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“map” – Word of the Day

Contributed by Stan (thanks!):

Your word for today is: map

map, n.1
Pronunciation: Brit. /map/, U.S. /mæp/
Forms: 15–16 mappe, 15–17 mapp, 15– map, 16 mape.
Etymology:Either < post-classical Latin mappa map (from c1120 in British sources; in classical Latin ‘towel, napkin’, a word of Punic origin according to Quintilian), or shortened < mappemonde n. or mappa mundi n. Compare Old French mape, mappe map of the world (c1160 or later, rare; not recorded in Anglo-Norman), Italian mappa (14th cent.), Spanish mapa (1582–5), Portuguese mapa (16th cent.), and also forms s.v. mappemonde n.

Post-classical Latin mappa is attested from the late 4th cent. as a term used by land surveyors, though its exact interpretation is not clear. (The usual word for a surveyor’s map in classical Latin and post-classical Latin is forma.) The transition in sense from ‘cloth’ to ‘map’ is probably due to the fact that early maps were sometimes drawn on cloth.


Compare German Mappe map (15th cent.; this sense became obsolete in 18th cent.; the modern sense ‘portfolio’ developed from the intermediary 18th-cent. ‘cover for a map’).


In sense 10 probably after classical Latin mappa piece of cloth, napkin.

 I. A chart, plan, diagram, etc.



A drawing or other representation of the earth’s surface or a part of it made on a flat surface, showing the distribution of physical or geographical features (and often also including socio-economic, political, agricultural, meteorological, etc., information), with each point in the representation corresponding to an actual geographical position according to a fixed scale or projection; a similar representation of the positions of stars in the sky, the surface of a planet, or the like. Also: a plan of the form or layout of something, as a route, a building, etc.

Freq. used as the second element in compounds, as contour, relief, road, street, weather map, etc. (see the first element). In later use a hydrographical map is more usually called a chart (formerly card); cf. chart


1b, card n.23b.

a1527 R. Thorne in R. Hakluyt Divers Voy. (1582) sig. B4v,A little Mappe or Carde of the worlde.
c1547 Inventory in BL Harl. MS 1419 f. 133,Item. a litle Mappe of Englande parte of Scotlande Ierlande and brytayne of parchement sette in a frame.
?a1560 L. Digges Geom. Pract.: Pantometria (1571) i. xxxv. sig. L iij,Diuide the circle at the myddes of your map into 32 partes, pulling out straight lines fro the centre to the vttermost bounds of the charte.
1593 G. Harvey Pierces Supererogation 73The great Mapp of Mercator.
1608 Shakespeare King Lear i. i. 38Meane time we will expresse our darker purposes, The map there; know we haue diuided In three, our kingdome.
1625 N. Carpenter Geogr. Delineated i. vii. 166A Geographicall Mappe is a plaine Table, wherein the Lineaments of the Terrestriall Spheare are expressed.
1700 A. de la Pryme Diary (1869) 316A larg map having every field, ing, close, mested, croft, cavel, intack, etc., in the whole parish in it.
1760 Johnson Idler 23 Feb. 57A Rivulet not marked in the Maps.
1812 in A. Hollar tr. W. Schivelbusch Railway Journey (1980) i. 6 (heading)Map of the railways in the Newcastle on Tyne Coal Field in 1812.
1867 W. W. Smyth Treat. Coal & Coal-mining 44On examination of a geological map it will be seen that [etc.].
1897 B. Stoker Dracula xix. 257‘This is the spot,’ said the Professor as he turned his lamp on a small map of the house.
1911 H. Quick Yellowstone Nights 149The others began studying their maps to clear up this geographic anomaly.
1973 P. Campbell 35 Years on Job 117On the map the squiggly little yellow road for some reason looked as if it was all downhill, but it wasn’t.
1998 N.Y. Times 5 Apr. 60/2The Dave & Busters restaurant in the Ontario Mills Mall‥is a 60,000-square-foot restaurant-arcade—an experience in sensory overload so huge that first-timers require a map.

b. fig. A tract of country spread out to view like a map. in map: within view. Cf. map v.1c. Obs. rare.

