A map is an image that represents an area of the earth’s surface, usually from above.
A map can provide different information such as place names, land features, elevation, and political boundaries.
North is usually at the top of the map, check the compass rose to see if it has been repositioned in a different direction.
Physical maps indicate natural features such as mountains, deserts, rivers and lakes.
Political maps focus on the division of the earth’s surface into different countries, states or provinces.
Most maps in this atlas will show physical features as well as country borders, cities, and towns.
Today, scientists can make more accurate maps of the world than ever before. They can use information from satellites that orbit the earth.
A thematic map is one that focuses on a particular main idea (or theme). These might include: Climate Vegetation Economy Population Language
Map legends are very important for all types of maps, but perhaps especially so for thematic maps. Legends can include: Symbols Elevation Scale Colour Keys
Maps often use symbols instead of words to label real-life features and make maps clearer.
Symbols can be small pictures, letters, lines or coloured areas.
Each symbol is placed in a key or legend next to the map. The key explains what each symbol means.
Climate Maps are a type of Thematic Map. They present information about climate such as: Temperature Precipitation Sunshine Hours Growing Season Climate Regions Environmental Concerns
Climate is the overall weather pattern of a region. The two major aspects of climate are temperature and precipitation.
A Climate Graph shows: A title Precipitation bars in blue A temperature line in red Months of the year Usually the Total Annual Precipitation Sometimes the growing season at 6°C Interactive Climate Graphs
Revolution of the earth Rotation of the earth – causes seasons – causes day and night
latitude – proximity to altitude (elevation) – the equator or to the temperature decreases poles ex. high latitude 1 C for every increase = lower temperatures of 165 metres
wind – wind can lower or raise temperature depending on where the wind comes from large bodies of water – water’s temperature changes more slowly than land’s temperature; therefore the temperature near large bodies of water will be more moderate
ocean currents – make the water cold or warm and thus affect the land
pollution (man-made or natural) gases in the atmosphere trap heat forest fires and volcanoes can also affect temperature
winds – will bring precipitation to an area large water bodies – will usually increase precipitation in that area
air pressure – differences in air pressure cause precipitation to fall
temperature – interaction between warm and cold air causes precipitation
physiography – the presence of physical features such as mountains or deserts
Orographic – caused by mountains, as in Greater Vancouver
Convectional – thunderstorms, caused by the rising of hot air
Cyclonic – the most common type, caused by differences in air pressure