What Is The Study Of Maps?


What Is The Study Of Maps
Cartography – J.M. Olson, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001 Cartography is ‘the discipline dealing with the conception, production, dissemination and study of maps’ (International Cartographic Association, 1995).

As a discipline, cartography is most commonly found in geography departments in North America but is often a separate discipline in other areas of the world. It is one of several mapping sciences. The term ‘research’ in the discipline may refer to the gathering of information from which a map is compiled or the systematic discovery of new information about maps.

Responding to changing social, intellectual, and technological innovations, cartography has risen from its roots in gestures and marks on the ground to a highly sophisticated and varied endeavor that uses data from aerial photographs, satellite images, and global positioning systems as well as other sources.

  1. Major concepts in cartography include scale, projection, spatial relationship, generalization, and symbolization and data modeling.
  2. Maps may be of the general reference type (showing a variety of individual features) or thematic (showing a distribution) or somewhere between these ends of the spectrum.

Read full chapter URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B0080430767025304
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What are people who study maps called?

What Cartographers and Photogrammetrists Do About this section – Cartographers and photogrammetrists typically collect and verify data used in creating maps. Cartographers and photogrammetrists collect, measure, and interpret geographic information in order to create and update maps and charts for regional planning, education, and other purposes.
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Is map art or science?

Maps are often as much a visual art form as they are a practical tool for navigation.
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What is a cartographer in geography?

What is a cartographer? The answer to this question might seem obvious. So why spend a whole column on the topic? Because perhaps it’s not so clear. What Is The Study Of Maps Let’s first see what dictionaries tell us. The Oxford Dictionary of English app defines a cartographer as “a person who draws or produces maps.” Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary says a cartographer is “one that makes maps.” And the Cambridge Dictionary, also available online, states that a cartographer is “someone who makes or draws maps.” Noticeably, these definitions all focus on making and drawing.

  • This is probably due to the outmoded process of producing paper maps.
  • That chain of production required a whole set of people who each had their own skills.
  • Next to the cartographer, for instance, was also a photographer and a printing press operator.
  • Interestingly, web-based Dictionary.com writes that a cartographer is “a person engaged in cartography, or the production of maps.” This broadens the scope of the word, certainly, but it’s still a little vague.

What does “engaged in” mean, exactly? This reminds me of discussions among cartographers that were happening during the 1980s around the question of who was the real cartographer—the person in the drawing room actually drawing the map or the academic who mostly discussed the map conceptually? As a young student at the time, the answer was pretty clear to me: both were members of the Dutch cartographic society and both engaged in the same activities and discussions during meetings, so both would qualify as “real cartographers” because both were skilled in cartography. What Is The Study Of Maps When the computer became fully integrated in producing maps in the 1990s, however, the number of people involved who had different crafts (e.g., the photographer and the printing press operator) decreased. By this time, the cartographer was doing all the work.

  1. So a cartographer became someone with the knowledge and skills to design and make maps for a particular audience.
  2. The integration of the computer in virtually all work processes also had a few additional effects on cartography.
  3. Soon, people who possessed no cartographic skills whatsoever were able to make maps.

Oftentimes, they were researchers from geography-based disciplines who used GIS to visualize their data on maps. To me, these people were not cartographers but rather mapmakers, considering they lacked professional cartographic training. In recent decades, history repeated itself with a slight twist.

The rise of the Internet and mobile devices has resulted in a tremendous increase in the creation and use of maps. Most of those maps are of the where-is-it and how-do-I-get-there type. But with social media and our growing habits of sharing information, there has also been a surge of people making mashup maps with online mapping tools.

It could be argued that the professional cartographic community shouldn’t be against the presence of more maps in the world. But at the same time, not all maps are necessarily good. This is mainly because, first, the mapmakers’ skills are not up to par, and, second, they often use the software defaults, which don’t always produce the most accurate results. What Is The Study Of Maps So how can cartographers train mapmakers to do better cartography? Sending them all back to school is not very likely. That said, online, open-source educational modules seem to be a viable option. It would also be useful if the available software better described its default settings and even offered suggestions on which map types or symbology to use during the mapmaking process.

