Physical maps show natural features such as mountains, lowlands, major rivers, seas, oceans and ecosystems like deserts and rainforests on a global scale. On a national scale, physical maps show relief and drainage features, such as rivers.
Some maps show physical features that are experienced rather than seen. Examples of this are average temperature and rainfall maps.
Political maps show country boundaries and major cities. Human maps show features that people have created. Examples of these are population distribution, migration flows, transport routes and settlement layout.
Often, maps should have a direction arrow to show which way is north. North is at the top of the globe and south is at the bottom. East is to the right and west is to the left. Compass points in between these four are shown as combinations, eg the point in between north and east is called north-east. If the point is slightly closer to the east, it is called east-north-east.
Latitude is shown first and longitude is shown second, eg Manchester in the UK is at 53.5°N, 2.2°W.