Types of ‘Maps’


The future map

“Choose a subject, and surround it with the factors that affect its future. This kind of map encourages you to consider a wide range of data, such as taxes, consumer tastes, interest rates, change in color preference and lower manufacturing costs. Many trend-watch companies use idea maps to generate maps of hundreds of publications and piece them together.”

The team map

Idea maps are great tools to use in group brainstorming sessions to capture everyone’s ideas. By displaying them on a screen with an LCD projector, everyone can see all of the ideas the group has generated, which provides stepping-stones to even more ideas. And that creates positive momentum that results in more productive brainstorming sessions, Wujec says.

The here-to-there map

First, draw a map with two locations – here and there, where “here” represents your current situation and “there” your desired future state. Next, surround the word “there” with the factors that will characterize the ideal outcome. Finally, work out the path from here to there. What steps do you need to take to realize your ideal outcome?

The force field map

Put your idea in the center of a map. On one side, list the factors which support your idea, and describe the best-case scenario. On the other side of the map, list the factors which resist your idea, and outline the worst-case scenario. Finally, look at the map and brainstorm ways in which you can maximize the supporting factors and minimize the resisting factors.

The context map

“To better consider several points of view, create a map which includes you, your client and the two levels of management above and below you. A mind map works fine for this type of diagram, with your idea as the central topic, you and your client on either side of it horizontally, and upper and lower management positioned above and below your idea, respectively. “This map should help you to find new relationships, connections and common factors. It should also help you identify the means of selling your idea to the people who matter, both inside and outside your company.”

The idea grid map

This type of map consists of a 2×2 grid of boxes, where the horizontal axis represents the two extremes of one set of factors (for example, bad and good), while the vertical axis represents the range of another set of factors (such as active and passive). You can then plot ideas, emotions and other information in the proper quadrants of the idea grid. This will help you to see which ideas are most valuable and which are likely to face resistance or challenges. “A grid can show new contexts and identify gaps in the market, predict the demand for new market ideas, assist in strategic planning and help you distance your firm from competitors,” Wujec explains.


Political Maps

The type of map most genealogists are initially familiar with is a typical political map that’s present in most commercial atlases. Political maps generally show locations of city, towns, and counties, and might have some physical features such as rivers, streams, and lakes. The characteristic of a excellent political map is an simple to use, detailed index. Political maps may be crucial to a researcher’s mission to find the counties which include the records of an significant ancestral town.

Ward Maps

Ward maps can be helpful to researchers who are trying to locate census records for years that were not indexed that relate to large cities. A ward map generally shows boundaries of each ward in a given city in a given year. For example, let’s say that the researcher is trying to find an ancestor who lived in 1870 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The researcher should start by looking at the city’s 1870 directory and recording the ancestor’s street address. Then the researcher can locate that address on the 1870 Indianapolis ward map.

Often, city directories include ward maps in the back or front, as supplemental pages. Public libraries often have their own town or city’s directories on file. They may also have directories for surrounding cities and towns. Larger collections of directories can also be found in state libraries, often on microfilm. Cartographic collections in certain institutions may also include ward maps.

Fire Insurance Maps

Fire insurance maps can provide unusual and interesting information for researchers. For example, in cases where dwellings are re-numbered, a fire insurance map may be able to help the researcher pinpoint the old dwelling in question’s new number. Such maps can also be used to determine which institutions in the area an ancestor may have visited and spent time in. Some possible institutions to consider are: Schools, Churches, Grocery Stores, Department Stores, Lumber Yards, Laundry Facilities.

Atlases and Road Maps

Atlases and road maps tend to be very basic, but they can still yield some useful information. For example, they can show what present-day were like in a given time period. They can also show proximity between two towns that the researcher may be interested in. So, the researcher should begin by looking in a road atlas for the name of the town where the ancestor lived. If the town name can’t be found, the researcher can consult a historical map for more information. Online websites may also yield useful information about the location of a given ancestor at a certain point in history.

Topographical Maps

The nice thing about relief or topographical maps is that they show the true lay of the land, so to speak. That includes streams, valleys, rivers, mountains, hills, and more. They also display important landmarks and roads. Topographical maps can often indicate how people migrated and settled the land. They can also provide information about ancestral properties, buildings, local cemeteries, and other important buildings and features.

Surveys, Plat Books, and Land Maps

The government generally maintains property and land records carefully, since those records indicate changes in ownership of a given piece of land. So, those records can provide vital historical and ancestral information. Plat books and land maps generally list a property’s owner, as well as surrounding neighbors and other useful items. They can be obtained from town halls, county courthouses, historical societies, and other repositories.

City Directory Maps

Genealogists tend to use city directories to fill in information that would ordinarily be found in census records that are missing. However, many of those directories also include maps, which can show the topography of the region, including rivers, roads, and railroads. Also, roads and streets that are no longer in existence today or have changed names can often be identified by comparing city directory maps.

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