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Mapping Space Around Us

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  • Perspective is very important for drawing a picture but it is not relevant for a map


In Geography, you have been asked to locate a particular State, a particular river, a mountain etc., on a map. In History, you might have been asked to locate a particular place where some event had occured long back. You have traced routes of rivers, roads, railwaylines, traders and many others. 
Look at the map of a house whose picture is given alongside fig. 

When we draw a picture, we attempt to represent reality as it is seen with all its details, whereas, a map depicts only the location of an object, in relation to other objects. Secondly, different persons can give descriptions of pictures completely different from one another, depending upon the position from which they are looking at the house. But, this is not true in the case of a map. The map of the house remains the same irrespective of the position of the observer. In other words, perspective is very important for drawing a picture but it is not relevant for a map.
For instance , look at the map of India alongside the map of Delhi. 
when the maps are drawn of same size, scales and the distances in the two maps will vary. That is 1 cm of space in the map of Delhi will represent smaller distances as compared to the distances in the map of India.   
The larger the place and smaller the size of the map drawn, the greater is the distance represented by 1 cm. 
Thus, we can summarise that: 
1. A map depicts the location of a particular object/place in relation to other objects/places. 
2. Symbols are used to depict the different objects/places. 
3. There is no reference or perspective in map, i.e., objects that are closer to the observer are shown to be of the same size as those that are farther away. For example,  look at the following illustration fig.

4. Maps use a scale which is fixed for a particular map. It reduces the real distances proportionately to distances on the paper. | Mapping space around us

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