Symbols on a topographic map of the area: the main types

Symbols of the map or plan are a kind of their alphabet, according to which they can be read, learn the nature of the terrain, the presence of certain objects, evaluate the landscape. As a rule, conventional symbols on a map convey common features with existing geographic objects. The ability to decipher cartographic designations is indispensable when making tourist trips, especially to distant and unfamiliar terrain.

  • Symbols on maps and plans
  • 2Types of conventional symbols on maps

Symbols on maps and plans

All objects marked on the plan can be measured on a map scale in order to represent their real sizes. Thus, conventional symbols on a topographic map are its “legend”, their decoding for the purpose of further orientation on the ground. Homogeneous objects are denoted by the same color or stroke.

All the outlines of objects located on the map, according to the method of graphic representation, are divided into several types:

  • Areas
  • Linear
  • Dotted

Symbols on geological mapsIn addition, topographic plans put on themselves other symbols that serve as an additional characteristic for some of these objects:

  • Signatures

Some signatures are used in full, some in abbreviated form. The names of settlements, the names of rivers and lakes are completely deciphered. Abbreviated signatures are used to indicate more detailed characteristics of some objects.

  • Digital Legend

Used to denote the width and length of rivers, roads and railways, transmission lines, the height of points above sea level, the depth of fords, etc. Standard map scale notation is always the same and depends only on the size of this scale (for example, 1: 1000, 1: 100, 1: 25000, etc.).

In order to as easily as possible to navigate the map or plan, conventional symbols are denoted by different colors. To distinguish even the smallest objects, more than twenty different shades are used, from intensely colored areas to less bright ones. To make the card easy to read, below it is a table with a decoding of color symbols. Thus, water bodies are usually indicated in blue, cyan, turquoise; forest objects are green; the terrain is brown; urban neighborhoods and small towns – olive-olive; highway and motorway – orange; state borders – purple, neutral area – black. Moreover, neighborhoods with fire-resistant buildings and structures are indicated in orange, while neighborhoods with non-fire-resistant structures and improved dirt roads are marked in yellow.

The method of quality background in cartographyIn addition, topographic plans put on themselves other symbols that serve as an additional characteristic for some of these objects:

  • Signatures

Some signatures are used in full, some in abbreviated form. The names of settlements, the names of rivers and lakes are completely deciphered. Abbreviated signatures are used to indicate more detailed characteristics of some objects.

  • Digital Legend

Used to denote the width and length of rivers, roads and railways, transmission lines, the height of points above sea level, the depth of fords, etc. Standard map scale notation is always the same and depends only on the size of this scale (for example, 1: 1000, 1: 100, 1: 25000, etc.).

In order to as easily as possible to navigate the map or plan, conventional symbols are denoted by different colors. To distinguish even the smallest objects, more than twenty different shades are used, from intensely colored areas to less bright ones. To make the card easy to read, below it is a table with a decoding of color symbols. Thus, water bodies are usually indicated in blue, cyan, turquoise; forest objects are green; the terrain is brown; urban neighborhoods and small towns – olive-olive; highway and motorway – orange; state borders – purple, neutral area – black. Moreover, neighborhoods with fire-resistant buildings and structures are indicated in orange, while neighborhoods with non-fire-resistant structures and improved dirt roads are marked in yellow.

  • Chart method. Displays certain quantitative phenomena in a particular location, for example, the annual temperature change, the amount of precipitation, and so on.
  • Point method. Displays mass events that are difficult to display separately – the resettlement of the people, the placement of livestock, etc.
  • Areal way. The method of cartographic display of the boundaries of the placement of any phenomenon.
  • The method of signs of movement. Shows spatial movements.
  • Card charts.
  • The way cartograms.
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