Every map tells a story; it reflects the individual mapmaker's particular perception of the world. Maps are a graphic representation of how we understand the condition of the human world based on concepts and events. They show the location of items and places and the spatial relationship between them. Specific cultural symbols and lines are often used to illustrate geographical features.
Matthew Flinders. Published by Joyce Gold, Naval Chronicle Office, 1814. Courtesy of the National Library of Australia: nla.pic-an9455829-1-v.
European mapping is based on Western concepts as they relate to geographical space. From the early 1500s to the 1800s, maps represented religious and political views of the communities that the map makers were serving as well as the scientific knowledge at the time. Artistic beauty was combined with geographical information because of the intention to sell the map or please a patron or employer.