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Maps are a collection of plans, both architectural and detailing outside locations, that help the player and protagonists navigate their way around Silent Hill and the other myriad locations that appear throughout the series. They are fundamental to the players' gaming experience and missing a map can mean wandering around hopelessly for hours.
They come in a variety of forms, usually divided into segments, and spread throughout the various areas visited. As the player collects more maps, they are added permanently into their inventory. The maps are usually official ones created for the relevant location, but on occasion, the protagonist must rely on crude maps drawn by other people (for example, the church map in Silent Hill 3 was drawn by a child and Travis from Silent Hill: Origins also encounters an error-ridden map drawn by a child while in Nowhere), or even drawn by themselves (Henry Townshend from Silent Hill 4: The Room must draw all of his maps). In one instance, protagonist James Sunderland is forced to explore the Labyrinth without a map in Silent Hill 2 and must draw his own as he goes along.
In the Silent Hill film, Rose Da Silva studies a hospital map drawn very similar to those seen in the games. Initially, a scene in which Rose and Cybil find a map of the town was planned to be in the movie.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories features an innovative GPS-like system, in which Harry Mason can bring up a map on his phone. The player can then walk around while holding the phone in front of them, tracking their progress and direction on the map in real-time. Certain locations can be logged as Waypoints on the map. The player can also draw and make notes on the map as well using the Wii Remote.