Maps are Helpful in Several Ways

Maps are an important tool that we use today in modern society. While it is certainly something many people don't necessarily think they need to know how to read, there is much information to be gained from using a map. Maps are an especially important reference tool and have multiple purposes.

Reference Maps

Reference maps show a selected area within a defined geographic boundary along with any roads that run through the specified area. In addition to showing roads, a map will also reference certain geographic features like lakes, mountains and parks. A reference map is the kind of map that most people are familiar with using. A road atlas is considered a reference map. They are by far the most useful maps for the general population. A lot of new model automobiles come equipped with GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) units that are able to recall reference maps for any area needed, and will display your exact position on that map. Reference maps usually do not show very detailed geographic information like elevations or statistical information like population. Reference maps are very detailed road maps, but in order to be effective it is important to use recently updated maps. Road Atlases are usually released on a yearly basis and because of constant growth on construction, especially in large metropolitan areas.

Thematic Maps

Thematic Maps are used in order to compare statistics between different states. This includes information like population or median incomes. Maps come complete with important facts about each place usually uses different types of shading to show different values. An example of a thematic map that most people will be familiar with can usually be found in a newspaper or when watching the local weather on the news. The maps have different colors representing values like local temperature, humidity or precipitation. Thematic maps can be used to show any kind of statistical value and can be tailored to display only facts pertinent to the subject at hand.

Geographic Maps

Geographic Maps are another type of reference map that are primarily used to display natural and invisible boundaries. Most geographical maps are created to show the types of land features that an area may have. A globe is a good example of a Geographic map, it has usually has raised areas that represent mountain ranges or coastlines. Man-made boundaries are shown to divide countries and nations. Colors are also used to represent bodies of water. Aside from naming countries and major geographic features, a Geographic map isn't going to contain any detailed information about a region.

Maps certainly are fine tools that can be used to display a very wide range of information. Naturally it is important to make sure you are using the right map that has been updated recently. The internet has several different sources for up to date maps.

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