1. Definition of Map and Map Reading
  2. Types of Maps
  3. Uses of Map
  4. Conventional Symbols


Definition of Map and Map Reading

Maps are the graphical representation of the earth’s surface or part of it on a plane surface such as a sheet of paper drawn to scale. The map of an area shows the features of the area.


Map Reading

Map reading is the ability to recognize the conventional signs and symbols as used on maps and to interpret them.


Types of Maps

Maps can be classified into the following types:

1. Topographical Maps

These are large scale maps which cover relatively small areas, but give detailed information concerning the geographical features of the area that is represented. Such features include relief (which are represented by contour lines), drainage, vegetation and other man-made features like settlements, communication lines, etc. Below is an example of a topographic map.

Basic Concepts of Map Reading - Types of Maps - Topographic Maps

Topographic Map

Topographical maps are also known as Ordinance Survey Maps.

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