5 differences between a map and street map

In many occasions we use the terms map and street map indistinctly to refer to a graphic representation of the territory. However, there are many differences between them and, therefore, in this post.


  • 1.     The scale. It is the most important difference, since, generally, the scale at which a map and a map work are different. It could be considered that a street map works up to a scale of 1: 10,000 whereas a map is usually used in smaller scales (Ex: 1: 25,000). However, it should not be forgotten that, also according to studies, they are used for larger scales.


  • 2.     The geographical projection. While the street map lacks geographic projection, a map can not be understood without it.


  • 3.     Software. Although the most appropriate is to know the management of both and can complement them, the truth is that for the realization of a map and a map different software is used. While CAD is more advisable for the former (Computer-Aidded Design) maps are made by GIS software (Geographical Information System).


  • 4.     Representation space. Consequence of the scale used by each document, the plan focuses, above all, on spaces that are smaller than the map. Most often, the latter refers to cities, countries, etc.


  • 5.     Sciences that use it: Traditionally, plans have been related to subjects such as architecture and engineering, while maps have been used, mostly, by professions such as geography, environmental sciences, etc. Not in vain, from a multidisciplinary perspective, both are used more and more indistinctly.








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