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Atlas Map Skills
How well can you read maps?

Atlas Map Skills

This GCSE Geography quiz tests you on atlas map skills. You are required to develop and demonstrate a range of geographical skills, including cartographic (map related) skills, which will be assessed in any written exams you take. Ordnance Survey (OS) maps or other map extracts may be used but whichever you are given, the principles of what to do are the same. In this quiz, you will find questions about scales, coordinates, map references and other numbers that you may find on maps in atlases.

Atlases contain a huge amount of geographical information. Old atlases are very good stores of information from the past which allows geographers to see quickly how country names or boundaries have changed, how urban areas have developed and changes in land use over many years.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
Which type of map would you look for in an atlas if you wanted to find the average rainfall in the African country of Mozambique?
Climate maps are also used to show average temperatures
Which pair of coordinates most closely corresponds to the location of the highest mountain in New Zealand - Mt. Cook? Its location is marked on this map with a red X.
44° N, 170° W
44° N, 170° E
44° S, 170° E
44° S, 170° W
You should know by now that New Zealand is south of the equator. The map indicates that the longitude is east. Here's a bit of general knowledge for you, not needed for the GCSE - the native people, the Maori, refer to it as Aoraki. In 1991, part of the summit fell off as a massive rockslide, reducing the height of the mountain by 10 metres!
What does the 30' indicate?
Latitude 30 degrees north
Latitude 30 degrees south
Longitude 30 degrees west
It's the half way point between two degrees of longitude
Degrees are broken down into minutes, there are 60 minutes in a degree
The line of zero degrees longitude is called the:
Greenwich meridian
Blairwitch meridian
London median
Green meridian
This was established by the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in London to help British ships navigate around the world. It was later adopted as the international prime meridian
In which American state is the Arkansas City in grid square Gd on page 84?
Kansas and Arkansas are named for the native American Kansa tribe. Arkansas originates from the French settlers and explorers and is pronounced Arkansaw but Kansas is pronounced exactly as you would expect
In which grid square does the Butt of Lewis lie?
The eastings reference comes first
Which of the following types of map in an atlas would you use to identify a mountain range?
Relief maps show the height of the land making it easy to identify mountain ranges, valleys, ocean trenches and so on
What feature do you find just to the north west of the point where the 50° W line of longitude meets the equator?
The Alps
The mouths of the Amazon
The Carribean Sea
The Amazon flows more or less parallel to the equator and just a little to the south until it finally meets the sea. Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is a major global concern
In addition to maps, atlases often contain charts too. According to this chart, which region of the world consumes the most meat and which consumes the highest level of fat and sugar combined?
Australasia and North America
Russia and Eastern Europe
North Africa and the Middle East
China and Western Europe
The greatest number of calories consumed per day is in the areas containing MEDCs
On what page would you find find St Michael in Alaska?
When using an index with small print like this, use a ruler to make sure you are looking along the correct line
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Map skills

Author:  Kev Woodward

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