A map is a scaled and flattened visual representation of a larger geographical area showing topographic details, buildings, and roads. Its main job is to show where things are located in relationship to one another. You're probably familiar with digital maps used by GPS devices and phones for navigation. Without these maps we'd be lost just as our ancestors would have been without their hand-drawn directions.
Maps can also be used in presentations to illustrate or educate. These maps are often less realistic and more symbolic of the areas they represent. For example, imagine trying to illustrate the countries where your company has resellers or the cities your airline has routes to. Maps are also commonly used to outline territories in sales and marketing. These maps are called sales territory maps.
Maps can also illustrate where shops are located in a mall, how subway lines crisscross a city, what hiking trails are available in a park, and the layout for a historic battle.
A globe is probably the most accurate map we have of the Earth. Most maps used in presentations however have to be flattened to be useful. These are created using different projections of the whole or part of the Earth's sphere.
Mercator is the map of the globe most people are familiar with. It is named after its creator, a Flemish cartographer named Gerardus Mercator. It's a cylindrical map projection that creates a rectangle shaped version of Earth but distorts the size of the continents. Objects closer to the poles appear larger than objects near the Equator.
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