There are maps, and there is map-making. A map can be inadequate in many different ways: a village omitted, a river misplaced, the contours too coarse-grained to help the rambler. But inadequate maps do not show map-making to be a waste of time, and clumsy contours do not prevent ‘contours’ from being a useful concept. Furthermore, maps improve, as cartographers increase their geographical knowledge and think up new ways of charting it. By today’s standards, a mediaeval Mappa Mundi is inadequate on many counts. But a map it is, even without Mercator’s projection or lines of latitude. In short, if we want a systematic description of our landscape, map-making is the relevant activity.