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Political and Physical Maps (A Definition)

Maps in simple terms represent a geographical area in a way that enables people to find places and/or to better understand the features of a particular destination. Two of the most common forms are political and physical maps.

Political Map

political map

Political maps are designed to show governmental boundaries of countries and states. They can also indicate the location of major cities, and they usually include significant bodies of water.

Physical Map

physical map

Physical maps often include much of the same data found on a political map, but their primary purpose is to show landforms like deserts, mountains and plains. Their topography style presents an overall better picture of the local terrain.



About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on November 17, 2015.