There is a growing need for the community to analyze as well as represent data in the spatial relationship. Among the best platforms of representing spatial relationships are the maps. Cartography is considered to be a profession which primarily deal with the technical aspect of making a map. The fundamentals of cartography usually lies in the purpose, contents as well as the application of the final product.
Cartography is usually engaged in the graphic visualization as well as manipulation of data in the geometrical relation. Map production also referred to as map making involves managing of data. The map making process is usually comprised of four main steps. These include collection, comparison, manipulation as well as analysis. Cartography on the other hand represents the formal study of maps as well as making of maps in all their aspects. Among the different components cartography include map making, teaching mapping skills, maintaining map collections among others.
This concept usually entail the digital production of maps through the aids of a computer. Evidently, most of the GIS software have the capabilities of producing crude maps. As a result, data used in desktop cartography is derived from a GIS. GIS Homework Help desk can help clients export GIS-data to a cartographic software which will results in the creation of good and sophisticated products. All the production stages are usually executed at the top of a desk and hence this is where the name desktop cartography was coiled from.
What Constitute a Map?
A map represents a graphic depiction of the geographic realm whereby the real-world features are usually replaced by symbols in their correct spatial location as a reduced scale. There are several forms of maps which include the mental maps, virtual maps and the real maps. There exist a difference between a map and a sketch. When drawing a map, one needs to have a system of map projections, a scale as well as a collection of symbols. A map is known to be a selective, generalized and symbolized representation of the earth’s surface at a reduced scale. A sketch on the other hand does not have a scale or projection.
Common Definition in Cartography
Cartography: the art, science as well as technology of making maps, plans, charts as well as other graphical expression.
Map generalization: A simplified representation of map features, appropriate to its purpose and scale without affecting the visual form.
Map Projections: The system of the transformation of the spherical surface onto a plane surface. It is usually carried out through systematic and orderly representation on the meridians of longitude and parallels of latitude of the spherical earth on a conveniently chosen scale. Map projections always results in various distortions.
Map Series: A group of maps which are produced at the same specifications, style and scale for a given region or country.
Sketch Plan: A simplified map which is drawn using freehand and that which fails to preserve the true scale of orientation.
Map scale: This represents a factor through which phenomenon on the earth’s surface are reduced in order to be shown on a map. The methods of scale include graphical or bar scale, representative fraction and statement of scale.
Coordinate System: This represents the framework applied in determining positions on the earth’s surface. A good example is the geographic coordinate system.
Functions of Maps
Maps usually serve two important functions:
- Storage medium for information
- Provides a pictorial representation of the globe which helps us understand the environmental complexity, spatial relationships and spatial patterns.
Basic Characteristics of Maps.
- Reducing to reality
- Abstractions of reality
- Geometric transformation/projection.
Types of Maps
There are different types of maps which are classified according to various metrics. These include the scale, function and subject. According to scale, we have small scale maps (1:50000 and smaller) and large scale (1:10000 and larger). The common type of small-scale maps are wall maps and atlas maps. The common type of large-scale maps include cadastral maps, topographical maps, engineering maps and bathymetric maps. Examples of functional maps include physical maps and cultural maps. Examples of maps classified due to subject include reference maps, thematic maps and dynamic maps.
Process of Developing a Cartographic Map
Experts from the GIS Homework Help will aid you come up with a good cartographic map. Among the steps to follow include:
- Determine the meaning and purpose of the map- This process will include interpreting the users’ requirements as well as determining what needs to be communicated. It also entail a determination of how best to facilitate communication of ideas.
- Choose the scale of the map – This entail choosing a reasonable map scale ratio which plays a critical role in determining the amount of details which can be shown in a map. It is one of the most important decisions for the cartographers.
- Determine the map format to apply- This represents the coming up with important map metrics. These may include the kind of map, the printing limitations, how the map will be displayed as well as economics of reproduction of the map product.
- Abstract and generalize data- This step help the cartographers prepare data for purposes of preparing it for placement on the map. This help in the determination of the information which is considered to be potentially meaningful for the map. Moreover, this step help cartographers select and organize information considered necessary for purposes of communicating the concept to the map reader.
- Abstraction and generalization- There are various methods which can be adopted by a cartographer in abstraction and generalization. These include selection, classification, simplification and symbolization.
- Design the map layout – Designing the map layout forms the last part of the cartographic process and communication. In this stage, the cartographer carefully consider the design and placement of the 12 map elements. Moreover, this step gives the cartographers an opportunity to consider the scale, shape and size of the primary object being mapped.
Factors Influencing Map Design
There are various factors which influence map design. These include the goal of the map, the user characteristic, use environment and the data characteristics.
- Goals of the map – This represents the purpose of the map. The purpose upon which a map is developed varies greatly ranging from orientation and navigation, education, monitoring and maintenance, planning and construction among others. The goal of a map to a large extent influences the kind of symbols which should be adopted.
- User Characteristics– The characteristics of the users also play an important role in dictating the design of a map. Among important traits factored in include the age of the users, the map reading experience, knowledge of the area, the theme as well as the expertise of the user.
- Map Use Environment– the environment upon which the map will be used is another important consideration. Materials used to design field maps should be resistant to tear and wear. Map size is another important consideration since this platform allows maps to be displayed in small touch screens.
When coming up with a cartographic map, it is considered critical to always consider the design of the layout. The primary elements of the layout design include:
- Title – short be short but with capabilities of grabbing attention of the reader. It should summarize the purpose of the map.
- Legend – It usually contains the color and symbol key look-up details for the elements on a map.
- Map – represents the large graphic which shows off data in coordinate space.
- North Arrow – it gives the map orientation of the map.
- Scale – Used to give the scale upon which a given map is drawn.
- Authorship – this represents the agency or individual who designed the map mainly for public acknowledgement.
- Date – it represents the date on which the layout was printed. Should be placed in inconspicuous location since it is part of metadata.
- Border – it groups all the layout elements together by a mean of single graphic line which surrounds all the elements.
The secondary map elements include:
- Neat lines.
- Grids and Graticules
- Data Citations
- Network path
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