Written by Lyndsey Morgan
We often use maps on a road trip or to plan a vacation. Sometimes we even use electronic versions of maps on our computers or GPS units. The most common types of maps that most people use are road maps. However, there are also many other types of maps that help us to discover information in a visual way. Read on to learn about some of these special maps.
A local map typically shows an immediate area. For example, a city's website might feature a local map of the city. Local maps can be even smaller to depict the layout of a university campus or a neighborhood. It would normally show major buildings or landmarks, streets, stores, and public areas. What features would you include in a local map of your neighborhood?
A climate map helps to plot data about the weather in different regions. This could include information such as rain or snowfall, temperature, climate change, and more. This weather data is color coded so that viewers can easily understand the data at a glance. Climate maps do not necessarily include political boundaries.
Economic or Resource Maps
Economic maps offer different aspects of economic information, or details related to money. For example, an economic map might show information about the wealth of different regions, or the activity levels of different industries. People use economic maps to learn more about how an area is doing in terms of economics and industry.
Physical maps are primarily concerned with nature and related features. Common items that we might see on a physical map are mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, beaches, and so on. A physical map might use different shades of colors to indicate elevations, or areas that are higher than others. They sometimes also show region borders and place names for reference purposes.
Political maps are related to specific countries and their governments. Each country has a clearly defined border, and a political map helps us to see exactly where the border lies. It also shows the capital city, along with smaller regions like states, provinces, and cities. Political maps normally do not include features that we might see on a physical map, except for large, notable areas like an ocean.
Road maps are the variety that most people are familiar with. They outline streets and highways, but also show other major points that may be of interest to a driver. This includes airports, train tracks, national parks, tourist spots, and more. In very cluttered road maps, there may be an in-set box that provides a closer look at a busy area. Electronic road maps can be configured in many different ways so that they might include additional optional information such as gas stations, banks, and shopping malls.
Topographic maps are often used by scientists, researchers, and many other people to understand how the land lies in a specific region. It makes use of contour lines to show when an area of land is higher or lower. In this way, we can see when a piece of land slopes upwards or downwards, or where it might be very steep or flat. To make it more useful, topographic maps may also include symbols that depict features like vegetation, rivers, and streets.
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