In the narrow sense of the word, a political map of the world is a geographical plan with all countries of the world indicated. This means a list of all countries of the world with their capitals. And in the broadest sense – it’s a summary of the political geography of the world.

On the modern political plan of the world, you can count 236 states and territories. A map displays absolutely all changes that relate to countries:

  • A change in its area;
  • A merger with another country;
  • The disintegration of a country into several territories;
  • A change in the capital, a change in the name of a country;
  • A change in the form of government of a nation and state, etc.

There exist two types of changes on a political projection:

  1. Qualitative. A change in the state structure, form of government, the acquisition of sovereignty.
  2. Quantitative. The exchange of land between states, the collapse of states, their unification, the accession of new areas after the war.

Currently, on the modern politic plan, one can see more qualitative than quantitative changes. All countries, from the point of view of international law, are divided into two types: dependent territories (overseas territories, colonies under guardianship, etc.) and independent countries.

An independent state owns sovereignty, territory, and borders. Also, it has an effective system of:

  1. Managing the life of society;
  2. International recognition;
  3. Pursues a separate domestic and foreign policy.

Moreover, it has its own national attributes, like an anthem, flag, coat of arms.

World land peculiarities

In the 90s of the XX century, dependent countries occupied about 0.7% of the land area and less than 0.3% of the population. There exist not so many dependent territories now, but the echoes of the past still hold in check some areas. In total, they can include a little more than 50-60, according to various sources. But, of course, all these territories aren’t big pieces of land, these are islands, mainly the Caribbean, Australia, and Oceania.

Modern globe projection

With the development of information technology and the Internet, more and more people start using an interactive picture of the earth. Thanks to satellite images captured from space, many additional elements have appeared on the modern electronic plan. The most commonly used plans are the public and physical outline of the globe, but various thematic maps are also often used, for example:

  1. Geological;
  2. Tectonic;
  3. Climatic;
  4. Demographics and others.

Continents located on the map

The earth map consists of 7 main continents which include:

  • Africa;
  • Asia;
  • Europe;
  • North America;
  • South America;
  • Australia;
  • Antarctica.

Asia remains the largest and most densely populated continent. On the map, Asia occupies more than 30% of the land, and the population reaches 60% of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Europe is located on 6.8% of the earth’s surface and about 11% of the world’s population lives there. Africa is the second-largest continent and occupies up to 20% of the earth’s surface, with 15% of the population.

North America is simultaneously considered part of the Northern and Western Hemispheres. South America is separated from North America by the Panama Canal.

Australia remains the only continent that’s also considered a country. However, a country such as New Zealand is also considered part of this continent. The coldest continent on earth is considered Antarctica, it’s completely covered with an ice layer.

Key Features of maps

Each type of map focuses on specific parameters. It can show political or physical features of the territories. Political maps try to emphasize the existing territorial borders and the settlements located on them. Physical maps contain the main geographical features among which:

  • Mountains;
  • Soil types;
  • Land use.

Geological maps include the characteristics of rocks, fault lines and also the underground structure of the Earth. At the same time, shades of color are used explicitly on Choropleth maps to indicate the intensity and differences between regions. This applies to parameters such as demographics and economic statistics.