Aerial Photo of the Buildings at the V&A Waterfront Click on map to print
A map is defined as a representation, usually on a flat surface, of a whole or part of an area. The job of a map is to describe spatial relationships of specific features that the map aims to represent. There are many different types of maps that attempt to represent specific things.
Maps can display political boundaries, population, physical features, natural resources, roads, climates, elevation (topography), and economic activities.
Maps are produced by cartographers. Cartography refers both the study of maps and the process of map-making. It has evolved from basic drawings of maps to the use of computers and other technologies to assist in making and mass producing maps.
A map is a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of some space, such as objects, regions, and themes.
Many maps are static two-dimensional, geometrically accurate (or approximately accurate) representations of three-dimensional space, while others are dynamic or interactive, even three-dimensional. Although most commonly used to depict geography, maps may represent any space, real or imagined, without regard to context or scale; e.g. brain mapping, DNA mapping and extraterrestrial mapping.
Although the earliest maps known are of the heavens, geographic maps of territory have a very long tradition and exist from ancient times. The word “map” comes from the medieval Latin Mappa mundi, wherein mappa meant napkin or cloth and mundi the world. Thus, “map” became the shortened term referring to a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world.