Understanding Maps, Types and Benefits of Maps

If we are looking for a certain location, but have never been to that place, then we need tools. These tools are used to find the location where we are and where we are headed.

So, what is the tool? The tool is a map. The topic of geography material this time is about maps. We will explore the understanding of maps in general and according to experts, the type of map and the benefits of maps. To be clearer, please refer to the following discussion.

Chapter List 


Understanding the map can be understood as a conventional description of the face of the earth. The conventional description referred to includes embodiment, location and related data, as seen when viewed from above.

Ibnilah appearance that shows the surrounding conditions. Basically, every living thing is estimated to have awareness of the surrounding conditions or conditions. This is related to imaging.

There is plenty of evidence to show that the imagery that exists in mental imagery is a normal brain activity of all living things, at least also in the brains of animals which are rather high in level.

In this wishful description there are important components in the form of spatial arrangement of objects . That is, each of us can have a different picture of imaging. For some people, some of the objects must be arranged in a geographical space and related to life.

The appearance of this wishful image can indeed take various forms. A wishful image can be a simple picture if the picture is done topologically, in close proximity or back and forth. However, wishful images can also be portrayed rather convincingly when the position of the intended object is expressed in terms of a geometrical spatial concept.

Image or picture in the mind is a map in which objects in it are located in a relative location. These maps basically have properties that are unique to each individual. This is a map called a mental map ( mental map ).

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Understanding Maps According to Some Experts

To better understand the map, we can also refer to the understanding of maps according to experts. Here are some cartographers who describe the notion of maps.

A # Definition of maps according to ICA ( International Cartographic Association )

Map is a picture or representation of abstract appearance elements chosen from the surface of the earth, which is related to the surface of the earth or celestial bodies. Generally, this map is depicted on a flat plane and scaled down so that it becomes smaller.

B # Definition of map according to Erwin raisz

The map is a conventional picture of the earth’s surface being reduced, as an appearance when viewed from above, and with writing added as a sign.

C # Definition of map according to RM Soetardjo Soerjosoemarno

The map is a painting using ink from all or part of the earth’s surface, which is reduced by using a size ratio called scale or flare.

Of the several definitions that have been described above, there are some important things that have in common, namely in the form of a conventional picture. This means that the picture agreed internationally, be it in the form of natural appearance or socio-cultural appearance. Examples such as the natural appearance of the color of sea water, mountain symbols, altitude, and forests. Examples of socio-cultural appearances include rice fields, plantation areas and tourism sites.


Judging from the types, the commonly used map has many variations. Because of the many types of maps, it is difficult to count the actual number of maps. Even so, here are some types of maps that are classified in several ways, as follows:

A # Map type based on scale

Based on the scale, the map is classified into four groups.

  • Cadastral map (a map with a very large scale) that is a map that has a scale of 1: 100 ?? 1: 5,000.
  • Large scale map is a map made with a scale of 1: 5,000 ?? 1: 250,000.
  • Medium scale map is a map that has a scale of 1: 250,000 ?? 1: 500,000.
  • Small scale map is a map that has a scale of 1: 500,000 ?? 1: 1,000,000.

B # Type of map based on contents

Based on its contents, maps can be classified into two groups, namely general maps and special maps.

1 # General map is a map in which there is a general description or general appearance of a particular area.

The general map consists of three types, including:

  • Topographicmaps are general maps with large scale (usually 1: 50,000). Due to the large scale, the mapped area (for each ?? each map) becomes narrow. However, the appearance pictured can be very detailed.
  • A chorographic mapis a map in which all or part of the earth’s surface is general in nature, and usually has a medium scale (1: 250,000 ?? 1: 500,000). an example of a chorographic map is a provincial map, a country map, a regional map of a specific region, such as an ASEAN map.
  • World mapis one type of general map that has a small scale. World map depicts the situation. all the world in one map. Therefore, the appearance pictured is very global, so that the things that are portrayed are also only the important – only important.

2 # Special map or thematic map is a type of map in which gives a description of the appearance of a special nature that is found in certain areas.

Specific map types include political maps, city maps, tourism maps, transportation maps, climate maps, vegetation maps, rainfall maps, and population density maps. To be able to make a special map, a basic map is needed which also contains information to be mapped.

C # Map type based on mapped object

Based on the mapped object, the map can also be distinguished in:

1 # Static or stationary map is a map in which gives a picture of a state that is relatively fixed or rarely changes. For example, maps of soil types, administrative maps of a village or urban area, and geological maps.

2 # Dynamic map is a type of map in which describes the state of the earth that is dynamic or rapidly changing. For example, transmigration maps, urbanization maps, land use maps, and urban area planning maps.


Maps have many benefits for various purposes. Some of the benefits of the map, include the following:

  1. To find out the distance from one place to another. In order to know the size of the distance between one place and another using the map scale. This scale is a comparison of the distance on the map to the actual distance on the surface of the earth.
  2. To find out the direction of a place. For example, with a map of the ASEAN region, we can find out the country of Indonesiais located in the south of the Philippines. Brunei Darussalam is also in the north of Borneo.
  3. To explain the condition of an environment or a place. Example through a map, it can be known about an area in the tropics, polar regions, or temperate regions. Through the colors on the map, we can find out whether a certain region is flat or mountainous ?? Mountain. For example, low-lying areas depicted in green as well as in mountain regions depicted in brown.
  4. Through thematic maps, we can obtain certain data needed. For example, from the population density map, we can find out which provinces are sparsely populated and which provinces have very densely populated provinces.
  5. Through maps, we can estimate the possibility of effort that can be done. For example, if we want to open a fishpond business, then we can find out the location (place) of the right business to choose is in the seaside area. Places like this can be known easily through maps.

Well, that’s a review of the understanding of the map, the types of maps and the benefits of the map this time. Hopefully this article can help you learn. Have a good study.

by Abdullah Sam
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