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Types of Maps

Types of Maps

Different types of maps are meant for different purposes. Most of us are only aware of political and road maps, however, there's more to maps than we know. Let's take a look ...
ScienceStruck Staff
We depend on maps to guide us and help us reach our destination. The GPRS system has gained a lot of popularity, with myriads of people depending on this system to find their way around. Even in malls, we depend on the map provided, to locate the store we are looking for (especially the food court!).

A map is actually the representation of the earth's surface, and depicts where what is located, and the respective distance from one place to another. It gives you a bird's-eye view of places, distances, sizes, and direction. Moreover, what's best is that these maps are sheets of paper that can be rolled and carried around wherever you go. There are different types of maps suited for various needs.

Different Kinds of Maps and Their Uses

Climate Maps or Weather Maps
Not all maps are used to find places, or locate landmarks and streets. Some are solely meant to forecast the weather, and are referred to as weather maps. These maps are depictions of weather patterns prevalent in particular areas. They also map factors such as temperature, precipitation, seasonal variations, and various geographical features that help distinguish between different climatic zones (arid, equatorial, warm-temperature, snow, and polar). However, the data on these maps is subject to constant change due to continuous changes in climatic conditions. These maps obtain their information from various data fields, such as satellite images, radar, etc. The information is then combined to form one picture, and then printed out for our reference.

Physical Maps
These maps are special maps that depict the physical characteristics of a place, for example, they denote various landforms like mountain ranges, valleys, deserts, plains, etc., and water bodies like rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, etc. The elevations of mountain ranges are shown by the various lines, shading patterns, spots, tints, etc., in different colors. Moreover, blue color is used to depict water.

Political Maps
Political maps are maps we are all familiar with. These maps represent the different nations across the globe along with the state divisions, their capitals, and important cities. Thanks to these maps we can learn more about nations and their cities.

Economic or Resource Maps
These maps represent economic resources or natural resource wealth of different regions across the globe. Symbols are used to denote resources, for example, the presence of oranges on the map tells us that Florida is rich in oranges, whereas, the presence of wheat on the map quickly tells us that wheat is grown in abundance in Maryland. Other resources like coal, petroleum, oil, metals, etc., also have their respective symbols, that tell us where they are found in abundance. One glance at this map tells you which resource is available where.

Road Maps
This is another type of map we are all familiar with. Going for a holiday by road without a map, is like going to the Alps without your winter clothes. In fact, road maps also help us find places in our own cities. They represent street directions that help us locate places easily.

Topographic maps
Some of us have had the privilege of learning how to read these maps in school itself. These maps feature contour lines that denote shape and elevation of a particular region. This means if the region houses steep terrain, the lines will be close to one another, while flat terrain will be denoted by lines separated by some distance. These maps are very important for construction and road work. Moreover, even geologists use this information to collect and record data.

Although we seldom give maps the credit they deserve, they do play a very important role. Maps guide, direct, and teach us more about our planet.
World Map
Topographical map of the World
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Map with flags of oil
Detailed Political World Map
Physical World Map
Weather Forecast Map
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