A person who makes maps is called a cartographer. The Greeks are known to be the pioneers of map making with proper mathematical footing.
Anaximander is said to be the first person to draw a world map in the 6th Century BC assuming that Earth was cylindrical. Eratosthenes was the first Greek to draw a world map assuming earth was spherical in shape but Ptolemy was the first person to draw the world map using latitudes and longitudes in a conic projection.
There are many kinds of unique maps in this world which humans have created for their own use and easy understanding of certain things. This is why maps have been divided into two groups which are reference maps and thematic maps. The maps which fall under reference maps are Political Maps; Physical Maps; Time Zone Maps; Topographical Maps; Road Maps and Zip Code Maps etc. The thematic maps are Climatic Maps; Economic Maps; Agriculture production Maps; Mine, Minerals and Ores Maps, etc. Here, we will discuss only the 10 major types of world maps and they are as follows:
The first map that we are introduced to in our school is Political Maps. It shows countries, counties, major rivers, oceans, important cities, boundaries of the countries. They are mounted on the walls of classrooms and offices. They are often annotated with sticky notes, strings, push pin, photographs or marker flags etc to show the location of a place, house, or business area and to make traveling plans etc. Political Maps are printed on a sheet of paper or it is also available in the digital form these days. Along with the World Political Maps, there are also Political Maps of all the 195 countries and of Seven Continents as well.
Physical Maps show the physical or natural features of the world or of a country. It shows mountains, mountain ranges, hills, rivers, lakes, bays, seas, oceans, plateaus, valleys, lowlands and highlands etc. It is made understood to its readers by color variations. The colors used to elevate landforms ranges from green to brown and white for ice-capped mountains and glaciers. As the elevation increases its color changes from green to dark brown. In the case of water bodies, the shallow areas are marked as light blues the deeper ones are colored as dark blue.
Time Zone Maps
A time zone is an area of the globe that has followed a standard time for its official, social, personal, commercial or legal purposes. It is made following the boundaries of the countries otherwise it becomes difficult for a country to follow more than one time zone. The United States of America is spread across six time zones. There are more than 24 time zones on a world map. They are drawn in the maps so that proper plans can be made before traveling or doing business between the countries.
These reference maps show the shape of the Earth’s surface with lines of equal elevation known as contour lines. Topographical maps are generally used to study a small area in detail. It shows natural features like lakes, ponds, rivers, hills, mountains, greeneries, forests, desserts etc. and cultural features like wells, churches, temples, residence, barren land, crematories, hospitals, roads, railway track etc. Just for its detailed information, it is considered to be the best world maps. They are generally used by hunters, hikers, skiers, geologists, engineers, landscape planners, biologists etc. These features have a universal as well as traditional symbol so that anybody who knows to read a topographical map will easily be able to read it in any country.
Road Maps are the most abundantly used maps which show different lanes, bridges, roads, highways or railways present in the area. These maps are generally produced on a paper in a very detailed manner and are usually used for direction purposes. Road maps are generally made city, town or village-wise. There are also road maps drawn for an entire nation, but it is not possible to draw them in detail.
Zip Code Maps
Zip Code Maps are used to mark the boundaries of the zip code areas. The post offices have the same Zip Code Maps so that they can deliver the letter accordingly. In a less populated area, the zip codes are less in numbers but in a densely populated area, there are generally many zip codes.
Climate is the average of the study of an area’s weather for 25 years or more. By fetching the data from these studies the cartographers have made this thematic map. They mark the climates ranging from hot regions to cold regions, high rainfall areas and sparsely rainfall areas. Natural disasters like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunami-prone areas are also marked. In this map, the winds along with their directions are also marked in detail as the direction of winds changes from season to season. Also, the direction of the water current is given in climatic maps. All these things influence the climate of a place hence these details cannot be ignored.
This map is used in government offices and companies to understand the economy of different areas of a state or a country. Color shades are used for better understanding of the economic zones which range from the higher class, higher middle class, and middle class and below poverty line people. The price of land, advertisement or establishing shops, multiplexes depend on the study of these maps.
Agriculture Production Maps
These thematic maps help us to understand the production of different crops in different areas. In some areas, rice is produced and in some places, cotton is produced. All crops cannot be grown in all places because it depends upon the climatic conditions and type of soil.
Mines, Minerals and Ores Map
Minerals and ores are one of the major resources of a country. These resources give an economic boost to a country. It is very important to mark the minerals and ores of different places of a country as it helps in mining when required. There are also some mines that are not safe for mining hence they are prohibited by the government. So the government keeps an eye if any private company illegally does mining into these places.