Whether your map is paper or digital, mastering the basics of reading it are vital to finding your way around and understanding how the world works. Maps are fantastic visual tools that can help us communicate spatial concepts and patterns, tell stories, and analyze data. However, there are some challenges to translating Earth onto a flat surface without adding bias or inaccuracies. Fortunately, cartographers have the training to minimize these issues.
Maps have been a part of the National Geographic Society since the beginning. Gilbert H. Grosvenor, the first full-time editor of National Geographic, described maps as “the greatest of all epic poems. It's lines and colors show the realization of great dreams.” Learn more about the basics of reading a map, creating a map, and choosing the best map projection.