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Maps to Travel With

Summer is just around the corner. For sure many people would spend their summer vacation visiting places and having an adventure. Traveling is a lot of fun especially if you are going to a new and exciting place. Nothing can beat the exciting feeling of seeing new things and meeting new people. But just before you step off your front lawn make sure that you double check all your luggages and make sure to carry a map with you especially if you are going to a new place. Maps will help you go around the place easily.

But did you know that early maps were considered religious icons? Yes, early world maps were created for religious purposes. And since they represented the worship of God most maps during the early years were not a useful tool for travel. However, as the world modernizes so are the uses of maps. Today, modern maps show the world in ways that allowed a reader to leave home and return. Admit it, you have drawn and thrown dozens of maps away in your life – the sketch your friend drew in a table napkin to help you find the frat party; the map you used when you travel to Indonesia or the atlas that you have used in history class in high school.

All these helped you find a location or make a spatial sense of the world. Many museums today have collections of old and new maps. They see to it that they preserve the maps as they are an important part of a place’s history. Map experts spend their lives learning about maps. The knowledge that they get are based on hundreds of hours spent on carefully examining maps. This is why even a simple damage to a map that might not even be noticed by a regular reader can prove important to an expert. But map printing is not as easy as you think. The location of buildings, houses, landmarks and the like should be exact and clear. Even the color of the map should be appropriate. Woodcut, engraving and lithography are the different techniques used in producing maps.

Woodcut is a relief printing process. It is the oldest printing technique known. Early on this technique was used for printing designs on playing cards and religious prints. Engraving, on the other hand, is the oldest intaglio technique. This has been done to decorate metals for ages. And lithography uses the repelling properties of grease and water to print from polished slabs of very fine textured limestone. So the next time you use or come across a map do not just look at it and throw it away after use. Remember without it you would have never found the frat party or have reached the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia and you would have never found your way home.


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