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A map is a
symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different s and s. All (and ) is achieved th ...

symbol
ic depiction emphasizing relationships between elements of some space, such as objects,
region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wo ...

region
s, or themes. Many maps are static, fixed to
paper Paper is a thin sheet material produced by mechanically or chemically processing cellulose fibres derived from wood, Textile, rags, poaceae, grasses or other vegetable sources in water, draining the water through fine mesh leaving the fibre ev ...

paper
or some other durable medium, while others are dynamic or interactive. Although most commonly used to depict
geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγρα ...

geography
, maps may represent any
space Space is the boundless extent in which and events have relative and . In , physical space is often conceived in three s, although modern s usually consider it, with , to be part of a boundless known as . The concept of space is considere ...

space
, real or fictional, without regard to
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence language use, language variation, and discourse summary. Computing * Context (computing), the virtual environment required to ...
or
scale Scale or scales may refer to: Mathematics * Scale (descriptive set theory)In the mathematical discipline of descriptive set theory, a scale is a certain kind of object defined on a set (mathematics), set of point (mathematics), points in some Poli ...
, such as in brain mapping,
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
mapping, or computer network topology mapping. The space being mapped may be two dimensional, such as the surface of the earth, three dimensional, such as the interior of the earth, or even more abstract spaces of any dimension, such as arise in modeling phenomena having many independent variables. Although the earliest maps known are of the heavens, geographic maps of territory have a very long tradition and exist from ancient times. The word "map" comes from the medieval Latin ''Mappa mundi'', wherein ''mappa'' meant napkin or cloth and ''mundi'' the world. Thus, "map" became a shortened term referring to a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world.


History


Geography

Cartography Cartography (; from χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using s. Combining , , and technique, cartography builds on the premise that rea ...
or ''map-making'' is the study and practice of crafting representations of the Earth upon a flat surface (see
History of cartography The history of cartography traces the development of cartography, or mapmaking technology, in human history. Maps have been one of the most important human inventions for millennia, allowing humans to explain and navigate their way through the wor ...
), and one who makes maps is called a
cartographer Cartography (; from Greek χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using maps. Combining science Science (from the Latin word ''scienti ...
.
Road maps A road map, route map, or street map is a map that primarily displays roads and transport links rather than physical geography, natural geographical information. It is a type of navigational map that commonly includes border, political boundarie ...
are perhaps the most widely used maps today, and form a subset of navigational maps, which also include
aeronautical Aeronautics is the science or art involved with the study, design, and manufacturing of air flight Flight or flying is the process by which an object (physics), object motion (physics), moves through a space without contacting any planetary ...
and
nautical chart A nautical chart is a graphic representation of a sea area and adjacent coastal regions. Depending on the scale (map), scale of the chart, it may show depths of water and heights of land (topographic map), natural features of the seabed, details ...

nautical chart
s, railroad network maps, and hiking and bicycling maps. In terms of quantity, the largest number of drawn map sheets is probably made up by local surveys, carried out by
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, ...
, utilities, tax assessors, emergency services providers, and other local agencies. Many national surveying projects have been carried out by the military, such as the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
Ordnance Survey , nativename_a = , nativename_r = , logo = Ordnance Survey 2015 Logo.svg , logo_width = 240px , logo_caption = , seal = , seal_width = , seal_caption = , picture = , picture_width = , picture_caption = , formed = , preceding1 = , dis ...
: a civilian government agency, internationally renowned for its comprehensively detailed work. In addition to location information, maps may also be used to portray
contour line A contour line (also isoline, isopleth, or isarithm) of a function of two variables is a curve In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line (geometry), line, but that does not have to be ...
s indicating constant values of
elevation The elevation of a geographic Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific ...

elevation
,
temperature Temperature is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of heat, a flow of energy, when a body is in contact with another that is ...

temperature
,
rain Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Raindrops in a plant. A drop or droplet is a small column of liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechani ...

rain
fall, etc.


