It depends on how well acquainted with the location they are.
In your example of the town, this GM would not give their players a map immediately, but if they stayed for a few days and actively spent time learning the city, I would give them a copy of the map.
This follows the same logic as maps of dungeons. You wouldn’t give them a map of the place the moment they walked in, but you would reveal pieces as they go room by room, and if they have the opportunity to safely explore the whole place, you could just hand them a copy of the map.
Thus, maps become a form of reward just as much as treasure or reliable contacts.