Question Wahab Science
The Quantitative Revolution in Geography
Why was the quantitative revolution in geomorphology important?
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Answer Internal Staff
In the majority of social and physical sciences, theory building has often been considered to be of a high importance. However, in geography this has not always been the case. It was not until after the Second World War that geographers realised the importance of using mathematical language rather that the language of literature to study geography. As a result of this empirical descriptive geography was put on the backburner and a much larger focus was placed on the creation of abstract models. These models required a more rigorous method to complete and the use of more sophisticated statistical techniques. This use of statistical techniques in geography made its theories more precise and is referred to as the ‘quantitative revolution’. Traditionally geography had been viewed as a description of the surface of the earth, but following this move towards more scientific approaches both its nature and definition began to change. Now, however, geography is more concerned with providing accurate and orderly interpretations of variable characteristics of the earth’s surface. In order to achieve the objective of gaining a truly accurate picture of an area, geographers have been using quantitative tools and techniques that up until the early 1960’s, geography had opposed.
Therefore it is clear that the biggest impact of the quantitative revolution is the clear change in methods of those used in the scientific community. Following this revolution, quantitative techniques have been used extensively in geography for both research and analysis purposes. This has also be greatly aided by the advancements in technology that have allowed the use of complex computations that before could not even be attempted.