Orientation

The orientation of a map is the relationship between the directions on the map and the corresponding
compass direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' is a noun, adjective, or ...
s in reality. The word "
orient The Orient is a term for the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs to the Eastern world Eastern world, also known as the East or the Orient The Orient is a term for the East, traditionally comprising anything that belongs ...
" is derived from
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
, meaning east. In the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of w ...
many maps, including the
T and O map 200px, ''The Hereford Mappa Mundi'', about 1300, Hereford Cathedral, England. A classic "T-O" map with Jerusalem at center, east toward the top, Europe at bottom left and Africa on the right. A T and O map or O–T or T–O map (''orbis terrarum ...
s, were drawn with east at the top (meaning that the direction "up" on the map corresponds to East on the compass). The most common cartographic convention is that north is at the top of a map. Maps not oriented with north at the top: * Maps from non-Western traditions have oriented a variety of ways. Old maps of
Edo Edo ( ja, , , "bay-entrance" or " estuary"), also romanized as Jedo, Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of Tokyo Tokyo ( , ; Japanese language, Japanese: 東京, ''Tōkyō'' ), officially the Tokyo Metropolis (Japanese language, Japanese ...

Edo
show the
Japanese imperial palace The is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Chiyoda district of the Chiyoda, Tokyo, Chiyoda ward of Tokyo and contains several buildings including the , some residences ...

Japanese imperial palace
as the "top", but also at the center, of the map. Labels on the map are oriented in such a way that you cannot read them properly unless you put the imperial palace above your head. *
Medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
European
T and O map 200px, ''The Hereford Mappa Mundi'', about 1300, Hereford Cathedral, England. A classic "T-O" map with Jerusalem at center, east toward the top, Europe at bottom left and Africa on the right. A T and O map or O–T or T–O map (''orbis terrarum ...
s such as the
Hereford Mappa Mundi The Hereford Mappa Mundi is a medieval map of the known world ( la, mappa mundi), of a form deriving from the T and O map, T and O pattern, dating from c. 1300. It is displayed at Hereford Cathedral in Hereford, England.Edson, Evelyn (1997) ''Ma ...

Hereford Mappa Mundi
were centered on
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałē ...

Jerusalem
with East at the top. Indeed, before the reintroduction of
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
's ''
Geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγρα ...
'' to Europe around 1400, there was no single convention in the West.
Portolan chart Portolan charts are nautical chart A nautical chart is a graphic representation of a sea area and adjacent coastal regions. Depending on the scale of the chart, it may show depths of water and heights of land (topographic map Topography ...
s, for example, are oriented to the shores they describe. * Maps of cities bordering a sea are often conventionally oriented with the sea at the top. * Route and channel maps have traditionally been oriented to the road or waterway they describe. *
Polar maps Polar may refer to: Geography Polar may refer to: * Geographical pole, either of two fixed points on the surface of a rotating body or planet, at 90 degrees from the equator, based on the axis around which a body rotates *Polar climate, the clim ...
of the
Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a located at the northernmost part of . The Arctic consists of the , adjacent seas, and parts of (), , , (), , , , and . Land within the Arctic region has seasonally varying snow and , with predominantly treeless ...

Arctic
or
Antarctic The Antarctic (US English or , UK English or and or ) is a around 's , opposite the region around the . The Antarctic comprises the continent of , the and other located on the or south of the . The Antarctic region includes the , wa ...

Antarctic
regions are conventionally centered on the pole; the direction North would be toward or away from the center of the map, respectively. Typical maps of the Arctic have 0° meridian toward the bottom of the page; maps of the Antarctic have the 0° meridian toward the top of the page. *
Reversed map South-up map orientation is the orientation of a map with south up, or at the top of the map, amounting to a 180-degree rotation of the map from the standard convention of north-up. Maps in this orientation are sometimes called upside down maps o ...
s, also known as ''Upside-Down maps'' or ''South-Up maps'', reverse the ''North is up'' convention and have south at the top. Ancient Africans including in
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the country . Ancient Egyptian civilization followed and coalesced around 3100 (according to ) with the political unification of u ...

