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Text 5

  1. Read and translate the text:

Essentials of Mapmaking

In view of the variety of maps, we may find it difficult to summarize what they all have in common. Cartography, being an art and science of map-making, does include a series of processes that are common to all the maps. These processes that may also be referred to as essentials of maps are:

  • scale

  • map projection

  • map generalization

  • map design

  • map construction and production

Scale: we know that all maps are reductions. The first decision that a map-maker has to take is about the scale of the map. The choice of scale is of utmost importance. The scale of a map sets limits of information contents and the degree of reality with which it can be delineated on the map.

Projection: we also know that maps are a simplified representation of the three-dimensional surface of the earth on a plane sheet of paper. The transformation of all-side-curved-geoidal surface into a plane surface is another important aspect of the cartographic process. We should know that such a radical transformation introduces some unavoidable changes in directions, distances, areas and shapes from the way they appear on a geoid. A system of transformation of the spherical surface to the plane surface is called a map projection. Hence, the choice, utilization and construction of projections are of prime importance in map-making.

Generalization: every map is drawn with a definite objective. For example, a general purpose map is drawn to show information of a general nature such as relief, drainage, vegetation, settlements, means of transportation, etc. Similarly, a special purpose map exhibits information pertaining to one or more selected themes like population density, soil types or location of industries. It is, therefore, necessary to plan carefully the map contents while the purpose of the map must be kept in the forefront. As maps are drawn at a reduced scale to serve a definite purpose, the third task of a cartographer is to generalize the map contents. In doing so, a cartographer must select the information (data) relevant to the selected theme and simplify it as per the needs.

Map design: the fourth important task of a cartographer is the map design. It involves the planning of graphic characteristics of maps including the selection of appropriate symbols, their size and form, style of lettering, specifying the width of lines, selection of colours and shades, arrangement of various elements of map design within a map and design for map legend. The map design is, therefore, a complex aspect of mapmaking and requires thorough understanding of the principles that govern the effectiveness of graphic communication.

Map construction and production: the drawing of maps and their reproduction is the fifth major task in the cartographic process. In earlier times, much of the map construction and reproduction work used to be carried out manually. Maps were drawn with pen and ink and printed mechanically. However, the map construction and reproduction has been revolutionized with the addition of computer assisted mapping and photo-printing techniques in the recent past.


  1. Answer the following questions:

  1. What can we define as essentials of maps?

  2. What does the scale of a map set?

  3. How is a system of transformation of the spherical surface to the plane surface called?

  4. What objectives are different maps drawn with?

  5. How must a cartographer select information for mapping?

  6. What does the process of map design include?

  7. Why is the map design an important aspect of mapmaking? What does it require?

  8. What were earlier maps drawn with?

  9. How are map construction and reproduction made nowadays?




  1. Complete the sentences:

  1. The most important aspects in mapmaking are …

  2. All maps are …

  3. … sets limits of information contents and the degree of reality.

  4. Maps are a simplified representation of …

  5. General purpose map is drawn to show information of a general nature such as …

  6. Map design involves the planning of graphic characteristics of maps including …

  7. … is a complex aspect of mapmaking and requires thorough understanding of the principles that govern the effectiveness of graphic communication.

  8. Map construction and reproduction has been revolutionized with the addition …


Text 6

  1. Match the English equivalents with Russian ones:

  1. Earth's surface

  2. compass rose

  3. large scale map

  4. urban area

  5. mapping agency

  6. transport-network system

  7. administrative division

  8. relative humidity

  9. population distribution

  10. linguistic and social groups

  11. educational attainment

  12. small-scale map

  13. to estimate distances

  14. precise survey



  1. агентство по изготовлению карт

  2. административное деление

  3. городская местность

  4. достижения в сфере образования

  5. крупномасштабная карта

  6. мелкомасштабная карта

  7. относительная влажность

  8. оценить расстояние

  9. поверхность Земли

  10. распределение населения

  11. роза ветров

  12. система транспортных сетей

  13. точная съемка

  14. языковые и социальные группы




  1. Read and translate the text:

Types of Maps

A map is a picture or representation of the Earth's surface, showing how things are related to each other by distance, direction, and size. Maps are a way of showing many things about a portion of the earth's surface on a flat piece of paper that can be carried and transported easily.

There are several types of maps. Each shows different information. Most maps include a compass rose, which indicates which way is north, south, east and west. They also include a scale so you can estimate distances.

Here's a look at some different types of maps.

