Proposal: Earth Science

Some other geo sciences - to be or not to be included?

  1. Geodesy - the science for measurement basing on the Earth model or its part and creation of these models. The subject of measurement is often the Earth, too. The sub directions are: Astronomogeodesy (global and regional measurements of the Earth using the astrometry), Space geodesy (measurements of the Earth using the sattelites. GPS belongs here.

  2. Geomatics - the problems and algorythms for working with the Earth or regional mathematical models and the models themselves.

  3. Cartography - the science for graphic representation of the Earth and all sorts of things on it and in it. GIS problems belong to it, too, I think. Not their coding side, but the informational one.

  4. Aerial and space survey - retrieving of information from space and aerial photos. And organization of such survey.

  5. Survey - the practical measurements on the surface, resulting mostly in maps.

  6. Geology with all its children: Paleontology as the science too connected to geology,

  7. Hydrology, including Glaciology

  8. Pedology

2 Answers 2


Definitively, from my point of view, geodesy, geology, hydrology and glaciology belong to the family of Earth Sciences (what else?). The surveys may be part of Earth Sciences too, if the questions are related to data acquisition on the field or processing. And a lot of surveys in Earth Sciences provide profiles, not only maps (seismic, georadar, electromagnetism, geological profiles, ...). I am clearly not familiar enough with pedology to conclude, neither with geomatics (??).

I think the biggest issues come with everything mainly/only related to mapping. Yes, all these things probably fit well in GIS but the latters clearly belong to Earth Sciences too, in the “technical” part of many Earth-related disciplines.

The difference between GIS and Earth Sciences is similar to the one we can make between Computational Science and the disciplines that use and rely on it : physics, astronomy, biology and so on. Each time, the first is a tool used by the second. Thus, the users can choose the appropriate SE depending on what they are interested in.


Almost half of them are already fully or partially covered by GIS.SE and should not be duplicated in that regard. Some detailed elaboration is needed to avoid confusion and ping-pong migration issues.

  • GIS is Geo Information Systems. It is about some SW tools to solve some of the tasks of some of the geo sciences, mostly connected to SW maps and connected to them databases. This site is not about how to install and use SW map tools.
    – Gangnus
    Feb 20, 2014 at 21:51
  • You are profoundly mistaken if you really believe it is a software support forum. Feb 22, 2014 at 22:59
  • It is EXACTLY what I say, look at their questions. gis.stackexchange.com. Find a question not on SW there. At least, of 50 questions on the first page I haven't seen any.
    – Gangnus
    Feb 22, 2014 at 23:54
  • 50/30000 is not a good sample. Look at the top questions or those where @whuber is active if you don't believe me. Feb 23, 2014 at 19:18

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