Additionally, cartographers need to pay attention to the map users—those who make use of a map with an objective in mind. We need to ask ourselves questions such as, Do they really understand what they’re seeing? Do they realize how this particular type of map works? Do they get why the mapmaker made certain design choices? One solution could be to add annotations or reading instructions to maps to further describe the data.

Given how drastically the process of mapmaking has changed over the past few decades, how do we define a cartographer now? I would say that a cartographer is someone who unquestionably possesses the knowledge and skills to design and make maps, but who is also engaged with map users to ensure that his or her maps are put to proper use.
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What is a synonym for cartographer?

synonyms for cartographer – Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group. On this page you’ll find 6 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to cartographer, such as: assessor, measurer, land surveyor, mapmaker, and topographer.
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What is a map scientist?

Cartographers design, prepare and revise maps, charts, plans, three-dimensional models and spatial information databases, often using computer-based techniques, and applying principles from science, mathematics and graphic design. Sample of Reported Job Titles Photogrammetrist, Cartographer, Photogrammetric Technician, Compiler, Production Manager, Stereo Compiler, GIS Analyst (Geographic Information Systems Analyst), Stereoplotter Operator, Digital Cartographer, Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GIS Specialist)
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What is one word for study of maps?

Cartography, the art and science of graphically representing a geographical area, usually on a flat surface such as a map or chart.
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Is mapping an art?

How Do Maps and Art Intersect? – Decorative maps have made their mark on cartographic practices, though their decorative and artful aspects usually fell secondary to their other more practical uses, such as navigation, which created a distinction between art and cartography.

  1. Over the centuries, artists and cartographers adhered to the implied separation between knowledge and decoration offered by maps and art, respectively.
  2. Some scholars, such as Arthur Robinson in The Look of Maps, argue that ornamentation and visual stimuli do not add to the function of maps, and, in fact, unnecessary decoration detracts from the knowledge afforded by the map.

However, many also argue the opposite; because maps and art both appeal to the visual, it follows that art aids the functionality of maps. The line between art and cartography was blurry to begin with, but it continues to fade as the nature of maps and art increasingly overlap with time.

  1. Scholarship on the subject of art and maps and the relationship between the two has proved muddled with interpretations varying on all sides of the spectrum.
  2. To provide a concrete example, landscape paintings in particular show the difficulties of articulating the separation between maps and art.
  3. Both landscape paintings and maps employ descriptive techniques to convey the lay of the land.

Landscape paintings even convey certain aspects of a geography better and more accurately than a map. Furthermore, many great Renaissance artists have also successfully tried their hands at mapmaking such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, Jacopo de’ Barbari, and Cristoforo Sorte.

  • Many facets of art and maps overlap, in terms of function and their ability to convey messages – the language of maps is artistic, visual, and graphic in its nature.
  • Unsurprisingly, the use of maps as art and the use of map in art have pervaded European societies at least since medieval times.
  • More recently, however, artist have used maps more frequently in works, and more art exhibitions involving maps have shown in the past twenty years than ever before.
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In our post-modern world where everything is questionable, the assumptions, claims, and concepts present in maps lend them well to rule-breaking artists ready to expressively and creatively reinterpret cartography. Essentially, when used together maps and art complement each other.
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Why is it called cartography?

Did you know? – Up until the 18th century, maps were often decorated with fanciful beasts and monsters, at the expense of accurate details about places. French mapmakers of the 1700s and 1800s encouraged the use of more scientific methods in the art they called cartographie,
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What type of art is a map?

Cartography is the art and science of making maps and charts.
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What is the difference between cartographer and GIS?

The key issue between cartography and GIS is that cartography is concerned with representation while GIS is concerned with analysis of spatial relationships. GIS is a product of the development of computer-assisted cartography, which generated geo-referenced spatial digital databases.
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What is cartographer in English?

Noun. /kɑːˈtɒɡrəfə(r)/ /kɑːrˈtɑːɡrəfər/ ​ a person who draws or makes maps.
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What is a fancy word for map making?

