Maps are very important tools, as they allow people to get a better sense of a certain area. In order to be useful for this, maps need to include certain features. Here are five features generally considered to be important for a map.
The first important feature of a map is its title. This tells us what the map is about. It tells us what the geographical focus of the map is: for example, its geographical location or other important geographical features portrayed on the map, such as natural resources.
The second important feature on any map is scale. Scale tells the reader of the map what the ratio between the size of the drawing on the map is compared to reality. This is important in order to be able to work out distances between points on the map. For example, the scale could tell us that 1 centimeter on the map equals 1,000,000 centimeters in reality.
The third important feature of a map is symbols. Depending on the theme of a map, certain symbols are used to show certain geographical facts. For example, different colors might be used for different natural resources that can be found in a certain geographical area, such as coal or oil.
This leads us to the fourth important feature of a map: the map legend. The legend explains the different symbols used in the map, to help the reader interpret the map correctly.
Lastly, I would like to mention grids as an important feature of maps. Grids are lines that run horizontally and vertically across a map, usually labelled with numbers and letters. This helps people to spot certain locations on a map more quickly.