1607 J. Norden Surveyors Dialogue i. 15Is not the Field it selfe a goodly Map for the Lord to looke vpon, better than a painted paper?
1785 W. Cowper Task i. 321A spacious map Of hill and valley interpos’d between.
1795 W. MacRitchie Diary 1 July (1897) 32The whole country of Lancashire, with its rivers, towns and villages, &c., lying in extensive map below us.

2. A tabulated arrangement of data; = table n.14a. Obs. rare.

1626 D. Featley Parallel To Rdr. sig. Aiij,Errors‥which, collected into a small map, they exhibite.



A diagram or collection of data showing the spatial distribution of something or the relative positions of its components. Freq. with distinguishing word.

A. Barnard Let. 12 Sept. in S. Afr. a Cent. Ago (1901) iv. 85It occurred to me before leaving England that it might be useful to carry with me to Africa a map of a sheep and an ox, as I thought it likely that the Dutch butchers might cut their meat up awkwardly.

1833 Rep. Brit. Assoc. Advancem. Sci. 1831–2 320Fraunhofer counted about 590 of these lines; and in a fine map of the spectrum which he has published, he has inserted the strongest of them.
1881 Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 171 653The research‥on a method of photography by which the least refrangible end of the solar spectrum could be mapped has reached such a stage that it seems desirable that I should‥present a map of the solar spectrum between wave lengths 7600 and 10,750.
1950 W. L. Bragg Rev. Recent Adv. in X-ray Anal. ii. 41 (caption)Electron density map of the phthalocyanine molecule (left) and key to the structure (right).
1973 Nature 21–8 Dec. 509/1The ability to record activity in many cells at once would allow the construction of a detailed map of the functional connections within a ganglion.
1987 Sci. Amer. Mar. 28/1The construction of a three-dimensional atomic ‘map’ of the virus.
 b. Genetics. A representation of the relative order and distance apart of the genes of a chromosome. Also: the nucleotide sequence of all or part of a chromosome or genome.

1915 T. H. Morgan et al. Mechanism Mendelian Heredity iii. 64In the construction of the chromosome maps shown in the frontispiece the distance taken as a unit is that within which 1 per cent. of crossing over will occur.
1935 Genetics 20 317 (heading)Cytological and crossover maps.
1939 Jrnl. Genetics 39 335There is now evidence for the existence of seven sex-linked genes, and for these he has furnished a tentative map.
1954 Adv. Genetics 6 1 (heading)Map construction in Neurospora Crassa.
1970 E. J. Ambrose & D. M. Easty Cell Biol. x. 338 (caption)Linear genetic map of Drosophila showing the four linkage groups corresponding to the four chromosomes.
1994 Time 7 Feb. 7/2Although your illustration of the gene map showing the known locations of mutations included neurofibromatosis Type 2, you left out the gene for neurofibromatosis Type 1.

 c. Physiol. Originally: (a representation of) a sensory area of the cerebral cortex in which neighbouring cells respond to stimulation of neighbouring portions of the peripheral sensory epithelium. More generally: within the central nervous system, a representation of sensory or motor information in which some parameter of a stimulus or movement varies systematically with physical location in the brain.

1945 Proc. Royal Soc. 1944–5 B. 132 351It has been possible to construct a map of the visual cortex on which the cortical area related to each segment of the retina can be shown.
1957 Jrnl. Neurophysiol. 20 288The composite map of somatic sensory area I‥was constructed from partial maps obtained in five experiments. The cortex was explored in 1 mm. steps.
1960 McGraw-Hill Encycl. Sci. & Technol. XIV. 335/2The cortex contains a ‘map’ or projection area, each point of which represents a point on the retina and therefore a point in visual space as seen by each eye.
1987 Sci. Amer. June 62/3The striate cortex registers a systematic map of the visual field.
1994 Hearing Res. 81 146/2A map of auditory space is still present at near-threshold levels in the S[uper] C[olliculus] of animals that have been monaurally deafened.
1998 Jrnl. Compar. Neurol. 401 411This study investigated whether the topographic differences in the functional properties of the tectal motor map of goldfish are related to particular patterns of connections with downstream structures.

 4. Math. A correspondence by which each element of a given set has associated with it one (or occas. more than one) element of a second set; = mapping n.2a.

