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Map, representation on a flat surface of part or all of the earth's surface, or of another spherical body, showing each point and feature on a predetermined reduced scale and in accordance with a definite projection. Globes provide the most accurate representation of the earth, with regard to area, scale, shape, and direction. Any flat map will create some distortion. The making and study of maps is called cartography. Of the many different kinds of maps, those for general reference include physical maps (relief and natural features) and political maps (national borders, administrative divisions, cities, and towns). Thematic maps include economic maps, (industrial centers, transportation routes and so on); demographic maps (distribution of the population); geological maps (classifying and dating the surface rocks); meteorological maps (information about climatic zones, rainfall, air pressures, and temperatures); historical maps and the road maps for tourists. There are also celestial and stellar maps showing the planets, stars, and constellations. Maps used for sea and aerial navigation are called charts.

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21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Manuelito to Medical Association, American