NCERT Notes: Maps – Types, Components [Geography Notes For UPSC] l



Map is a representation or a drawing of the earth’s surface or a part of it on a flat surface according to a scale.

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Types of Maps

Physical or Relief Maps

  • Maps showing natural features of the earth such as mountains, plateaus, plains, rivers, oceans etc. are known as physical or relief maps.

Political Maps

  • Maps showing cities, towns, villages, states, and different countries of the world with their boundaries are called political maps.

Thematic Maps

  • Maps that focus on specific information like road maps, rainfall maps, distribution of forests, industries etc. are called thematic maps.


  • It is a drawing mainly based on memory and spot observation and not to scale


  • It is a drawing of a small area on a large scale.
  • A large-scale map gives a lot of information.


Components of Maps


  • Maps are drawings, which reduce the entire world or a part of it to fit on a sheet of paper. A scale is being used to do this accurately. A scale is a ratio between the actual distance on the ground and the distance shown on the map


  • There are 4 cardinal points namely-North, South, East, West.
  • Other four intermediate directions are north-east (NE), southeast(SE), south-west (SW) and north-west (NW)
  • It is possible to locate any place more accurately with the help of these intermediate directions.


  • Different features such as buildings, roads, bridges, trees, railway lines or well. So, they are shown by using certain letters, shades, colours, pictures and lines on the maps. These symbols give a lot of information in a limited space.
  • With the use of these symbols, maps can be drawn easily and are simple to read.

Maps (UPSC Notes):- Download PDF Here

Also read-

Disaster Risk Index


Geographical Indications

UPSC Books List PDF:-Download PDF Here

UPSC Preparation


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