Elements of Map: Title, Map Border, Map Legend, North Arrow, Scale, Acknowledgment, and Graticule (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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Maps are the primary tools by which spatial relationships are visualized. Maps therefore become important documents. There are several key elements that should be included each time a map is created to aid the viewer in understanding the communications of that map and to document the source of the geographic information used.

Common elements of a map are:

This Diagram Shows Elements of Map

Numbered below are descriptions of cartographic elements that are commonly found on a map layout.

Image Shows Numbered below Are Descriptions of Cartographic …

1. Title

The map title is very important because it is usually the first thing a reader will look at on a map. It can be compared with a title in a newspaper. It should be short but give the reader a first idea of what the map is about.

2. Map Border

The map border is a line that defines exactly the edges of the area shown on the map. When printing a map with a graticule, you often find the coordinate information of the graticule lines along the border lines.

3. Map Legend

A map is simplified representation of the real world and map symbols are used to represent real objects. Without symbols, we would not understand maps. To ensure that a person can correctly read a map, a map legend is used to provide a key to all the symbols used on the map.

This Image Shows Different Types of Legend

Two maps from the same area, both with water body in the background but with different themes, map symbols and colours in the legend.

4. North Arrow

A north arrow is a figure displaying the main directions, North, South, East and West. On a map it is used to indicate the direction of north.

Illustration 2 for Elements of Map: Title, Map Bor …

For example, in GIS this means that a house that is located north from a lake can be found on top of the lake on map. The road in the east will then be to the right of the water body on the map, a river in the south will be below the water body and if you are searching for a train station to the west of the lake you will find it on the left side on the map.

5. Scale

The scale of a map is the value of a single unit of distance on the map, representing distance in the real world. The values are shown in map units (meters, feet or degrees) . The scale can be expressed in several ways, for example, in words, as a ration or as a graphical scale bar.

When a representative fraction expresses a very small ration, for example, 1: 1000 000, it is called a small scale map. On the other hand if the ration is very large, for example a 1: 50 000 map, it is called a large scale map. It is handy to remember that a small scale map covers a large area, and a large scale map covers a small area.

This Image Shows Scale Expressed in Words, Ration and Graphi …

A map scale can be expressed in words (a) , as a ration (b) , or as graphic or bar scale (c)

6. Acknowledgment

In the acknowledgment area of a map it is possible to add text with important information. For example, information about the quality of the used data can be useful to give the reader an idea about details such as how, by whom and when a map was created. If you look at a topographical map of you town, it would be useful to know when the map was created and who did it.

7. Graticule

A graticule is a network of lines overlain on a map to make spatial orientation easier for the reader. The lines can be used as a reference. As an example, the lines of a graticule can represent the earth՚s parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. When you want to refer to a special area on a map during your presentation or in a report you could say: ‘the houses close to latitude 26.04/longitude – 32.11 are often exposed to flooding during January and February’ .

This Figure Shows Graticule

Graticules (red lines) representing the Earth՚s parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. The latitude and longitude values on the map border can be used for better orientation on the map.

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