• Department of Geography, Nanking Normal University

Online published: 1984-07-15


Geography studies the distribution of various facts and phenomena with their areal differentiation in composition and sturcture on the earth surface, while cartography deals with the method expression and communication of these facts and phenomena with symbols and graphs. The relation between these two discplines is, therefore, very close and intimate. Yet in the course of their separate developments, they are now going their own way departing from each other further and further.Prom the ancient days to the upper half of the 19th century, maps were the only means of expressing the location of geographical facts. They were a constituent part and also an important tool of geography. Since the end of the 19th century, geography has been at a stage of establishing its branches into many independent disciplines. On the other hand, cartography was making progress on map projection with the help of geodesy and mathematics, on improving techniques of drawing and on detailed to-pographic mapping. The cartographers, thus, become specialists independent from geo-graphers, leaving only a small number of trained geographers still possessing certain ability of making small scale general and thematic maps.Since geographers can easily use the maps which are compiled by cartographers, gradually they are unable to compose maps and to explain their research works in their writings with the help of maps. This is a great loss to the geographical science.On the other hand, the modern cartography not only take interest in the method of drawing and printing maps, but also elaborates in their design, analysis, explana-tion on the composition of thematic maps. But their works are very handicaped by their lacking of sufficient geographical knowledge.This paper calls for a reunion of geography and cartography, lays stress on the necessity of interlinking the training, to have closer co-orperation between the works of geographers and cartographers. The author proposes that for students in the geo-graphy departments, more hours should be alloted for the course of cartography in their curriculum, so that they may acquire enough knowledge on cartography to be able to read, analyse, and explain thematic maps, and to get necessary techinques of map designing. Otherwise the graduates of geography will be unable to take part in the work of map making which is utterly necessary for geographers.

Cite this article

Lu Su-fen . THE RELATION BETWEEN GEOGRAPHY AND CARTOGRAPHY[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 1984 , 39(3) : 315 -320 . DOI: 10.11821/xb198403022