Ancient Egypt
utilized this orientation, as some maps in Brazil do today. *
Buckminster Fuller Richard Buckminster Fuller (; July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was an American architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in conne ...
's
Dymaxion map The Dymaxion map or Fuller map is a map projection, projection of a world map onto the surface of an icosahedron, which can be unfolded and flattened to two dimensions. The flat map is heavily Interrupted projection, interrupted in order to preserv ...
s are based on a projection of the Earth's
sphere A sphere (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 m ...

sphere
onto an
icosahedron In geometry, an icosahedron ( or ) is a polyhedron with 20 faces. The name comes and . The plural can be either "icosahedra" () or "icosahedrons". There are infinitely many non-similarity (geometry), similar shapes of icosahedra, some of them ...

icosahedron
. The resulting triangular pieces may be arranged in any order or orientation.


Scale and accuracy

Many maps are drawn to a
scale Scale or scales may refer to: Mathematics * Scale (descriptive set theory)In the mathematical discipline of descriptive set theory, a scale is a certain kind of object defined on a set (mathematics), set of point (mathematics), points in some Poli ...
expressed as a
ratio In mathematics, a ratio indicates how many times one number contains another. For example, if there are eight oranges and six lemons in a bowl of fruit, then the ratio of oranges to lemons is eight to six (that is, 8∶6, which is equivalent to ...

ratio
, such as 1:10,000, which means that 1 unit of
measurement ' Measurement is the number, numerical quantification (science), quantification of the variable and attribute (research), attributes of an object or event, which can be used to compare with other objects or events. The scope and application of meas ...

measurement
on the map corresponds to 10,000 of that same unit on the ground. The scale statement can be accurate when the region mapped is small enough for the
curvature In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). ...

curvature
of the Earth to be neglected, such as a
city map A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped to ...
. Mapping larger regions, where the curvature cannot be ignored, requires projections to map from the curved surface of the Earth to the plane. The impossibility of flattening the
sphere A sphere (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 m ...

sphere
to the
plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane or aeroplane or informally plane, a powered, fixed-wing aircraft Arts, entertainment and media *Plane (Dungeons & Dragons), Plane (''Dungeons & Dragons''), a location in the multiverse *Plane (Magic: Th ...
without distortion means that the map cannot have a constant scale. Rather, on most projections, the best that can be attained is an accurate scale along one or two paths on the projection. Because scale differs everywhere, it can only be measured meaningfully as point scale per location. Most maps strive to keep point scale variation within narrow bounds. Although the scale statement is nominal it is usually accurate enough for most purposes unless the map covers a large fraction of the earth. At the scope of a world map, scale as a single number is practically meaningless throughout most of the map. Instead, it usually refers to the scale along the equator. Some maps, called
cartogram A cartogram (also called a value-area map or an anamorphic map, the latter common among German-speakers) is a thematic map upright=1.15, Isarithmic map of minimum temperature used as plant hardiness zones. A thematic map is a type of map that ...
s, have the scale deliberately distorted to reflect information other than land area or distance. For example, this map (at the right) of
Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both and , and is bordered by the to the ...

Europe
has been distorted to show population distribution, while the rough shape of the continent is still discernible. Another example of distorted scale is the famous
London Underground map The Tube map (sometimes called the London Underground map or the TfL services map) is a schematic transit map, transport map of the lines, stations and services of the London Underground, known colloquially as "the Tube", hence the map's name. Th ...

