By dividing a continental region into different areas, geographers are able to compare these areas and determine how they are different from each other and how they work together as a whole system. This allows geographers to piece together smaller bits of information to create a larger understanding of the patterns, both human and physical, that exist on the surface of the Earth.
Geography is a science that studies where things are, how they got there and how they interact with the rest of the world. Whereas geologists look at what is happening inside the Earth, geographers are concerned with what is going on at the surface. There are two primary branches of this science: human geography and physical geography. Human geography studies where people live, what they build and what effect they have on their surroundings. Physical geography looks at Earth itself, studying land formations, the movement of water, climate, vegetation and soil. The data a geographer gathers is important for understanding the link between humans and the environment because it ties together an array of scientific disciplines from biology to politics. Geographers work by making maps, planning developments, analyzing data and researching how human actions and changes in the physical landscape have affected history.