What Are Some Different Types of United States Maps?


Quick Answer

Different types of United States maps include political, physical, resource, road and topographic maps. All maps generally offer scales that show estimated distances, as well as a compass rose that shows the four cardinal directions. Climate maps and water resource maps of the United States are also available.

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Full Answer

Political maps are not indicative of any type of political activity or party, but rather show the clear lines of boundary between each state, as well as the name and capital of each state, which is typically marked with a star. Some political maps also show major cities. The national boundary between the United States and Canada is also indicated on a political map.

Physical maps show the mountains, rivers and lakes of the United States. Elevation differences, known as reliefs, are shown in varying earth tones of brown and orange, while green is reserved for lower lands, and bodies of water are shown in blue. Elevation keys are offered to show the height of each elevation color. Topographic maps are used in relation to physical maps and feature contour lines to explain the shape and elevation of an area, with close lines showing steep land and spaced lines showing flat land.

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