map is a
symbolic depiction emphasizing relationships between elements of some space, such as
regions, or themes.
Many maps are static, fixed to
paper or some other durable medium, while others are dynamic or interactive. Although most commonly used to depict
geography, maps may represent any
space, real or fictional, without regard to
scale, such as in
DNA mapping, or computer network topology mapping. The space being mapped may be two dimensional, such as the surface of the earth, three dimensional, such as the interior of the earth, or even more abstract spaces of any dimension, such as arise in modeling phenomena having many independent variables.
Although the earliest maps known are of the heavens, geographic maps of territory have a very long tradition and exist from ancient times. The word "map" comes from the medieval Latin Mappa mundi, wherein mappa meant napkin or cloth and mundi the world. Thus, "map" became a shortened term referring to a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world. (
Emery Molyneux was an
Elizabethan maker of
globes, mathematical instruments and
ordnance. His terrestrial and
celestial globes, first published in 1592, were the first to be made in
England and the first to be made by an Englishman.
Molyneux was known as a
mathematician and maker of mathematical instruments such as
John Davis probably introduced Molyneux to his patron who largely financed the construction of the globes. When completed, the globes were presented to
Elizabeth I. Larger globes were acquired by royalty, noblemen and academic institutions, while smaller ones were purchased as practical navigation aids for sailors and students. The globes were the first to be made in such a way that they were unaffected by the humidity at sea, and they came into general use on ships.