Types of maps based on scale:on the basis of scale, maps may be classified into large-scale and small-scale. Large scale maps are drawn to show small areas at a relatively large-scale. For example, the topographical maps drawn at a scale of 1: 250,000, 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 and the village maps, the zonal plans of the cities and house plans prepared on a scale of 1:4,000, 1:2,000 and 1:500 are large scale maps.

On the other hand, small-scale maps are drawn to show large areas. For example, atlas maps, wall maps, etc.

Large-scale maps are further divided into the following types:

(a) Cadastral maps

(b) Topographical maps

(a) Cadastral maps: the term ‘cadastral’ is derived from the French word ‘cadastre’ meaning ‘register of territorial property’. These maps are drawn to show the ownership of landed property by demarcating field boundaries of agricultural land and the plan of individual houses in urban areas. The cadastral maps are prepared by the government agencies to realize revenue and taxes, along with keeping a record of ownership. These maps are drawn on a very large scale, such as the cadastral maps of villages at 1 : 4,000 scale and the city plans at a scale of 1 : 2,000 and larger.

(b) Topographical maps are also prepared on a fairly large scale. The topographical maps are based on precise surveys and are prepared in the form of series of maps made by the national mapping agencies of almost all countries of the world.

Small-scale maps are further divided into the following types:

(a) wall maps

(b) atlas maps

(a) Wall maps are generally drawn on large size paper or on plastic base for use in classrooms or lecture halls. The scale of wall maps is generally smaller than the scale of topographical maps but larger than atlas maps.

(b) Atlas maps are very small-scale maps. These maps represent fairly large areas and present highly generalized picture of the physical or cultural features. Even so, an atlas map serves as a graphic encyclopedia of the geographical information about the world, continents, countries or regions. When consulted properly, these maps provide a wealth of generalized information regarding location, relief, drainage, climate, vegetation, distribution of cities and towns, population, location of industries, transport-network system, tourism and heritage sites, etc.

Types of maps based on function:the maps may also be classified on the basis of their functions. For example, a political map serves the function of providing administrative divisions of a continent or a country and a soil map shows the distribution of different types of soils. Broadly, maps based on their functions may be classified into physical maps and cultural maps.

Physical maps show natural features such as relief, geology, soils, drainage, elements of weather, climate and vegetation, etc.

(a) Relief maps show general topography of an area like mountains and valleys, plains, plateaus and drainage.

(b) Geological maps are drawn to show geological structures, rock types, etc.

(c) Climatic maps depict climatic regions of an area. Besides, maps are also drawn to show the distribution of temperature, rainfall, cloudiness, relative humidity, direction and velocity of winds and other elements of weather.

(d) Soil maps are also drawn to show the distribution of different types of soils and their properties.

Cultural maps show man-made features. These include a variety of maps showing population distribution and growth, sex and age, social and religious composition, literacy, levels of educational attainment, occupational structure, location of settlements, facilities and services, transportation lines and production, distribution and flow of different commodities.

(a) Political maps show the administrative divisions of an area such as country, state or district. These maps facilitate the administrative machinery in planning and management of the concerned administrative unit.

(b) Population maps are drawn to show the distribution, density and growth of population, age and sex composition, distribution of religious, linguistic and social groups, occupational structure of the population, etc. Population maps serve the most significant role in the planning and development of an area.

(c) Economic maps depict production and distribution of different types of crops and minerals, location of industries and markets, routes for trade and flow of commodities.

(d) Transportation maps show roads, railway lines and the location of railway stations and airports.
3. Choose the right answer from the four alternatives given below:

1) Which one of the following is essential for the network of lines and polygons to be called a map?

a) map legend

b) symbols

c) north direction

d) map scale

2) A map bearing a scale of 1:4000 and larger is called:

a) cadastral map

b) topographical map

c) wall map

d) atlas map

3) Which one of the following is not an essential element of maps?

a) map projection

b) map generalization

c) map design

d) history of maps

4) On the basis of scale, maps may be classified into:

a) atlas and cadastral maps

b) large-scale and small-scale maps

c) physical and cultural maps

d) wall and atlas maps

5) Maps based on their functions may be classified into:

a) geological and cadastral maps

b) large-scale and small-scale maps

c) physical and cultural maps

d) soil and climatic maps

6) A map that serves the function of providing administrative divisions of a continent or a country is:

a) a political map

b) a cadastral map

c) a soil map

d) an economic map

7) All maps include a scale so you can:

a) measure angles

b) measure heights

c) estimate distances

d) show relief


4. Answer the following question:

  1. What is a map?

  2. What are the main two principles in classification of maps?

  3. What are different types of small-scale maps?

  4. List out two major types of large-scale maps?

  5. What are cadastral maps drawn for?

  6. What are topographic maps based on?

  7. What are the main types of maps based on their functions?

  8. How is a map different from a sketch?


Text 7

  1. Read and translate the text:

Topographic maps

Topographic maps are used for a wide variety of applications, from camping, canoeing, hunting and fishing, to urban planning, resource development and surveying.

