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.