world geography
Research in Geography
Examples | Methodology | Student Resources | Glossary | Teacher Resources

Geography Research is a subcategory of Social Sciences Research.

  • Read the description geographic research.
  • Study the examples to see what others have done.
  • Navigate through the Steps to plan your methodology.
  • Use the Student Resources to assist in carrying out your research.

Geography is the study of the world and all that is in it: its peoples, its land, air, and water, its plants and animals, and all the connections among its various parts. (ESRI) This discipline of the social sciences has developed into a multifaceted subject encompassing human, physical, political, and historical geographies.


Arizona State University Featured Work

Senior Geography Projects

University of North Carolina  student projects

University. of  Wisconsin LaCrosse student projects

This ted talk discusses how we can use mental mapping to make better physical maps


Most Geographers conduct research using the Scientific Method for research in the Social Sciences
These are the steps of geographic inquiry:

geography research process

Step 1

Ask geographic questions.  Good geographic questions will help to drive research. 

  • "Why is there drought in this region while that region is flooded?”
  • "What is the result of refugees moving from this land across the border to that place?" 
Step 2

Acquire geographic resources. Examine GIS, scholarly journals, books, and the internet related to your topic.

Consider these areas when you are researching:  geography, time, and the subject.

  • What's the geographic focus of your research?
  • What period of time do you need for your data?
  • What specific subjects or topics will you be researching? 
Step 3

Explore geographic data. Research maps, tables, and charts, in addition to periodicals on your topic.

  •  Maps allow one to see patterns,  and integrate different kinds of data including pictures (aerial photos & satellite images) and features such as roads, rivers, mountains, etc.  GIS is very useful in this phase.
  • Do you need to modify or refine your question(s)?
Step 4

Analyze geographic information.  Look for relationships and patterns in information.

  • Can you make any predictions based on your analysis?
  • Can you calculate about one variable affecting another?
  • What conclusions can you make?
Step 5

Act upon geographic knowledge.  Good citizens share their geographic knowledge with others.

  • Make a presentation to school or community leaders
  • Encourage business groups or legislature to make a policy change. 

adapted from ESRI



National Geographic Society Blog


Professional Organizations

Research and Writing Tools

teacher resources

Return to Research in Social Sciences