Geographers typically do the following:
- Gather geographic data through field observations, maps, photographs, satellite imagery, and censuses
- Use surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other qualitative methods in their research
- Use quantitative methods, such as statistical analysis, in their research
- Create and modify maps, graphs, diagrams, or other visual representations of geographic data
- Analyze the geographic distribution of physical and cultural characteristics and occurrences
- Use geographic information system (GIS) technology to collect, analyze, and display data
- Write reports and present research findings
- Assist, advise, or lead others in using GIS and geographic data
- Combine geographic data with data about a particular specialty, such as economics, the environment, health, or politics.
Geographers use several technologies in their work, such as GIS, remote sensing, and global positioning systems (GPS). Geographers use GIS to find relationships and trends in geographic data. GIS allows them to present data visually as maps, reports, and charts. For example, a geographer can overlay aerial or satellite images with GIS data, such as population density in a given region, and create computerized maps. They then use the results to advise governments, businesses, and the general public on a variety of issues, such as marketing strategies; planning homes, roads, and landfills; or disaster responses.