A man name William Pattison is responsible for an article titled Journal of Geography in which he suggested that Modern Geography could be separated into four basic traditions of academic investigation namely: Spatial Geography; Area Studies; Human-Land Studies; and The Study of Earth Science.
These fields of geographical investigation are still the dominant traditions in the world of academics. The problems of the environment and their magnitude are on the increase as well as mankind’s consumption of natural resources.
Today, geographers are slowly moving away from theoretical research wanting instead to apply the knowledge they have to solving the problems that now exist. In the 1970’s the Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing became important tools for research in physical geography. Combined with spatial statistics they built interactive models of the real world which surpassed the use of maps.
In the 21st century, advancements in measurement technologies and information gathering have allowed geographers and surveyors to closely monitor the changing atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and surface landscape of Planet Earth. When searching for answers to ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone depletion, biodiversity reduction and the alteration of natural cycles, supercomputers have been designed with enough power, speed and capacity to analyze large amounts of data.
Besides the four accepted traditions mentioned at the beginning of this article, geography consists of two different sub-fields of knowledge: physical geography and human geography. It is the holistic synthesis of knowledge from the various disciplines that promotes understanding and problem solving as it provides geographers with the big picture. The big picture allows the viewer to see the connecting functional relationships that exist on their various levels; relationships often overlooked by other fields of knowledge.
At the global level, the physical geographer sees the Earth in four parts: mainly the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the lithosphere, the biosphere.
A geographer tries to understand planetary phenomena. His/her world is one of tides, winds, earthquakes, oceans, lakes, seas and rivers, mountains, continents, volcanoes, glaciers and deserts even other planets. A geographer tries to discover how the world started and how has it changed. If you are an expert in geography than you are a geographer.