Digital Collections -> Pathfinders -> Maps-> Terms to Know

Some Map Terms to Know


Atlas - a book of maps.
Artist - the creator of the map. The abbreviation "del" on a map, followed by a name, indicates that the original map was drawn by that person.
Cartouche - a decorative design usually surrounding the title panel.
Directory - a book listing the names, addresses, etc. of a specific group of persons.
Engrave - to cut, or to etch (a picture, letters, etc. into a metal plate, wooden block, etc.) for printing.
Legend - a title, brief description or key accompanying an illustration or map.
Plat - a map or plan, esp. of a piece of land divided into building lots.
Rod - a linear measure equal to 5.5 yards or 16.5 feet (5.03 meters).
Scale - the proportion that a map, model, etc. bears to the thing that it represents; ratio between the dimensions of a representation and those of an object. Scale can be measured many ways, including feet, miles, rods, chains, and centimeters.
Survey - to determine the boundaries, area, or elevations of (land or structures on the earth's surface) by means of measuring angles and distances, using the techniques of geometry and trigonometry.