The symbol on a map that indicates direction is known as the compass rose. The most basic compass rose in cartography is a single arrow that shows the northern direction. Others have four points showing north, south, east and west. Some have eight or 16 points, showing detailed directions.
While modern map convention matches the top of the map with the northern direction, other direction orientations are also used. English-language maps tend to focus their orientation on North America and Europe. Depending on the projection, such maps can even skew the prominence of those continents and minimize the size of others. The south-up map puts Australia, Africa or South America as the focus.Learn More
A topographic map is a highly detailed illustration that shows all the relief features of the Earth's surface in three dimensions. In topographic maps, contour lines are employed to show the changes in elevation on the surface of the Earth.Full Answer >
A map key is a table that explains the various symbols used on that particular map. Another term for the map key is the map legend.Full Answer >
Generalized maps are specifically designed to convey several types of information within the confines of one map. A generalized map usually includes details like topography and actual aesthetics of the portrayed area, producing a map that is closer to a mirrored image than a strict representation to scale.Full Answer >
A population map is used to represent the overall distribution of population within a particular area. Most maps represent the varying population data using color, while other population maps use symbols, such as circles or stars.Full Answer >