Young YOU| Maps – symbols, keys and scale

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The word topography comes from the Greek words topos (place) and graphia (to write). (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)
The word topography comes from the Greek words topos (place) and graphia (to write). (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Before there were GPS (global positioning systems) and smartphones, we used maps to navigate our way to a destination.

Today, maps are still a reliable way of finding places should technology fail, and being able to read a map is an important skill to have. This week, we introduce you to the basic skills of reading a map.

Two important types of maps are thematic and topographic maps. A thematic map shows the geographic patterns or a certain theme in a geographic area. Thematic maps use symbols to illustrate certain characteristics that aren’t observable, such as the languages, population or average temperature in a specific area.

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