Q:

What is a map maker called?

A:

A map maker is formally called a cartographer. A cartographer is trained in cartography, which incorporates elements of both science and art.

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Cartography involves both learning to illustrate maps and learning about the science behind maps. Some maps are much simpler to illustrate and understand than others. These maps, classified as general cartography, are simple maps created for the masses. The other type of cartography is thematic cartography, meant for niche audiences.

Maps can depict geographical features on top of simple land mass shapes. One example of this is including contour lines to illustrate elevation changes. Finally, maps can be drawn to scale, which is especially important when used for navigation purposes.

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  • Q:

    What is a topographical map?

    A:

    A topographic map is a highly detailed illustration that shows all the relief features of the Earth's surface in three dimensions. In topographic maps, contour lines are employed to show the changes in elevation on the surface of the Earth.

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  • Q:

    What is a flat map?

    A:

    A flat map is a projection of Earth's surface onto a two-dimensional plane, according to NationalAtlas.gov. Because Earth's surface curves, any projection onto a flat map creates distortions. A globe is the most accurate depiction of Earth, but impractical for most uses, whereas a flat rendering is useful but not as accurate. A flat map can be printed on paper or digitally rendered on a computer screen.

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  • Q:

    What is a legend on a map?

    A:

    A map legend is a table or chart included on a map to indicate the meaning of the map's varied symbols. This can be also be called the map's key.

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  • Q:

    What is a generalized map?

    A:

    Generalized maps are specifically designed to convey several types of information within the confines of one map. A generalized map usually includes details like topography and actual aesthetics of the portrayed area, producing a map that is closer to a mirrored image than a strict representation to scale.

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