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A geographer (literally, a grapher of land) uses his/her skills in government, the free enterprise system, and international law; the duties can be further divided by size and scope of the geographer’s domain – macro-geography deals with large territorial questions (state lines, national boundaries and the like), while the micro-geographer deals with smaller questions – neighborhood property line disputes, rights-of-way, etc. The day’s work includes reading legal property descriptions and drawings, taking measurements of property lines, and drawing maps of disputed sites. On the larger scale, a geographer is called on to resolve claims on mineral deposits, water boundaries, and similar disputes (for example, if a cave full of valuable ore crosses national lines underground, or if a country’s fishing boundaries are being violated by foreign fishermen). Of course, the historical geographer concerns himself/herself with treaties (for example, the division of North and South Korea at the 38th parallel) and with the claims of dividing nations (for example, in Eastern Europe) and in the history of establishing national boundaries across difficult terrain, as in Spain’s quarrel with the Basque community. As farmland is developed into housing projects, a geographer would be called upon to survey and break the land up into plots of various sizes. Often, population density studies and even voting districts require the skills of a physical geographer. The typical day, then, depends somewhat on the job description, but generally is one of document research, map reading, field surveying, and report writing.
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