The RGS, exploration and Empire and the contested nature of surveying
In 1879, the RGS started courses in practical surveying based on the methods used by navigators. Subsequently, RGS courses, increasingly under the influence of former members of the Survey of India, changed in character. At the same time as the nature of appropriate surveying was being negotiated within the RGS, the debate over the academic nature of geography also took shape. The development of the ‘new’ geography reflected the conflicts within the RGS Council over the meaning of scientific geography.