Plans are used to show the distribution or location of objects in a space or to indicate where buildings or places are located.
A town plan shows the location of houses, buildings, parks, etc, over a geographical area.
An orthogonal plan.
A radiocentric plan.
A linear plan.
An irregular plan.
A compass rose shows the four cardinal points: north, south, east and west. This helps us orient the objects on a map.
Many plans use symbols to show different landmarks and places. A symbol is a picture which represents something in the real world. We need to have a map key or a legend.
Maps also have a scale. Maps are smaller than the real-life places they portray, but they maintain the same proportion. For example, one kilometre in real-life is shown as one centimetre on a map.
All the names of the different places on a map are called the toponymy of that place.
A map is a representation of the Earth's surface, which shows how landmarks are related to each other by distance, direction and size.
Maps must show a round area (because the Earth is a sphere) on a flat surface. Because of this, maps often have distortion; objects closer to the Equator have less distortion that objects that are further away.
There are three main types of maps:
Physical maps: These show the physical features of an area (mountains, rivers, lakes...). Colour is used to show relief or land elevation in the landscape.
Political maps: These show national and state boundaries and important cities.
Thematic maps: There are different kinds of thematic maps.
Which map (a-e) would you need to find out information about...
1 ... a country's borders?
2 ... a country's weather?
3 ... places in a town?
4 ... a country's geography?
5 ... whether an area is flat or steep?
In your own words, explain what distortion is and why it occurs.
Maps are visual representations of real-life landscapes. Map scales show the difference between the distance on the map and the distance in real-life. The two types of scale are:
A graphic scale.
A fractional scale.
Maps can be small or large scale.
A small scale map of Spain
A large scale map of Malaga
The Earth is a three-dimensional sphere but a map is only two-dimensional. We use three-dimensional globes to show the Earth more accurately. On both globes and maps there are lines of longitude and latitude. These are imaginary lines that help us locate different places on the Earth.
The most important line of longitude is called the Prime Meridian. It passes trough Greenwich, and is sometimes know as the Greenwich Merididan.
The most important line of latitude is the Equator which divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
We measure the latitude of a specific place depending on whether it is north or south of the Equator. Longitude is measured in terms of east and west.
On the globe you can also see the North Pole and the South Pole. This is where the Earth's axis passes through. If you look at the globe you can see that it is tilted to show the real-life tilting and rotation of the Earth.
A map of the world showing lines of latitude and longitude.
Look at map a. How far is it from Villadiego to Quintanadueñas?
Look at map b. How far is it from Villadiego to Pozo de la Sal?
Try to answer the following questions without a calculator.
1 How many metres are there in two kilometres?
2 How many centimetres are there in one kilometre?
3 30,500 metres equal how many kilometres?
4 How many centimetres are there in 16 kilometres?
Draw a graphic and fractional scale to represent the following distances.
1 One centimetre represents ten kilometres.
2 One centimetre represents forty kilometres.
Work with a partner. Take turns asking your partner to calculate two distances. You can use the maps above or a different map.
Look at map c. How far is it from Cádiz to Jaén?
Look at map d. What is the approximate distance between the two statues?
These people need to find the right type of map for them. Listen to their needs, then match the person to the correct type of map.
1 Deena, a tourist in Granada.
2 Joe, a student learning about European capital cities.
3 Hillary, a hiker in the Sierra Nevada.
4 Jamal, a kayaker who wants to learn about bodies of
water and natural landscape in Spain.
From wide and far, here we all are!
Connect your photo to your family's country (or countries) of origin with wool using tape. Your map should look like the example below.
Are these sentences True or False?
Match each type of map to its example. When should we use each type of map?
you have completed the lesson!