Maps of the World

March 17, 2020 | Environment
World maps: a graphical and visual depiction of the surface of planet Earth | Photo: Shutterstock

It's not easy to find an accurate high-definition world map, but we've got you covered. Explore our carefully curated atlas.

A map is a graphical and visual depiction of the surface of planet Earth.

It is necessarily a distorted flat - printed (paper) or digital (Google Earth and Google Maps) - viewable representation of the globe.

How many countries are there on the planet? What are the seven continents of the world, and where are they located?

The following printable world maps can only be used for educational purposes and never for commercial, advertising, or marketing purposes.

You can use it as a wallpaper or poster for taking a quick look at continents, countries, and regions of the world.

Need a high-resolution version? Click on each map to enlarge.

1. General Reference World Maps

The most relevant and popular general reference maps of the world are physical, political, and geological.

They illustrate geographic features such as mountains as well as countries and their borders.

A world map is always designed using a projection to represent the Earth on a plane, and will always distort directions and distances.

The most famous map projection is the Mercator Projection, a cylindrical map created in 1569 by cartographer and geographer, Gerardus Mercator.

His work became the standard map projection for sailing and sailors because it represented any course of constant bearing as a straight segment.

In other words, it is a valid nautical chart.

The Political World Map

A political map is a map of the world with all country names labeled, or/and with the boundaries perfectly visible and the major cities identified.

The Political World Map


The Physical World Map

The physical map is a map of the world featuring the Earth's contours and its main topographic feature. It depicts the five oceans of the world, rivers and lakes, mountains, and other landforms.

The Physical World Map


The Geological World Map

The geologic map is a map of the world that compiles geological features such as the ice cap, plutonic terranes, metamorphic and/or plutonic terranes, mainly sedimentary terranes, mixed sedimentary-volcanic terranes, melange/schist or tectonic belt, unclassified terranes, and mainly volcanic terranes.

The Geological World Map


The Outline World Map

The outline map is a simple map of the world - colored or blank - without country borders. It usually features gray continents and white oceans, or two-color models.

The Outline World Map

2. Thematic World Maps

Today, there are also maps specifically designed to feature or highlight a particular theme in a geographic area.

A thematic map is a type of map specifically designed to show a particular theme connected with a certain region.

In other words, they provide specific information about determined locations and spatial patterns.

The Coronavirus Covid-19 World Map

The Coronavirus Covid-10 world map was developed by Lauren Gardner, a civil and systems engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University. It is a near-real-time tool that allows us to track the outbreak that spread across the globe.


The Macroclimate World Map

The macroclimate map is a map of the world that features the main climate regions of the Earth, and the planet's most stable climatic zone patterns.

The Macroclimate World Map


The Life Expectancy World Map

The life expectancy map is a color-coded world map that allows us to compare the featuring the distribution of the average life expectancy at birth across the globe.

The Life Expectancy World Map


The UN Human Development Index World Map

The United Nations (UN) Human Development Index (HDI) map is a world map the ranks nations into a combined formula that measures life expectancy at birth, school education for children and adults, and per capita income.

The UN Human Development Index World Map


The Earth at Night World Map

The Earth at night map is a world map produced by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that features the most urbanized areas on Earth based on the lights that are visible from outer space during the nighttime hours.

The Earth at Night World Map


The Religions World Map

The religions map is a map of the world that displays the distribution, size, and percentage of the planet's major religions by countries.

The Religions World Map


The Legal Systems World Map

The legal systems map is a map of the world that highlights countries based on the five legal systems: civil law, common law, customary law, religious law, and mixed legal system.

The Legal Systems World Map


The Bathymetric World Map

The bathymetric map is a map of the world that illustrates the depth contours of the Earth's ocean floor, and the underwater features' shape, size, and distribution across the globe.

The Bathymetric World Map


The Continental Map

The continental map is a map that focuses on the political and physical features of the seven largest continuous masses of land, also known as continents: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Antarctica.

The Continental Map

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