Maps in environmental monitoring
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013. A map is an abstraction of reality that creates a model of the world or a part thereof, effectively projecting the curved surface of the earth onto a plane surface. Unlike images that model reality at an iconic level of representation, maps accomplish the same at a symbolic level. Maps are important communication, navigation and decision support tools. They also serve as mechanisms for both storage and communication of spatial data and information. In general, maps are required to document and describe resources and the environment. Furthermore, they are an indispensable instrument for planning sustainable development. Hence, they have an important role to play in many economic, environmental and social activities.