Home: GPS Education: A Kids Glossary of Map and GPS Terms

A Kids Glossary of Map and GPS Terms

Altitude: The height of an object compared to sea level or ground level.

Canal: A water-way that is manmade and used for irrigation and transportation.

Canyon: A deep gorge surrounded by steep sides, usually with a river flowing through it.

Cartographer: Someone who studies and creates maps.

Cartography: The study and creation of maps.

Compass: A device used for navigation that always points north.

Compass Rose: A design on the map that tells you which direction is North, South, East, West

Continent: A very large area of land. The seven continents consist of: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America.

Contour: Lines on a map that represents places that have the same altitude.

Degree: A unit of measurement, written as °

Eastern Hemisphere: The half of the earth that is east of the prime meridian. Consisting of: Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Equator: An invisible line drawn around the earth halfway between the North and South Poles.

Geography: The study of the Earth's surface.

Geologic Map: A specific map created to show the geological features such as different rocks and faults.

Glacier: A slowly moving body of ice.

GPS: Global Positioning System. A system that tells you your exact longitude and latitude of a location.

Island: A piece of land surrounded by water.

Key: A small table on the map defining the symbols that are being used.

Lake: A large body of water surrounded by land on all sides of it.

Landmark: An object such as a mountain or lake used to determine one's location.

Latitude: The angular distance of a location north or south of the earth's equator.

Longitude: The angular distance of a location east or west of the meridian.

Map: A graphic representation of a place or location.

Meridian: An invisible arc of constant longitude that meets at the north and south poles.

Northern Hemisphere: The half of the earth that is north of the equator.

Ocean: A large body of salt water that surrounds land.

Parallel: Two points side by side and always having the same distance between them.

Peninsula: A mass of land surrounded by water on only three sides.

Plain: A flat piece of land that only has small changes in elevation.

River: A large body of water usually connecting to a sea or ocean.

Road Map: A map used by travelers that shows major highways, cities, and towns.

Southern Hemisphere: The half of the earth that is south of the equator.

Topographic Map: A map showing elevations of different locations.

Weather Map: A map that shows weather conditions over a period.

Western Hemisphere: The half of the earth west of the prime meridian. Another name for the Americas.

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