5 Essential Elements Of A Map

5 Essential Elements Of A Map – Cartography – Geography

5 Essential Elements Of A Map

Cartography is a branch of Geography. In cartography, we study maps. so to understand the map there is much important to understand the essential elements of the map.5 essential elements of a map are very important for cartography.

To understand the map we should have to know about the 5 essential elements of a map. There are also 7 elements of a map. But in this post, we will discuss important 5 components of a map. All maps, however, should have a few basic components to help their users. The error of these essentials may decrease the clarity of the map, and make it more difficult to comprehend and understand.some of these essentials component are as follow:

Lonely Planet essential element of map


#1. Map Title:

The title is a centre, A short summary of a map. It should determine the area covered and provide some communication of the map content, as “ Pakistan Physical” or Rice cultivation in China” or “ Population Distribution in India ”.


Map title

#2. Date of Publication:

The most map also shows the date and year of publication, so that the reader should be informed when the data were collected. This will give an indication of how much out-of-date the map is. Some map list both the date to which the information relates and date of publication of the map.


#3. Legend or Key:

Most maps make use of symbols, colours, shading, or other methods or devices to represent features (Natural or Manmade) or the amount, degree, or proportion of some quantity. Some symbols are very simple and self-explanatory. But it is needed to include a legend (Key) box in the corner to explain the symbolization.

map legend or key
Image By Wikipedia

#4. Map Scale & Projection:

A scale is the prime essentials of a map. Map scale can be defined as part of a map that compares distance on a map to distance in the real world. Similarly, a map is drawn on a “Projection” means a net of latitude and longitude, drawn by a specific method on a flat paper from a glob. The type of projection, on which a map was drawn, is also written on that map.


map scale or projection

#5. Direction:

The direction is normally shown on a map by means of the geographical grid. Meridians (of longitudes) are supposed to extend north-south, and parallel (of longitudes) are east-west lines. A straight arrow pointing northward also marked that is called “ north arrow “.

Some maps also show and describe geographic (True) north, magnetic north, grid north. True or geographic north usually does not coincide with magnetic north, and angle of difference between a true north and a magnetic north is also known as the “ magnetic declination “.

Himesh Kumar Behera

map direction

Click for more Map Detail


So Here is Example of Maps That are showing Essential Elements of Map.

5 essential element of map

Created by: www.ezilon.com

Created by: www.globalsecurity.org


In Short, Map is very important to know or understand any geographical area. Firstly in map Title is very important to know that what the map is about. Secondly, the map has a legend key to know about the features of the map. Thirdly Map direction to know about the NORTH direction of map and projection.


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