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Information from Maps
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Information from Maps

This GCSE quiz looks at information from maps. Maps are central to geography! It is therefore essential that you are able to gather information from them. A map is a representation of part of the surface of the Earth, but it can contain a huge amount of data. The simplest kind of map is a sketch map. A sketch map is generally not drawn to scale and conveys only a small amount of information e.g. it could show the roads that someone needs to follow in order to get to a particular location. During fieldwork, a geographer may use a sketch map to note the position of certain features e.g. along a stream or river, which will help them later in their study.

Accurate maps are produced by cartographers. They use specialised equipment to make their measurements. In the early days of map making, these measurements were not as accurate as they are now, so some of the oldest maps can look quite strange to our eyes.

Maps of coastlines that were produced by the early explorers look vaguely like the real coastlines, but noticeably different to the accurate charts of today. The information they contained was relevant to the explorers such as possible places where they could go ashore, where they had encountered unfriendly indigenous people and so on.

As the science of mapmaking developed, map scales became increasingly accurate and cartographers used symbols to represent features of the landscape, buildings and so on. This allowed more information to be carried by a map, for example, maps of local parishes showing what land belonged to which person as well as the local tracks, paths, streams and other features were developed.

During the eighteenth century, the idea of drawing lines to join points of equal value became more widespread. By the end of the century, European maps with lines joining points of equal height were starting to appear. These were called contour lines and we take them for granted on modern maps.

Some of these old maps still exist and are a good source of information for geographers studying changes to the landscape over a period of time. In atlases, the use of maps was further developed and maps contained a wide variety of different information such as ocean currents, climate zones, population densities, agricultural and political zones and more.

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Look at the map and decide which of the following is/are accurate?
A characteristic of a less economically developed country is that a high proportion of the urban population lives in shanty towns or slums
About half of the urban population of India live in slum areas
According to the map most African counties are unlikely to be MEDCs
All of the above
When looking at information on computer screens, the colours are sometimes not easy to see as different screens show colours that are slightly different to others - this is something that you need to bear in mind when gathering GIS data
Which statement about changes in global temperature is correct?
The countries along the equator have had the largest temperature increases
Since 1950, the northern hemisphere has seen the largest temperature increases
Overall, between 1950 and 2014, world temperatures have decreased a lot
Brazil is the only country in which the temperature rose during the second half of the twentieth century
Most of the world's glaciers are in retreat and each winter, a smaller area of sea at the two poles freezes over than in the middle part of the twentieth century
This map is an example of:
an Ordnance Survey map
a Mercator map
a plan
a choropleth map
A choropleth map is a map in which areas are shaded or filled with a pattern in proportion to the statistical variable being displayed on the map, such as population density
This is part of a map created in 1854 showing cases of the deadly disease cholera in London. How many cases of cholera were there in total on Portland Street and in the work house?
This type of map is called a dot distribution map
This map shows the HDI of most of the world's countries. For what geographical term is HDI an acronym?
Highest Denominational Integer
Human Development Index
Human Degradation Indicator
Human Development Indicator
HDI is a measure of many factors such as literacy, life expectancy, access to health services etc
Look at the map, it shows some of the main ocean currents of the world. Which of the following statements about the Canaries current is correct?
The Canaries current flows northwards from Africa
The Canaries current carries cooler water away from southern Europe
The Canaries current is a warm water current
The Canaries current flows along the east coast of Africa
Blue usually indicates that a moving air mass or water current is cold
Based on the information given on the map of land use in Bosnia-Hercegovina in which of these towns are you most likely to find BOTH wine making and timber production occuring?
According to the map, mixed farming in Bosnia-Hercegovina includes vineyards so you are looking for a town near both forests and mixed farming. Out of the four towns given, Bihac lies on the border between an area where mixed farming and forest occurs
The map displays some of the key ocean currents of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Which of the following descriptions is NOT correct?
The California current lies in the Pacific Ocean and flows southwards
The Benguela current and Peru current transport cold water towards the equator
The Canaries current and guinea current both carry warm water towards the equator
The Brazil current and Gulf Stream carry warmer water towards the polar regions
These major currents are caused by differences in temperature in different areas of the oceans
The map shows the percentage of urban populations living in slums. In how many African countries are 60 to 70 percent of the urban population living in slums?
It is believed that over a billion people are living in slums and shanty towns
The map shows the main vegetation zones of the world. Which of the following is NOT a true statement?
Areas of temperate broadleaf forest are found only in the UK
One area where tundra is found is the north of Canada
Most of the world rainforest areas are found between the tropic of cancer and the tropic of capricorn
Between almost all of the areas of tundra and other vegetation zones, you find the taiga biome
Taiga is coniferous woodland and is in fact the largest terrestrial biome. A biome is an area of plants and animals that have common characteristics that are adapted to the climate. A biome can contain many different habitats and ecosystems.
Author:  Kev Woodward

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