Cartography (/kɑːrˈtɒɡrəfi/; from Ancient Greek: χάρτης chartēs, ‘papyrus, sheet of paper, map’; and γράφειν graphein, ‘write’) is the study and practice of making and using maps.
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What is a better word for map?

Delineate depict portray plot survey draw chart chart cartogram street guide A to Z atlas guide plan chart chart map.
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Who is a topographer?

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This shows grade level based on the word’s complexity. / təˈpɒg rə fər / This shows grade level based on the word’s complexity. noun a specialist in topography. a person who describes the surface features of a place or region. QUIZ CAN YOU ANSWER THESE COMMON GRAMMAR DEBATES? There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again.
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Is mapping a science?

It is possible to discover relationships between different phenomena by analyzing map information. The process of creating a map is a form of scientific examination. The art of making maps is called cartography, While professional map-makers are called cartographers, many other types of scientists make and use maps. What Is The Study Of Maps Figure 1.7: A geologic map is used by geologists to document geologic features below the earth’s surface. This map, produced by scientists at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, shows the age or origin of major geologic deposits around Montana. Image from the Montana Bureau of Mines & Geology. Check Your Thinking : Can you identify the grid system used to create this geologic map?

Latitude & Longitude UTM State Plane Public Land

Click on the checkmark to view the correct answer, What Is The Study Of Maps Figure 1.8: Mining, geological and environmental engineers frequently use geologic maps when working on energy development issues. This geologic map shows the distribution of major coal bed methane deposits in the United States. Engineers design plans for pumping methane out of coal beds and capturing it for use as a natural gas fuel source. Figure 1.9: This is a map of a dig site in Augustine Creek, Delaware. It is crucial to accurately document the number and location of Native American artifacts when they are found at a site like this. If this turned out to be a grave site, the artifacts would likely be reclaimed or reburied by a local tribal authority under the auspices of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Figure 1.10: This is a map of the night sky visible from Helena, MT on December 30, 2008. If you viewed the night sky above Helena using a telescope, you would see many of the constellations and planets indicated on this sky map. Image from URL: http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Yoursky An astronomy map would be used by those studying celestial features of the universe.

  • Large model sky maps are used as educational tools at planetariums.
  • A scientist studying climate or weather would use a meteorological map to illustrate atmospheric patterns.
  • If you look at the legend on this weather map, it shows different colors in units of dBZ.
  • The colors represent different values of energy that are reflected by precipitation back towards a Doppler radar instrument.

Called echoes, the reflected energy intensities are measured in dBZ (decibels of z). The scale of dBZ values is related to the intensity of precipitation. Typically, light precipitation is occurring when the dBZ value reaches 20. The higher the dBZ, the greater the rate of precipitation. What Is The Study Of Maps Figure 1.11: This is an image of precipitation in the Northern Rockies on January 2, 2009, based on radar data from the National Weather Service. Montana is the state covering the upper portion of the map. Image from URL: http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/northrockies.php A soil scientist would be interested in an agricultural map like the one below.

Can one map show everything? How frequently do you need to create maps? Maps are usually static snapshots, so it’s hard to illustrate landscape features that change rapidly or intensely. Yet natural and anthropogenic features of an ecosystem can change over days, weeks, seasons and years. Thus some maps need to be created in rapid time series, such as the daily updates of forest service fire maps.

The drought monitor maps we just examined are published once a week. This helps farmers, ranchers, weather and climate scientists, and land and water resource managers make plans to manage the impacts of a drought. Figure 1.12: This map shows drought intensity and incorporates data such as soil moisture, temperature, and streamflows. Check Your Thinking : This map reflects drought conditions as of January 8, 2009. It also includes information in a table about drought conditions 1 year ago. How would this map have looked different on January 8, 2008? Click on the checkmark to view the correct answer, A forestry map would be used by scientists interested in presenting data on the distribution and abundance of trees. What Is The Study Of Maps Figure 1.13: This map shows forest cover types, and was created by US Forest Service scientists. Click on the link below to view the map in its original context, where you can view different types of forest cover on the map by moving your cursor over the categories in the legend at the top of the image. Image from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/mapsactivity/surv&control07Maps_PrinterFriendly.htm A scientist studying human or animal health might want to make an epidemiology map like this one. Check Your Thinking : Why would an epidemiologist make this map? Click on the checkmark to view the correct answer, Figure 1.15: This is an example of a field sketch map of a stream site created by an Environmental Protection Agency scientist. Image from URL: http://www.epa.gov/volunteer/stream/vms41.html We just looked at ways many kinds of scientists can use different types of maps in their research.

