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Map Reading and Skills

i-study store, revision guides for IB and IGCSE
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IGCSE Geography; map skills

4-Figure Grid References

These provide a reference telling us which grid square the object is in.

Go along the bottom first & up the side second:

  • (01,10) = orange circle
  • (02,11) = blue square
  • (03,10) = green triangle
4 figure grid references

6-Figure Grid References

These provide more accurate location by specifying the exact location within a grid square.

As before, go along the bottom to get the square & then put how many tenths across it is (like a decimal point). Normally you will have to do this bit in your head as the only the numbered lines will be shown.

Repeat this on the verticle axis.

  • (014,105) = orange circle
  • (023,111) = blue square
  • (038,101) = green triangle
6 figure grid references

Contour Lines

These are the brown lines & they run along the sections of the map that are the same height. They are given a number which represents the height above sea level in meters. The closer together they are the steeper the gradient.

Spot Heights

These are the exact height of a point shown with a black dot & the height in meters next to it.

contour lines

Layer Shading

This technique uses layes of different colours to represent height.

A key indicates the value of the colours.

If the colours change quickly it shows a steep slope.

It provides a very visual and easy to read display of the landscape.

layer shading