London Underground map
. The basic geographical structure is respected but the tube lines (and the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of the southernmos ...
) are smoothed to clarify the relationships between stations. Near the center of the map, stations are spaced out more than near the edges of the map. Further inaccuracies may be deliberate. For example, cartographers may simply omit military installations or remove features solely to enhance the clarity of the map. For example, a road map may not show railroads, smaller waterways, or other prominent non-road objects, and even if it does, it may show them less clearly (e.g. dashed or dotted lines/outlines) than the main roads. Known as decluttering, the practice makes the subject matter that the user is interested in easier to read, usually without sacrificing overall accuracy. Software-based maps often allow the user to toggle decluttering between ON, OFF, and AUTO as needed. In AUTO the degree of decluttering is adjusted as the user changes the scale being displayed.


Projection

Geographic maps use a projection to translate the three-dimensional real surface of the
geoid The geoid () is the shape that the ocean The ocean (also the sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately ...

geoid
to a two-dimensional picture. Projection always distorts the surface. There are many ways to apportion the distortion, and so there are many map projections. Which projection to use depends on the purpose of the map.


Symbology

The various features shown on a map are represented by conventional
sign A sign is an object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses ** Object (abstract), an object which does not exist at ...

sign
s or symbols. For example, colors can be used to indicate a classification of roads. Those signs are usually explained in the margin of the map, or on a separately published characteristic sheet. Some cartographers prefer to make the map cover practically the entire screen or sheet of paper, leaving no room "outside" the map for information about the map as a whole. These cartographers typically place such information in an otherwise "blank" region "inside" the map
cartouche Image:Birth and Throne cartouches of pharaoh Seti I, from KV17 at the Valley of the Kings, Egypt. Neues Museum.jpg, upalt=A stone face carved with coloured hieroglyphics. Two cartouches - ovoid shapes with hieroglyphics inside - are visible at the ...
,
map legend
map legend
, title,
compass rose A compass rose, sometimes called a wind rose or rose of the winds, is a figure on a compass, map, nautical chart, or monument used to display the orientation of the cardinal directions (north, east, south, and west) and their intermediate points ...

compass rose
,
bar scale A linear scale, also called a bar scale, scale bar, graphic scale, or graphical scale, is a means of visually showing the Scale (map), scale of a map, nautical chart, engineering drawing, or architectural drawing. A scale bar is common element of ...
, etc. In particular, some maps contain smaller "sub-maps" in otherwise blank regions—often one at a much smaller scale showing the whole globe and where the whole map fits on that globe, and a few showing "regions of interest" at a larger scale to show details that wouldn't otherwise fit. Occasionally sub-maps use the same scale as the large map—a few maps of the
contiguous United States The contiguous United States or officially the conterminous United States, also known as the Lower 48, consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states and the District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption ...
include a sub-map to the same scale for each of the two non-contiguous states.


Design

The design and production of maps is a craft that has developed over thousands of years, from clay tablets to
Geographic information systems A geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. GIS applications (or GIS apps) are computer-based tools that allow the user to create interactive ...
. As a form of
Design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype A prototype is an early sample, model, ...

