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 globe is a three-dimensional object that accurately depicts the geometry of the Earth, while a flat map is a two-dimensional representation that has some distortions. Although globes are more accurate, maps are easier to use.Full Answer >
A flat map is a projection of Earth's surface onto a two-dimensional plane, according to NationalAtlas.gov. Because Earth's surface curves, any projection onto a flat map creates distortions. A globe is the most accurate depiction of Earth, but impractical for most uses, whereas a flat rendering is useful but not as accurate. A flat map can be printed on paper or digitally rendered on a computer screen.Full Answer >
A map legend is a table or chart included on a map to indicate the meaning of the map's varied symbols. This can be also be called the map's key.Full Answer >
A map scale shows the relationship between the distance on the ground and the corresponding distance on a specific map. Most scales appear on the bottom or top corner of a map.Full Answer >