Reading Maps

What is a map? A map is a representation of an entire area or just a part of an area. This representation is a shrunk representation of an actual area. The actual scale is reduced to smaller scales according to the size of the map. Usually, a map consists of the compass roles, scales, and a legend. The compass rose represents the directions (north, south, west, and east). The scale of the map represents the actual scale. The legend is a collection of symbols that represent the places and landmarks in the area.

fortuna_map(Image credit to:

Click on the image to enlarge.

So how to read a map? When reading a map, there are certain things to be considered. What to be taken into account are the directions, scale, the latitude and the longitude (coordinate), and the legend. The directions could be determined using the the compass rose provided in the map. By referring to the compass rose, you will know in which direction you are in. The scale of a map is determined by the size of the map as well as the actual size of the area. There are maps representing a whole country and there are also maps representing only a small area for example, a small town area. The latitude and the longitude also plays an important role here in where they provide you with the coordinate if the place that you are going. This coordinate points out the actual spot of the place on earth. If you have a GPS device with you while travelling, the coordinate will help you point the place that you are going in no time. Lastly, the legend. A set of symbols are included in a legend. These symbols will provide you with the information on the places in the area. Referring to this symbols provide you with the information such as landmarks, tourist spots, and important places to know for emergency cases in the area such as police station, hospitals and fire department. Adapted from: Here is an interesting video on how to read a map

 Another thing to note when reading a map or when looking/asking for directions is the preposition.  To help you not to get confused, here are the illustration of some prepositions: prepositions-of-place (Image credit to: For more tips, click here.


Posted in 1. Lessons
One comment on “Reading Maps
  1. […] and travel vocabularies can be found throughout the blog. Preposition can be found in the “Reading Maps” […]

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