- from Maps and Mapmaking
When you’re tired of day-to-day life and looking for an escape, it’s always fun to browse through an atlas. That’s a collection of maps.
Maps can take you on flights of fancy all over the world—and even out of it. Of course, most people use maps to help them get from one place to another. But maps are also spurs to the imagination, suggesting where you could go, might go, will go—someday! Maps also give us glimpses into the past by showing us what people understood about the world at various points in history.
A map is a special kind of picture that shows the spatial relationships between different places. No map can include all information. Therefore, each map is a selected representation of reality. A map may be quickly drawn on the back of an envelope to show how to get somewhere, or it may be painstakingly inscribed on parchment as a work of art.
Mapmaking, or cartography, is both a science and an art, because people expect maps to be pretty but also accurate. Let’s take a look at some maps and travel to a few new places!