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Basic Maps Skills

Basic Map Skill Vocabulary

Absolute Location The Exact location of a place on earth based upon latitude and longitude
Cardinal Directions North, South, East, West
Intermediate Directions Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast
Latitude Lines imaginary lines that run east and west, but measure in degrees north and south (Parallels)
Longitude Lines imaginary lines that run north and south, but measure in degrees east and west (meridians)
Equator Zero degree line of latitude. It divides the earth into northern and southern hemispheres.
Prime Meridian Zero degree line of longitude. It divides the earth into western and eastern hemispheres.
Population Maps Maps that show how people live in area per square mile/km
Cultural Features Human features of geography including language, religion, clothing, technology and government
Physical Features Natural aspects of geography including landforms, waterways, natural resources, and climate
Political Features The aspects of geography created by governments and countries (boundary lines)
Historical Maps Maps that show how places have changed over time
Physical Maps Maps that show natural features and elevation
Political Maps Maps that show boundaries such as states, cities or countries
Natural Resource Maps Maps that show where natural resources are located
Distance Scale Used to determine distances in either customary or metric units between places on a map
Map Key or legend The part of the map that displays the symbols used within the map
Symbols The pictures explained a map key used to represent an object on the map
Title The name of the map that tells what the map is about
Compass Rose The symbol that displays the cardinal and intermediate directions