Orientation Of Maps

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Maps have become the most important thing when it comes to finding one’s way around a place that one is not familiar with. Maps have constantly evolved since ancient times when one would use a map to describe not only places and directions, but also cultures and customs, to maps that feature 3D buildings and other such items. There is no doubt that maps, and cartography in general, like anything else these days, have not been left behind by the advent of technology. Here one can read more about the traditional maps and the ways in which they used to be oriented. Map orientation may not sound so interesting but one should know that depending on the culture and the times when maps were being made, their orientation has differed and most of them were not, like today, oriented towards the north.

There are plenty of maps and directions, road maps and street maps as well as other types of maps that people use instinctively and simpleness. The map nowadays always points to the north but it didn’t used to be like that. The top of the map symbolizing the north cardinal point is a relatively recent cartographic convention and perhaps the most commonly used one.

Maps that were not oriented towards the north in the past were for instance maps being produced in Eastern countries and which featured various orientations. For instance, old maps of Edo may feature the Japanese imperial palace at the top of the map but others may place it in the centre of the map. As one can see, cultural values become embodied in the actual map. The most popular T and O maps from the Middle Ages featured east on top and Jerusalem on the center and maps of cities bordering the sea are most commonly featuring the sea at the top of the map.