BULLET Map Glossary

Atlas - A collection of maps bound into a book

Base map - A map used in the development of other maps

Bathymetric map - A map showing the shape of the bottom of a body of water

Bench mark - An object bearing a marked point whose exact elevation is known

Cadastral map - A map showing the boundaries of subdivisions of land, recording or describing ownership

Cartography - The art of making maps and charts

Central meridian - The vertical meridian of a map projection around which the map is centered

Chart - Any map used for navigation

Contour - An imaginary line on the ground, all points of which are at the same elevation

Coordinates - Unique terminology that designates the position a point occupies on a map

Cultural features - Man-made objects that appear on a map, such as roads, buildings, boundaries

Elevation - The vertical distance of a point above or below the surface, usually designated as sea level

Flood Plain - The low flat land bordering a stream that floods when the capacity of the stream is exceeded

Globe - A spherical map of the earth or heavens

Hachure - Lines used on a map that indicate the direction and steepness of the slopes

Hemisphere - Any half of the earth's surface

Index map - Map, usually at a small scale, used to identify an individual map within a series

Landsat - Map imagery produced with non-photographic remote sensing system (Landsat = land + satellite)

Latitude - The distance north or south from the equator, measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds

Legend - An explanation of symbols and other information shown on the maps' margin

Longitude - The distance east or west of the Greenwich meridian in degrees, minutes, and seconds

Map - A graphic description of a geographical area

Orthophotographic map - A map produced from photographs that have been produced through a means that removes image displacement caused by camera tilt and terrain

Photomap - An aerial photograph of the earth's surface

Planimetric map - A map that shows only horizontal positions for features as distinguished from topographic maps that show relief in a measurable way

Plat - A map of a tract of land that shows information pertaining to the boundaries and subdivisions

Prime meridian - The meridian of zero degrees that is used for measuring longitude, generally the meridian at Greenwich, England

Projection - Mathematical method used to put a curved surface on a flat surface

Quadrangle - An area used as an area unit in mapping

Reconnaissance map - Map prepared from rapid surveys of an area

Relief model - Model that is a three-dimensional representation of the elevations and depressions of the land

Scale - The relationship between a distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the earth

Section - A unit of a township, usually one square mile

Series - A group of maps with the same general characteristics

Survey - The process of obtaining information in an orderly manner

Thematic map - A map designed to provide information on a single subject

Topographic map - Map showing the configure of the land surface

United States Geological Survey - An agency within the Department of Interior responsible for topographic mapping in the United States since 1882