1949 Ann. Math. 50 956The symbolism f: (X′, A′) ⊂ (X, A) is read: f is the inclusion map of (X′, A′) into (X, A).
1966 Sze-Tsen Hu Introd. Gen. Topol. ii. 27Continuous functions will be called mappings or maps.
1966 Sze-Tsen Hu Introd. Gen. Topol. ii. 28A map f:XY from a space X into a space Y.
1971 G. Glauberman in M. B. Powell & G. Higman Finite Simple Groups i. 8The main tool in investigating this property is the transfer homomorphism of G into S/S′. Unfortunately, we do not have time to define this map.
1988 D. Welsh Codes & Cryptogr. ii. 16Although we have defined a code as a map, we often identify it with the collection of codewords.

 II. Extended uses.5. fig.

 a. A representation in abridged form; a summary or condensed account of a state of things; an epitome, a summation. Obs.

a1586 Sir P. Sidney Astrophel & Stella (1591) 3,I‥thinke that all the mappe of my state I display. When trembling voice brings foorth, that I do Stella loue.
1597 T. Middleton Wisdome of Solomon Paraphrased xv. xii. sig. T,My soule, saith he, is but a mappe of shoes, No substance, but a shadow for to please.
1607 S. Rowlands Famous Hist. Guy of Warwicke 59Who in her Face a Map of sorrow wears, A countenance compos’d all mournful, sad.
a1631 J. Donne To Mr. T. W. iv, in Poet. Wks. (1987) 182My verse, the strict Map of my misery, shall live to see that, for whose want I dye.
1647 J. Saltmarsh Sparkles of Glory (1847) 2So as man is all created excellency in the map or abridgment.
 b. An embodiment or incarnation of a quality, characteristic, etc.; the very picture or image of something. Obs.

a1591 H. Smith Sinfull Mans Search (1592) sig. A6,What were man if hee were once left to himselfe? a map of miserie.
1606 G. Chapman Monsieur D’Olive in Plays (1873) I. 200Farewell the true mappe of a gull.
1620 Swetnam, Woman-hater ii. sig. C4,The hope of Sicill, Map of true Nobilitie, Patterne of Wisdome, Grace and Grauitie.
1698 J. Fryer New Acct. E.-India & Persia 83They are the absolute map of sordidness, fareing hardly, and professing fairly.

 6. fig. A conceptualization or mental representation of the structure, extent, or layout of an area of experience, field of study, ideology, etc.

1781 W. Cowper Retirem. 148Opening the map of God’s extensive plan, We find a little isle, this life of man.
1791 E. Burke Let. to R. Burke in Corr. (1844) III. 227,I don’t know the map of their situation.
1855 A. Bain Senses & Intellect ii. i. 386By getting a blow on the ribs we come to connect feelings in the chest with the place on our map of the body.
1899 W. E. H. Lecky (title)The map of life.
1911 J. M. Barrie Peter & Wendy i. 8Catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time.
1986 Brit. Jrnl. Aesthetics Autumn 335Diverse philosophical or artistic points of view within one’s everyday map of discursive references.
1991 Theology Jan.–Feb. 58Those for whom the map of feminist theology is less familiar.

 7. A shape or pattern resembling a map in form or outline.

1822 J. M. Good Study Med. IV. 571Motley dandriff. Scaliness in diffuse maps of irregular outline, and diverse colours.
1865 Dickens Our Mutual Friend II. iii. xv. 131Wrinkling his face into a very map of curves and corners.
1968 C. Causley Underneath Water 5We couldn’t make any more of each other Than the map of stains on the bedroom wall.
1978 F. Muir in F. Muir & D. Norden Take my Word for It 24When your back is turned, [he] leaves a 9″ x 5″ damp map of Corsica sinking slowly into the carpet.
1998 A. Patchett Magician’s Assistant 270The map of scars on his cheek was red from the cold.

 8. In various fig. phrases. (Now occas. with premodifying adjective or noun.)

 a. off the map: out of existence; obsolete or of no account; in or into a remote or insignificant position. Freq. to wipe (also knock, etc.) off the map. Cf. off-the-map n. at off adv., prep., n.1, and adj.Compounds.

