a map that shows individual elements or aspects of nature, such as climate and soil, either singly or as components of a geosystem. Specific types of physicogeographical maps include geomorphological, climate, soil, oceanographic, geobotanical, and landscape maps. Depending on their scope and method of presentation, maps may be classified as analytical (showing the various elements of climate, for example) or synthetic (such as those showing types of climate). Maps are also classified according to use: general-purpose climate maps, for example, are used as texts or for general reference, while other types, such as agroclimatic maps, have practical applications.
Cartography today focuses on the development of specialized types of physicogeographical maps, such as are required for the rational utilization and protection of the natural environment—namely, maps that assess and forecast the availability of natural resources. In preparing physicogeographical maps, cartographers make use of field observation and special photographic techniques, such as those used in landscape photography, as well as aerial and space photography. The entire range of cartographic methods is utilized to present a comprehensive picture of the form, dimensions, qualitative and quantitative characteristics, and dynamics of natural objects.
REFERENCESZarutskaia, I. P. Sostavlenie spetsial’nykh kart prirody. Moscow, 1966.
Isachenko, A. G. Fiziko-geograficheskoe kartirovanie, parts 1–3. Leningrad, 1958–61.
Fiziko-geograficheskii atlas mira. Moscow, 1964.