A geographer (or geographer ) is an academically trained scientist in the field of geography . Geographers independently collect spatial data on different scales, analyze them, derive general theories and models from them and can use these to forecast spatial development trends.
Geographers examine the earth's surface ( geosphere ) according to its spatial structures , the processes taking place and how they work (interactions between the geofactors ). They work at the interface between the natural sciences , social sciences and humanities and, depending on their orientation (e.g. university), belong to the natural sciences , social sciences and humanities scholars or spatial scientists .
Geographers are generalists because of the breadth of their field. The way you work is both analytical and normative ; Geographers deployed as planners orientate themselves towards the modern understanding of planning and provide solutions for problems between humans and the environment .
Contrary to the widespread belief that geographers are concerned with the production of map series , this is the task of cartographers today . In practice, the latter often work together with geographers, since analogue maps or digital geodata are most expediently depicting structures that can be spatially localized (which are examined by geographers).
Fields of application
Today geographers work for local , regional , national and supranational authorities and agencies; furthermore often in chambers and associations , in development cooperation and in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) e.g. B. in the environmental sector. In the private sector, geographers mostly work as planners and consultant spatial scientists in planning and engineering companies . They also work in the transport industry in matters of transport planning. Larger companies and institutions also appreciate the expertise of geographers in the field of strategic and location development.
Selection of common workspaces:
- Spatial research , spatial planning and spatial development (e.g. urban and regional development, location planning )
- Development research , development cooperation
- Natural hazard research, environmental management , landscape ecology
- Geographic information processing (e.g. GIS , remote sensing )
Academic degrees and degrees
Geography can be studied at more than 40 universities in Germany. There is no university degree. In the course of the changed study regulations ( Bologna process ), there are predominantly bachelor's and master's degrees in geography with the respective academic degrees:
- Bachelor of Science: B. Sc.
- Bachelor of Arts: BA
- Master of Science: M. Sc.
- Master of Arts: MA
The following degrees and degree certificates were awarded beforehand:
- Diplomgeographer (-in): Dipl.-Geogr.
- Magister Artium (of Geography): MA
- Scientific state examination: First (scientific) state examination
- Dr. rer. nat. (especially for physiogeographers)
- Dr. rer. soc. (especially for human geographers)
- Dr. phil.
- Dr.-Ing. (especially for room planners)
- Ph. D. (in the new tripartite system)
In Switzerland, the geographic university degree concludes with the academic degree dipl. geogr. from, in Austria with a Magister degree ( Mag. or Mag.a ) or in the future with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science .
Since geography as an interdisciplinary science has numerous points of contact with other disciplines and brings them together in a technical way, the job description of geographers can often not be clearly defined. Specialized professions in a related field are e.g. B. Geoinformatiker , geologist , meteorologist , soil scientists , Geoökologe , economic geographer , planners , regional planners , transport planners , city planners , real estate developers , site planners uv am
The geographer in art
Johannes Vermeer painted the famous painting The Geographer in 1668/69. Until 1797 it formed a pair of pictures with the painting The Astronomer . After that the pictures were sold separately. They document the growing reputation of scientific research in Europe in the 17th century.
In literature, the best-known geographer is the one in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's bestseller “ The Little Prince ” , whom the protagonist describes as a man with a “real job”, while the geographer makes it clear that he is not a researcher himself and only records the immortal.
