A map is a symbolic representation of relationships between elements including, objects, regions or themes. There are different types of maps. Most of them are static, while others are dynamic or interactive.
The use and study of maps are vital to understand and learn geography. Indeed, geographical maps represent all the features and layout of the world both on a local and global scale. As well as this, maps show the distances between places and the distribution of objects on our planet. Furthermore, they can outline exact locations of houses, cities, streets and neighbourhood.
Mapmakers are known as cartographers and create maps for different purposes. For example, people on holiday use maps to plot routes for their travel; meteorologists adopt maps to prepare the forecasts, and city planners use maps to decide where to build infrastructures.
The three common features of maps are scale, symbols and grids.
Firstly, a scale indicates the relationship between the distance on the map and the real distance on Earth. This relationship is usually shown by using a graphic scale, a verbal scale or a representative fraction.
Secondly, cartographers utilise symbols to outline geographic features, including black dots for cities, circled stars for capital cities and lines to represent boundaries or highways. As well as this, also colours are utilised as symbols. Indeed, green represents the forest, blue the water and tan the deserts.
Finally, grids help people who read the map to locate various spots on the map. The grid is usually made up of latitude and longitude lines.
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