Scientific uses for maps are among the most important because they provide information and insights that would otherwise be unavailable. The point of a scientific map is to integrate geographic data in such a way as to show features of interest. Some things are selectively omitted so as not to confuse the picture. Look in your school atlas, and you'll see that there are topographical maps (of natural features such as rivers and mountains) and political maps to show just the countries. If all this information was piled onto one map, it'd be really hard to read! Scientific maps can tell us interesting things about virtually anything you care to think about, and combined with satellite imagery, are extremely useful to scientists, planners and resource managers.