Map Purposes and Tools

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by lhsnyd11
Last updated 4 years ago

Social Studies

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Map Purposes and Tools


A map is a way to represent information visually, showing either physical land and water, such as a map of the state of Ohio, or other information about the region such as political beliefs/majority, crop growth, or major income sources.

This is a political map of The United States, meaning that it shows the boundaries between states and countries. To see the other types of maps, read on!

Explore this poster to learn about how to "read" a map by using important features such as the title, key, compass, and alphanumeric grid. You will also find information about the different types of maps.

This is a PHYSICAL map of Ohio, so it has the physical landscape of a region on it.

This is called a Compass Rose, and shows the cardinal directions. These help when trying to give directions to other people, orienting yourself, and when trying to go in a certain direction.

Shows lakes, rivers, elevations, mountains, plains, valleys, and other land forms.

A climate map shows the different climates of areas on a map and things like average temperature or amount of rainfall.

A Resource map like this one shows where natural resources come from that people use, i.e. crops, gas. An economic map would show where people get their income from in different areas or the imports and exports.

The TITLE of the map is very important because it tells the reader what they are looking at, the purpose of it, and helps in interpreting it.

The KEY of a map is often a box that shows what the different symbols on the map stand for. A triagnle indicating a mountain or a Dairy Queen mean two very different things!

A road map is the one you see most often, showing the major highways and other roads of an area.

An alphanumeric grid is the horizontal and vertical lines laid over the graph. They make up a coordinate system so that readers can communicate where something is on the map by saying which vertical line it is on and what horizontal line it's on. Like the game Battleship! See it on the map above.



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