MEASURING AND MAPPING EARTH



Today a sharp distinction exists between the earth sciences and geography, but this has not always been the case. In ancient times, when scientists lacked the theoretical or technological means to study Earth's interior, the two disciplines were linked much more closely. Even in the centuries since these disciplines parted ways, the earth sciences have continued to benefit from a foundation established in part by early geographers, whose work informed the geophysical subdiscipline of geodesy. Like geographers, earth scientists are interested in measuring and mapping Earth, though their interests are quite different. Among the areas of concern to earth scientists are the location of underground resources and the obtaining of data on the planet's gravitational and magnetic fields. In these and other pursuits, earth scientists use a number of techniques and technologies, ranging from the ancient discipline of surveying to the most modern forms of satellite-based remote sensing.

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