Cartography is a practice that many people take for granted. Google has made maps a standard item in people’s lives. Cartography has been around for centuries. Maps were a way for people to make sense of their world and a tool to navigate through it. As maps evolved, they became a way for explorers to present newly discovered lands. Maps are also ways to present data to an audience – think population maps. Those who delve into the world of cartography often ask if it is an art or science. So what is it?
The word cartography comes from two pieces, “carta” and “graphie.” “Carta” is Latin in origin and means to a chart or card. “Graphie” is French for “to write, to draw.” So combined the word is the study of drawing maps.
Cartography is both an art and a science. While you can learn to draw maps, it takes art skills to craft a map perfectly. Research and knowledge of various geographical terms are critical. How should mountains, rock shelves, rivers, lakes be represented?
Map making is made easier by modern technology. Even though much mapping is completed on a computer nowadays, it still is an art form.
Cartography resources can be retrieved from many services. When help is needed there are plenty of services, tools, and companies explicitly dedicated to cartographic services.
Getting help is sometimes needed whether we are an artist, scientist, or both, sometimes another perspective is required on a project.
The world of cartography includes the making of a large variety of maps: navigation, topography, geographic or street. No matter what the map is used accuracy is essential. A map is a scaled-down version of the Earth, and as such, any small mistake is amplified immensely. But it isn’t just about that. Maps created by an artist aren’t only accurate; they show true craftsmanship.
If your business depends on using maps or needing demographic data for developing territories, contact HERE Mapping Resources for more information.