspectives can contribute to scientific understanding. Both of these priorities call for increased interactions between geographers and their counterparts in other sciences: increases in quantity, quality, diversity, and orientation to critical issues.
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Study Geography To Understand Our Planet
Studying geography can provide an individual with a holistic understanding of our planet and its systems. Those who study geography are better prepared to understand topics impacting our planet such as climate change, global warming, desertification, El Nino, water resource issues, among others. With their understanding of political geography, those who study geography are well-positioned to comprehend and explain global political issues that occur between countries, cultures, cities and their hinterlands, and between regions within countries. With instant global communications and media coverage of geopolitical hotspots around the world on twenty-four-hour news channels and on the Internet, the world might seem like it has gotten smaller. Yet centuries-old conflict and strife remain despite huge technological developments over the past few decades.
Chapter : Introduction To Geographic Science
The goals and objectives of this chapter are to:
- Recognize the history and evolution of the geographic profession.
- Explain the science of geography today.
- Summarize the basic components of spatial thinking
- Describe the geographic grid system of Earth.
- Explain the overarching concept of geospatial technology and the technologies it includes.
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The Earth And Graticule Location
When identifying a region or location on the earth, the first step is to understand its relative and absolute locations. Relative location is the location on the earths surface with reference to other places, taking into consideration features such as transportation access or terrain. Relative location helps one compare the advantages of one location with those of another. Absolute location, on the other hand, refers to an exact point on the earths surface without regard to how that point is related to any other place. Absolute location is vital to the cartographic process and to human activities that require an agreed-upon method of identifying a place or point.
Just as you were taught in geometry that there are 360 degrees in a circle or a sphere, the earth also has 360 degrees, and they are measured using a grid pattern called the graticule. Lines of latitude and longitude allow any absolute location on the earth to have an identifiable address of degrees north or south and east or west, which allows geographers to accurately locate, measure, and study spatial activity.
Figure 1.3 Basic Lines of Longitude and Latitude
Meridians Or Lines Of Longitude
The prime meridian sits at 0 degrees longitude and divides the earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. The prime meridian is defined as an imaginary line that runs through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, a suburb of London. The Eastern Hemisphere includes the continents of Europe, Asia, and Australia, while the Western Hemisphere includes North and South America. All meridians east of the prime meridian are numbered from 1 to 180 degrees east the lines west of the prime meridian are numbered from 1 to 180 degrees west . The 0 and 180 lines do not have a letter attached to them. The meridian at 180 degrees is called the International Date Line. The International Date Line is opposite the prime meridian and indicates the start of each day . Each day officially starts at 12:01 a.m., at the International Date Line. Do not confuse the International Date Line with the prime meridian . The actual International Date Line does not follow the 180-degree meridian exactly. A number of alterations have been made to the International Date Line to accommodate political agreements to include an island or country on one side of the line or another.
The Necessity For Geographic Literacy
The world is getting smaller, more crowded, and more integrated as the population expands, resources diminish, and globalization brings us all closer together. The US is a “hyper-power” with unprecedented influence around the globe. For the citizens of such a country that is also a democracy comes a duty to be geographically literateto understand how this planet works in terms of its physical and human geographies. Geographically illiterate citizens will at best be ignorant of what their government is doing globally, and at worst support their government in making bad decisions that are detrimental to national, regional, and global stability and well being.
Globalization means that America will interact with its global neighbors through combinations of cooperation, competition, and occasional conflicts. Thus it is essential that American citizens be geographically literate so that they may hopefully cooperate most of the time, compete some of the time, and occasionally engage in conflict. Viewed this way, geographic illiteracy might be seen as a threat to national security. Of course this is true for citizens of other nations as well, however national rankings of geography literacy show that our neighbors abroad understand the importance of geographic knowledge and do not suffer our illiteracy.
Why Geography MattersMore than Ever
Registered students can access a PDF of the reading in Lesson 01 in Canvas.
Reasons To Study Geography
- Categorised Tips and ideas
Here at Jacaranda we love Geography! Our passion for this subject is reflected in our popular Senior Geography, Geoactive and Geography Alive series, as well as our iconic and digital atlases. But aside from our passion for Geography, we know that if man-kind hadnt explored or inquired into the why of the world it would be a much different place than it is today.
