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Common Terms for Maps Dealers
The following terms are used by map dealers when talking about different kinds of maps:
Physical Map: A map that shows the geographic features of an area, like rivers, mountains, forests and valleys. Once physical maps were hand-drawn, and these older antique maps command premium prices from map dealers. Today, most physical maps are created using up-to-date and accurate satellite imaging.
Topographical Map: Like a physical map, a topographic map shows geographic features. However, this map focuses on elevation differences in a landscape. Sometimes called a contour map, every line on a topographic map represent a height above sea level. Therefore, in places where the ground is flat, there are no lines, while hilly areas are covered with squiggly lines. These maps are often used by engineers and architects when they need precise elevation measurements.
Political Map: These maps show the boundaries of different countries, cities, and territories. Depending on the region, some political maps stay the same for hundreds of years, while others are constantly changing as countries rise and fall. Historians are particularly interested in older political maps.
Road Map: Before the days of GPS, people depended on road maps to get them where they needed to go. As their name suggests, road maps show all the roads in an area, from interstate highways to tiny back roads.
Climate Map: A map that shows the difference in temperatures over a large area. For example, a climate map of North America would be colored to show colder regions in the north, and warmer areas to the south.
Resource Map: A map that displays a region's resources, such as large timber forests or rich veins of coal underground. These maps are often used by energy companies to help them find and develop resources in new areas.
Map dealers can be found online or by searching a phone book. Some may concentrate on certain types of maps, such as road, world, or topography maps. If you're looking for something specific but can't find information on what the person typically sells, you can give them a call and see if they have anything close to what you're interested in. For those that want to have a guide for when you're traveling and will need directions on how to reach your destinations, you will probably want to find something with an accurate layout of distance. Knowing how many miles are between two towns can be important when you're in an area you aren't familiar with. Regional maps are available in various forms. An atlas, globe, and city road maps can often be found in many retail stores. Nautical scales, cartography, topography, and antique products may be harder to find and require a specific store. Ask friends and family if they know of anyone that has a good collection of territory charts, world maps, or road maps. If you want to buy an electronic map in PDF form you can call a store or dealer and ask if they have anything that may interest you. A dealer may have a map collection that includes pictorial, street, earth, and geography maps. You can shop around to find antique versions or try and find an up to date guide that you can use as a guide when travelling. Globes, atlases, and compasses can also be found through dealers at various prices depending on their condition.