Riddle #10 – What Am I?

I have cities,

but no houses.

I have mountains,

but no trees.

I have water,

but no fish.

What am I?


And while you’re here, check out these 10 facts about Maps…

Definition: A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, or themes.

Oldest Known Map: The oldest known maps are preserved on Babylonian clay tablets from about 2300 B.C. The ancient Greeks, particularly Ptolemy, advanced the study of geography and made significant contributions to map-making.

Scale: Maps have scales, which represent the relationship between a certain distance on the map and the actual distance on the ground. Large-scale maps show smaller areas in more detail, while small-scale maps show larger areas with less detail.

Projection: Because the Earth is spherical, every flat map distorts the surface in some way. Different types of projections serve various purposes, with some minimizing distortion in certain areas, like size or shape. The Mercator projection, for example, is great for navigation but distorts sizes at the poles.

Types of Maps: There are various types of maps such as topographical, political, climate, and thematic maps, each designed to convey specific information.

Mappa Mundi: During the medieval period in Europe, a popular form of map was the “Mappa Mundi” which often depicted the world with Jerusalem at the center and East at the top.

Map Symbols: Maps use symbols, colors, and labels to represent features like rivers, roads, mountains, and cities. There’s usually a key or legend to help users interpret these symbols.

Digital Mapping: With advances in technology, digital maps have become prevalent. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow us to capture, store, analyze, and display geographic data in digital formats. Google Maps and GPS devices are popular examples of this technology in action.

Toponymy: The study of place names is called toponymy. Understanding the origin and meaning of place names can provide insights into the history and culture of an area.

Mental Maps: We all carry ‘mental maps’ in our minds. These are our own personal perceptions of the geography around us. They’re based on our experiences and can be very different from actual geographic facts. For instance, places we frequently visit might seem closer together in our minds than they are in reality.

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