# An Introduction to Map Vocabulary

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An Introduction to Map Vocabulary
Map Terms An Introduction to Map Vocabulary

Parts of a Map There are 4 main parts of a map: The Title
The Compass Rose The Map Key The Scale

The Title The title of the map is usually at the top and describes the topic of the map Example: The title of this map is “British Empire – 1900.”

The Compass Rose The compass rose is the symbol on a map that shows the 4 cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West) and the 4 intermediate directions (Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest). NW NE SW SE

The Map Key The map key is the part of the map that explains what the symbols and colors on the map represent. Example: On this map, the red line indicates the Trans-Siberian railroad, the black line is a national boundary, and a black dot is a city.

The Map Key On this map, different colors are used to show different things. Example: the lavender color shows where the Han people live. The red color shows where the Mao people live.

The Scale The scale is the part of the map that helps determine the actual distance between locations. Example: On this map, 1 inch is equal to 100 miles.

Inset Map Sometimes maps have an inset map.
An inset map is used to show details of a map at a larger scale.

What are the seven continents?
North America South America Europe Asia Africa Australia Antarctica It’s your choice! Identify them on the world map, or label them on the blank side of the map.

What are the four oceans?
Atlantic Pacific Indian Arctic It’s your choice! Identify them on the world map, or label them on the blank side of the map.

Hemispheres A hemisphere is half of a globe.
It can be split horizontally through the Equator. Or it can be split vertically through the Prime Meridian.

Hemispheres What continent(s) are in the northern hemisphere?
What continent(s) are in the southern hemisphere? What continent(s) are in the western hemisphere? What continent(s) are in the eastern hemisphere?

Location Absolute Location Relative Location
The location of a place using latitude and longitude coordinates. Ex. New York City is 41N, 74W. Relative Location The location of a place in relation to something else. Ex. I live near Kroger.

Absolute Location: Using Latitude and Longitude
To find locations for larger areas such as countries or continents, latitude and longitude are used. This is a giant grid where degrees are used.

Latitude The Equator is 0° latitude and is the starting place for measuring latitude, the lines that measure distances north or south of the Equator. Example: A city on this line is said to be located at 40° S.

Longitude The Prime Meridian is 0° longitude and is the starting place of measuring longitude, the lines that measure distance east or west of the Prime Meridian. Example: A city on this line is said to be located at 20° W.

Put them both together! By using lines of latitude and longitude, you can give the absolute location of any place on earth. Example: A city here is located at 20° S, 60° W.

Types of Maps There are many different kinds of maps, depending on what the map is to be used for. Examples: A map showing the 50 states of the United States A road map of New Hampshire A map of Pennichuck Middle School

Political Maps Political maps show man-made boundaries between countries and states. The capital city of each country is designated by a circle with a star inside.

Physical Maps Physical maps show natural features such as rivers, lakes, oceans, plateaus, mountains, and peninsulas. Elevation (height of the land above sea level) is also shown with the use of different colors.

Climate Map A climate map uses various colors to show different types of climate (the weather throughout the year.) Example: On this map the dark green color represents a tropical wet climate. Blue is a marine climate

Land Use/Resource Map A natural resource map uses symbols to show where resources such as minerals and plant products are located. Example: The cart with a “c” on it represents coal. The coiled wire represents copper.

Population Distribution Map
In this map, different colors are used to show the population density (the number of people per square mile.) Symbols are used to show the population of major cities. Example: The purple areas have a high population density (over 520 people per square mile – very crowded!) A represents a city with over 5 million people.