Most of the maps we explored involved the collection of a lot of data over a fairly large area. How could you create a less data-intensive map to study local environmental problems in your community and schoolyard? Scientists working to document the condition of small study areas typically use a sketch map as tool for studying their field sites.

Sketch maps typically show major landscape features (buildings, trees, water, roads, etc.) with an emphasis on conditions the scientist is interested in. For example, the archeological map we already looked at was based on a field sketch map. It emphasized the location and number of Native American artifacts found at the field site.
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Who created the map?

In ancient Greece, the mapmaker Anaximander is credited with making the first map of the known world in the sixth century B.C. Anaximander drew a map of the world as it was known at the time, based on the assumption that earth was shaped like a perfect cylinder.
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What is map in biology?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In cell biology, microtubule-associated proteins ( MAPs ) are proteins that interact with the microtubules of the cellular cytoskeleton, MAPs are integral to the stability of the cell and its internal structures and the transport of components within the cell.
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What is the word for reading a map?

What is another word for map reading?

orienteering routing
triangulation direction-finding

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Who is a topographer?

Top Definitions Quiz Related Content Examples

This shows grade level based on the word’s complexity. / təˈpɒg rə fər / This shows grade level based on the word’s complexity. noun a specialist in topography. a person who describes the surface features of a place or region. QUIZ CAN YOU ANSWER THESE COMMON GRAMMAR DEBATES? There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again.
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What scientists use maps?

Map A map is a symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface. Maps present information about the world in a simple, visual way. They teach about the world by showing sizes and shapes of countries, locations of features, and distances between places.

Maps can show distributions of things over Earth, such as settlement patterns, They can show exact locations of houses and streets in a city neighborhood, Mapmakers, called cartographers, create maps for many different purposes. Vacationers use road maps to plot routes for their trips. Meteorologists —scientists who study weather —use weather maps to prepare forecasts,

City planners decide where to put hospitals and parks with the help of maps that show land features and how the land is currently being used. Some common features of maps include scale, symbols, and grids, Scale All maps are scale models of reality.

  • A map’s scale indicates the relationship between the distances on the map and the actual distances on Earth.
  • This relationship can be expressed by a graphic scale, a verbal scale, or a representative fraction,
  • The most common type of graphic scale looks like a ruler.
  • Also called a bar scale, it is simply a horizontal line marked off in miles, kilometers, or some other unit measuring distance.

The verbal scale is a sentence that relates distance on the map to distance on Earth. For example, a verbal scale might say, “one centimeter represents one kilometer” or “one inch represents eight miles.” The representative fraction does not have specific units.

  • It is shown as a fraction or ratio —for example, 1/1,000,000 or 1:1,000,000.
  • This means that any given unit of measure on the map is equal to one million of that unit on Earth.
  • So, 1 centimeter on the map represents 1,000,000 centimeters on Earth, or 10 kilometers.
  • One inch on the map represents 1,000,000 inches on Earth, or a little less than 16 miles.

The size of the area covered helps determine the scale of a map. A map that shows an area in great detail, such as a street map of a neighborhood, is called a large-scale map because objects on the map are relatively large. A map of a larger area, such as a continent or the world, is called a small-scale map because objects on the map are relatively small.

Today, maps are often computerized, Many computerized maps allow the viewer to zoom in and out, changing the scale of the map. A person may begin by looking at the map of an entire city that only shows major roads and then zoom in so that every street in a neighborhood is visible, Symbols Cartographers use symbols to represent geographic features.

For example, black dots represent cities, circled stars represent capital cities, and different sorts of lines represent boundaries, roads, highways, and rivers. Colors are often used as symbols. Green is often used for forests, tan for deserts, and blue for water.

