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What are Maps ?

You would be surprised to know that the word "map", in its original sense, wasn't what we mean by it today. Originally from the Latin word "mappa", it actually meant a napkin or paper. Why so? Because these were the materials the earliest maps were apparently drawn on.

Maps are a fundamental concept to an astonishingly wide range of human interests, from of course representing the terrain to studying how the human mind works (the human mind has a similar map of the body, and that is how it gets to know that the pain is coming from the arm). Actually, a map is a fundamental concept, applicable almost anywhere. Any kind of representation can be considered a map; and it need not be visual always. For instance, people working to understand the brain often simulate its working on the computer, by developing what are known as neural networks. Sure there are no neurons in a computer, but the concept successfully simulates them; hence, it "maps" the human brain (or to be perfectly honest, attempts to map). more...

What is Cartography ?

Many people believe that cartography refers to the making of maps. While this is a basic definition that can be used to describe the science it does not fully encompass everything that cartography is. In fact, cartography is more than just a science. True cartography is both a science and an art and cartographers are those who are charged with developing maps that are both accurate and useful. Maps are basically a tool for humans to understand, measure, and make concrete information about the world that surrounds them. Additionally, many maps include more than just a physical representation of an area. Some maps include population numbers and density, political development, cultural data, and other socio-economic information that is useful to measure. more...