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What are Maps: Geography NCERT Notes for UPSC

Jan 19, 2023

geography what are maps

 A map is a representation or a drawing of the Earth’s surface or a part of it drawn on a flat surface according to a scale. Generally, maps provide more information than a globe. Scroll further down to know more about Maps, their types, and much more to simplify your UPSC CSE preparation. 

Types of Maps

  • Physical Maps: Maps showing natural features of the Earth such as mountains, plateaus, plains, rivers, oceans, etc. are called physical or relief maps. 
  • Political Maps: Maps showing cities, towns and villages, and different countries and states of the world with their boundaries are called political maps. 
  • Thematic Maps: Some maps focus on specific information; such as roadmaps, rainfall maps, maps showing the distribution of forests, industries, etc. are known as thematic maps. 

Important components of maps

  • Scale: Scale is the ratio between the actual distance on the ground and the distance shown on the map. Small scale and large scale maps are two types of maps.
  • Cardinal points: These points on maps are directions such as North, East, West, and South.
  • Symbols: Maps have a universal language that can be understood by all. There is an international agreement regarding the use of these symbols. These are called conventional symbols.
Conventional Symbols
  • Sketch: A sketch is a drawing mainly based on memory and spot observation and not to scale. It is a rough drawing without scale.
  • Plan: A plan is a drawing of a small area on a large scale. A large-scale map gives a lot of information, for example, the length and breadth of a room, which can’t be shown on a map. 

Thus, maps act as a blue print as it provides authentic information about any place or region.

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