Though geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography. Geograhers study not only the physical details of the environment but also its impact on human and wildlife ecologies, weather and climate patterns, economics, and culture. They are often especially focused on the spatial relationships between these elements.
Physical geographers identify, analyze, and interpret the distribution and arrangement of landforms and other features of the earth's surface. Modern geographers are often involved in resolving environmental problems. Many modern geographers are also the primary practitioners of geographic information systems and cartography. They 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.