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HIST 299: Asian Revolutions (Rocks)

Online Map collections

Types of Maps

Reference maps show the location of geographic boundaries, physical features of Earth, or cultural features such as places, cities, and roads. Some examples of reference maps are:

  • Political Maps: Show the geographic boundaries between governmental units such as countries, states, and counties. Show things like roads, cities and major water features such as oceans, rivers and lakes.
  • Physical maps: show the natural landscape features of Earth. Best known for showing topography, either by colors or as shaded relief. 

Thematic maps show the variation of a topic (the theme) across a geographic area. Some examples of thematic maps are:

  • Population density maps: show the distribution of people across a geographic area.
  • Weather maps: Show weather patterns over a geographic area.

Common Map Terminology

Common Map Terminology

  • Bar Scale: Tool for measuring distance on a map.
  • Coordinates: A set of numbers giving the precise location of a point, often its latitude and longitude.
  • Graphic Scale: Way of relating distance on a map by use of a bar scale that looks like a ruler.
  • Grid: Horizontal and vertical lines used to locate objects in relation to one another on a map.
  • Latitude: Distance north or south of the Equator, measured in degrees.
  • Longitude: Distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees.
  • Legend: Explanation of symbols and abbreviations used on a map, also known as a key.
  • Scale: Relationship between distances shown on a map and actual distances. 

Citing Maps

Cartographic Citation Style

Guidelines outlined by Christine Kolen, Wangyal Shawa, and Mary Larsgaard Cartographic Citations, A Style Guide: Second Edition (Chicago: American Library Association, 2010). These examples use the Chicago Style.

Map (static) from Website

Author. Map title. Scale. “Title of website” <URL> (date accessed).

Map in an Atlas

Map author. Map title. Scale. In: Atlas author. Atlas title. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, Date, page.

Interactive Map created from Website

Author. Title of map created. Layers used. Scale. Name of person who generated map; using “Title of Website” <URL> (date accessed).