What’s on a Map?

Those who know me will know that I like maps.

If you’ve got one of these big paper sheet maps, now is the time to grab it and take a closer look.

Start by opening it right up.  Use a clear table or even the floor, so that you can get round it, and even lean on it without damaging it.

Down the side you should find a whole list of information.  The really useful bit is a list of the symbols that the map uses.  Each symbol’s meaning is given. 

Try spotting some of them on the map itself.  It’s a good idea to learn what the symbols mean because you can read the map much more fluently if you don’t have to keep checking the key to find the meanings.

The edge of the map (usually the bottom) will also show you the scale.  If your map scale is 1:50000, that means that 2 cm on the map is 1 km in real life.  A map with a scale of 1:25000 shows more detail, as 4cm on the map represents 1 km in real life. You will find a scale line that has been divided and labelled in kilometres to help you judge distances on the map itself. 

And if you prefer you can work in miles or even nautical miles!

Check your inbox for a sheet of ideas for learning map symbols. You can sign up in the sidebar.