A map is the representation of the Earth’s surface on a flat surface. Though a globe is a model of the Earth and it shows the shape of the Earth and its continents, oceans, etc. better, still people prefer using maps. This is because a globe show can only the major features of the Earth and not minute details like a map. Moreover a map can be carried to all places unlike a globe.
A map has its limitations too. It is not possible to show all the features of different places on one map. There are many different kinds of maps for showing different details. Maps showing the political division of land into countries, states and towns are called political maps. Maps showing the physical features of a country like mountains, rivers, seas and deserts are called the physical maps. A book of maps is called an atlas.
All maps must show the directions only then can we use it to locate places. Look at the given maps. North, South, East and West are marked on it. North is always towards the top of a map. The directions are always the same on all maps.
A large part of land is shown on a small piece of paper in a map. How do we get to know the distances between places by looking at that small map? A measuring line on a map which helps us to know the exact .distances between various places marked is known as the scale of the map. The scale is mentioned at one corner of the map. A line is divided into parts of equal length. If on a map, the scale is given as 1 cm to 100 km, it means that 1 cm on the map represents 100 km of the distance on land.