car·​tog·​ra·​phy kär-ˈtä-grə-fē How to pronounce cartography (audio)
: the science or art of making maps
cartographic adjective
or less commonly cartographical
cartographically adverb

Examples of cartography in a Sentence

She studied cartography in college.
Recent Examples on the Web Over the past few years, Smith and his colleagues have built upon antigenic cartography by adding a third dimension to their maps. IEEE Spectrum, 1 Feb. 2022 With the founding of Israel in 1947 and the Arab-Israeli war the next year, Ms. Eshel entered the Israeli Air Force and rose to become a lieutenant of cartography. Alex Traub, New York Times, 29 Dec. 2023 These ones from Xplorer Maps have been created through a partnership with the National Park Service and each of the park’s official nonprofit partners in an effort to ensure the cartography is geographically accurate and culturally relevant. Joni Sweet, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Each star’s composition records its birthplace, age, and natal ingredients, so studying starlight enables a form of galactic cartography—as well as genealogy. WIRED, 12 Nov. 2023 Each star’s composition records its birthplace, age and natal ingredients, so studying starlight enables a form of galactic cartography — as well as genealogy. Quanta Magazine, 28 Sep. 2023 Well, sort of: A grimly cheerful piece of cartography produced in 1940 by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company shows various awful things that can happen to a person. Mark Feeney,, 13 Sep. 2023 During that time, the troops learn everything from marksmanship and cartography to radios and engineering. Siobhán O'Grady and Kostiantyn Khudov, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Apr. 2023 The principal focus would be cartography, with the work to be carried out in terrain utterly unknown to either science or geography. Larry Rohter, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cartography.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cartography was circa 1847

Dictionary Entries Near cartography

Cite this Entry

“Cartography.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


car·​tog·​ra·​phy kär-ˈtäg-rə-fē How to pronounce cartography (audio)
: the making of maps
cartographic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on cartography

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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