The Important Role That Colors Play In Maps

Maps are one of the primary tools for navigation and one of the most common items that people see today. Maps have existed for over hundreds or even thousands of years now and have been an important part of both ancient and modern civilization.

Even up to this day maps are still widely used. The evolution of these maps through the constant developments in technology had only seemed to increase the accuracy of these maps. However, one should know that no map is ever completely accurate but that doesn’t take away their usefulness.

Whenever you need to travel to a certain location that you have never been to before, you can trust your map to guide you to your destination.

When it comes to maps, color plays an important role. A cartographer or map illustrator would make use of many different colors to bring attention or represent certain features of the map illustration. The consistency of color used in maps would depend on the quality of the map itself. A good map will always have consistent colors.

Most colors that are used on the map would always have a connection with what they are representing. For example, blue is most often used in bodies of water such as lakes, rivers or even an ocean.

The difference between political maps and physical maps is that political maps show the landscape together with human improvements or modifications. In order to better represent countries or the divisions inside a particular country, a map would have to use four or more colors.

But when it comes to a more dramatic use of colors, then that would be more on physical maps. A physical map illustration would make use different shades or a palette of colors to show elevation as with the case with green. Dark green would represent the lower level of the land and the lighter shades of green would represent the elevation. Also, sometimes, the colors used have no actually relationship with what is being represented. For example, if a desert is represented with green it doesn’t mean that the desert is lush with trees.

Colors are important to maps no matter what type it is. It doesn’t matter if it is an illustrated map or a road map, colors help define the map better and they also help with understanding the place being represented in the map better that is why amap illustrator or cartographer should make effective use of them.


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