A conventionalized representation, usually on a plane surface, of spatial phenomena on a plane surface. Maps are selective and prepared to show various quantitative and qualitative facts, including boundaries, physical features, patterns, and distribution. Maps may also represent such comparative data as climates, birth and death rates, amount of income and population density.

Tactile versions to be read by touch, tactile graphics, can be produced using several methods from low-tech (using a tailor’s notched tracing wheel on the reverse side of heavy paper) to high-tech (using a computer and the Tiger embosser for 3-D graphics).

Print maps frequently contain massive amounts of varied data – populations, geological and geographic features, political boundaries, climate, etc. When such complexity occurs, the tactile edition will likely contain several basic renditions, each focused on a particular kind of information. For example, one rendition may show the map of the United States with just state outlines and major population centers while another shows geographic and geologic information, while a final one shows climate data.

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