This is a very big world and it is very easy to get lost in it if you do not have precise directions on where you are going. Thousands of years ago people would look at the stars to guide them to their destination. They had no idea how long it would take if they had never been there before and they had no clue as to whether or not there would be certain landmarks along the way.
Cartographers changed the world for people everywhere by developing maps. The map is one of the most used tools humans use every single day of their lives. It may be the simple road map or it may be a complex map of the terrain and geography. This is a subject that everyone should know something about and in this article you can find out some of the basic information that you may need.
What are maps?
Maps are a representation of a certain space. The map is used to find geographical information about a certain area. While there are many different types of maps, the most heavily used map is the one marked with streets and highways. People will use this type of map to find out how to get to a certain destination. The map has changed considerably over the years. Whereas it was once mainly topographical and showed just large landmarks, the modern map is digital and spoken through a GPS unit.
When did maps become electronic?
For the way that most people think of electronic maps, it would be with the invention of mapping websites such as Google Maps or Mapquest. These websites allowed people to come in, type in their destination, and provided them with exact turn-by-turn directions in order to get to where they needed to go. At first the directions were entirely reliant upon paper maps that have been inputted into the systems but these changed as satellite images and details became more readily available. In fact you could actually say that it was satellite images and satellites that were the first electronic maps. They helped the military extraordinarily by showing them the layout of the land.
How often are maps updated?
Unfortunately there is not a set answer for this question. Obviously a paper map is updated far less than a digital map or one found on the internet. A paper map may be updated every one or two years as new subdivisions are added and new streets are formed. This is especially true of a local city map. The map you find on the internet through Google, Mapquest or any other mapping site usually take less time but it can still be up to a year or more before the information is put in.
The problem is that all addresses have to be confirmed and verified. This takes time. GPS maps are updated usually the most frequently because there are more users inputting data that helps the GPS provider increase their coverage areas. If you are trying to find a location and cannot locate it on a map, you may want to find out the closest town and call the City Hall for directions. They can at least point you in the right way. You may even have to stop at a gas station for directions.
What is Google Earth?
Google Earth is a brand new feature provided by Google. It is an entirely new way of viewing a destination or a location. It gives you the versatility and freedom of actually seeing real time data on locations that you type in. You can explore the entire world with Google Earth. It is the ultimate in maps because you can see things as they happen and even visit places that would be impossible typically. To get Google Earth all you have to do is download the software from the Google website and you will be off exploring the world.