FACULTY OF EDUCATION
CENTRE FOR SECURITY STUDIES
TO : MR PATRICK JAMBO
FROM : MASTON CHITSONGA
REG. NO : CSS/06/1
COURSE TITTLE: INTRODUCTION TO GEOSPATIAL
COURSE CODE : SSGE 1201
TASK : FUNDAMEMTALS OF A GOOD MAP
DUE DATE : 30th JUNE, 2017
FUNDAMENTALS OF A GOOD MAP
A map is a diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads etc. (https: // www google. com.)
For a map to qualify a good map, it must be drawn in line with the required basics. These basics are also referred to fundamentals of a map.
The first fundamental of a good map is the scale. A scale of a map is defined as the ratio of a distance on a map to the corresponding distance on the ground. Martin, (1995), as cited by Heywood Cornelius Carver, p: 260. Scale gives an indication of how much smaller than reality a map is. It is also important when using spatial entities like: points, lines and areas to represent generalised two dimensional versions of real world features. There are three ways of presenting a scale on a map. The three ways are as follows: verbal scale, graphical scale and ratio scale. (Heywood Cornelius Carver, 2011 p.260).
The second fundamental of a good map is the legend. Legend is a key of the map. Information needed to read a map is found in a map legend. It provides colour and symbol. It is used to look up details for the map element. A legend is a standard element on most lay outs. Wider audience maps may exclude certain given feature types drawn with standard symbology such as blue water bodies or green land masses, however, these are left to the discretion of the map author. Complicated legends with many items necessitate the usage of grouping levels. The two forms of grouping levels most commonly seen are: the categorical group and the shape type group. When categorical separations are not needed, shape type groupings are often displayed in points, lines and polygons. (Gretchen N. Peterson, p.34).
The third fundamental of a good map is the tittle. A good map should have a tittle which its purpose is to pronounce the intent of the map. It also identifies the geographical location of the map as well as the authorising agency. The tittle is either the primary or secondary layout element and if secondary, it is only second to the map element. Tittles should be spelled out, and avoid acronym at all cost. Avoid any redundant terms such as “map of ……” or “analysis of……” Avoid using jargon such as “framework,” or “model,” as these result in useless mind confusion for the reader. Cartographers may list the tittle simply or artistically. Tittles of maps typically appear at the top of the map, but not always. (Paul A. Longly, Michael F. Good Child, David J. Magwire and David W. Rhind.)
The fourth fundamental of a good map is a directional indicator. A good map should have a directional indicator which illustrate the orientation of a map to the viewer. Some cartographers place an arrow that points to the North Pole on the map. This is a “North arrow.” The North Arrow enables your map audience to be familiar about where the North is. It also shows at least four, and sometimes more directions. Other maps indicate direction by using a “compass rose,” with arrows pointing to all four cardinal directions. (Daniel Dorling & David Fairbain, 2014.)
The fifth fundamental of a good map is projection. Map projection is a systematic transformation of the latitudes and longitudes of locations from the surface of the sphere or an ellipsoid into locations on a plane. Maps cannot be created without map projections. Map projections transforms the earth on to a two dimensional surface. In doing so, they approximate the true shape of the earth. All map projections necessarily distort the surface in some fashion. Transverse Mercator projection and Mollweide projection are two forms of map projection. There are many types of map projections but the common used types are: cylindrical projection, azimuthal projection, and conic projection. (Anson, R.W. & Ormerling, F.J., 1993)
The sixth fundamental of a good map is a date. A date and year on which the lay out was printed must be included on a map. The dates for your data sources are addressed in the data citation section. It is important to include a date on most lay outs that are intended to be stand-alone prints. The date gives the audience an idea of the maps vintage for maps that endure. (Gretchen N. Peterson, p.40).
The seventh fundamental of a good map is inset maps. Some maps feature inset maps. Inset maps are smaller maps on the same sheet of paper. They provide additional information not shown on the larger map. Inset maps are drawn at a larger more readable scale. They usually feature areas of interest related to the large map. Inset maps are commonly used on tourist and travel maps. (https: www. bsu. edu/library/ collections/ gcmc/ feedback form/)
To sum up, scale, legend, tittle, directional indicator, projection, date, and inset maps are fundamentals of a good map. Learning more about common fundamentals of maps, will enhance the understanding of the world. Maps really are a geographer’s most important tool.
Anson, R.W., ; Omerling, F.J. (1993) Basic Cartography. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.
Carver H.C. (2011), Introduction to Geographical Information Systems. Harlow: Pearson
Dorling D. ; Fairbain D. (2014), Ways of Representing the World. London and New York:
Rout ledge Taylor and Francis Group.
https: www. Bsu. edu/library/collections/gcmc/feedback form/ Accessed on 23rd June, 2017.
https://www. Google. Com/ Accessed on 20th June, 2017.
Longley P.A., Good child M.F., Magwire D.J. ; Rhind D.W. (2005), Geographical
Information Systems and Science. Barcelona: Grafos SA.
Peterson G.N., GIS Cartography, a Guide to Effective Map Design. London: CRS Press
Tylor ; Francis Group.