What are Maps?
A map depicts characteristics, physical features, or locations on the Earth’s surface or a part of it drawn on a flat surface according to a scale.
Directions of a map
The four cardinal directions are:
The minor directions of a map are North-East, North-West, South-East, South-West.
Components of a map
The components of a map are as follows:
- Distance – The distance is the scale of a map that provides a perspective of the map area or its distance. The scale is a ratio of the map distance and the actual ground distance. The scale is the most important thing to calculate distance using a map. There are two types of scale based maps – large scale maps and small scale maps.
- Direction – Maps depict a place’s directions by using cardinal directions with a compass. A compass illustrates directions on a map so that readers can link them to the real world. A compass occasionally displays North, while other cardinal directions can get figured out by knowing which way North is.
- Symbol – A symbol enables us to depict different features or characteristics on a map as their actual shapes and sizes can not get shown on a map. Therefore, symbols make such depictions.
These symbols act as a decoder for the data frame’s symbology. As a result, it is also known as the key. Colour schemata, symbology, and classification are all described in depth here. The colour scheme on the map would be meaningless without the legend.
Other important elements of a map
- Title – One of the most important aspects of a map is its title. The reader’s attention is drawn to the title as it helps understand what is there on the given map. The title immediately provides the reader with a description of what the map depicts.
For example, the title ‘Different mountains ranges in India’ can quickly tell the viewer the subject matter of the map, i.e. soil types found in different parts of India.
- Grid and index – All maps do not use grids and indexes, but they are useful in locating locations. A grid and index are common features of atlases and roadmaps.
A grid is a series of horizontal and vertical lines across a map. An index assists the map reader in finding a specific location by following the numbers and letters in the grid.
The index is mostly in alphabetical order, making it simple to look up a location’s name. The coordinates (A2, B3, etc.) are shown next to the location on the map.
What are the different types of maps?
Types of map
There are primarily 3 types of maps –
- Physical map: This type of map represents the physical characteristics of a place. The depiction is done using different colours. For example, mountains, hills and plateaus are shown with different colours while water bodies like lakes, oceans and revisers and in blue.
- Political map: This type of map depicts the political boundaries of a place. For example, it signifies national and state boundaries.
- Thematic map: This type of map reflects one specific thing and showcases the presence of that specific thing across the map. For example, a map titled ‘Highways in India’ will reflect all the highways within the country’s boundaries.
What are Plan?
Plan : A plan is a drawing of a small area on a large scale.
What is the difference between a map and a plan?
Difference between a map and a plan
Some key differences between a map and a plan are:
|A map is a scaled depiction drawing of the earth’s surface or a portion of it on a flat surface.||A plan is a large-scale depiction of a limited region.|
|Maps provide comprehensive information on a broader area of the globe.||A plan provides limited information about a specific small area.|
|A map is a graphical representation of a geographic area. It can also be defined as a symbolic representation that emphasizes relationships between space elements such as objects, regions, and themes.||A plan is a set of two-dimensional drawings or diagrams used to describe an object or a location or to communicate fabrication or building instructions.|
|A map is drawn when the area is large, such as a country’s map.||A plan is drawn when the area is small, such as a Plan of house or bridge.|
How are maps more useful than globes?
A map is a scaled representation or drawing of the earth’s surface or a portion of it on a flat surface. A round shape cannot be flattened and scaled. As a result, maps are considered over the globe.
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