What is a map legend? Types of conventional cartographic symbols

The legend is not only a fictional story aboutany event or person. There is another meaning for this word. In this article we will talk about what is the legend of the map by geography. What is it and what is it for?

What is a map legend?

The map is the alphabet of geography.Without it, it is very difficult to imagine this science in principle. The map is one of the main tools of geographical research. At the same time, it often acts as a visual result of the activity of geography scientists.

what is the geography map legend

A geographic map, like any book, needsto be able to read correctly. And if books are written with the help of letters, words and sentences, then the cards also have their own specific "language". What does he look like? To answer this question, you just need to figure out what the map legend is.

The Legend (Eng.: map legend) is a list of all the conventions that were used to compile a particular map, with textual explanations of their meaning. It can be a table or a simple list.

The legend of the card is placed in the free spacesheet, most often in the lower part or in the corners. In complex geographical atlases it can be found on separate pages of the publication (at the beginning or at the end). As a rule, in the legend all the conventional signs are grouped. That is, the designations of hydrological objects (rivers, marshes, ponds), settlements, vegetation, roads, etc., are separately indicated.

what is a map legend

Now it is clear what is the legend of the map. Perhaps, it is not superfluous to get acquainted with the main types of conventional cartographic signs.

Types of conventional cartographic symbols

The notation used in the compilation of geographic maps is very large. However, they all fall into four main groups:

  • Scale (contour or area) - those that can be expressed on a map scale (eg forest, field, residential area of ​​the city).
  • Non-scale (dot) - designations of objects that can not be expressed on a map scale (eg mine, plant, temple).
  • Linear - the signs by means of which maps indicate extended objects (roads, state borders, power lines, etc.).
  • Explanatory signs are all kinds of signatures, fonts that give an additional characterization of the depicted terrain objects.

So now you know what a map legend is.With its help, you can "read" any geographical map and extract from it a lot of useful and interesting information about this or that area. But for this, of course, it is necessary to learn all the symbols used in modern topography.