Maps (NCERT Class 6 Geography Chapter 4 Notes)

Conventional Symbols Used In Maps
Conventional Symbols Used in Maps
A map is a graphical representation of the earth's surface on a flat sheet of paper. Maps are useful for a variety of reasons such as demarcation of international borders and learning about natural earth features. When several maps are put together, we get an atlas.

Physical Maps
Maps which show natural features of the earth such as plains, mountains, plateau, rivers, lakes and ocean are known as the physical maps.

Political Maps
Maps which shows countries, states, cities, towns and villages with their territorial borders are known as political maps.

Thematic Maps
Maps which provide specific information such as rainfall, road, industries, forests, crop pattern are known as thematic maps.

Components of Maps
There are three main components of maps: 1. Distance, 2. Direction, and 3. Symbols.

  1. It is impossible to draw the world on a tiny piece of paper as it is in the real. To solve this problem, we use a scale to represent the surface as closely as we can.
  2. A scale is a ratio between of actual distance on ground and distance shown on the map.
  3. When entities like countries, continents or the world are shown on the map, then we use a small scale. The small scale typically ranges from 1:2,000,000 to 1:5,000,000 (World Map) or 1:10²² for the galaxy. These maps are called small scale maps.
  4. When entities such as a town, village or city are mapped, we usually us large scale. A typical large scale ranges from 1:1 to 1:600,000. Such maps are known as large scale maps.

  1. Maps usually contain an arrow marked with letter N on the upper right corner. This arrow with letter N indicates the North Direction. It is known as the North line.
  2. There are four major directions: north, east, west and south. There are four intermediate directions: north-east (NE), south-west (SW), south-east (SE) and north-west (NW). These are together called cardinal directions.
  3. With the help of a compass, one can find directions. Its magnetic needle always points toward a north-south direction.

It is impossible to draw the actual shape and size of different objects and features such as building, roads and so on. These objects and features are drawn with the help of certain colours, letters, lines and drawings. There is an international agreement on the use of these symbols. These internationally agreed symbols are known as conventional symbols.

A sketch is a rough drawing mainly based on memory and observation. It is drawn without a scale.

A plan is drawing of a small area on a large scale. A plan provides very specific information such as length and breadth of the surrounding.

Source: NCERT Class 6 Geography