Biogeography or Geobiology?   no comments

Posted at 9:15 pm in Uncategorized

This week I spent some time looking at the already existing interdisciplinary subjects for Geography and Biology. Below is a rundown of the most important ones I could find.


Biogeography is the study of the global distribution of species over time. This is unsurprisingly useless to my question so I stopped looking at it almost straight away.


Geobiology is likewise completely unrelated to the kind of problems I am concerned with, being a study of the interaction between plants, animals, the planet and the atmosphere over time.

Environmental Science

Environmental Science is the big brother of any Biology and Geography related fields. It integrates all physical and biological sciences, but in doing so goes too far for my needs. For starters it includes Physics which is unrelated to the interdisciplinary overlap I’m looking at.

Sensor Networks

The study of Sensor Networks is more a product of the field, but interesting and useful none the less. They behave in a similar way whether they are being used over a geographical area or over a person’s body. Some of the technical aspects are different, but the underlying challenges are the same. The study of Sensor Networks also includes Computer Science, which is the most relevant part and why I included it here.


Considering these I had a lightbulb realisation that I’m probably looking for the wrong thing. My problem isn’t going to be considered by a fusion of Geography and Biology, in fact it needs to include Computer Science as well because the subject is so technically focussed on the computer/user connection.

So it turns out I’m not doing a two way fusion of disciplines, it’s a messy threesome.

The best way I can see to unite the three disciplines would be by connecting Computer Science to Biology and Computer Science to Geography then drawing comparisons between the two relationships to draw out the commonalities.

I also tried typing ‘Biology Geography “Computer Science”’ in to Google just for kicks. It showed that there is one principle which is common to each of the three disciplines (even specifically to UI design) which is Contiguity, which is just another way of saying that things are close together. Some disciplines go further and say that sometimes people will make the assumption that these close things are related in a meaningful way. Sadly this is more an interesting aside than anything earth shattering.

Written by Alex Owen on November 4th, 2013

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