Table of Contents Map Main Page What are Maps? Map History Math Topics Math Problems Web Resources Careers Teachers' Notes References Other Math Lessons

#### "The uses of maps in human communication continually increase and diversify, reflecting the range of interests, knowledge, and aspirations." John Noble Wilford from The Mapmakers Mathematics of Cartography ## What are Maps?

U.S. Geological
Survey (USGS)

Definition : Map- A set of points, lines, and areas all defined both by position with reference to a coordinate system and by their non-spatial attributes.

Maps are the world reduced to points, lines, and areas, using a variety of visual resources: size, shape, value, texture or pattern, color, orientation, and shape. A thin line may mean something different from a thick one, and similarly, red lines from blue ones.

National
Geographic
Lessons

### How do Maps represent reality?

A photograph shows all objects in its view; a map is an abstraction of reality. The cartographer selects only the information that is essential to fulfill the purpose of the map, and that is suitable for its scale. Maps use symbols such as points, lines, area patterns and colors to convey information.

The Geographer's
Craft Project

### How are Maps used?

1. To locate places on the surface of the earth,
2. To show patterns of distribution, and
3. To discover relationships between different phenomena by analyzing map information.

### Examples of Different Uses of Maps

Earthquake Hazard Map Notice the use of color to indicate intensity.
Location: Position on the Earth's Surface

### Navigational Tools- Old and New

Just as maps were created to enable global navigation, maps are used frequently on the Web as a navigational device. See the Virtual Tourist World Map- a geographic directory of all the WWW servers in the world.