A qualitative map expresses the absence or presence of various features of land, such as vegetation. The opposite of a qualitative map is a quantitative map, which expresses information with numbers, such as elevation in feet.
Qualitative and quantitative data are used in various types of maps, including navigational or reference maps. Navigational maps assist in finding the way when traveling and illustrate where specific places are located. Common road maps are a type of navigational map.
Thematic maps communicate broad information about geographic areas, including the type of soils or the climate in various areas. In thematic maps, ranges of values are typically represented with colors to illustrate differences between areas.