A map of the world or a large area is often either a 'political' or 'physical' map.
The most important purpose of the political maps is to show territorial borders; the purpose of physical maps is to show geographic features, depicting physical features that presents on the earth's surface, such as various landforms and water bodies.
Geological maps show not only the physical surface, but also characteristics of the subsurface structures, underlying rock, and fault lines, etc.
Colors play an important role in physical maps and are used dramatically to distinguish landforms and elevations depicted on the map.
Different lines, tints, shading and spot elevations are also used.
China physical map: elevation
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