1870 Overland Monthly Nov. 467/2Europe would combine to wipe Mexico off the map of the world.
1904 W. H. Smith Promoters ii. 54When she [sc. Carthage] wouldn’t let up, the only thing left was to wipe her off the map.
1911 R. D. Saunders Col. Todhunter vii. 99A good set-to is the best way‥to put a stop to quarrelin’. It just wipes the whole thing off the map.
1928 Weekly Dispatch 13 May 2/6Cochineal insects, except for making tinctures to colour jellies, are practically off the map today.
1942 R.A.F. Jrnl. 30 May 19We’ll knock that‥place off the map.
1957 W. S. Churchill Hist. Eng.-speaking Peoples III. ix. iii. 227They wiped off the map the proud old French provinces and parcelled out the country into the eighty-six departments that still exist.
1973 E. Lemarchand Let or Hindrance xi. 131We’re a bit off the map up here.
1986 M. Foot Loyalists & Loners 154Even his closest friends were wiped off the political map in the process.

 b. on the map: (a) in or into existence; (b) (the usual sense) in an important or prominent position, in vogue; of some account or importance. Chiefly in to put (back) on the map.

1913 C. E. Mulford Coming of Cassidy viii. 122Cowan had just put Buckskin on th’ map by buildin’ th’ first shack.
1916 Munsey’s Mag. June 146/2‘The Fortune Hunter’, the play that put Winchell Smith on the dramatists’ map.
1919 P. G. Wodehouse Damsel in Distress vii. 93What I mean to say is, you are on the map. You have a sporting chance.
1924 W. M. Raine Troubled Waters xix. 205Didn’t know you knew I was on the map. You’re sure honouring me.
1934 B.B.C. Year-bk. 74Weekly Chamber Concerts‥further helped to put the Hall ‘on the map’.
a1944 F. Clune Red Heart (1946) ii. 16The war has put the Red Heart on the map.
1973 Times 24 Apr. (São Paulo Suppl.) p. i/7The exhibition was so successful that in one weekend São Paulo put Brazil firmly on to the export map.
1991 Traveller Winter 30/1But for the political and military skirmishing going on in Kashmir, the Gulmarg would already be firmly on the map as the major heli-skiing centre in the Himalayas.

 c. Chiefly N. Amer. all over the map: widely distributed, in many different places; (also) varying widely and erratically.

1981 P. C. Newman Canad. Establishment II. ix. 348Knowlton is a contented man, joint-venturing all over the map, buying a piece of the Regina Pats hockey team, travelling to Europe.
1991 Spy (N.Y.) Oct. 43/1Lisa lacked focus. She was all over the map.
1995 Sight & Sound Nov. 19/2From the first, the film acted as a Rorschach blot, and the critical reception was all over the map.
1998 N.Y. Times 14 June 7/1Even therapists with the best credentials can be all over the map.
 9. colloq. A person’s face.

1899 A. H. Lewis Sandburrs 9,I sees d’ map of a skirt—a goil, I means, on a drop curtain at a swell t’eatre once.
1902 G. V. Hobart It’s up to You iv. 78It was Benedict Murgatoyd—the lad with the map like a cow!
1908 K. McGaffey Sorrows of Show Girl 200Hauling off wifey hangs one on Alla’s map.
1922 P. G. Wodehouse Clicking of Cuthbert ix. 205The portrait‥was that of a man in the early thirties.‥ ‘What a map!’ exclaimed the young man.
1935 P. G. Wodehouse Luck of Bodkins xv. 178It’s mostly a case of having a map that photographs well.
1936 ‘J. Curtis’ Gilt Kid xiv. 144What d’you want to sit there staring at me for? I’m not a bloody oil-painting. You ought to know my map by now.
1971 J. Curtis Banjo 255No mistaking that map.
1996 D. F. Wallace Infinite Jest 280That look on your map there mean something there, Randy?

III. Other senses.

 10. Perh.: a protective covering, a cloth. Obs. rare.

1608 E. Topsell Hist. Serpents 220But some then will demaund, where had Pope Alexander‥that map or net at Rome wherin (it is said) the napkin of our Sauiour Christ is preserued.


