4 MAP READING BASICS effectively is like only being able to read text at a third-grade level. We might be able to understand the basics, but much is lost to us.First, although we all “know” what a map is, it is helpful to define the term as cartographers use it. Cartographers are mapmakers, and cartography is the art, sci-ence, and technology of making maps and also their study as historical documents and/or works of art. But what isa map? J. H. Andrews discovered 321 definitions of “map” for his article “What Was a Map?” (1999). The most common definition is: A graphic representation of all or a part of the earth or other body, drawn to scale upon a plane. However, this definition limits us because some objects we recognize as maps, such as sketch maps, are not drawn to scale, nor are some maps of preliterate peoples. Some “maps” are annotated photos or imagery, not drawn graphics. Some maps on a computer monitor or cell phone are animated. Thus, for our purposes we will define maps as spatial representations of information.