Maps depict the reality, albeit on a scale and with different types of projections, which help us to find the desired data and get an overview of different geographical features like soil type, mountains, or land use.
Many maps show us an orthogonal view of the world, where each point in the map appears as if you are looking straight down to the surface of the earth. However, if a map needs to deal with spatial relations, a non-orthogonal view would be a proffered choice over the orthogonal one. With a map that offers a non-orthogonal view, you can use the perspective or cross-section views better. Most maps use the symbols of map point, line and area as well as text to help the user know about the representations of various geographic phenomena.
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If you are now wondering how maps can depict the earth on a flat surface without distorting the features of our round shaped earth, the answer lies in the projection techniques. A good example will be the Robinson projection that shows the entire world at a glance.
Most maps translate the three-dimensional real surface of the earth into a two-dimensional picture. Though such projections cannot be achieved with zero distortion, the distortions can be minimized if certain characteristics are given priority over the rest. For example, a map showing the entire areas of Asia will have visually apparent distortions due to the large area that’s covered. However, a map to show a small region or town will have distortions that a user can barely measure.
Map projections usually consider scales, relative local angles and directions of every point and use “equal-area” projections, which in turn may cause distortion in shape of a large area while its small features are shaped correctly.
Though traditional paper maps give us a different perspective of seeing the world at a glance, noting can beat the digital maps. With digital and flash maps, map making has got an interactive makeover that makes it easier for the users to find their way through route maps, know about the floor plans of a real estate firm, find details of courses and university study centers via campus maps, know about special travel deals from a tourism website– thanks to pop up or mouse over boxes that show additional information whenever you click the icons or take your mouse tip to the points on the map that interest you.
So, enjoy seeing your world and your neighborhood from a different angle and with varying effects with these digital maps that are surely a notch better than their traditional counterparts.
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iMapBuilder HTML5 is a desktop mapping software. The mapping software builds interactive maps in HTML5 format for cross platform support. Interactive maps created in HTML5 format can be shared and viewed on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Andriod phones, tablets and slate devices. You can use iMapBuilder to create crowd sourcing maps, shop locators and generate choropleth maps etc. Watch these online video tutorials to learn how to create interactive maps quickly.
Download iMap-HTML5 Map Editor or try the Web-based Interactive Map Creator.