As you can remember, the Earth has the shape of an almost
perfect sphere. So, the best way for us study the earth is with a
globe. Here is a picture of a globe.
However, to study the Earth in detail we would need a globe so big,
it would be impossible to build. So, because of this problem we use
flat representations: maps. Below is a picture of a world map.
The maps we use in society today are divided into two categories:
Topographic Maps and Thematic Maps.
Topographic maps are maps that include info about the earth’s physical surface
and man made things such as buildings and roads. These maps serve as the
base for all other maps. Here is a topographic map of Spain.
Thematic maps show only one aspect. They have got unlimited aspects but
some of the principal ones you will see are:
• Climate – Climate maps show info about precipitation, temperature,
types of climate etc.
• Economic Resources – These maps show the economic resources
of a place. Resources include agriculture, fishing, mining,
industry, tourism and other income for a given place’s economy.
• Population – They show info about the population of a given place.
Population density, migrations, birth rates, death rates, urban
centers and any info on a given place’s population.
• Political – They include political borders, regions, capitals and the
existing cities within.
Transportation - The show highway, trains and airport systems.
• Relieve - These maps show the geographical features of a given
place. Mountain chains with altitude, plains, plateaus, rivers,
capes, gulfs, etc.