car·​tog·​ra·​phy | \ kär-ˈtä-grə-fē How to pronounce cartography (audio) \

Definition of cartography

: the science or art of making maps

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cartography

cartographic \ ˌkär-​tə-​ˈgra-​fik How to pronounce cartographic (audio) \ or less commonly cartographical \ ˌkär-​tə-​ˈgra-​fi-​kəl How to pronounce cartographical (audio) \ adjective
cartographically \ ˌkär-​tə-​ˈgra-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cartographically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of cartography in a Sentence

She studied cartography in college.
Recent Examples on the Web The art of cartography, past and present, is an act of storytelling, a visual guide to a narrative or its point of departure. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "Don’t write off Big Oil: The geopolitics of energy and security," 13 Oct. 2020 Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have accomplished a feat of cartography, creating a map of a standard mouse brain with details down to the cellular level. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Researchers Created a 3-D Map of 100 Million Cells in the Mouse Brain," 13 May 2020 Researchers drew on a combination of drone footage, laser cartography, infrared imagery and photogrammetry to bring Pompeii back to life, reports Agence France-Presse (AFP). Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Paris Exhibition Recreates Pompeii’s Final Hours," 2 July 2020 Geographia served as a how-to manual for cartography. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "Why Maps Are Civilization’s Greatest Tool," 6 Aug. 2020 Humboldt’s trip corrected the location of numerous cities across South America and Mexico, literally recalibrating American cartography. Eleanor Jones Harvey, Smithsonian Magazine, "Who Was Alexander von Humboldt?," 24 Mar. 2020 Leggett said Cook’s voyages and cartography were significant achievements, but his brief stop in the area largely is not significant. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "City weighs response to calls on social media for the removal of Anchorage’s statue of Captain James Cook," 19 June 2020 By Barry Lopez The veteran nature writer’s latest book provides a cartography of his life story, focusing on six geographical areas: the Oregon coast, the Canadian Arctic, the Galápagos Islands, Tasmania, East Africa and Antarctica. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, "21 new and classic books to keep you in touch with the natural world," 6 Apr. 2020 Declarations of intent to run for the US presidency have a special kind of cartography. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "An Outside Chance," 12 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cartography.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cartography

circa 1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cartography

French cartographie, from carte card, map + -graphie -graphy — more at card entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cartography

Time Traveler for cartography

Time Traveler

The first known use of cartography was circa 1847

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cartography

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cartography.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cartography


How to pronounce cartography (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cartography

: the process or skill of making maps

More from Merriam-Webster on cartography

Nglish: Translation of cartography for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cartography

Comments on cartography

What made you want to look up cartography? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!