Orientação científica dos métodos de pesquisa geográfica


  • Francis Ruellan


The author, professor of geography at the Faculty of Phylosophy, University of Brazil, distinguishes from among the methods of geographical research those applied to workroom and laboratory activities and to field survey.

            Workroom operations are performed according to the laws of historical investigation and imply the same precautions both in illustration and text. The work comprises also a large number of graphs necessarily leading to conclusions.

            Modern research in geography likewise includes laboratory tests, analyses and experiments. But it is primarily on the ground that the geographical survey ls carried out by means of careful analysis of the forms and structure, the inquiry into the environment or habitat and ways of living, together with drawings, photos and measurements. This work should lead to a first attempt at synthetic interpretation, comprehending firmly established results and hypotheses, urging verifications be made on the ground after their control by workroom and laboratory performances. "

            The outcome of such an effort is a geographical synthesis based on findings arrived at by means of the whole set of devices of modern science and in a reasoning methodically constructed.

            The textual exposé of results from reasearch work requires particular care in describing the landscape in order to come to an interpretation based on reasoning. Not in the way of a bare analytical description as if in an anatomical dissection, but by emphasizing the main features, pointing out the cause-and-effect relationships and explaining the associations of physical and human facts so as to gain knowledge and understanding of the living nature "and the activity therein developed by man.