Articles — Making maps

The Anatomy of a Map

About maps Making maps

The Anatomy of a Map

A map is composed of many layers of information, each displaying different geographic features. This is literal as well as figurative because at the very beginning of a map's creation, its spatial data is divided up into many separate files. The files are imported into mapping software where they are displayed in a layered fashion, one on top of the other. Layer order is important. To ensure the features display correctly, are not obliterated or overprinted, careful organization is necessary. There are two data types maps are made with: vector and raster. VECTOR: editable points, lines and areas all containing...

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What is a thematic map?

About maps Making maps

What is a thematic map?

There are many types of maps. Maps have been designed with specific uses in mind since the earliest cartographers began mapping earth centuries and centuries ago. Planisphere by Rumold Mercator 1587 In fundamental ways maps began as a means of understanding the lands and waterbodies that comprised the world, charting exploration and discoveries of previously unknown places, and defining a nation's imperialistic extents. Map of Ancient Germany - Edward Wells 1700 Over time maps have changed and expanded the way we interpret information about what happens all around us. Maps that display a singular topic are known as thematic maps....

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