 C1. General attrib.

 map-board n.

1947 D. M. Davin Gorse blooms Pale 192The G.I. and the A.D.C. vaulted from their perch in the back of the jeep and then bent over it again to get their *map-boards.
1978 J. Carroll Mortal Friends I. ii. 12He had spent the first week of his tour on the field drilling his men at his map board calculating distances and elevations.
1992 M. Ondaatje Eng. Patient iii. 99He brushed the dust off the mapboard the wires lay on.
 map case n.

1916 H. G. Wells Mr. Britling i. v. 181He‥turned over the map in the *map-case beside him, and tried to find his position.
1948 W. S. Churchill Second World War I. ii. xxii. 365A few feet behind me, as I sat in my old chair, was the wooden map-case I had had fixed in 1911, and inside it still remained the chart of the North Sea.
1990 Which? Bks. Apr. 3/2 (caption)The Good Walks Guide is lightweight and will fit handily into your map case.
 map-drawing n.

1838 Biblical Repertory Apr. 10/2Hence the use of outline maps, and of black-board exercises in *map-drawing.
1857 J. Ruskin Arrows of Chace (1880) I. 42Precision of touch should be cultivated by map-drawing in his geography class.
1943 J. S. Huxley Evol. Ethics i. 6This business of map-drawing.
1993 Coloradoan (Fort Collins) 4 Aug. a2/4Izetbegovic‥began withdrawing from the negotiations after they reached the map-drawing stage.

map-graver n. Obs. rare

1662 J. Evelyn Sculptura sig. b5v,Chart, and *Map-gravers.

 map-maker n.

1598 J. Florio Worlde of Wordes,Disegnante, a *map or modle maker.
1639 T. Fuller Hist. Holy Warre iv. ii. 168Map-makers, rather then they will have their maps naked and bald, do periwig them with false hair, and fill up the vacuum‥with imaginary places.
1775 B. Romans Conc. Nat. Hist. E. & W. Florida App. 77Our wise map-makers‥have corrupted it into Ponio bay.
1811 L. Aikin Juvenile Corr. 114Instruments of this kind‥are exported to all the civilized countries of the world, for the use of mathematicians, astronomers, navigators, map-makers, etc.
1984 A. C. Duxbury & A. Duxbury Introd. World’s Oceans i. 10The task of any mapmaker‥is to produce the most accurate‥picture.
 map-making n.

1846 A. Jamieson (title)A manual of *map-making and mechanical geography.
1879 Sir A. R. Clarke in Encycl. Brit. X. 203Notwithstanding the facility of construction, the stereographic projection is not much used in map-making.
1952 F. J. Monkhouse Maps & Diagrams ii. 63Since the earliest days of map-making, the depiction of relief has been one of the major problems of cartographers, for it involves the representation of three dimensions upon a plane surface.
1990 A. Beevor Inside Brit. Army (1991) xxiv. 390They begin on the basic skills of the main Intelligence Corps trade.‥ They learn map-making, presentation and briefing.

map-monger n. Obs. rare

1639 T. Fuller Hist. Holy Warre v. xiv. 253A great *map-monger‥undertook to travel over England by help of his maps.

 map-mounter n.

1819 Post Office London Directory 305*Map-mounter and Dissecter.
1858 P. L. Simmonds Dict. Trade Products,Map-mounter, a workman who backs maps with canvas, varnishes and fixes them on rollers [etc.].
1880 G. N. Lamphere U.S. Govt. 138/2Force and Pay of the Coast and Geodetic Survey Service:‥1 map mounter.
 map paper n.

1942 H. A. Maddox Dict. Stationery (ed. 2) 68*Map paper, a specially made smooth cartridge or strong printing paper—opaque, strong and free from atmospheric influence.
1963 R. R. A. Higham Handbk. Papermaking vii. 202Chart and map papers. The best grades are produced from rag pulps, although sulphite and sulphate mixtures are also used.
1992 Art Newspaper (Internat. ed.) May 21/7The gallery’s other space at Knokke will be showing twenty of his small-scale drawings: pastels on map paper and india ink on musical scores.

 map-seller n.

