Types of maps – physical, political, geological, tourist and more

We explain what the types of maps are and the characteristics of physical, political, geological, climatic, topographic maps and more.

types of maps
Each type of map highlights a topic above the rest of the information.

Map types

Maps are the cartographic documents par excellence, which consist of a graphic or visual representation of the Earth’s surface, distinguishing the edges of the continental shelf and the ocean, among other possible characteristics of a topographic, political, demographic nature, and so on.

In fact, Depending on the type of information they contain, the maps can be of different types: that is its most common form of classification. Thus, we can speak of political, demographic, topographic maps, etc., all considered “thematic” maps, that is, that highlight a topic above the rest of the information.

Another possible classification of the maps attends to the scale used to represent this information, thus distinguishing small-scale (less than 1: 100,000) and large-scale (greater than 1: 10,000) maps.

Physical or bump maps

They are that represent the planetary surface with emphasis on landforms and in the relief that characterizes it, such as mountains, valleys, depressions, etc., usually indicating the values ​​of height, humidity and vegetation. They are maps of very common use, in academic and informative fields.

Political maps

types of political maps
Political maps indicate borders between countries and major cities.

They are that represent the land surface taking into account the political-administrative division of nations, that is, the borders between the countries, and indicating the capital cities and other important data, such as important localities, names of regions and usually rivers, mountains and outstanding natural regions.

Geological maps

As their name indicates, they are those that represent the earth’s surface from a geological point of view, that is, look at the distinctions between the types of minerals, sediments and materials that compose it, as well as resources of economic value or outstanding deposits. Volcanoes, geological faults and seismic regions also take place in them, generally.

Climatic maps

They are those that are fixed not so much on the earth’s surface, as on the state of the atmospheric gaseous mass that determines the climates. A) Yes, often divide the world into climatic regions, that is, in areas where one type of climate predominates over others. They should not be confused with weather maps, which represent temporary atmospheric phenomena that occur in a region, such as those used for weather forecasting.

Topographic maps

types of topographic maps
Topographic maps show altitudes and landforms.

Topographic maps are those that represent the land surface taking note of the altitudes and landforms of each region. That is pay attention to natural and artificial elevations and they use a specific, technical terminology that provides specific information on the three-dimensionality of the world.

Linguistic maps

Those who no longer serve the surface of the planet, but rather indicate language tendencies of those who inhabit it, that is, to the ways in which one or more languages, dialects or linguistic phenomena are distributed among the different populations of the region. There may be linguistic maps that are fixed in different languages, or that attend to the geographic variants of the same language.

Tourist maps

Those that represent the planetary surface of a region, emphasizing the relevant information for those who wish to visit it and / or know it, as monuments, historical locations, national parks, important cities and commercial or gastronomic regions.

Time zone maps

types of maps time zones
Each time zone has a specific official time.

Those that represent the totality of the earth’s surface, or perhaps some of its continents in particular, together with the plotting the meridians that determine the time zones of each region, that is, the official time of each country (or its interior regions, if any).