Design
, particularly closely related to
Graphic design Graphic design is the profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognis ...
, map making incorporates scientific knowledge about how maps are used, integrated with principles of artistic expression, to create an aesthetically attractive product, carries an aura of authority, and functionally serves a particular purpose for an intended audience. Designing a map involves bringing together a number of elements and making a large number of decisions. The elements of design fall into several broad topics, each of which has its own theory, its own research agenda, and its own best practices. That said, there are synergistic effects between these elements, meaning that the overall design process is not just working on each element one at a time, but an iterative feedback process of adjusting each to achieve the desired
gestalt ''Gestalt'', a German word for form or shape, may refer to: * Holism, the idea that natural systems and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not as loose collections of parts Psychology * Gestalt psychology (also known as "Gestalt theory" ...
. *
Map projections In cartography Cartography (; from Greek χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using maps. Combining science Science (from the Lati ...
: The foundation of the map is the plane on which it rests (whether paper or screen), but projections are required to flatten the surface of the earth. All projections distort this surface, but the cartographer can be strategic about how and where distortion occurs. * Generalization: All maps must be drawn at a smaller scale than reality, requiring that the information included on a map be a very small sample of the wealth of information about a place. Generalization is the process of adjusting the level of detail in geographic information to be appropriate for the scale and purpose of a map, through procedures such as selection, simplification, and classification. * Symbology: Any map visually represents the location and properties of geographic phenomena using map symbols, graphical depictions composed of several visual variables, such as size, shape, color, and pattern. * Composition: As all of the symbols are brought together, their interactions have major effects on map reading, such as grouping and
Visual hierarchy Visual hierarchy, according to Gestalt psychology, is a pattern in the visual field wherein some elements tend to "stand out," or attract attention, more strongly than other elements, suggesting a hierarchy of importance. While it may occur natural ...
. * Typography or Labeling: Text serves a number of purposes on the map, especially aiding the recognition of features, but labels must be designed and positioned well to be effective. * Layout: The map image must be placed on the page (whether paper, web, or other media), along with related elements, such as the title, legend, additional maps, text, images, and so on. Each of these elements have their own design considerations, as does their integration, which largely follows the principles of
Graphic design Graphic design is the profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognis ...
. * Map type-specific design: Different kinds of maps, especially thematic maps, have their own design needs and best practices.


Types

Maps of the world or large areas are often either 'political' or 'physical'. The most important purpose of the political map is to show territorial
border Borders are boundaries of or legal s, such as s, , , and other . Borders are established through agreements between political or social entities that control those areas; the creation of these agreements is called . Some borders—such as mos ...

border
s; the purpose of the physical is to show features of
geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγρα ...

geography
such as mountains, soil type, or land use including infrastructures such as roads, railroads, and buildings.
Topographic map Topography concerns the shape and character of the Earth's surface, and maps were among the first artifacts to record these observations. In modern mapping, a topographic map or topographic sheet is a type of map characterized by large- scale ...
s show
elevation The elevation of a geographic Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific ...

elevation
s and
relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the ...

relief
with
contour line A contour line (also isoline, isopleth, or isarithm) of a function of two variables is a curve In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line (geometry), line, but that does not have to be ...
s or shading.
Geological map A geologic map is a special-purpose map made to show various geological features. Rock (geology), Rock units or Stratum, geologic strata are shown by color or symbols. Bed (geology), Bedding planes and structural features such as fault (geology), f ...

Geological map
s show not only the physical surface, but characteristics of the underlying rock,
fault Fault commonly refers to: *Fault (geology), planar rock fractures showing evidence of relative movement *Fault (law), blameworthiness or responsibility Fault(s) may also refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * "Fault", a song by Taproot from ...
lines, and subsurface structures.


Electronic

From the last quarter of the 20th century, the indispensable tool of the
cartographer Cartography (; from Greek χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using maps. Combining science Science (from the Latin word ''scienti ...

cartographer
has been the computer. Much of cartography, especially at the data-gathering
survey Survey may refer to: Statistics and human research * Statistical survey Survey methodology is "the study of survey methods". As a field of applied statistics concentrating on Survey (human research), human-research surveys, survey methodology s ...

survey
level, has been subsumed by
Geographic Information Systems A geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. GIS applications (or GIS apps) are computer-based tools that allow the user to create interactive ...
(GIS). The functionality of maps has been greatly advanced by technology simplifying the superimposition of spatially located variables onto existing geographical maps. Having local information such as rainfall level, distribution of wildlife, or demographic data integrated within the map allows more efficient analysis and better decision making. In the pre-electronic age such
superimposition Superimposition is the placement of one thing over another, typically so that both are still evident. Graphics In graphics Graphics (from Greek ''graphikos'', "belonging to drawing") are visual images or designs on some surface, such as a ...

superimposition
of data led Dr. John Snow to identify the location of an outbreak of
cholera Cholera is an infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host A host is a person responsible for guests at an event or for providing hospit ...

