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Map Skills

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Submitted By annlee80
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Geography - Maps

Continents and Oceans of the World

There are 7 continents in the world

1. Africa 2. Antarctica 3. Asia 4. Australia 5. Europe 6. North America 7. South America

There are 5 Oceans

1. Pacific 2. Atlantic 3. Southern 4. Indian 5. Arctic

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world's five oceans, followed by the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, and Arctic Ocean.
The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth's surface and contains 97 percent of the planet's water.

Map skills

To use a map effectively you need to know how to read the information. This is done by learning basic map skills.

Measuring Distance

Being able to measure the distance between two points on a map is very important. It allows you to work out what distance is in real life.
Every map is printed with a scale bar that converts the distance you measure on a map (usually in centimetres or inches) into a real life distance (usually in kilometres or miles).
A quick way to measure distance is to count each square you cross on the map.

Understanding Scale

It wouldn't be possible for maps to show things the size they are in real life, so maps make things smaller using scale. Drawing something to scale means showing it at a different size to what it is in real life.
When maps are drawn to scale things are made many times smaller than they really are. Because maps are important to a lot of people, this process has to be very accurate.
Every map has its scale printed on the front. It is usually written like this: 1:25 000. This means that 1 unit of measurement on the map (a centimetre, for example) represents 25 000 of those same units on the actual ground the map covers.
Why do maps have different scales?
Maps are sometimes called large or small scale.
Large-Scale maps — These are better for showing individual buildings in detail because they only cover a small area of land.

Small-Scale maps — These are ideal for travelling either by car or walking because they cover large areas of land.
What are different scales used for?
Ordnance Survey produces different maps for different uses. Each of these uses normally requires a different scale.

1 : 1250 Master Map® 1 : 10 000 Landplan®

Ideal for architects Ideal for town developers

1 : 25 00 Explorer™ 1 : 50 000 Landranger®

Ideal for outdoor activities Ideal for planning a day out

1 : 250 000 OS Travel Map 1 : 1 000 000 MiniScale®

Ideal for motorists and longer journeys Ideal for seeing the whole country at a glance

Compass Directions

A compass is an important tool for map readers. It tells us which way is north and where to find east, south, and west. Together, these are known as the four cardinal points of the compass.
Ordnance Survey maps are always printed with north facing the top.
Helpful phrases
To help you remember where the points of the compass are, you could try learning a phrase like; * Nobody Ever Swallows Whales or * Naughty Elephants Squirt Water. * The 8-point compass * You can make your compass more accurate by adding more points to it. By drawing a line in between each of the cardinal points, you can create an eight- point compass that shows the directions for north-east (NE), south-east (SE), south-west (SW) and north-west (NW).

* The 16-point compass * For even more accurate readings, some compasses add eight more points to make a total of sixteen. * Each of these points also has a direction. West-south-west (WSW) points to a direction west of south-west. Similarly, north-north-east (NNE) points north of north-east.

What are maps and why are they useful?

A map is a symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface. Maps present information about the world in a simple, visual way. A basic map of the world generally shows the location, size and shape of countries and oceans. A map can also be very detailed and focus on specific information. The information included on a map depends on its purpose.

Mapmakers, called cartographers, create maps for many different purposes. For example, People use road maps to plot routes for their trips. Meteorologists—scientists who study the weather—use weather maps to prepare forecasts. City planners decide where to put hospitals and parks with the help of maps that show land features and how the land is currently being used.

Maps are very useful because they can contain a wide range of information in one place.

Grid References

A grid reference locates a unique square region on the map. The precision of location varies, for example a simple town plan may use a simple grid system with single letters for Eastings and single numbers for Northings. A grid reference in this system, such as 'H3', locates a particular square rather than a single point.
Points can be located by grid references on maps that use a standard system for Eastings and Northings, such as the Universal Transverse Mercator used worldwide, or the Ordnance Survey National Grid used by Ordnance Survey in the UK. These points can then be located by someone else using grid references, even if using maps of a different scale. The more digits added to a grid reference, the more precise the reference becomes.
There are two main types of grid reference: * four-figure grid reference, such as ‘19 45’, indicates a 1 km by 1 km square on the map; and * six-figure grid reference, such as ‘192 454’, indicates a 100 m by 100 m square on the map. * Resources & Links
Choose topic * Starting Mapping * Map Symbols * Compasses and Directions * Grid References * Understanding Scale * Measuring Distance * Relief and Contours * Compass Bearings
Eastings and Northings
Look at the edges of your Ordnance Survey map and you'll see that the grid lines are numbered. Across the top and bottom edges the numbers increase west to east – these are called Eastings.
Along the left and right-hand sides of your map the numbers increase from south to north – these lines are known as Northings.

Ordnance SurveyMapZoneDigimap for schoolsFullscreen *
Choose topic * Starting Mapping * Map Symbols * Compasses and Directions * Grid References * Understanding Scale * Measuring Distance * Relief and Contours * Compass Bearings

Four-Figure Grid References
Where an easting and a northing line meet in the left hand corner of a square, you can put these two numbers together to form a four-figure grid reference.
It's important to remember that the easting comes before the northing in a grid reference.
You could try thinking of it as moving first along a corridor and then up the stairs to find the right numbers.
Ordnance SurveyMapZoneDigimap for schoolsFullscreen
Choose topic * Starting Mapping * Map Symbols * Compasses and Directions * Grid References * Understanding Scale * Measuring Distance * Relief and Contours * Compass Bearings
Six-Figure Grid References
Sometimes we need to be more accurate with the grid references we give. The grid squares on your Ordnance Survey map are all one kilometre across, which makes it easier to divide them into ten in your head.
By adding an extra number (between 1 and 10) to the easting and the northing, you'll come up with a six-figure reference that pinpoints a place to within 100 metres on the map.

Map Symbols
Why do maps use symbols?
Maps often use symbols instead of words to label real-life features and make the maps clearer. With so many features on a map, there would not be enough space to write everything down in words.
Symbols can be small pictures, letters, lines or coloured areas to show features like campsites, youth hostels or airports and train stations. If you look closely at a map, you will see that it is covered in symbols. There will usually be a key next to the map to tell you what the symbols mean.

Latitude and longitudeOrdnance SurveyMapZoneDigimap for schoolsFullscreen
Using latitude and longitude is a more accurate method of pinpointing the exact location of a very specific place on the earth’s surface and is commonly used by satellite positioning systems and GPS devices. Latitude specifies the north-south position of a point and longitude the east-west position.
You may come across the abbreviated version of the terms ‘lat-long’. Latitude and longitude references look like this: ‘50.855226 -1.402772’ and they are quite different to the grid references commonly used for determining points on an Ordnance Survey map.…...

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