Scientific Modeling

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Scientific modelling is defined as a process in which a particular part or feature of the earth is made easy to understand, simulate, visualize and define referencing existing common knowledge. After the Second World War, geographic methodologies and thought processes had undergone significant transformations. Over the past few decades, geographic generalisation and formulation of general laws, theories, and models have been increased for the subject to command the same respect as its sister disciplines. Scientific modelling has immense significance in the field of research and development. 

The Need for Science Model in Geography

Geography is a subject that interprets the relation between man and nature. However, the document for the study of this subject is the vast planet earth which in itself is hugely diverse and complex. Moreover, the subject is dynamic as various geographical phenomena change with time and space. The different examinations and studies in the field can be carried easily out with hypotheses, theories, and models. Models simplify complex situations and render them amenable to further investigation. Precisely a model is a device that allows you to understand the interaction between humanity and the natural environment on the surface of the earth. Below are specific reasons why scientific modelling is used in geography:

  • Models are helpful in the quantification of unobserved phenomena like they come to use for weather forecast, change of climate, landform evolution, forest depletion, environmental pollution, etc. It also helps in the prediction of population growth and density, use of land, the intensity of cropping, etc.

  • Models provide a structured framework within a particular theoretical statement that can be formally represented.

  • An innovative science model will help you to understand the mechanism of interaction between micro and macro components of the environment.

Types of Scientific Models

It isn't easy to classify and define the various types of models in science without ambiguity. Here we have a list of scientific models:

  • Scale Models: 

Scale models are also popularly called hardware models. These are static of a geographical feature of a dynamic model of a geological process. Being dynamic in nature helps in the study of each of the variables separately. Scale models are highly used by geomorphologists to carry out fundamental research about processes difficult to study under natural conditions like river action, glacial movement, marine processes, etc.

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  • Maps: 

Maps are one of the most famous scientific models. It provides a virtual accurate scale model of the world. Maps use symbols to portray specific features like population density, distribution of forests, industries, agricultural maps, etc. It is practically impossible to represent a three-dimensional globe on a two-dimensional sheet of paper. Hence modification of area, distance, and directions are needed in a map.

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  • Stochastic Models: 

Stochastic models deal with dynamic situations. It studies processes that occur by random choices. Example: Drainage development pattern can be explained by a stochastic model.

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  • Mathematical Models: 

Mathematical models are highly reliable but quite challenging to construct. They have symbolic assertions of mathematical, logical terms. A mathematical model represents the equation of a specific process by means of mathematical equations which help study a certain situation or a process. Geologists and geomorphologists extensively use mathematical models. For example, the dimensions of a glacier or measuring flow patterns of a water body can be determined with mathematical models.

  • Analogue Models: 

Analogue models are different from the remaining models as they use an analogy for geographical studies. The elements of an analogy are a positive analogy, a negative analogy, and a neutral analogy. Analogy models have been convenient in the study of human geography.

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Complex geographical phenomena become easily understandable with the help of scientific models. Geographers need to be careful while constructing models. Oversimplification of models leads to bat prediction and misleads students and those who are studying it. However, when the aim of the model is fulfilled, that is, to simplify the analysis of geographical processes, then models are truly indispensable.

Did You Know?

You can create geographical models for yourself. Make a geographical model like a 3D map with only a few items. All you need is some cardboard, glue and poster colours. Refer to a map, website, or picture for a reference. Draw the feature on the cardboard and cut out the desired shape. Paint them according to the colour scheme of the map and stick the various elements together. You can feature forms like an escarpment, a valley, or mountains.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Is a Geographic Model? Name Some Standard Models with Places Where They are used.

Ans: Geographical models are structured ideas or hypotheses which help in the study of processes. There are various processes that occur on the earth, like marine processes, glacier movements, volcanic eruptions, etc., which cannot be studied directly. Geographical models are small-scaled representations of these features and are both static and dynamic. These models help to study these processes. Dynamic models are mostly used by geomorphologists to study the changing face of the earth. It can help in the generation of a perspective or a prediction about the planet.

Here are Two Common Examples of Models:

  • Maps are small-scale two-dimensional representations of the earth's surface and are used for the study of the earth's various features. Other uses of maps are to study population density, cropping patterns, drainage systems, etc.

  • Mathematical models are used for determining the dimensions of a particular physical feature like a glacier. They use equations for the study of earth features.

2. What are the Features of a Scientific Model?

Ans:  A scientific model has the following features:

  • The geographic model represents only a part of the world. It does not include all the cultural and physical attributes of a region. It is highly selective for information.

  • Models may provide prominence to a certain feature while distorting some other.

  • Models help us to formulate a hypothesis and generalize a certain theory.

  • Models help in the prediction of real-world processes.

  • They help in comparison of two different but related phenomena.

  • Models help in understanding the origin of a particular phenomenon.

  • They help provide information for defining various terminologies related to earth processes.

  • They help in understanding the evolution of various earth features.