Map vital Definition

A map key is an inset top top a map that explains the symbols, provides a scale, and usually identifies the kind of map forecast used. Technically, the crucial is component of the map legend. The vital explains the signs while the legend stop the an essential and other information.

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Purpose that A Map Key

The objective of a map crucial is come tell girlfriend the an interpretation of the symbols on a map. The vital on a map interprets each symbol so the you can read and understand the map.

For example, what go this symbol, ⇞, mean? Is it necessary to recognize what it means? Is it pointing in a direction, standing because that a single tree, or indicating a forest?

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The map crucial is the only way for friend to recognize for certain what the over symbol means.


Table that Contents


Definition

Map vital Symbols

When making a map, Cartographers (map makers) cannot create out everything and make it fit. They require quick, simple drawings, referred to as map symbols, to replace written information. If you perform not understand what ·, ∘, or ⊙ means, friend cannot know the map.

A map vital tells friend what all the symbols on the map mean. For example, the little black dot, ·, means a city or village, the open circle, ∘, means a city the at least 75,000 world or the ⊙ way a state capital. A map vital can tell you the ★ usually reflects a country’s capital.

Every map supplies its very own map symbols, relying on the details the cartographer desires to show. Map tricks can display symbols for herbal resources, populace centers, body of water, species of industry, and much more.

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Here are some different symbols showing up in map keys:

Types that Map SymbolsSymbolMeaning
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River
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Railroad Tracks

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Food
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Bar
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Cafe
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Shopping
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Grocery
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Arts
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Lighthouse
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Theater
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Tourist Attraction
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Casino
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Aquarium
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Event Venue
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Amusement Park
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Historical Site
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Museum
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Movie Theater
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Monument
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Music
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Relic
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Gas Station
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Parking
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Car Rental
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Hotel
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Resort
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ATM
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Bank
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Hospital
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Pharmacy
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Medical
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Park / Forest
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Mountain
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Sports Stadium
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Zoo
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Campground
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Cemetary
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Golf Course
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Garden
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Hiking
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Boating
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Fishing
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Airport
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Train
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Metro
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Subway
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Bus
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Rail
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Ferry
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Bridge
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Civic Building
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Post Office
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Library
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Police Station
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School
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Restroom / Bathroom
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Miscellaneous
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Church or Temple
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Synagogue

As you check out in this perform of Google Maps icons above, different colors represent different categories. Green for outdoors, orange for dining and drinks, etc.

Map crucial Examples

This map of Tennessee has actually a vital that shows exactly how the floor is used. Tiny signs that look favor pigs, plants, and stone show where pets are raised for food, wherein plants are grown, and also where ores and rocks room mined.

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This map key uses herbal colors for herbal formations yet uses abstract forms for human being activity. It offers coded squares to present ruins and archeological sites. It supplies circles to stand for villages and towns. The natural formations such as ice and desert are presented in colors the resemble the genuine things.

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Legend Vs. Key

You may wonder what the distinction is between a map an essential and a map legend. The crucial makes the map understandable. The map legend usually includes not only the map crucial to the symbols however a many other beneficial information:

Map scale, in big units favor miles and kilometers, or little units choose feet and also metersMap projection name, favor Mercator, Cassini, Equirectangular, Gauss–Krüger, or SinusoidalMap publication dateCartographer or firm name

Today we usage both unit volume to typical the same thing, but the map key is technically found in the map legend.

Compass climbed On A Map

The compass top top a map is referred to as a compass rose. That main role is to allude north, however it nearly always mirrors the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west). Periodically it speak the intermediate or ordinal directions, too: northeast, southeast, northwest, southwest.

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Unlike all the other symbols ~ above the map, the compass rose does no usually show up in the crucial or legend. That is usually drawn in an not important area, prefer an ocean or huge desert, so that it does no cover locations. By tradition, most maps orient so that north is at the optimal of the map.

On maps and also nautical charts dealing with tides, sailing, and also coastlines, the compass rose is also called a "windrose" or "rose the the winds." very accurate nautical charts and also some topological maps show both true north and magnetic north on the compass rose.

Map crucial Quiz

See if friend can discover your means around a map by answering these questions.

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Define the “map key.”What is another name for a legend on a map?Why is a legend important for many maps?What prize is beside Washington DC on the map?What walk a star usually mean on a map?Fill in the blank: a map"s ___________ defines its markings and also symbols.What map symbol because that a mountain range is most regularly used?

The crucial to coming to be a legend in your own time is to research hard. Don’t emergence at the answers listed below until you have actually tried your best!

You might define “map key” together the component of a map within the map legend the tells what the map icons mean. We use a map key and also map legend interchangeably.Another surname for a legend top top a map is a map key, return you deserve to get very picky and also say that the legend stop the map an essential and other information.A legend is vital for most maps because cartographers can not write everything into the map, therefore they need symbols. The symbols require a an essential to understand them.The star symbol, ★, is beside Washington DC ~ above the map.A star, ★ , usually method a country funding on a map.Fill in the blank: a map"s legend or key describes its markings and also symbols.The map symbol because that a mountain variety is frequently a tiny triangle or upside-down ∨: △ or ∧.

What girlfriend learned:

After functioning your method through this lesson and video, you have learned the:

Definition of a map key and a map legendPurpose that a map crucial in the map legendTypes of symbols on a mapDifference between a map vital and map legend