What is a Geographer?

A Geographer is a specialized type of Scientist. Also known as: GIS Physical Scientist, Geographic Information Systems Physical Scientist, GIS Geographer, Geographic Information Systems Geographer, Physical Geographer.

A geographer is someone who studies the earth and its land, features, and inhabitants. They also examine phenomena such as political or cultural structures as they relate to geography. They study the physical or human geographic characteristics or both of a region, ranging in scale from local to global. Some do fieldwork, which may include travel to foreign countries or remote locations.

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What does a Geographer do?

A geographer will 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.

What is the workplace of a Geographer like?

Geographers held about 1,600 jobs in 2010, the majority of which were in the federal government. Most others were employed in professional, scientific, and technical services; colleges, universities, and professional schools; and state and local government.

Many geographers work full time during regular business hours, and some must travel to do fieldwork. They often travel to the region they are studying, which sometimes includes foreign countries and remote locations, to gather information and data.



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Further Reading

  • A Day In The Life Of A Geographer… Tim Meadows

    I’ve now entered the third and (hopefully) final year of my PhD and time is flying by...

  • Day In The Life

    A Geographer will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Cartography to plot data relative to a physical location, and then develop a map or visual representation of the data, which can help people solve problems and make decisions.

  • Geography Jobs

    What Are You Going to Do With a Degree in Geography?

  • Careers by Major - Geography

    Below is a sample of types of positions that Geography graduates have gone on to. Please note: this is not an exhaustive list, there are many careers available.

  • 5 Themes Of Geography

    The five themes of geography are used in social studies and history lessons throughout the school year. You need to be familiar with each theme of geography, provide examples of each, and understand its importance.

  • What Is It That Geographers Do?

    Geography has changed from a "declarative" (or fact finding) discipline to an intellectual one dedicated to exploring spatial science.

  • How To Become A Geographer

    Geography is the study of our world and the multiple human and natural forces that interact to create our dynamic planet.

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