1710 London Gaz. No. 4685/4,Sold by C. Browne, Print and *Map-seller.
1999 Birmingham Post (Nexis) 13 Mar. 47The next generation of map sellers such as Nicolas Visscher and Frederick de Wit were smaller businesses who avoided producing formal atlases in preference for atlases assembled to the specifications of the particular client.

 map work n.

1889 O. Wilde Pen, Pencil & Poison in Fortn. Rev. Jan. 45Little more than topography, a kind of pictorial *map-work.
1938 E. Raisz Gen. Cartogr. xv. 172Transparent tracing papers are made of straw and cornstalk base and are used in map work for sketching, for copying, and for tissue overlays.
1986 G. Chesbro Veil (1987) ii. 4Thick, unruly brown hair was creased by a scar that radiated to his right temple from the lacy mapwork of nerveless, ruined tissue that covered his right cheek.


 map butterfly

n. (a) any butterfly of the nymphalid genus Cyrestis, the members of which occur in Old World rainforests and have pale forewings crossed with narrow dark lines; (b) a small Eurasian nymphalid butterfly, Araschnia levana, the wings of which have dark undersides crossed with narrow white veins.

1894 E. H. Aitken Naturalist on Prowl 50The delicately devised *Map Butterfly, Cyrestis thyodamas.
1987 C. A. Clarke Human Genetics & Med. (ed. 3) iv. 22In the Map butterfly, Araschnia levana, temperature or length of daylight can produce very distinct spring and summer forms.
1993 J. Feltwell Illustr. Encycl. Butterflies 141/2Map butterflies are mostly found in Asia, but this [sc. Cyrestis camillus] is the only representative of its genus in Africa.

 map fire n. Mil. artillery fire in which maps are used to determine the setting of the guns.

1922 Encycl. Brit. XXX. 252/2The precision with which ‘*map fire’ could be carried out.

 map-flapping n. Mil. rare the process of transmitting the outline of a map or other drawing by flag signals.

1886 H. G. Willink in Longman’s Mag. Feb. 404 (heading)*Map-flapping.

 map lichen n. a lichen whose thallus has markings resembling a map; esp. Rhizocarpon geographicum.

1796 P. A. Nemnich Allgemeines Polyglotten-Lex.,*Map lichen. Lichen geographicus.
1888 F. A. Lees Flora W. Yorks. 655Lecidea geographica (L.). Map Lichen. On sub-alpine rocks, but chiefly those of the older formations.
1969 Beaver (Winnipeg) Summer 13/1The rocks are bright with green and orange map lichen.
1993 K. S. Robinson Green Mars 164On flat rocks he found the crustose lichens: button lichen, stud lichen, shield lichen, candellaria, apple-green map lichen [etc.].

 map light n. a light used to illuminate a map.

1963 Times 13 Mar. 10Standard equipment includes two-speed screen wipers and washers—operated from the steering wheel—anti-dazzle mirror, reversing lights, *map light and a heating and ventilation system.
1995 National (Canad. Bar Assoc.) Mar. (Autovision) 10/1The most significant interior differences [are] the addition of map lights and intermittent wipers as standard equipment on V6s.

 map-measurer n. an instrument for measuring distances on a map, usually with a small rotating wheel at the tip.

a1877 E. H. Knight Pract. Dict. Mech. II. 1389/2*Map-measurer, an instrument with a little wheel of known circumference, which is made to roll along a line and indicate its length, the number of revolutions being counted, and the fraction, if any, observed by reference to the pointer and graduated perimeter.
1970 Nature 7 Nov. 560/1A map-measurer of the ‘drawing’ type was used to measure the length of the pencil lines.
1985 Survival Weaponry Dec. 9/2Binoculars, map-measurers‥if you need a stocking-filler.

 map meter n. rare = map-measurer n.

1867 Parkes’ Catal. Instruments 30Opisometer or *Map Meter.

 map-net n. (a) a network of lines representing meridians and parallels on which a map or plan can be represented; = graticule n.1; (b) a net used to contain a map or maps.