cholera
. Today, it is used by agencies of humankind, as diverse as wildlife conservationists and militaries around the world. Even when GIS is not involved, most cartographers now use a variety of computer graphics programs to generate new maps. Interactive, computerized maps are commercially available, allowing users to ''zoom in'' or ''zoom out'' (respectively meaning to increase or decrease the scale), sometimes by replacing one map with another of different scale, centered where possible on the same point. In-car
global navigation satellite system A satellite navigation or satnav system is a system that uses satellites to provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning. It allows small electronics, electronic receivers to determine their location (longitude, latitude, and altitude/elevation) t ...
s are computerized maps with route planning and advice facilities that monitor the user's position with the help of satellites. From the computer scientist's point of view, zooming in entails one or a combination of: # replacing the map by a more detailed one # enlarging the same map without enlarging the
pixel In digital imaging Digital imaging or digital image acquisition is the creation of a representation of the visual characteristics of an object, such as a physical scene or the interior structure of an object. The term is often assumed to impl ...

pixel
s, hence showing more detail by removing less information compared to the less detailed version # enlarging the same map with the pixels enlarged (replaced by rectangles of pixels); no additional detail is shown, but, depending on the quality of one's vision, possibly more detail can be seen; if a computer display does not show adjacent pixels really separate, but overlapping instead (this does not apply for an
LCD display. A liquid-crystal display (LCD) is a flat panel display, flat-panel display or other electronically modulated optical device that uses the light-modulating properties of liquid crystal Liquid crystals (LCs) are a state of matter ...
, but may apply for a
cathode ray tube File:CRT monochrome.png, 250px, Cutaway rendering of a monochrome CRT: 1. Deflection coils2. Electron beam3. Focusing coil4. Phosphor layer on the inner side of the screen; emits light when struck by the electron beam5.&nbs ...

cathode ray tube
), then replacing a pixel by a rectangle of pixels does show more detail. A variation of this method is
interpolation In the mathematical Mathematics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

interpolation
. For example: * Typically (2) applies to a
Portable Document Format Portable Document Format (PDF), standardized as ISO 32000, is a file format ogg-file: 154 kilobytes. A file format is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for pe ...
(PDF) file or other format based on
vector graphics Vector graphics, as a form of computer graphics, is the set of mechanisms for creating visual images directly from geometric shapes defined on a Cartesian plane A Cartesian coordinate system (, ) in a plane is a coordinate system that ...
. The increase in detail is limited to the information contained in the file: enlargement of a curve may eventually result in a series of standard geometric figures such as straight lines, arcs of circles, or splines. * (2) may apply to text and (3) to the outline of a map feature such as a forest or building. * (1) may apply to the text as needed (displaying labels for more features), while (2) applies to the rest of the image. Text is not necessarily enlarged when zooming in. Similarly, a road represented by a double line may or may not become wider when one zooms in. * The map may also have layers that are partly
raster graphics file:Rgb-raster-image.svg, upright=1, The Smiley, smiley face in the top left corner is a raster image. When enlarged, individual pixels appear as squares. Enlarging further, each pixel can be analyzed, with their colors constructed through combi ...
and partly
vector graphics Vector graphics, as a form of computer graphics, is the set of mechanisms for creating visual images directly from geometric shapes defined on a Cartesian plane A Cartesian coordinate system (, ) in a plane is a coordinate system that ...
. For a single raster graphics image (2) applies until the pixels in the image file correspond to the pixels of the display, thereafter (3) applies.


