Map crucial Definition

A map key is an inset on a map that defines the symbols, offers a scale, and usually identifies the kind of map forecast used. Technically, the crucial is part of the map legend. The an essential explains the signs while the legend hold the vital and other information.

You are watching: What is another word for map key

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Purpose that A Map Key

The objective of a map vital is to tell you the meaning of the symbols on a map. The an essential on a map interprets each symbol so that you deserve to read and also understand the map.

For example, what does this symbol, ⇞, mean? Is it vital to know what that means? Is it pointing in a direction, standing because that a solitary tree, or describe a forest?

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The map key is the only method for girlfriend to recognize for sure what the above symbol means.


Table that Contents


Definition

Map vital Symbols

When making a map, Cartographers (map makers) cannot create out everything and make that fit. They need quick, simple drawings, referred to as map symbols, to replace written information. If you carry out not know what ·, ∘, or ⊙ means, friend cannot understand the map.

A map crucial tells girlfriend what every the symbols on the map mean. Because that example, the tiny black dot, ·, means a city or village, the open up circle, ∘, means a city the at least 75,000 civilization or that ⊙ method a state capital. A map crucial can tell you that ★ usually mirrors a country’s capital.

Every map uses its very own map symbols, depending on the info the cartographer desires to show. Map secrets can present symbols for herbal resources, populace centers, bodies of water, species of industry, and much more.

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Here space some different symbols appearing in map keys:

Types the Map SymbolsSymbolMeaning
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River
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Railroad Tracks

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Food
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Bar
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Cafe
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Shopping
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Grocery
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Arts
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Lighthouse
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Theater
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Tourist Attraction
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Casino
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Aquarium
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Event Venue
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Amusement Park
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Historical Site
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Museum
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Movie Theater
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Monument
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Music
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Relic
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Gas Station
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Parking
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Car Rental
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Hotel
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Resort
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ATM
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Bank
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Hospital
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Pharmacy
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Medical
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Park / Forest
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Mountain
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Sports Stadium
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Zoo
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Campground
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Cemetary
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Golf Course
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Garden
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Hiking
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Boating
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Fishing
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Airport
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Train
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Metro
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Subway
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Bus
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Rail
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Ferry
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Bridge
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Civic Building
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Post Office
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Library
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Police Station
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School
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Restroom / Bathroom
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Miscellaneous
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Church or Temple
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Synagogue

As you watch in this perform of Google Maps symbols above, different colors represent different categories. Environment-friendly for outdoors, orange for dining and drinks, etc.

Map vital Examples

This map the Tennessee has actually a key that shows exactly how the land is used. Tiny signs that look choose pigs, plants, and stone show where animals are increased for food, wherein plants are grown, and also where ores and also rocks room mined.

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This map vital uses herbal colors for natural formations yet uses abstract forms for person activity. It provides coded squares to display ruins and archeological sites. It uses circles to was standing for villages and also towns. The herbal formations such together ice and desert are shown in colors that resemble the genuine things.

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Legend Vs. Key

You may wonder what the distinction is in between a map crucial and a map legend. The an essential makes the map understandable. The map legend usually includes not just the map an essential to the symbols but a most other helpful information:

Map scale, in huge units favor miles and also kilometers, or small units favor feet and metersMap estimate name, like Mercator, Cassini, Equirectangular, Gauss–Krüger, or SinusoidalMap publication dateCartographer or company name

Today we usage both phrases to median the exact same thing, yet the map key is technically found in the map legend.

Compass increased On A Map

The compass ~ above a map is referred to as a compass rose. That main function is to point north, however it almost always shows the cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west). Occasionally it speak the intermediate or ordinal directions, too: northeast, southeast, northwest, southwest.

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Unlike all the other symbols on the map, the compass increased does no usually show up in the key or legend. That is usually attracted in an not important area, favor an s or large desert, so that it does no cover locations. By tradition, many maps orient so the north is at the top of the map.

On maps and nautical charts dealing with tides, sailing, and also coastlines, the compass climbed is additionally called a "windrose" or "rose the the winds." extremely accurate nautical charts and some topological maps present both true north and also magnetic phibìc on the compass rose.

Map vital Quiz

See if girlfriend can discover your means around a map by answering these questions.

See more: Pictures Of Objects Starting With Letter M, Things That Start With A, B, C, D And Each Letter

Define the “map key.”What is one more name for a legend on a map?Why is a legend vital for most maps?What price is alongside Washington DC ~ above the map?What go a star usually average on a map?Fill in the blank: a map"s ___________ defines its markings and also symbols.What map symbol because that a mountain range is most frequently used?

The an essential to coming to be a legend in your very own time is to examine hard. Don’t peek at the answers listed below until you have actually tried your best!

You might define “map key” together the part of a map within the map legend that tells what the map signs mean. We use a map key and also map legend interchangeably.Another surname for a legend top top a map is a map key, return you can get really picky and also say that the legend holds the map key and various other information.A legend is important for most maps due to the fact that cartographers cannot write everything into the map, for this reason they require symbols. The symbols call for a vital to recognize them.The star symbol, ★, is alongside Washington DC ~ above the map.A star, ★ , usually means a country capital on a map.Fill in the blank: a map"s legend or key defines its markings and also symbols.The map symbol because that a mountain range is often a small triangle or upside-down ∨: △ or ∧.

What you learned:

After functioning your way through this lesson and also video, you have actually learned the:

Definition that a map an essential and a map legendPurpose the a map an essential in the map legendTypes of symbols on a mapDifference in between a map an essential and map legend