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Map Reading Skills

Remembering basics of map reading

TermDescription
Map Is a graphic representation, on a flat surface, of what a part of the Earth’s surface looks like from above.
Political map Shows the boundaries for countries, states and counties, as well as the location of capitals and major cities.
Geological map Shows the different types of rocks available at different locations for a specific region e.g. a country, a continent, the whole world.
Rainfall map Shows the amount of rainfall distributed over a specific area e.g. a country, a continent, the whole world.
Population distribution map Shows how human population is spread over a given area.
Flow map Shows movement between places e.g. migration of people, commodity, traffic, ocean currents.
Relief map Shows variation in heights for a specific area e.g. a country, a continent, the whole world.
Contours Are imaginary lines joining places of the same height above or below sea level
Point symbols Represent features or something found on a particular point of a map e.g. a school, a church, a mosque or a temple. Different symbols can used for example a dot, a star, a square or a triangle.
Area symbols Represent features that occupy an area such as lakes and forests.
Line or linear symbols Represent line features like roads, railway tracks, rivers and power lines
Legend Also known as key. It lists all symbols used on a map and explains the meaning of each of them.
Scale Shows the size of the map compared to its actual size that the map represents. It is used for calculating distance and area.
Abbreviations Are short forms for word(s). May be used as symbols on a map and its meanings are explained in the legend. For example, H for hotel or hospital.
Directional Indicator Shows where north, south, east and west lie on the map.
Eastings Are horizontal numbered lines drawn on a topographic map.
Northings Are vertical numbered lines drawn on a topographic map.
Title States what the map is about.
Created by: edugan_hoh