Why are Maps Important

Maps are vital as they help us organize information and help us figure out where we are and where we want to go. Additionally, maps depict the real world on a much smaller scale. This, in turn, helps you travel from one location to another. For example, a street map will show you roads, their names, and various locations along those roads. In addition to the informative geographical information that maps provide, they can also teach us societal knowledge. The article “31 Maps Mocking National Stereotypes Around the World” was highly comical and borderline offensive. Nevertheless, it is a clear representation of how maps can unquestionably show societal stereotypes. In this case, we can see a multitude of maps and specific examples of continents and what Americans think about the countries within them. One example that stood out was “Asia accournding to the USA” and how it showed themes like “commies” referring to communist Russia and Japan being called “sushi ninjas.” These maps show a clear sense of prejudice ignorant views/attitudes we might have towards other counties. Nonetheless, the maps were trying to show us a solid visual representation of our own biases and what more transparent than a map.
Additionally, another reading I thought was interesting was “Reliance on Google Maps Street View Could Create an Urban Digital Divide.” It stated the vital role maps could play in figuring out U.S. socio-economic demographics by using features outside people’s houses. Furthermore, in a more considerable significance is the increasing relevance of policymaking. Maps are one component that can help regarding the overall institutional issues worldwide like economic disparity, waste consumption, or air pollution. A quote that stood out to me “What is not visible doesn’t exist, and if it doesn’t exist, we don’t have to take care of it” maps can provide those solutions to make the issue apparent and visible.


  1. Excellent observations! Maps can uncover so many things that we never knew existed. I wrote an article about this back in 2014 – here: https://rhizome.org/editorial/2014/mar/26/locative-media-revisited/

  2. Make sure you make your own Google My Map.. follow the tutorial linked here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLhyr5MGi2g

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