Climatic

The maps that reflect the territorial distribution of
climatic Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months to millions of years. Some of the Meteorology, ...

climatic
conditions based on the results of long-term observations are called ''climatic maps''. These maps can be compiled both for individual climatic features (temperature, precipitation, humidity) and for combinations of them at the earth's surface and in the upper layers of the atmosphere. Climatic maps show climatic features across a large region and permit values of climatic features to be compared in different parts of the region. When generating the map, spatial interpolation can be used to synthesize values where there are no measurements, under the assumption that conditions change smoothly. Climatic maps generally apply to individual months and the year as a whole, sometimes to the four seasons, to the growing period, and so forth. On maps compiled from the observations of ground meteorological stations, atmospheric pressure is converted to sea level. Air temperature maps are compiled both from the actual values observed on the surface of the earth and from values converted to sea level. The pressure field in the free atmosphere is represented either by maps of the distribution of pressure at different standard altitudes—for example, at every kilometer above sea level—or by maps of baric topography on which altitudes (more precisely geopotentials) of the main isobaric surfaces (for example, 900, 800, and 700 millibars) counted off from sea level are plotted. The temperature, humidity, and wind on aeroclimatic maps may apply either to standard altitudes or to the main isobaric surfaces. Isolines are drawn on maps of such climatic features as the long-term mean values (of atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity, total precipitation, and so forth) to connect points with equal values of the feature in question—for example, isobars for pressure, isotherms for temperature, and isohyets for precipitation. Isoamplitudes are drawn on maps of amplitudes (for example, annual amplitudes of air temperature—that is, the differences between the mean temperatures of the warmest and coldest month). Isanomals are drawn on maps of anomalies (for example, deviations of the mean temperature of each place from the mean temperature of the entire latitudinal zone). Isolines of frequency are drawn on maps showing the frequency of a particular phenomenon (for example, the annual number of days with a thunderstorm or snow cover). Isochrones are drawn on maps showing the dates of onset of a given phenomenon (for example, the first frost and appearance or disappearance of the snow cover) or the date of a particular value of a meteorological element in the course of a year (for example, passing of the mean daily air temperature through zero). Isolines of the mean numerical value of wind velocity or isotachs are drawn on wind maps (charts); the wind resultants and directions of prevailing winds are indicated by arrows of different lengths or arrows with different plumes; lines of flow are often drawn. Maps of the zonal and meridional components of wind are frequently compiled for the free atmosphere. Atmospheric pressure and wind are usually combined on climatic maps. Wind roses, curves showing the distribution of other meteorological elements, diagrams of the annual course of elements at individual stations, and the like are also plotted on climatic maps. Maps of climatic regionalization, that is, division of the earth's surface into climatic zones and regions according to some classification of climates, are a special kind of climatic map. Climatic maps are often incorporated into climatic atlases of varying geographic ranges (globe, hemispheres, continents, countries, oceans) or included in comprehensive atlases. Besides general climatic maps, applied climatic maps and atlases have great practical value. Aeroclimatic maps, aeroclimatic atlases, and agroclimatic maps are the most numerous.


Extraterrestrial

Maps exist of the
Solar System The Solar SystemCapitalization Capitalization ( North American English) or capitalisation ( British English) is writing a word with its first letter as a capital letter (uppercase letter) and the remaining letters in lower case, in writin ...

Solar System
, and other cosmological features such as
star map A star chart or star map, also called a sky chart or sky map, is a map of the night sky The term night sky, usually associated with astronomy from Earth, refers to the nighttime appearance of astronomical object, celestial objects like star ...
s. In addition maps of other bodies such as the Moon and other planets are technically not '' geo''graphical maps.
Floor map In architecture and building engineering, a floor plan is a drawing to Scale (ratio), scale, showing a view from above, of the relationships between rooms, spaces, traffic patterns, and other physical features at one level of a structure. Dimensi ...
s are also spatial but not necessarily geospatial.


Topological

Diagrams such as
schematic diagram A schematic, or schematic diagram, is a representation of the elements of a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded a ...

schematic diagram
s and
Gantt chart A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart A bar chart or bar graph is a chart or graph that presents categorical data with Rectangle, rectangular bars with heights or lengths proportional to the values that they represent. The bars can be plotted ve ...

