Topographic MapsThe name of this type of map is often shortened to ‘Topo Maps’. Topo maps render a three dimensional world in two dimensions. They include contour lines to show the shape and elevation of the land. Elevation lines that are far apart represent flat terrain whereas lines that are close together signify steep terrain.

These maps show the works of nature such as mountains, valleys, lakes, rivers and vegetation. They will show man made features like roads and boundaries as well as showing major buildings.

Hikers especially use these kinds of maps when there are no roads or signs in the area that is being travelled. Engineers use this map type when planning for roads and man made structures.

Road MapsRoad maps were first created by an American and France company to encourage more travel so that people would consume more oil and tires. These maps were given free until 1973 and the oil crisis.

The primary purpose of a road map is to aid travellers in moving from one location to another. Some maps will only show the highways and major roads whilst others will show a more detailed layout of roads, small and large. Some will specify distances between different points on the map and others will show cultural features like colleges, universities and museums.

Frequently road maps are a great choice for the traveller who is going to be covering a large distance within a region. Not only will they assist the traveller in reaching the destination safely but in the quickest way possible.

Street MapsThis kind of map is of a district, town or entire city that shows the position and name of roads and streets. Street maps are a good way to successfully navigate a city, town or community. These maps are available in a printed format, on the internet or via mobile phones with a GPRS connection.

Environmental MapsThese maps include those that look at human activity in metropolitan and urban areas as well as the environment that we live in. There are numerous maps that show physiographic features such as woodland, forests, grassland and ocean floors that can be included in this large grouping. Maps that show climate, weather and wind types called Meteorological maps are also environmental maps.

There are many other types of maps available. Dependant on what you require a map for there is probably one somewhere that will detail exactly what it is you need. Some of the other kinds of maps that you may come across are:

  • Biogeographic
  • MapsGeologic
  • MapsHistoric
  • MapsNautical
  • MapsOrdnance
  • Survey Maps
  • Orthophoto Maps
  • Planimetric Maps
  • Political Maps