A map usually has a legend, or key, that gives the scale of the map and explains what the various symbols represent. Some maps show relief, or changes in elevation. A common way to show relief is contour lines, also called topographic lines, These are lines that connect points that have equal elevation.

If a map shows a large enough area, contour lines form circles. A group of contour line circles inside one another indicates a change in elevation. As elevation increases, these contour line circles indicate a hill, As elevation decreases, contour line circles indicate a depression in the earth, such as a basin,

Grids Many maps include a grid pattern, or a series of crossing lines that create squares or rectangles. The grid helps people locate places on the map. On small-scale maps, the grid is often made up of latitude and longitude lines. Latitude lines run east-west around the globe, parallel to the Equator, an imaginary line that circles the middle of Earth.

Longitude lines run north-south, from pole to pole. Latitude and longitude lines are numbered. The intersection of latitude and longitude lines, called coordinates, identify the exact location of a place. On maps showing greater detail, the grid is often given numbers and letters.

The boxes made by the grid may be called A, B, C, and so on across the top of the map, and 1, 2, 3, and so on across the left side. In the map’s index, a park’s location might be given as B4. The user finds the park by looking in the box where column B and row 4 cross. Other Map Features: DOGSTAILS Along with scale, symbols, and grids, other features appear regularly on maps.

A good way to remember these features is DOGSTAILS: date, orientation, grid, scale, title, author, index, legend, and sources. Title, date, author, and sources usually appear on the map though not always together. The map’s title tells what the map is about, revealing the map’s purpose and content.

For example, a map might be titled “Political Map of the World” or “Battle of Gettysburg, 1863.” “Date” refers to either the time the map was made or the date relevant to the information on the map. A map of areas threatened by a wildfire, for instance, would have a date, and perhaps even a time, to track the progress of the wildfire.

A historical map of the ancient Sumerian Empire would have a date range of between 5,000 B.C. and 1,000 B.C. Noting a map’s author is important because the cartographer’s perspective will be reflected in the content. Assessing accuracy and objectivity also requires checking sources.

A map’s sources are where the author of the map got his or her information. A map of a school district may list the U.S. Census Bureau, global positioning system (GPS) technology, and the school district’s own records as its sources. Orientation refers to the presence of a compass rose or simply an arrow indicating directions on the map.

If only an arrow is used, the arrow usually points north. A map’s index helps viewers find a specific spot on the map using the grid. A map’s legend explains what the symbols on a map mean. Map Projections Transferring information from the spherical, or ball-shaped, surface of Earth onto a flat piece of paper is called projection.

  1. A globe, a spherical model of Earth, accurately represents the shapes and locations of the continents.
  2. But if a globe were cut in half and each half were flattened out into a map, the result would be wrinkled and torn.
  3. The size, shape, and relative location of land masses would change.
  4. Projection is a major challenge for cartographers.

Every map has some sort of distortion, The larger the area covered by a map, the greater the distortion. Features such as size, shape, distance, or scale can be measured accurately on Earth, but once projected on a flat surface only some, not all, of these qualities can be accurately represented.

  1. For example, a map can retain either the correct sizes of landmasses or the correct shapes of very small areas, but not both.
  2. Depending on the map’s purpose, cartographers must decide what elements of accuracy are most important to preserve.
  3. This determines which projection to use.
  4. For example, conformal maps show true shapes of small areas but distort size.

Equal area maps distort shape and direction but show true relative sizes of all areas. There are three basic kinds of projections: planar, conical, and cylindrical. Each is useful in different situations. In a planar projection, Earth’s surface is projected onto a plane, or flat surface.

  1. Imagine touching a globe with a piece of cardboard, mapping that point of contact, then projecting the rest of map onto the cardboard around that point.
  2. Planar projections are most accurate at their centers, where the plane “touches” the globe.
  3. They are often used for maps of one of the poles.
  4. Imagine you wrapped a cone around Earth, putting the point of the cone over one of the poles.

That is a conical projection, The cone intersects the globe along one or two lines of latitude. When the cone is unwrapped and made into a flat map, latitude lines appear curved in circles or semicircles. Lines of longitude are straight and come together at one pole.

