Field Sketches in Geography
What is a field sketch?
Put simply, a field sketch is a simplistic drawing of a particular location (not just a field!). Field sketches are a useful form of qualitative data.
When is using a field sketch appropriate?
Field sketches can help us to remember the places that have been visited and are useful for recording observations and measurements. They are also a useful way of identifying, describing and explaining characteristics of places. They are also useful ways of interpreting photographs that are taken in the field.
How do I produce a field sketch?
Field sketches can be drawn by anyone – fantastic artistic skills are not required. Drawing a field sketch is a straightforward process:
Identify the landscape that needs to be sketched. In this example, the image below will be used.
Write a title that will help to locate the sketch, eg ‘Site One’. Divide your page into 4 using feint lines to help get the scale of the picture right.
Draw in the skyline and foreground in your field of view.
Draw an outline of the main features of the landscape with a pencil, eg hills and valleys or buildings and roads.
Add further detail to the sketch to record more information. Only draw people if they are important to the enquiry question.
Next, you will either label or annotate your image. The examples below show the difference between labelling a field sketch and annotating one.
Labelling a field sketch
Labelling a field sketch involves identifying the main geographical features at the location. Labels should be connected to each feature using a line.
Annotating a field sketch
Annotating a field sketch involves adding explanations of the geographical features in the sketch. A line should be used to connect the explanation to the feature.
Data Presentation Techniques in Geography
Use the images below to explore related GeoTopics.