Why? Because they accurately represent, to scale, the earth's features on a two dimensional surface; that is to say, every feature shown on a map is where it actually is on the earth's surface.

  A topographic map is a detailed and accurate graphic representation of cultural and natural features on the ground. 
  A topographic map identifies numerous cultural and natural ground features, which can be divided into the following categories:

  • culture: roads, buildings, urban development, boundaries, railways, power transmission lines;

  • water: lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, rapids;

  • relief: mountains, valleys, slopes, depressions;

  • vegetation: wooded and cleared areas, vineyards and orchards;

  • toponymy: place names, water feature names, highway names.

Seven colours can be found on a map, each relating to different types of features.

  • Black shows cultural features such as buildings, railways and power transmission lines. It is also used to show geographical names (toponymy), certain symbols, geographic coordinates, precise elevations, border information and surround information.

  • Red is used for paved roads, highway numbers, interchange exit numbers, certain symbols as well as for names of major transportation routes. A red tint is used to show urban development.

  • Orange indicates unpaved roads and unclassified roads and streets.

  • Brown shows contour lines, contour elevations, spot elevations, sand and eskers. Contour lines connect a series of points of equal elevation and are used to illustrate relief on a map. For example, numerous contour lines that are close to one another show hilly or mountainous terrain; when far apart, they indicate a gentler slope. Each contour is a line of equal elevation; therefore, contours never cross. To help the user determine elevations, index contours are wider.

  • Blue represents water features, such as lakes, streams, falls, rapids, swamps and marshes. The names of water bodies and water courses are also shown in blue.

  • Green is used for wooded areas, orchards and vineyards.

  • Grey is used on the back of the map to indicate the different symbols and a glossary of terms and abbreviations.

  • Purple can be used to show added information (update) over the original map detail.

Since a map is a reduced representation of the real world, map symbols are used to represent real objects. Without symbols, we wouldn't have maps.

Both shapes and colours can be used for symbols on maps. A small circle may mean a point of interest, with a brown circle meaning recreation, red circle meaning services, and green circle meaning rest stop. Colours may cover larger areas of a map, such as green representing forested land and blue representing waterways.

To ensure that a person can correctly read a map, a map legend is a key to all the symbols used on a map. It is like a dictionary so you can understand the meaning of what the map represents.

Here are some common symbols:






Topographic maps also show both a geographic grid (latitude/longitude) and a UTM grid allowing the user to determine precise positions. 
  Scale refers to the relationship between distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground. At a scale of 1:50 000 for example, one unit of measure on the map represents 50 000 equivalent units of measure on the ground. Medium-scale maps (e.g. 1:50 000) cover smaller areas in greater detail, whereas smaller-scale maps (e.g. 1:250 000) cover large areas in less detail.


  1. Answer the questions:

  1. What are topographic maps used for?

  2. Why are topographic maps used in a variety of applications?

  3. What is a topographic map?

  4. What does this map type identify?

  5. How can natural and cultural features be divided?

  6. What colours can be found on topographic maps?

  7. What are contour lines used for?

  8. What do different colours on maps mean?

  9. What is used for representation of real objects on maps?

  10. What can symbols of different shapes and colours mean?

  11. What is the difference between medium-scale and small-scale maps?




  1. Decide whether the statements are true or false:

  1. Topographic maps are used only for urban planning.

  2. A topographic map is a detailed and accurate graphic representation of cultural and natural features on the ground.

  3. Seven colours can be found on a map, each relating to different types of features.

  4. Black indicates unpaved roads and unclassified roads and streets.

  5. Brown shows contour lines, contour elevations, spot elevations, sand and eskers.

  6. Contour lines are used to illustrate density and growth of population on a map.

  7. Water features are shown in grey.

  8. A map legend is a key to all the symbols used on a map.

  9. Topographic maps show both a geographic grid (latitude/longitude) and a UTM grid allowing the user to determine precise positions. 

  10. Scale doesn’t refer to the relationship between distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground.




  1. Fill in the tables with topographic symbols:










  1. Look at the topographic terms often used and find their definitions:
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