Types of Maps

Maps are pictures of the Earth's surface. General reference maps may show landforms, national boundaries, bodies of water, the locations of cities and so on. Thematic maps display specific data, such as the average rainfall distribution for an area or the distribution of a certain disease throughout a region

A political map focuses on the state and national boundaries of a place and the locations of cities, depending on the detail of the maps.

A physical map displays landscape features of a place, such as mountains, rivers, and lakes. Bodies of water are commonly shown in blue. Greens usually indicate lower elevations while browns indicate higher elevations.

A topographic map is similar to a physical map. It uses contour lines instead of colors to show changes in the landscape. Contour lines on topographic maps are normally spaced at regular intervals to show elevation changes. When lines are close together, it means the land is steep.

A climate map shows information about the climate of an area, such as the temperature, the amount of precipitation an area receives, or the average number of cloudy days. These maps generally use colors to show different climatic areas.

An economic or resource map shows the specific types of economic activity or natural resources present in an area through the use of different symbols or colors.

A road map shows highways and roads, as well as things like airports, cities, and points of interest such as parks, campgrounds, and monuments. Major highways on a roadmap are generally shown with thick, red lines, while minor roads are lighter in color and drawn with narrower lines.

A thematic map focuses on a particular theme or special topic. These maps are different from general reference maps because they do not just show features like rivers, cities, political subdivisions, elevation, and highways. If these items appear on a thematic map, they are background information and are used as reference points to enhance the map's theme.

Source: Types of Maps
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