Map: Meaning, Types, Characteristics And Uses Of Maps

Table Of Contents

1. Definition Of Map
2. Types Of Maps
3. Uses Of Maps

Definition Of Map

Maps are graphical representation of terrain features which are projected onto a plane as a part or whole of the Earth’s surface.

Types Of Maps

Maps are categorized into:

1. Technical maps (also known as cadastral maps).

2. Topographical maps (also known as medium scale maps).

3. Geographical maps (also called small scale maps).

4. Thematic maps.

5. Photomaps or map substitute.

1. Technical Maps

Definition: A technical map, also called cadastral map is a map that shows property boundaries.

Characteristics Of Technical Maps

1. Technical maps are large scale maps. They are plotted in scales of 1.1 up to 1:7,500.

2. All details are drawn to true scale.

3. Number of copies produced is small.

4. Copies are produced in single colour.

Uses Of Technical Maps

1. Land registration and re-allotment.

2. Planning and designing of all kinds of construction.

3. Urban planning and management.

4. Serve as a base map for smaller scale mapping.

2. Topographical Maps

Definition Of Topographical Maps: Topographical maps are maps which show the natural and man made features of a country such as hills, rivers, forest, swamps, towns, villages, roads, bridges, power lines etc.

Characteristics Of Topographical Maps

1. Topo maps are called medium scale maps. They are drawn on scale 1:10,000 up to 1:500,000.

2. Because of the large number of details to be drawn on topo maps, symbols are used.

3. Topo maps are reproduced in large numbers either in single or in multi colours.

Uses Of Topo Maps

Topo maps are used:

1. As planning documents.

2. In government administration.

3. As reference materials by people on vacation.

4. Topo maps are also used as base maps for the derivation of a great number of thematic maps.

3. Geographical Maps

Definition Of Geographical Maps: Geographica maps are maps which show many features both artificial and natural. They are called small scale maps.

Characteristics Of Geographical Maps

1. Geographical maps are drawn on scales ranging from 1:500,000 to 1:1,000,000 or less.

2. They are produced on sheets to show the world in which many countries are shown or a country in which many regions are shown.

3. Geographical maps may be produced in book form (atlas) giving information ranging from political, physical to population density.

4. As a result of scale limitation, details are not usually precise in their location hence there is symbolization and generalization.

Uses Of Geographical Maps

1. It is used in publications and journals.

2. Reference material for research.

3. A base for national and international comparison and study.

4. Thematic Maps

Definition Of Thematic Maps: These are maps that show one or more themes or subjects such as the distribution of inhabitants over a country or the concentration of energy resource in an area etc.

5. Photo Maps Or Map Substitutes

Definition Of Photo Maps: These are maps made up of air photographs which are used on special occasions to supplement the map.

Characteristics Of Photo Maps Or Map Substitutes

1. They are printed photo mosaics, the background detail of which have been cartographically improved.

2. They show photographic details.

Uses Of Photo Maps

Photo maps are used basically as a substitute where maps are not available. They may be used where the nature of an area or local requirements make a photo map more useful than a normal map.

Uses Of Maps

Direct use of maps also covers the following:

1. National and local government administration.

2. Military application.

3. Communication’s management and planning.

4. Tourism and recreation.

5. Town and regional planning.

6. Water management.

7. Agriculture and forestry.

8. Land registration and land re-allotment.

9. Teaching and research.

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