NCERT Notes: Maps [Geography Notes For UPSC]


Map is a representation or a drawing of the earth’s surface or a part of it on a flat surface according to a scale.


Types of Maps

Physical or Relief Maps

  • Maps showing natural features of the earth such as mountains, plateaus, plains, rivers, oceans etc. are known as physical or relief maps.

Political Maps

  • Maps showing cities, towns, villages, states, and different countries of the world with their boundaries are called political maps.

Thematic Maps

  • Maps that focus on specific information like road maps, rainfall maps, distribution of forests, industries etc. are called thematic maps.


  • It is a drawing mainly based on memory and spot observation and not to scale


  • It is a drawing of a small area on a large scale.
  • A large-scale map gives a lot of information.


Components of Maps


  • Maps are drawings, which reduce the entire world or a part of it to fit on a sheet of paper. A scale is being used to do this accurately. A scale is a ratio between the actual distance on the ground and the distance shown on the map


  • There are 4 cardinal points namely-North, South, East, West.
  • Other four intermediate directions are north-east (NE), southeast(SE), south-west (SW) and north-west (NW)
  • It is possible to locate any place more accurately with the help of these intermediate directions.


  • Different features such as buildings, roads, bridges, trees, railway lines or a well. So, they are shown by using certain letters, shades, colours, pictures and lines on the maps. These symbols give a lot of information in a limited space.
  • With the use of these symbols, maps can be drawn easily and are simple to read.

Also read-

Disaster Risk Index


Geographical Indications

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