Geographical information systems have been developed for the purpose of communication. One type of system has been geocaching, where individuals search for hidden objects on the internet using a GPS device. Another is geology, which studies the Earth’s geological structure and its tectonics. A third sub-field of geographical studies is ecological geography, which studies the effects of human activity on the natural environment. A related field to geography is cartography, concerned with the mapping of land and other physical characteristics.
In the late twentieth century a new term came into play in the study of geography: quantitative revolution. Quantitative revolution is characterized by a focus on statistical data and quantitative proof in support of a scientific truth. Geologists have known about quantitative revolution since the age of Geology, when they began studying the fossil tracks found on the surface of various geological strata. These tracks give an accurate account of the history of precipitation, climate, and erosion. Over the last century a new term, cartography, came into play, particularly with the development and popularization of the National Maps of the United States.
Geographers used quantitative evidence to support their claims about the relative locations of places of natural beauty. Cartographers, meanwhile, used participant observation to determine human behavior, culture, environment, and interaction among different regions. Although the two disciplines are not fully independent, they work in tandem because the methods and materials used for quantitative research are the same from a geotechnical perspective and from a participant observation point of view. A great example of a quantitative revolution in the study of human geography is the Bell expedition, which used voice recognition to record the opinions and feelings of everyday people throughout the United States. The same methods and materials were used by cartographers to create topographical and political maps of the American continent.
This brief overview illustrates the basic differences and similarities between cartography and human geography. Cartography represents the precise location of points based on scientific information gathered through scientific investigation. Human geography, on the other hand, deals more with the subjective experience of people rather than objective reality. In fact, many people feel that human geography is an unreliable discipline because the results it produces are largely determined by the interests of particular individuals within a society. It is therefore less influential and more controversial.
In order to make quantitative comparisons between cartography and human geography, we have to make some generalizations about the field. Both rely heavily on empirical research and have become established over time. The main difference between cartography and geography is that geographical information is usually presented as elevation models, whereas geographical information in cartography is usually presented in graphs or as satellite images. The main difficulty of cartography, then, lies in the interpretation and presentation of its results. For this reason, many experts believe that the main article in this topic belongs to cartographers.
On the other hand, geographic information and the information related to it is much more fluid and flexible than that of human geography. Humans are too subjective in their understanding of geographical information. Cartographers, on the other hand, tend to focus on providing numbers and measurements, providing ways of measuring distance and analyzing spatial patterns. Furthermore, cartographers also have the task of organizing, interpreting, and visualizing these measurements so that the meaning of geographical information can be better understood.
Many people who are involved in cartography are not actually from a scientific background but have developed knowledge in this subject through interest and experience. They belong to the academic community, which consists of professional cartographers, geologists, historians, politicians, anthropologists, engineers, and other professionals who contribute to the understanding and application of geographic information. The association between geographic information and the study of political systems, for example, has been a main topic in American Studies since the early part of the twentieth century. Cartographers are also involved in such studies as a way to create visual maps of political regions in order to assess national power.