Essay about Cartography: An Ancient Art

Essay about Cartography: An Ancient Art

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Cartography has an ancient history. Since five-thousand years ago in Mesopotamia until today, mapmaking has always accompanied mankind’s discoveries. Maps are still used today, but advanced technology has transformed “the very definition of the term ‘map.’” Traditional cartographers defined map as “a graphic representation of the milieu,” (Robinson, Petchenik, 1976) or “any geographical image of environment.” (P.C. and J.O. Muehreke, 1997) However, scientists today use maps that are far from the traditional definition of the term “map”; they use maps of the brain, human DNA, and even distant galaxies.
Several components of a map help represent data accurately and effectively. Scale of a map helps readers analyze the map with better understanding. Because a map can show less detail when it covers a larger area, a map showing a large area is a small-scale map, and a map showing a small area is a large-scale map. Furthermore, de Blij states, “the map’s function is the key to its scale.” For example, maps of world distributions would be small-scale maps. However, maps for local use woul...

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