from TheTruckersReport Website
collaboration of April Finley
Cartography is the study of creating maps. Cartographers are both artists and scientists who create those maps.
Most maps relate spatial information two-dimensionally in order to communicate location, other geographic themes or information. Physical maps can be either flat, spherical like a globe, or digital.
There are two basic kinds of locational maps:
Topographic maps are produced to a standard scale, while topological maps are not.
Maps have always been used to aid travelers regarding location. As information science and the need for a new way to disseminate information grew, mapping began to include themes.
Dot maps for instance depict storm damage in a certain location, or how much soybean is produced in a certain state.
The main purpose is to make the map meaningful to its user by keeping to a standard-symbology or legend, so that the map regardless of type, conveys the information necessary to the user who deems it valuable.
Maps and Atlases
Maps and atlases illustrate location:
One such atlas would be a driving atlas of the United States where each state is drawn to a specific scale, with mileage and points of interest usually depicted per numerical representation or symbols.
Atlases can also be cultural, developed with themes in mind such as language mapping and related cultural or thematic maps.
Ancient Maps and Cartographers
Maps are relative to the era in which they are produced.
A map from ancient Mesopotamia is likely to cover the region as the cartographer understood its boundaries, unlike today’s maps that draw on computer imagery more than personal information in order to create them.
Cartographers were likely to be mathematicians and philosophers in the ancient world.
Ptolemy is perhaps the most famous of these ancient cartographers having created a treatise on cartography containing his world map.
Atlases are collections of maps, whether they be of driving maps, maps of the ocean, or maps of the brain.
The Library of Congress possesses the most extensive collection in the United States, while universities and online portals have more specialized collections as a rule. Thematic map collections include medical atlases, population atlases, and genealogical atlases.
Prior to the dawn of the computer age, most atlases were collections aimed at getting a person or community of persons from point A to point B.
Cartographic and Geographical Societies
Cartography functions as a historical and cultural tool as much as it does mapping the earth.
Promoting cartography and the dissemination of geographical information is a key function of most cartographic societies. Most are geared toward academia, but many include private and professional cartographers or those who have a keen interest in maps.
Cartographic societies usually meet at least annually and host map competitions or other gatherings to facilitate interest in mapping and geographic information issues.
Cartography General Resources
Here are some additional cartography links that you may find useful: