Different kinds of Maps

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Thematic Maps

There are many kinds of maps. Some show information on one main thing like mountains or cities or rainfall. Because these maps have a theme they are known as thematic maps.

People like to use thematic maps if they want to search for information on something in particular. For example, a fisherman might want to find information on the best places to go lake fishing or somebody studying rainfall might want to see which places in Ireland were wettest.

The game below shows a thematic map which can be used to help remember the different flags and locations of countries in the European Union. Drag and drop the flags onto the correct countries to finish the game.


European Union Map Game

European Union Map Game

Aerial Photographs

When people want a very good view of something they go up very high and look down on it. Sometimes aircraft take aerial photographs of a place like a city.

These photographs are used to make accurate maps.

Google Maps

Can you imagine taking pictures from even higher up than an aircraft can go? Nowadays satellites in space can take pictures of the Earth. Some satellites are close enough to the Earth to be able to take very close up pictures.  Google Maps lets you view a satellite photo and a roadmap of a location on the same screen.

Example of Google Maps

The picture below is a Google Map of the Galway City Area.
On the top right hand side of the map you will see three buttons. These buttons are marked, Map, Satellite and Hybrid.

.......................................................Google Maps   Galway City

Do you think the above picture is a Map, a Satellite Photo or a mixture of both called a Hybrid?

  • Click the 'Map' button if you want to see a map of the area.
  • Choose 'Satellite' to see a Satellite photo.
  • Click on 'Hybrid' to see a satellite photo with the map superimposed on it.

The following are some examples of what you can expect to see when you use Google Maps.

Click here to view a Google Map of Dublin City.

Click here for a Google Map of the centre of Cork city.

Click here to view a Google Map of Waterford City .

Google Earth

Google Earth is a fascinating satellite based product which allows you to look at the Earth from Space in amazing detail.

If your computer has Google Earth installed on it you should be able to click on the icon and bring up Google Earth.