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Map Symbols

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  • 1. Map symbols Click here
  • 2. What are map symbols?
    • Maps give us a lot of information and there is not much room for labels.
    • So we use symbols to save space and make the map easier to read.
    • Symbols may be simple drawings, letters, shortened words or coloured shapes or areas.
  • 3. How can we use them?
    • A map will always have a key to list and explain the meanings of the symbols used.
    • It is therefore not necessary for you to learn all the OS symbols as you will have a key. However it will make it quicker if you are familiar with some of the more common ones.
    • If you have to draw your own map, you can make up your own symbols – but remember you must provide a key to explain what they are.
  • 4. OS map symbols
    • The OS has its own set of map symbols, often copied by others.
    • These symbols can be grouped into categories like places of interest (usually shown in black), points of interest for tourists (blue), etc. but every map will have a key for reference.
  • 5.
    • (Click to find out what)
    Some map symbols can tell you more than just the location of a feature. For example the following symbols all indicate churches – but each one will tell you a little bit about what the church looks like.
  • 6. Chapel Church with a tower Church with a steeple Some map symbols can tell you more than just the location of a feature. For example the following symbols all indicate churches – but each one will tell you a little bit about what the church looks like.
  • 7.
    • Areas of woodland too will tell you what type of trees are to be found.
    • Below is the symbol for a mixed woodland, but the trees could be shown as either just coniferous or just deciduous.
    Coniferous Deciduous
  • 8.
    • Remember to give as much detail as you can. You might be asked where a certain feature is so be sure you know how to pin point its 6 figure grid reference or the grid square/squares it covers.
    • Now try the following short tests.
  • 9. In order to do the test you will need to see a copy of this map and its key. If you cannot open this as a separate window then print this page out before you go to the second exercise. 2. Click here for map symbol exercise Or click here to return to main menu
    • Check your knowledge of OS map symbols – click here