The auxiliary sciences or auxiliary disciplines are those that, without completely devoting themselves to a specific area of study, are linked to it and provide assistance, since their possible applications contribute to the development of said area of study.
As in the case of other social sciences, the incorporation of methodological, theoretical or procedural tools to the area of study of the geography it allows the enrichment of their perspectives and, often, the inauguration of novel lines of study, which merge the fields in contact. For example: technical drawing, astronomy, economics.
A clear example of the latter can be the Geopolitics, incorporation of political and political knowledge into the field of geography, to study the exercise of intrinsic power in the way of organizing and representing the world. However, unlike experimental sciences that rely on others to gain accuracy, geography does so to increase and make more complex their view of the planet.
Examples of auxiliary sciences of Geography
- Economy. From the intersection between geography and economics, an extremely important branch is born: Economic Geography, whose interest is focused on the world distribution of exploitable resources and the different production processes on a planetary level. Often this branch is supported and complemented, in turn, by geopolitics for a much more global approach.
- Political Sciences. We have already seen how the union of politics and geography is much more productive than it seems, since both disciplines allow the development of geopolitics: the study of the world based on the axes of power that exist and the way they fight for gaining supremacy over the rest.
- Technical drawing. This discipline, close to engineering, architecture or graphic design, has its place among the tools used by geography, especially in the field of Cartography (map design) and the geometric organization of the known world (meridians, parallels and so on).
- Astronomy. Since ancient times, travelers have been oriented in the world by the stars of the sky, evidencing an important link between the science that studies them and geography, which studies our way of representing the world traveled. It is not uncommon to find celestial references on a globe, since the fixity of the stars was often used to trace courses and provide man with coordinates, things that today are done from meridians and parallels.
- History. As will be supposed, man’s way of representing the world has varied greatly throughout his cultural evolution; it is enough to remember that it was thought in medieval times that the world was flat. The historical chronology of these representations is the area of study in which History and Geography intersect.
- Botany. This branch of biology specialized in the plant world contributes numerous knowledge to the interest of geography in registering and cataloging the different biomes of the planet, each one characterized by endemic vegetation, such as the coniferous forests of the northern hemisphere. In addition, logging is taken into account as an exploitable resource by economic geography.
- Zoology. Like botany, the branch of biology dedicated to animals brings a necessary insight to geographical description, especially in relation to biomes and ecological issues. In addition, breeding and grazing, as well as hunting and fishing, are factors of interest to economic geography.
- geology. Dedicated to the study of the formation and nature of the rocks of the earth’s crust, geology provides geography with the necessary knowledge for its more detailed description of the different soils, the different rock formations and the exploitable mineral resources in each particular geographic region.
- Demography. The study of human populations and their migration processes and flows is a science highly linked to geography: in fact, it would not exist without it. Today it is, as well as botany and zoology, an important source of interpretable and quantifiable data to better understand our vision of the planet.
- Petroleum engineering. Given that geography studies, among many other things, the location of resources that can be exploited by man, such as the coveted oil, it often collaborates with petroleum engineering to provide it with detailed information on world deposits and in return receive information regarding the quality, composition and extent of the same.
- Hydrology. This is the name given to the science that studies water cycles and the forms of water flow, such as rivers or tides. Such information is vital for geography, since water leaves its mark on the planet and therefore modifies the way we represent it.
- Speleology. This science deals with the study of the formation of caverns and underground cavities of the world, which often implies exploring and mapping them: this is exactly where geography and caving cross paths and collaborate with each other.
- Aeronautical engineering. The possibility of flying gave human geography a new and unique perspective on the world: an “objective” view of the appearance of the continents from afar, which represented a great advance in the development of cartography. Even today, the ability to photograph from space or fly over with camera-equipped drones provides golden opportunities for this social science.
- Climatology. This is one of the so-called Earth Sciences occupied in the study of climatic phenomena and their variations over time. It is an area very close to the interests of geography, which is why they are indistinguishable at times. The important thing is to know that they share information about the atmospheric march of the world that concerns not only geographic curiosity, but also has agricultural, demographic, etc. applications.
- Sociology. The geographical approach to existing societies is a meeting point with sociology, in which both disciplines provide statistical data, interpretations and other types of conceptual tools.
- computing. Like almost all contemporary sciences and disciplines, geography has also benefited from the great advances in computing. Mathematical models, specialized software, integrated geographic information systems and other tools are possible thanks to the incorporation of the computer as work technology.
- Librarianship. The so-called information sciences provide important support to geography, whose archives contain not only books, but atlases, maps and other types of geographic documents that require a particular way of classification.
- Geometry. This branch of mathematics that studies the shapes of the geometric plane (lines, lines, points and figures) and the possible relationships between them, so its contribution is essential in the graphic segmentation of the world in hemispheres and geographical areas, as well as in meridians and parallels. Thanks to his theories, important calculations and geographic projections can be made.
- Town planning. The exchange relationship between urban planning and geography is notorious, since the former requires a geographical perspective to approach cities, and in doing so provides a greater amount of information that increases the geographic understanding of urban areas.
- Statistics. As for many other social sciences, statistics represents a key conceptual tool for geography, since it is not an experimental or exact science, but a descriptive and interpretive science, the percentage information and its relationships serve as a basis for its approaches to the world. .