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Commons:Category scheme Maps[edit]

Maps by theme[edit]

Template:Catlst (edit talk links history)

Road maps of France


  1. Any map not described as an "Old map" should have been created in the past seventy (70) years.
  2. a b Ideally, this category should contain only subcategories.
  3. Here and elsewhere, "Old" means more than seventy (70) years ago, i.e. beyond standard copyright.
  4. An "Old map showing history" is an old map showing a place or situation years before the map was made. Example: a 19th-century map showing the Roman Empire.
  5. a b Maps grouped according to a feature. All these categories indexed as  [[...| by feature]].
  6. e.g. [[Old maps|Cities]] for Category:Old maps of cities.

Previous version:

"Maps", "Old maps"[edit]

[Reminder: Why 70 years? Copyright.]

A major motivation for the scheme described here, which arose during 2006, was to remove the ambiguous description "historical" from existing map category names. Would the category "Historical maps of X", for example, contain old maps of X, or maps (of any age) showing the history of X – or even both?

Hence a fundamental distinction between "maps" and "old maps" was made:

  • "maps" are maps made in the last seventy (70) years or so (i.e. "modern" or "contemporary" maps)
  • "old maps" are maps made more than seventy or so years ago.

Maps showing history[edit]

"Maps showing the history of X" and "Old maps showing the history of X" then provide the categories for maps made to show history, i.e. maps made to show a place or situation at an earlier time (usually a number of years previously), and perhaps historical phase lines, those showing certain border changes versus time, like fronts during a campaign or battle for example, or an empire's growth and retardation.

'Maps showing' and 'Maps made in' names[edit]

The phrases 'showing the history of' or 'Maps showing (Fill in this blank) history' in the naming scheme is based on prior usage in both Mediawiki Commons and en.Wikipdedia. These categories are generally aggregations of images within a historic or scientific era. This should be considered a secondary categorization level after the primary names dividing Old from contemporary maps.

The phrase 'Maps made in the 17th century' has similarly, more to do with image tagging, than systemic heirarchial categorization of all maps in one tree. Having such aggregations, and sorting by geopolitical divisions are sensible aids to helping others find media of interest.

For example See: Category:Maps showing the history of the High Middle Ages, Category:Maps showing 15th-century history, and contrast with Category:Maps made in the 17th century


Map of X A modern map, i.e. made in past seventy years, showing X at the time the map was made.
Old map of X A map more than seventy years old, showing X at the time the map was made.
Map showing the history of X A modern map, i.e. made in past seventy years, showing X at an earlier time.
Old map showing the history of X A map more than seventy years old, showing X at an even earlier time.
imbedded comment
Delete upon revision

   'at an earlier time', and 'at an even earlier time'??? I think one is enough... Sorry, but that strikes me as unclear, like 'historical maps of'! Yuck!

I'm looking at these more as a aggregating category regardless of when the map was generated as the focus of them is inherently tied to a time period (for example the Maps of Germany after the Treaty of Westphalia ca. 1648, just as your 'old map' designator somewhat signifies a higher state of unreliability. Since national boundaries and nation states shift, disappear, and come into being respectively, 'showing the history of'—would to me any map that no longer matches todays contemporary boundaries, as well of course, those showing phase lines. // FrankB 05:37, 24 January 2007 (UTC)


  • [As the basic distinction is between "maps" and "old maps", Category:Old maps is the very first subcategory listed]
  • ["Maps by" subcategories then listed below, before the main list of subcategories (why?)]

For Category:Maps...?[edit]

Guide to terminology used in subcategories' names, in decreasing area size:

Maps by geographic size (The missing link... finally found! LOL)
Maps by hemisphere
SupracontinentalLarge regional size???