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# What is a flat map called?

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A flat map is called a map projection. These maps are designed to take the spherical nature of the earth and portray it flat so it can be seen and analyzed for different purposes.

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Creating a map projection has many uses, but also some disadvantages, including the fact that it will usually distort the realistic nature of the area it represents.

Map projections come in a variety of forms. Cylindrical projections have straight meridian lines and parallel lines. They are formed by taking the map and rolling it as if it were a cylinder. Pseudocylindrical projections are similar, but have straight longitudinal lines and curved meridian lines. Conic projections are taken by forming a cone of the area and distorting scale and distance, except along parallel lines.

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## Related Questions

• A:

A globe is a three-dimensional object that accurately depicts the geometry of the Earth, while a flat map is a two-dimensional representation that has some distortions. Although globes are more accurate, maps are easier to use.

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• A:

A two-dimensional map of a large area on Earth geometrically distorts what it is representing, while a globe, which is a sphere, can faithfully display those areas in proportion to one another. This advantage is more important when working with large areas.

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A map direction symbol is called a compass rose, and a simple compass rose symbol may only depict the four cardinal directions of north, east, west and south. A compass rose has been used on charts, atlases and maps by navigators since the 14th century. A more detailed compass rose can show many other directions.