To celebrate these pioneers and encourage the next generation of Geographers, here are our top seven reasons to study Geography. Share them with your students to spark curiosity and get them interested in delving more into this fascinating yet equally practical subject!
1. Geography helps us understand basic physical systems that affect everyday life: How water cycles and ocean currents work are all explained with Geography. These are important systems to monitor and predict in order to help lessen the impact of disasters. At the same time, these systems can be monitored for important resources to tap in to.
2. To learn the location of places and the physical and cultural characteristics of those places in order to function more effectively in our increasingly interdependent world: Given how global our modern marketplace is, its important to have an understanding of where countries and cultures are located relative to one another.
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Parallels Or Lines Of Latitude
Figure 1.4 Noted Lines of Latitude
The equator is the largest circle of latitude on Earth. The equator divides the earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and is called 0 degrees latitude. The other lines of latitude are numbered from 0 to 90 degrees going toward each of the poles. The lines north of the equator toward the North Pole are north latitude, and each of the numbers is followed by the letter N. The lines south of the equator toward the South Pole are south latitude, and each of the numbers is followed by the letter S. The equator is the only line of latitude without any letter following the number. Notice that all lines of latitude are parallel to the equator and that the North Pole equals 90 degrees N and the South Pole equals 90 degrees S. Noted parallels include both the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, which are 23.5 degrees from the equator. At 66.5 degrees from the equator are the Arctic Circle and the Antarctic Circle near the North and South Pole, respectively.
Space Vs Place Awareness
Studying geography helps us to have an awareness of a place. All places and spaces have a history behind them, shaped by humans, earth, and climate. Studying geography gives a meaning and awareness to places and spaces. It also helps students with spatial awareness on the globe. Understanding direction and where things are in the world is still a vital skill, despite having easy access to this information online.
- Physical Geography: This is the study of the physical makeup of a land. It can include climate, landforms, soil and growth, bodies of waters, and natural resources.
- Human Geography: Human geography, on the other hand, includes the study of people and culture and how they are distributed across the globe.
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The World In Spatial Terms
It helps us understand the spatial organization of people, places and environments on the earths surface and how it affects our lives and society.
Mental maps are a cognitive tool that helps us to better understand the spatial relationships of people, places, and environments. They use a geographical reference system and can be used on all scales. Mental maps allow us not only to better understand our environment but also our own memories.
Geographers study the relationship between people, places, and environments by mapping, collecting data about them into a spatial context. They are known to map the distribution of human-made features like roads, buildings, and settlements as well as natural features like mountains and rivers.
Geographers often study how these features affect one another through processes like migration patterns within a region or the relationship between natural hazards and human development.
A Move Toward Regional Science
In the 1950s the regional science movement arose, led by Walter Isard to provide a more quantitative and analytical base to geographical questions, in contrast to the more qualitative tendencies of traditional geography programs. Regional Science comprises the body of knowledge in which the spatial dimension plays a fundamental role, such as regional economics, resource management, location theory, urban and regional planning, transportation and communication, human geography, population distribution and environmental quality.
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What Are The Roles Of Geography In The Study Of The Environmental Science Today
Geographers study the environment in four major ways: 1) the natural environment using scientific methods and techniques 2) the impact of human behavior on the environment 3) environmental influences on human behavior and 4) the different cultural perceptions of the environment and how these perceptions are
The Scientific Process Of Geography
- Observe a particular feature, phenomenon, or event in the world that stimulates a series of questions and thought process.
- Develop an educated thought that tries to answer the questions posed, called a hypothesis.
- Design an experiment or way to “test” your hypothesis.
- Implement the experiment and observe the results using unbiased data and measurement techniques.
- Propose a solution, answer, or rule that explains the hypothesis and experiment.
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Essential Elements Of Geography: How Do They Affect You
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Geography encompasses the study of human and physical geography, with a specific focus on patterns, processes, and problems associated with the earths surface. Geographers look at how humans and their environment interact in order to understand how people live and work in different regions. In this article, we will learn The List of 6 essential elements of geography that every geography student should know.
But moving further, lets see What is Geography?
List of 6 Essential Elements of Geography