  1. In conical projection, areas in the mid-latitudes—regions that are neither close to the Equator nor close to the poles—are represented fairly accurately.
  2. For this reason, conical projections are often used for maps of the United States, most of which lies in the mid-latitudes.
  3. For a cylindrical projection, imagine that Earth’s surface is projected onto a tube that is wrapped around the globe.

The cylinder touches Earth along one line, most often the Equator. When the cylinder is cut open and flattened into a map, the regions near the Equator are the most accurate. Regions near the poles are the most distorted. Surveying and Remote Sensing Cartographers rely on survey data for accurate information about the planet.

  1. Surveying is the science of determining the exact size, shape, and location of a piece of land.
  2. Surveyors gather information from regions both above sea level and beneath bodies of water.
  3. Surveying can be done on foot.
  4. Surveyors use many instruments to measure the features, or topography, of the land.
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A compass, measuring device, and theodolites are often used by surveyors doing field work. A theodolite is an instrument that measures angles. A surveyor may calculate the angle of hills, valleys, and other features by using a theodolite, which is usually mounted on a tripod, or three-legged platform.

  • Today, many surveyors use remote sensing to collect data about an area without actually physically touching it.
  • Sensors that detect light or radiation emitted by objects are mounted to airplanes or space satellites, collecting information about places on Earth from above.
  • One method of remote sensing is aerial photography, taking photographs of Earth from the air.

Aerial photography has eliminated much of the legwork for surveyors and has allowed precise surveying of some places that are impossible to reach on foot. Satellites, spacecraft that orbit Earth, perform remote sensing. For example, Landsat, a satellite that circles Earth 14 times a day, transmits huge volumes of data to computers on Earth.

  1. The data can be used to quickly make or correct maps.
  2. How Maps Are Made Before making a map, cartographers decide what area they want to display and what type of information they want to present.
  3. They consider the needs of their audience and the purpose of the map.
  4. These decisions determine what kind of projection and scale they need, and what sorts of details will be included.

The language of the map is one thing a cartographer must consider. A blind reader needs a map that has information in braille, for instance. The audience for a map can determine how widely a map is used. A map might use red and green symbols to show the location of maple and pine trees.

This information might be easily displayed in a simple legend. However, such a map could not be used by people who are color-blind. Lines of latitude and longitude are mathematically plotted on a flat surface. Features are drawn in their appropriate location. Before the development of advanced computer and printing techniques, maps were drawn by hand.

Cartographers would draw, or scribe, the map on a sheet of coated plastic with a special etching tool, scraping away the colored coating to leave clear, sharp lines. Several different sheets of plastic were layered on top of each other to add shading and place names.

The plastic sheets were used to make a metal printing plate, or proof, for publishing the map. Today, most mapping is done with the help of computers. The coordinates of every point are entered into a computer. By feeding new data into the computer or deleting old data, map changes can be made quickly and easily.

Colors can be changed, new roads added, and topographic features, such as the flow of a river, altered. The new map can then be printed out easily. Types of Maps Cartographers make many different types of maps, which can be divided into two broad categories: general reference maps and thematic maps,

General reference maps show general geographic information about an area, including the locations of cities, boundaries, roads, mountains, rivers, and coastlines, Government agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey ( USGS ) make some general reference maps. Many are topographic maps, meaning that they show changes in elevation.

They show all the hills and valleys in an area. This is useful to everyone from hikers trying to choose a route to engineers trying to determine where to build highways and dams, Thematic maps display distributions, or patterns, over Earth’s surface. They emphasize one theme, or topic.

  • These themes can include information about people, other organisms, or the land.
  • Examples include crop production, people’s average income, where different languages are spoken, or average annual rainfall.
  • Many thematic maps are now made with the help of geographic information system (GIS) technology.

GIS are computer systems that capture, store, and display data related to positions on Earth’s surface. This technology combines information from maps with other data about people, the land, climate, farms, houses, businesses, and much more, allowing multiple sets of data to be displayed on a single map.