Gantt chart
s and treemaps display logical relationships between items, rather than geographical relationships.
Topological s, which have only one surface and one edge, are a kind of object studied in topology. In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structu ...
in nature, only the connectivity is significant. The
London Underground map The Tube map (sometimes called the London Underground map or the TfL services map) is a schematic transit map, transport map of the lines, stations and services of the London Underground, known colloquially as "the Tube", hence the map's name. Th ...
and similar subway maps around the world are a common example of these maps.


General

General-purpose maps provide many types of information on one map. Most atlas maps, wall maps, and road maps fall into this category. The following are some features that might be shown on general-purpose maps: bodies of water, roads, railway lines, parks, elevations, towns and cities, political boundaries, latitude and longitude, national and provincial parks. These maps give a broad understanding of the location and features of an area. The reader may gain an understanding of the type of landscape, the location of urban places, and the location of major transportation routes all at once.


List

*
Aeronautical chart An aeronautical chart is a map A map is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy), object, or wikt:relationship, relationship. Symbols allow people ...
* Atlas * Cadastre#Cadastral map, Cadastral map * #Climatic maps, Climatic map * Geologic map * History of cartography, Historical map * Linguistic map * Nautical map * #Map types and projections, Physical map * Political map * Terrain cartography, Relief map * Resource map * Road map * Star map * Street map * Thematic map *
Topographic map Topography concerns the shape and character of the Earth's surface, and maps were among the first artifacts to record these observations. In modern mapping, a topographic map or topographic sheet is a type of map characterized by large- scale ...
* Train track map * Transit map * Weather map * World map


Legal regulation

Some countries required that all published maps represent their national claims regarding border disputes. For example: * Within Russia, Google Maps shows Crimea as part of Russia. * Both the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China require that all maps show areas subject to the Sino-Indian border dispute in their own favor. In 2010, the People's Republic of China began requiring that all online maps served from within China be hosted there, making them Restrictions on geographic data in China, subject to Chinese laws.


See also

; General * Counter-mapping * Map–territory relation * Censorship of maps * List of online map services * Map collection ; Map designing and types * Automatic label placement * City map * Compass rose * Contour line, Contour map * Estate map * Fantasy map * Floor plan * Geologic map * Hypsometric tints * Cartography, Map design * Orthophotomap—A map created from orthophotography * Pictorial maps * Plat * Road atlas * Transit map *Page layout (cartography) ; Map history * Early world maps *
History of cartography The history of cartography traces the development of cartography, or mapmaking technology, in human history. Maps have been one of the most important human inventions for millennia, allowing humans to explain and navigate their way through the wor ...
* List of cartographers ; Related topics * Aerial landscape art * Digital geologic mapping * Economic geography * Geographic coordinate system * Index map * Global Map * List of online map services * Map database management


References

;Citations ;Bibliography * David Buisseret, ed., ''Monarchs, Ministers and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Government in Early Modern Europe.'' Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992, * Denis E. Cosgrove (ed.) ''Mappings''. Reaktion Books, 1999 * Freeman, Herbert
Automated Cartographic Text Placement.
White paper. * Ahn, J. and Freeman, H., “A program for automatic name placement,” Proc. AUTO-CARTO 6, Ottawa, 1983. 444–455. * Freeman, H., “Computer Name Placement,” ch. 29, in Geographical Information Systems, 1, D.J. Maguire, M.F. Goodchild, and D.W. Rhind, John Wiley, New York, 1991, 449–460. * Mark Monmonier, ''How to Lie with Maps'', * O'Connor, J.J. and E.F. Robertson,

'. Scotland : St. Andrews University, 2002.


External links


International Cartographic Association (ICA)
the world body for mapping and GIScience professionals

by the staff of the U.S. Library of Congress.
The History of Cartography Project
at the University of Wisconsin, a comprehensive research project in the history of maps and mapping {{Authority control Maps, Cartography Geodesy Geography