Activity 1: The Components of Maps
Information on a map allows us to estimate distances, find directions, identify surface features of the land, and locate ourselves. This information is generally presented in the margin of the map (Fig. 1) or in a legend. Data contained in a legend includes the
  • Name of the map, typically the name of a prominent town or physiographic feature in the map area
  • Date the map was produced or updated
  • Scale or relation between distances on the map and the globe  More...
  • Direction, an indication of the relation between directions on the map and on the surface  More...
  • Geographic location of the map on the Earth  More...

These pieces of information make the map readable to the user. Without them, no matter how accurately made, the map would be virtually useless.


Fig. 1. The components of a U.S.G.S.
quadrangle map.


To complete Activity 1, select one of these files:word.gif (252 bytes)


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