Although geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography. Geographers do not study only the details of the natural environment or human society, but they also study the reciprocal relationship between these two. For example, they study how the natural environment contributes to the human society and how the human society affects the natural environment.
In particular, physical geographers study the natural environment while human geographers study human society. Modern geographers are the primary practitioners of the GIS (geographic information system), who are often employed by local, state, and federal government agencies as well as in the private sector by environmental and engineering firms.
There is a well-known painting by Johannes Vermeer titled The Geographer, which is often linked to Vermeer's The Astronomer. These paintings are both thought to represent the growing influence and rise in prominence of scientific enquiry in Europe at the time of their painting, 1668–69.
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