Many industries and governments use GIS technology for analysis and decision making. For example, GIS data helps officials determine which streams are most in danger of being polluted, It can also help a business decide where to locate a new store. History of Mapmaking Through the ages, maps have taken many different forms.

The earliest maps were probably sketches made on the ground that showed the surrounding area. People native to the Marshall Islands used palm fibers to show wave patterns between islands in the Pacific Ocean. They used seashells to represent islands. Inuit fishermen in the Arctic carved pieces of driftwood to show coastal features.

  1. One of the world’s oldest existing maps was found on a stone tablet in Spain.
  2. It dates back nearly 14,000 years.
  3. The ancient Greeks are usually considered the founders of scientific cartography.
  4. Greek scholars knew the general size and shape of Earth, and they developed the grid system of latitude and longitude.

Eratosthenes, who lived from about 276 to 194 B.C., calculated the size of Earth using mathematics and observations of the sun. Claudius Ptolemaeus, or Ptolemy, was an astronomer, mathematician, and geographer in the second century A.D. He brought mapmaking to a level of precision that would not be seen again until the fifteenth century.

  1. He combined all his knowledge about the world into a book called Geography,
  2. In Europe during the Middle Ages, cartographers drew maps reflecting their religious beliefs.
  3. These maps were generally simple and sometimes fanciful,
  4. The city of Jerusalem, holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, was sometimes placed in the center.

Many medieval European maps with Jerusalem at the center are called T&O maps. The mass of land was represented as a round wheel encircled with a single round ocean, the “O” of the T&O. The land encircled by the ocean was divided by a “T” into the three continents known by medieval European cartographers: Asia was the large land mass above the T, Africa and Europe were the two smaller sections on either side of the T, and Jerusalem was at the center.

The T-shape splitting the continents was composed of the Mediterranean Sea (between Europe and Africa), the Nile River (between Africa and Asia) and the Don River (between Europe and Asia). The Nile and the Don meet in a single line to form the top of the T. During these Dark Ages in Europe, Arab scholars kept scientific cartography alive.

They preserved the works of Ptolemy and translated them to Arabic, Arab cartographers produced the first reliable globe of the Western world. During the Islamic Golden Age, Arab cartographers used complicated mathematical and astronomical formulas to help them determine different map projections.

  • In 1154, the scientist and cartographer al-Idrisi made a map of the world that was better than the world maps Europeans were producing.
  • Al-Idrisi’s map included a representation of the entire continent of Eurasia, including Scandinavia, the Arabian Peninsula, the island of Sri Lanka, and the Black and Caspian Seas.

In the fifteenth century, cartography in Europe improved. The development of printing and engraving meant maps that had previously been painted by hand could be copied more quickly. Around the same time, sailors began traveling farther on the oceans. They added newly discovered lands and more detailed coastlines to their maps.

Explorers brought back descriptions of the interiors, as well as the coastlines, of continents. Europeans explored much of the Americas during the sixteenth century, Australia in the seventeenth century, and Antarctica was finally sighted in the early nineteenth century. At this point, fairly accurate maps of the entire world were beginning to be assembled,

In the nineteenth century, cartography became more advanced with the development of a printing process called lithography, Lithography allowed cartographers to make many accurate copies of maps with less labor and expense. Photography, color printing, and computers all improved mapmaking even more.

In just a few decades, the relationship between people and maps changed drastically. For example, instead of using paper street maps, many people navigate using GPS units that communicate with satellites to determine their exact location on Earth. Digital versions of maps can represent Earth in three dimensions, defying the limitations of the flat maps of the past.

Almost the entire surface of Earth has been mapped with remarkable accuracy, and this information is available instantly to anyone with an internet connection. : Map
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What is a GIS specialist?

A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Specialist designs, develops, and implements systems and databases to access and store geospatial data. GIS specialists design digital maps using geospatial data and analyze spatial and non-spatial information.
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Who is topography?

Topography – A Brief Overview Topography is the study of the features and forms of land surfaces. The origin of the word topography comes from the words “graphia” and “topo”. “Graphia” means writing and “topo” means place. This article will share some interesting insights about topography.
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