Geographic Institutes

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Geographic Institutes


scientific research institutions engaged in investigations in the field of geography. They exist in most of the world’s largest countries. In addition to geographic institutes of a general nature, in many countries there are specialized ones.

The largest such institutes in the USSR are the Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (AN SSSR) in Moscow and the Institute of Geography of Siberia and the Far East of the Siberian Branch of the AN SSSR in Irkutsk. In 1971 the Institute of Pacific Ocean Geography of the Far East Scientific Center of the AN SSSR was established.

There are also geographic institutes in the republic academies of sciences—the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR in Baku and the Vakhushti Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR in Tbilisi, as well as geography subdepartments or departments operating in the divisions of the academies of sciences in the Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Kazakh, Lithuanian, Moldavian, Kirghiz, and Armenian SSR’s.

Geographic subjects are also studied in the appropriate branches of knowledge in the institutes of water problems of the AN SSSR and the academies of sciences of the Azerbaijan and Armenian SSR’s, the Laboratory for Lake Research of the AN SSSR, and the Institute of Deserts of the Academy of Sciences of the Turkmen SSR. Important geographic research is conducted by the Institute of Oceanology of the AN SSSR, by the geography departments of universities, pedagogical institutes, and other institutions of higher learning, and by the Geographic Society of the USSR.

Abroad, geographic institutes are frequently affiliated with universities and combine research and teaching activities. In the German Democratic Republic there are geographic institutes at the universities in Greifswald, Leipzig, Halle, Rostock, and Jena. In addition, the Humboldt University of Berlin has the Institute of Political and Economic Geography, and the German Institute for Area Studies is in Leipzig. There is the Institute of Geography of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, and the Institute of Geography of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia. In Czechoslovakia there is the Institute of Geography of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, and the Department of Economic Geography in the Institute of Economics in Prague. In China the Institute of Geography in Peking is a part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. A number of socialist countries have mixed geological-geographic or geographic-economic institutions.

In France there are geographic institutes attached to a number of universities; the largest are at Paris, Strasbourg, Lille, and Bordeaux. The French National Geographic Institute is involved only in issuing maps. In Great Britain the Geographic Institute is a part of the University of London. In the Federal Republic of Germany too, geographic institutes are usually affiliated with universities, such as Bonn, Remagen, Göttingen, Munich, and Freiburg. There are geographic institutes at other establishments of higher learning as well, such as the Munich Technical University. In Sweden, geographic institutes are affiliated with the universities at Uppsala, Lund, and Stockholm. In other Western European countries and the USA geographic research is usually conducted by the subdepartments of geography at universities or by geographic societies. In Canada there is a geographic department of the government which is chiefly engaged in cartography. In Brazil the National Council on Geography is essentially a geographic institute; in addition, there is the National Institute of Geography and Statistics in Rio de Janeiro. In Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and some other Latin American countries there are military geographic institutes. In Chile the Institute of Geography has been established as a part of the university in Santiago. The Pan-American Institute of Geography and History is located in Mexico City. There is a geographic institute at the University of Tokyo in Japan.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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