1932 J. W. Cameron Maps & Map-work iii. 30A map projection is any definite system of drawing meridians and parallels, the network of lines thus formed being called a *map-net or graticule.
1954 J. M. M. Fisher & R. M. Lockley Sea-birds p. xvi,One of these is on a mapnet invented by the late Professor C. B. Fawcett and is used with his permission and that of the Royal Geographical Society.
1997 Pop. Sci. Oct. (back cover) (advt.)The convenience of a center console that combines storage for CDs or cassettes with a coin holder, map net and writing surface.

 map pocket n. (in a garment, vehicle, etc.) a pocket used for storing a map or maps.

1958 J. Lodwick Bid Soldiers Shoot iii. vii. 222In the *map pocket of my denims.
1972 Country Life 15 June 1577/2Map pockets are fitted to each door.
1998 T. Clancy Rainbow Six vii. 154He’d already stashed his pistol in the map pocket of the left-side copilot’s door.

 map projection n. a geometrical or cartographic method of representing on a flat surface all or part of the earth’s surface.

1890 Cent. Dict. at Projection,A *map-projection in which the space between two meridians and two parallels is represented by a trapezoid.
1905 C. F. Close Text Bk. Topogr. & Geogr. Surv. xi. 92The term projection, though sanctioned by long usage, is an unfortunate one. The great majority of useful map projections are not obtained in any geometrical way. A map projection is to be treated as the representation on a plane, by any law, of the terrestrial meridians and parallels.
1995 Wired Jan. 40/2For this atlas, Feigenbaum created a new map projection.
 map reference n. a set of numbers or letters specifying a location as represented on a map.

a1944 K. Douglas Alamein to Zem Zem (1946) ii. 16Just talk as you like over the air—except for giving *map-references of course.
1969 M. Pugh Last Place Left iii. 18,I‥then gave him some of the facts and the map references.
1995 Guardian 30 June i. 13/2The bothies’ map references have become so well known that the dozen most accessible, like Corrour and Shenavall in Sutherland, are now virtually mountain service stations.

 map-roller n. rare something on to which a map can be rolled.

1851 C. Cist Sketches & Statistics Cincinnati 245Shade and *map-rollers, turning in ivory, done in a superior style.

 map square n. rare one of an array of squares formed by grid lines drawn on a map to facilitate the use of coordinate references.

1917 ‘Contact’ Airman’s Outings 272,I looked overboard to make certain of the *map square.

 map turtle n. any of several small, North American freshwater turtles of the genus Graptemys (family Emydidae), which have bold patterns on the head and shell; esp. G. geographica of the central United States and the Great Lakes.

1879 W. H. Smith Catal. Reptilia & Amphibia Michigan p. vii,Graptemys geographica.‥ *Map turtle.
1953 H. S. Zim & H. M. Smith Reptiles & Amphibians i. 34Map turtles are aquatic turtles often found in large numbers in ponds, swamps, and quiet streams.
1992 Canad. Geographic Mar.–Apr. 23Rare members of the turtle family, such as the map turtle and the spiny softshell turtle.
 map unit n. Genetics (in a linkage map) the distance separating two linked genes corresponding to a recombination frequency of one per cent; also called centimorgan.

[1915 T. H. Morgan et al. Mechanism Mendelian Heredity iii. 64In the construction of the chromosome maps shown in the frontispiece the distance taken as a unit is that within which 1 per cent. of crossing over will occur.]
1968 R. C. King Dict. Genetics,*Map unit, a number that corresponds to a recombination frequency of 1 per cent.
1982 Jrnl. Virol. 42 488Early RNA‥selected by hybridization to adenoviral DNA fragments spanning the region from 14.7 to 31.5 map units.
1991 D. J. Weatherall New Genetics & Clin. Practice (ed. 3) ii. 7The distance separating two loci that show recombination in 1 out of 100 gametes is called a map unit, or centimorgan.

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Visit the OED‘s home page at

See the power of the crowd-sourcing: “The volunteer mappers who helped Haiti” at BBC News

See the slideshow at, showing impressive evolution of OpenStreetMap data in Haiti within few days.

Plus, the CrisisCommons WiKi page lists all the international voluntary collaboration efforts.



From: Wood, Stanley (IFPRI)
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 9:01 PM
To: Koo, Jawoo (IFPRI)
Subject: maybe embed this link in the email to CSI as an “added extra”