# What is a Map?

What is a Map? And when was the last time you reached a destination using a map? Well, the answer may differ, but what remains common is the importance of a map we have in our daily lives. The chapter below throws light on the importance of maps and the guidelines followed while scaling them and mapping.

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## What is a Map?

A map is a flat drawing of a place as it would look from the top. Not only can these be drawn on any paper but can be reduced to drawing of a place. They can be a drawing of the whole earth or a part of it. The human brain tends to remember maps better than any written text as we register images faster in our brain than the texts. They are a better tool to explain any geographical location.

(Source: slidegeeks)

Places and features of maps are shown by using different symbols. Like roads are shown by a bold black line while railway track is shown with a bold black line having vertical cuts.

This way we differentiate different features shown on the maps. A petrol station is shown by a picture of a petrol pump while a restaurant is represented by a spoon and a fork together.

These symbols are often shown and explained in the maps. The above one stands for a petroleum or a gas outlet.

### Scaling in a Map

As we have stated earlier that maps are reduced to fit on a piece of paper. Along with this concept, we need to learn the right way to reduce the drawing. We have to reduce the map in proportion.

For example, if a building is reduced to 1/10 of its original size, then all the other things in the maps should also be reduced to 1/10 of their sizes. This way, the building is said to be reduced in proportion.

### General Rules of Scaling

Scales are used in all maps. The typical scales usually followed while mapping is as follows

Maps of a neighborhood building: 1 cm = 20 cm
The Maps of a city on a full page: 1cm = 2 km
Map of India on a full page: 1 cm = 200 km
World Map on the full page: 1 cm = 3000 km

These scales may vary with the page size and drawing. On any corner of the map, the scale used for the map is also mentioned. With the help of this scale, one can easily calculate the distance between two places.

Maps are an integral part of today’s life. Maps provide us the directions. These days many of the vehicles are equipped with Global Positioning System ( GPS). GPS is a small screen fitted in a vehicle that shows the route map and gives driving directions. Paper Maps are widely used as they are easy to fold and portable.

## Solved Question for You

Question 1: On a wall map of India, the distance between two cities is 6 cm. If the map is drawn to the scale of 1 cm = 100 km, then what is the actual distance between two cities?

Answer: On the map 1 cm = 100 km. Therefore, 6 cm = 6 x 100 = 600 km. Hence, the actual distance between two cities is 600 km.

This concludes our discussion on the topic – what is a map and its uses.

Question 2: Explain what is a map?

Answer: It refers to an image of an area, commonly of the earth or part of the earth. Furthermore, a map is different from n aerial photograph because it includes clarification. Moreover, the word map can also be used to talk about a chart or drawing that shows relationships between ideas, events, people, etc.

Question 3: What are the types of the map?

Answer: Mainly, there are two types of maps political maps and physical maps.  However, over time both of these maps change because many forests were cut down to build roads and houses, towns expand and borders change. However, most maps include a compass rose that indicates the four directions.

Question 4: What are the uses of maps?

Answer: Generally, we use maps as a reference to show political boundaries, landforms, water bodies, and the positions of cities. Maps also help us to know the routes of an area, landmarks, location (latitudes and longitudes) of a building or things, etc.

Question 5: What is the purpose of a map?

Answer: The main purpose of maps is to represent all parts of the earth drawn on a flat surface at a specific scale. Moreover, they use symbols and colors to represent the selected features of an area.

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