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n. ~ 1. A graphic representation of features of the Earth or another celestial body. - 2. A representation of the relationships among things.


A map1 is typically flat, as opposed to a globe, which is round. Some maps use relief to represent altitude. Maps are typically drawn to scale using a projection technique, such as an azimuthal, a Mercator, or a cylindrical projection. Maps commonly include political boundaries, rounds, and geological features. Maps are commonly associated with surface features but also include climatic, hydrological, weather, and astronomical maps. - Map2 is a metaphorical extension of map1; the former often uses images, lines, and other graphics to show how ideas or activities are related in time or space.

(Monmonier 1996, p. xi) All maps distort reality. All mapmakers use generalization and symbolization to highlight critical information and to suppress detail of lower priority. All cartography seeks to portray the complex, three-dimensional world on a flat sheet of paper or on a television or video screen. In short, the author warns, all maps must tell white lies. [Citing H. J. de Blij]