NCERT / CBSE NOTES : Chapter Summary


Types of Maps

A map is a representation or a drawing of the earth’s surface, or a part of it, drawn or printed on a flat surface, according to a scale. A map helps you to identify the places and locations within an area helping one to navigate from one place to another.

Difference between globe and map:
  • A globe is a three-dimensional sphere while, a map is two-dimensional.
  • A globe represents the whole earth, whereas a map may represent the whole earth or just a part of it.
  • A globe can be used to get a broad-level picture of the world while, map provides more specific information about different places.
  • A globe, being spherical in shape, spins around an axis. However, a map, being a representation on a piece of paper, does not spin.
  • A globe is made of hard material and cannot be folded making it difficult to be carried around, unlike maps, which are made on paper and can be easily folded and carried around.
  • Maps can be referred to for navigating from one place to another while globes don’t provide enough specific details to help you in navigation.

A compilation of many maps is called an atlas.

Maps are categorized into three broad types:
  • Physical maps
  • Political maps
  • Thematic maps

Physical maps show natural features of the earth, such as mountains, plateaus, plans, rivers and oceans. Physical maps are also called relief maps. Maps used for sea and air navigation are called charts.

Political maps show different countries and states of the world, and the villages, towns and cities within their boundaries.

Thematic maps are maps that focus on a theme and provide specific information pertaining to that theme.

Reading Maps - Distances and Directions

Every map has three essential components:
  • Distance
  • Direction and
  • Symbols
A Scale is a ratio that represents the relationship between the actual distance on the ground and the distance on the map. The scale indicates how many units of the earth’s surface are equal to one unit on the map.

You use a large scale map to represent a small area, and a small scale map to represent a large area. A map that represents a small area, such as a residential colony, a village or a town, in relatively greater detail is called a large scale map.

Small scale maps are used to represent such large areas. The letter ‘N’ with an arrow pointing upwards at the upper right hand corner of most of the maps is called the North line and it represents the northern direction.

Using the north line as a reference, one can easily figure out the East, West and South directions in the map. One can refer to these four main directions as the cardinal points.

There are four intermediate directions:
  • North-East (NE)
  • South-East (SE)
  • South-West (SW)
  • North-West (NW)
You can use these directions to locate a place accurately on a map.

You can use a compass to find out the main directions of a place. A compass is an instrument with a magnetic needle that always points in the north-south direction. Often, pilots and sailors refer a compass to check if they are moving in the right direction.

Symbols, Sketches and Plans

The letters, pictures, lines, and colours used on the map are called symbols. Symbols are used to represent different features on a map.

Symbols give more information in a limited space, make maps both easy to draw and easy to read, and help you find your way in an unknown area.

Maps use a universal language that everyone can follow. The universal symbols used in maps are referred to as conventional symbols.

According to an international agreement, symbols follow a common colour code.
  • Blue is used for representing water bodies,
  • Brown for mountains,
  • Yellow for plateaus, and
  • Green for plains
Using symbols gives you a number of advantages:
  • Give a lot of information in a limited space
  • Symbols makes it easy to draw and read maps
A sketch map is drawn without a scale, based on memory and observation, and rRepresents the main features of an area.

A plan is drawn to scale, represents a small area on a large scale and provides the finer details, such as the length and breadth of a certain area

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