A landmark is a recognizable natural or artificial feature used for navigation , a feature that stands out from its near environment and is often visible from long distances. In old English the word landmearc (from land + mearc (mark)) was used to describe an "object set up to mark the boundaries of a kingdom, etc. Landmark became a "conspicuous object in a landscape. A landmark literally meant a geographic feature used by explorers and others to find their way back or through an area. In urban studies as well as in geography , a landmark is furthermore defined as an external point of reference that helps orienting in a familiar or unfamiliar environment.