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Maps in the Study of Geography

            Maps are very important sources of geographical knowledge. Today without map use, it is impossible to acquire and understand the knowledge of events such as; the earth sciences; the place of our state in relation to others and, the socio-economic processes taking place or having taken place at a particular location. The aim of this assignment is to describe the various types of maps and also state their significance in the study of Geography, showing why it is important that we learn and study them in Geography.
             There are several types of maps and though it is not an easy task to list them all, there are major ones that stand out in the study of Geography. To begin, Demiralp (2007; 93) defines maps as imply being "language and communication tools in transferring knowledge of an area in the science of geography which studies space." They are tools that transfer or represent knowledge about a given land or area or space, helping us to better understand that area. For example a Map of a River will help us understand how large the river is, how far it extends, where it comes from, headed, what its tributaries are and even what falls it has, if any. All this is knowledge which would otherwise be harder to achieve if there wasn't a map for the river.
             The first type of Map is the Topographical Map. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of a topographical map is the portrayal of the shape and elevation of terrains by contour lines. Topographic Maps will show the location and shape of mountains, valleys, and plains; the networks of streams and rivers; and the principal works of man. These help students of Geography to better understand how elements such as Longitude and Latitude relate with one another. One of the people that use this type of Map are the Hikers who rely on these maps especially in areas where they are no roads or signs to guide them. By studying these maps they will be able to map out a trail that they will use because they will better understand how the land is curved and the shapes as well as the how high or steep the mountains they might encounter are.

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