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There are a number of maps in Skyrim, mostly in the Jarls' palaces or various camps. All of these maps have flags placed in them to mark Imperial or Stormcloak territories. When I "use" one of these flags, a message pops up saying "Map Updated". However, at this stage in the game, my map is such a mess I wouldn't be able to really tell if anything changed on it or not.

Can someone tell me exactly what sort of update is being done here?

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It simply shows you that city on the map as an unexplored location. It is a good way for new players to populate their maps with major cities and towns.

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    It's annoying that it says "Map Updated" even for places that are already on your map.
    – jwaddell
    Dec 29 '11 at 6:09

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