Map vital Definition

A map key is one inset on a map that defines the symbols, provides a scale, and also usually identifies the type of map projection used. Technically, the key is part of the map legend. The key explains the signs while the legend hold the crucial and various other information.

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Purpose the A Map Key

The objective of a map an essential is come tell you the definition of the icons on a map. The vital on a map interprets each symbol so that you can read and understand the map.

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

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The map an essential is the only way for you to recognize for sure what the over symbol means.


Table that Contents


Definition

Map key Symbols

When make a map, Cartographers (map makers) cannot compose out everything and make the fit. They need quick, straightforward drawings, called map symbols, to replace written information. If you do not recognize what ·, ∘, or ⊙ means, friend cannot recognize the map.

A map vital tells friend what all the icons on the map mean. For example, the tiny black dot, ·, way a town or village, the open circle, ∘, means a city that at least 75,000 human being or the ⊙ method a state capital. A map vital can phone call you that ★ usually reflects a country’s capital.

Every map supplies its own map symbols, relying on the info the cartographer wants to show. Map keys can display symbols for natural resources, populace centers, bodies of water, species of industry, and also 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 list of Google Maps symbols above, various colors represent various categories. Green for outdoors, orange because that dining and drinks, etc.

Map key Examples

This map of Tennessee has a crucial that shows how the soil is used. Tiny icons that look prefer pigs, plants, and stone show where animals are raised for food, where plants room grown, and where ores and also rocks are mined.

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This map vital uses natural colors for herbal formations yet uses abstract shapes for human activity. It supplies coded squares to present ruins and also archeological sites. It uses circles to was standing for villages and also towns. The natural formations such together ice and also desert are presented in colors that resemble the actual things.

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Legend Vs. Key

You might wonder what the difference is in between a map crucial and a map legend. The crucial makes the map understandable. The map legend usually has not only the map vital to the symbols however a the majority of other helpful information:

Map scale, in large units favor miles and kilometers, or little units prefer feet and metersMap estimate name, choose Mercator, Cassini, Equirectangular, Gauss–Krüger, or SinusoidalMap publishing dateCartographer or company name

Today we use both paragraph to mean the very same thing, however the map an essential is technically uncovered in the map legend.

Compass rose On A Map

The compass ~ above a map is dubbed a compass rose. That is main role is to suggest north, however it virtually always mirrors the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west). Sometimes it tells the intermediate or ordinal directions, too: northeast, southeast, northwest, southwest.

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Unlike every the other symbols top top the map, the compass climbed does no usually show up in the key or legend. The is usually drawn in an not important area, like an s or vast desert, so the it does no cover locations. By tradition, most maps orient so the north is at the optimal of the map.

On maps and nautical charts handling tides, sailing, and coastlines, the compass climbed is additionally called a "windrose" or "rose of the winds." extremely accurate nautical charts and some topological maps present both true north and magnetic phibìc on the compass rose.

Map key Quiz

See if girlfriend can find your way around a map through answering these questions.

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Define the “map key.”What is an additional name for a legend on a map?Why is a legend crucial for most maps?What symbol is beside Washington DC ~ above the map?What go a star usually typical on a map?Fill in the blank: a map"s ___________ describes its markings and symbols.What map symbol for a mountain range is most regularly used?

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

You might define “map key” as the part of a map within the map legend the tells what the map icons mean. We use a map key and map legend interchangeably.Another name for a legend top top a map is a map key, return you have the right to get very picky and also say the the legend holds the map vital and other information.A legend is crucial for many maps since cartographers cannot write whatever into the map, so they need symbols. The symbols need a vital to know them.The star symbol, ★, is next to Washington DC ~ above the map.A star, ★ , usually means a country capital on a map.Fill in the blank: a map"s legend or key defines its markings and symbols.The map symbol because that a mountain selection is regularly a small triangle or upside-down ∨: △ or ∧.

What girlfriend learned:

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

Definition of a map crucial and a map legendPurpose of a map an essential in the map legendTypes of symbols on a mapDifference between a map crucial and map legend