Map crucial Definition

A map key is an inset on a map that defines the symbols, offers a scale, and usually identifies the type of map forecast used. Technically, the crucial is component of the map legend. The an essential explains the icons while the legend stop the vital and various other information.

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Purpose the A Map Key

The function of a map key is to tell you the definition of the signs on a map. The an essential on a map interprets each symbol so the you can read and also understand the map.

For example, what walk this symbol, ⇞, mean? Is it vital to know what it means? Is it pointing in a direction, standing because that a solitary tree, or indicating a forest?

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The map crucial is the only method for girlfriend to understand for sure what the above symbol means.


Table the Contents


Definition

Map vital Symbols

When do a map, Cartographers (map makers) cannot create out everything and also make it fit. They need quick, an easy drawings, dubbed map symbols, to change written information. If you carry out not recognize what ·, ∘, or ⊙ means, you cannot understand the map.

A map key tells you what all the symbols on the map mean. Because that example, the little black dot, ·, means a city or village, the open up circle, ∘, means a city the at least 75,000 people or the ⊙ means a state capital. A map vital can tell you the ★ usually shows a country’s capital.

Every map provides its own map symbols, depending on the information the cartographer wants to show. Map keys can display symbols for organic resources, population centers, body of water, species of industry, and much more.

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Here room some different symbols appearing in map keys:

Types the 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 view in this perform of Google Maps signs above, various colors represent various categories. Eco-friendly for outdoors, orange because that dining and also drinks, etc.

Map an essential Examples

This map the Tennessee has a crucial that shows just how the soil is used. Tiny signs that look like pigs, plants, and stone show where animals are increased for food, whereby plants space grown, and where ores and rocks room mined.

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This map vital uses organic colors for natural formations however uses abstract forms for human being activity. It offers coded squares to display ruins and also archeological sites. It offers circles to was standing for villages and towns. The natural formations such as ice and also desert are presented in colors the resemble the actual things.

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Legend Vs. Key

You may wonder what the distinction is in between a map an essential and a map legend. The vital makes the map understandable. The map legend usually includes not just the map vital to the symbols yet a most other valuable information:

Map scale, in huge units choose miles and kilometers, or little units like feet and also metersMap forecast name, prefer Mercator, Cassini, Equirectangular, Gauss–Krüger, or SinusoidalMap publishing dateCartographer or agency name

Today we usage both unit volume to average the very same thing, however the map crucial is technically found in the map legend.

Compass increased On A Map

The compass on a map is dubbed a compass rose. That main function is to allude north, but it practically always mirrors the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and also west). Sometimes 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 climbed does no usually show up in the crucial or legend. It is usually drawn in an unimportant area, prefer an s or vast desert, so the it does no cover locations. By tradition, most maps orient so the north is in ~ the optimal of the map.

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

Map an essential Quiz

See if girlfriend can discover your way around a map by answering these questions.

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Define the “map key.”What is one more name because that a legend on a map?Why is a legend essential for many maps?What symbol is beside Washington DC ~ above the map?What walk a star usually median on a map?Fill in the blank: a map"s ___________ describes its markings and also symbols.What map symbol because that a mountain selection is most often used?

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

You can define “map key” together the component of a map inside the map legend the tells what the map icons mean. We usage a map key and also map legend interchangeably.Another name for a legend ~ above a map is a map key, return you have the right to get an extremely picky and also say that the legend stop the map key and various other information.A legend is crucial for most maps due to the fact that cartographers cannot write everything into the map, so they require symbols. The symbols call for a key to recognize them.The star symbol, ★, is beside Washington DC ~ above the map.A star, ★ , usually way 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 working your way through this lesson and also video, you have learned the:

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