Famous geographers by creative period
- Anaximander from Miletus (around 550 BC) first sketches of a map of the earth and the seas
- Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484–424 BC) wrote a variety of geographical reports
- Pytheas , Greek explorer in Northern Europe, (380-310 BC)
- Eratosthenes , he coined the term geography , creator of the graticule (284–202 BC)
- Strabo , left an extensive description of the world from the 1st century (63 BC – 23 AD), Greece
- Claudius Ptolemy , main exponent of the geocentric world view (100–175 AD), Egypt
- Abū Zaid al-Balchī (849-934)
- al-Muqaddasī (945 – after 1000)
- al-Idrisi (1100–1166), creator of the Tabula Rogeriana
Early modern age
- Johannes Michael Gigas (1582–1637)
- Bernhard Varenius (1622–1650), differentiated general and regional geography
- Johann Gottfried Gregorii alias MELISSANTES (1685–1770) full-time freelance geographer from 1708 to 1720 and
- Johann Hübner (1668–1731) wrote German-language textbooks on geography, thematic lexicons and text parts of atlases for decades
- Anton Friedrich Büsching (1724–1793), wrote an eleven-volume New Earth Description of Economic Geography
- Johann Christoph Friedrich GutsMuths (1759–1839), is considered the founder of the geogr. School lessons
- Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), founder of physical geography
- Johann Günther Friedrich Cannabich (1777-1859), wrote a geogr. Standard work
- Carl Ritter (1779–1859), founder of modern geography together with Humboldt
- Siegfried Passarge (1866–1958), founder of landscape geography
- Sven Hedin (1865–1952), explorer
- George Perkins Marsh (1801–1882), discovered the influence of humans on nature
- Heinrich Adamy (1812–1897), important Silesian native geographer
- Johann Eduard Wappäus (1812–1879), pioneer in statistical methodology within geography
- Élisée Reclus (1830–1905) developed social geography
- Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen (1833–1905) redefined geography and became its first important German professor
- Alfred Kirchhoff (1838–1907), Darwinist geographer
- Friedrich Ratzel (1844–1904), social Darwinist anthropogeographer
- Paul Vidal de la Blache (1845–1918) developed the concept of possibilism
- Wladimir Peter Köppen (1846–1940), Basics of Effective Climate Classification
- Albrecht Penck (1858-1945) led the geomorphology ahead
- Alfred Hettner (1859–1941) defined geography as a spatial science
- Sebald Rudolf Steinmetz (1862–1940) developed sociography
- Karl Haushofer (1869–1946) developed geopolitics
- Alfred Wegener (1880–1930), meteorologist and polar researcher, main proponent of plate tectonics
- Walter Christaller (1893–1969), developer of the central location system
- Carl Troll (1899–1975), pioneer of landscape ecology
- Hans Bobek (1903–1990), economic and social geographer
- Wolfgang Hartke (1908–1997), economic and social geographer
- Ernst Neef (1908–1984), Dresden School of Landscape Ecology
- Josef Schmithüsen (1909–1984), landscape ecology
- Herbert Wilhelmy (1910–2003), universalist in physical geography and human geography
- Karlheinz Paffen (1914–1983), landscape ecology
- Wolfgang Weischet (1921–1998), author of the standard work Introduction to General Climatology
- Wilhelm Lauer (1923–2007), pioneer of ecophysiological climate classification and geoecology
- Eugen Wirth (1925–2012), Orient researcher and urban geographer, theoretical cultural geography
- Bruno Messerli (1931–2019), Swiss geomorphologist and mountain researcher
- Ludwig Schätzl (* 1938), economic geographer, wrote one of the standard textbooks on this
- Jürgen Bähr (1940–2014), professor of urban and population geography
- Hans Heinrich Blotevogel (* 1943), an important contemporary representative of human geography and spatial and urban planning
- Hanno Beck: Great geographers. Pioneers - outsiders - scholars. Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3-496-00507-6
Studies and fields of activity
- Jussi Baade, Holger Gertel, Antje Schlottmann: Scientific work: A guide for students of geography . 2nd Edition. Haupt / UTB, Bern / Stuttgart 2010, ISBN 978-3-8252-2630-5 .
- Axel Borsdorf : Think geographically and work scientifically . 2nd Edition. Spectrum, Heidelberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8274-1920-0 .
- The job market for geographers . In: Federal Employment Agency (Ed.): Labor market information for qualified specialists and executives . 2005 ( online [PDF]).
- Johannes Glückler, Pascal Goeke: The knowledge architecture of German university geography: A look behind the organizational plan of a discipline . In: SPACES online . No. 6 , 2008 ( online [PDF]).
- Geographic Institutes - Overview of the Association of Geographers at German Universities
- What geographers really do Articles on scinexx.de
- Karl-Werner Schulte, Stephan Bone-Winkel, Wolfgang Schäfers: Real Estate Economics I: Business Basics . S. 414 .