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Sep '07

Learn how to read maps quickly and accurately.

The mention of a map brings to mind a picture of the atlas or a huge piece of paper which has to be first unfolded and then held with the proper side up before you can make head or tail of it. But these are fast becoming things of the past. Gone are the days when you squinted at a map this way and that before you could pinpoint your exact location. Technology is fast replacing traditional cartographers. Nowadays, all you need is a GPS in your car and that will let you know exactly how to move from point A to B.

But have you ever wondered how and when the first maps might have originated? Maps are believed to have existed even in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, China and India. The art of making maps is called cartography and a person who specializes in this is a cartographer. The current system we follow is believed to have originated in Greece, many centuries ago. Besides helping us in travel, maps often accompany statistical data such as density of population. Weather maps are another significant innovation. The GPS gives us digital maps. You can also find various interactive maps online which can give you a host of information, from the weather to the population to the airport to the area measures of the region.

It is also important that one develop the ability to read a map quickly and accurately. Since maps are two-dimensional, it takes a little time to get familiar with navigating. Once you figure out what the symbols are and how the latitudes and longitudes are, its pretty easy. This skill is particularly handy when one is out camping or lost in a foreign place! The map will have a scale and this will help you calculate the distance or size in actuality. In addition to these, maps make use of colors and symbols to indicate different types of roads, water bodies, hills and mountains, hospitals and libraries and places of worship.

To learn more about maps, check out Outline World Map . com