Difference Between Political Map and Physical Map

Political Map vs Physical Map

Maps are representation of natural features and landforms on a piece of paper with greatly scaled down ratios. To meet the requirements of the people, different types of maps are available in the market. Maps are important as they can be used to locate a place in an unknown place and also to get directions to reach a particular point. Two important types of maps are political and physical maps. While a physical map is designed to show geographic features of an area such as mountains and rivers, a political map is one that depicts the cities, roads and borders of different countries. There are other differences also that will be made clear in this article.

Political maps show borders, cities, states, capitals, populations, the whole world, or just continents. These maps are great companions while they are taking a trip of another country and are not aware of the routes. The scale of the map is given in the legend and can be used to locate a route to a particular place of interest in any country with the help of the political map of that country. Political maps are flat as there is no need to mention or depict mountains or water bodies’ height or depth.

On the other hand, physical maps are a pictorial representation of the relief features of a particular area and more useful for students of geography. These maps contain all the landforms such as mountains, plateaus, valleys, water bodies such as rivers, streams, oceans and much, much more. The maps are useful for pilots when they are flying over valleys and mountains and also for mountaineers to get to the right direction if they suddenly feel they have lost way.

Physical maps show how a place looks like when viewed from a height and thus contains only physical features while a political map shows how the world has been separated by borders marking different countries. Physical maps make use of different colors to depict different relief features such as mountains in brown, water bodies in blue and forests in green. Political maps are. On the other hand, black and white in color as they just need to mark different boundaries. Political maps are important for charity organizations when doling out money or food i\during natural calamities as they can distribute things to the needs based upon demarcations of a political map.

In brief:

• Maps are important pieces of information to understand about a country or a larger place.

• Physical maps are representation of geographical features such as mountains, water bodies, deserts, and forests in a place whereas political maps help know the borders, states, cities, roads and population of a place.

• Political maps are black and white in color and are flat while physical maps make use of different colors to represent different physical features and are sometimes 3 dimensional.