Maps & Atlases

Canals are artificial waterways made to move water and watercraft. They often extend or connect natural water resources like rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans and can be found in many different parts of the world.

Maps & Atlases
image by Chris Lawton

Humans have long recognised the importance and value of maps to their lives. Indeed, the history of mapping can be traced to more than 5,000 years ago and in the French caves of Lascaux, there’s even a map of stars that’s believed to be 16,500 years old.

Most commonly used to depict geography, maps can also show distributions of things over Earth, such as temperature, weather, and disease. For example, in the mid-19th century, there was a cholera outbreak in London, and a man named John Snow made a map of cholera cases and was able to determine a specific public water pump that was to blame.

Using modern satellite systems and surveying techniques, contemporary cartographers are now able to measure and map with very high precision and consistency. As a result, maps have become absolutely critical to most fields of human endeavour.