Political And Physical Maps 2020

Maps are visual representations of an entire area or part of an area that are drawn to scale and usually depicted on a flat surface. The term ‘map’ is derived from the Latin word “Mappa Mundi”, where Map refers to ‘cloth’ Where ‘towel’ and Monday refers to ‘the world.’ So the maps are actually a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world. Several maps are currently in use, each representing a unique set of data. However, most cartographers classify maps into two categories: thematic maps and reference maps.

The thematic maps represent different themes according to the geographical areas. Different types of thematic maps include weather maps, heat maps, income maps, resource maps, chorochromatic maps, proportional symbol maps, point distribution maps, isorhythmic maps, flow, etc. On the other hand, reference maps represent the different attributes of the Earth, such as its physical features such as rivers, mountains, geographical positions and borders, and other features such as roads, cities and towns. The different types of reference maps include political maps, physical maps, road maps, topographic maps, time zone maps, geological maps, and postcode maps. The following article discusses in detail the two most used reference maps – political and physical maps and the differences between them.

Physical cards

The physical map of the United States.

Also called a relief map, a physical map depicts the Earth’s various natural features, such as mountains, bodies of water, deserts, and other recognizable landforms. These maps also provide information on the shape, height and depth of natural features. Like most other cards, physical cards also have a key that provides explanations for all the symbols used on the card.

Cartographers use different colors and shades to represent various natural features on a physical map. For example, the color blue is generally used to represent oceans, rivers, seas, lakes, and gulfs on the map. Shallow areas are shown in light blue, which gradually darkens as the body of water becomes deeper. Similarly, different shades of green, brown and gray are used to represent elevations. Lowlands are represented by a dark green color, while lighter shades of green represent higher elevations. With further increase in elevation, the color slowly changes to tan and brown. Higher elevations are often shown in shades of gray. White colors are also used to represent glaciers and ice caps.

Sometimes the most important political boundaries, such as country and state borders, are also shown on physical maps. However, this information is not the main purpose of physical maps, but is usually included for geographical reference and to increase the usefulness of the map. Therefore, anyone who wants to know more about the geography and geology of a particular region can use a physical map. These maps are also used by pilots when flying aircraft over long distances and for a better understanding of different geographical features.

Political maps

united states political map
United States political map.

Political maps are the most commonly used reference maps that show the geographical boundaries between different administrative subdivisions such as countries, states, and provinces. Depending on their usage, some political maps also show major roads, cities, towns, and districts. In short, the political characteristics of a particular area are displayed on political maps. Although topographic features are not displayed on this map, political maps sometimes display certain physical features such as major oceans, rivers, lakes, and mountains for geographic reference.

Similar to physical maps, different colors for different locations are used in political maps; however, there is no specific rule for choosing colors. Regardless of the size of political maps, a few three or four colors, such as blue, black, and red, are sufficient for use on these maps. The blue color represents water bodies; black or red represents cities, roads and transportation lines. Black color is also used in different types of dashes and dots to define boundaries. For example, we can see the political map of the United States in which different colors are used to represent the 50 states and their bordering localities.

Political maps help to know the extent of a country or a region, and the relevant data on these maps is an important source of information for the government of a country. These cards are also called “reference cards”, and people refer to it from time to time. However, sometimes these borders have led to territorial disputes between neighboring nations due to the lack of clear boundary marks. Various international organizations rely on political maps to dispel these territorial disputes.

Similarities Between Political and Physical Maps

The above discussion clearly highlights the different differences between physical and political maps. However, it should be noted that these cards share some common characteristics. Physical and political maps use different colors to represent different elements. Brighter colors are used on a political map to clearly distinguish countries and states. In contrast, quite dull colors are used on a physical map to represent different elevations. Nevertheless, one can sometimes find certain political features on physical maps and geographical features on political maps. In addition, certain names are inscribed on these two maps, indicating the different places they represent.

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