Map Legend Symbol

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Never Use a Map Without Knowing Its Symbol and Color's Meaning.

The map legend shows the meaning of the colors and symbols on your map. These symbol are very important in navigation. Unfortunately, there is no worldwide standard so the colors and symbols may mean different things on different maps. This is why it is important to consult the legend before using a map from an unfamiliar series.

Since there are only a few colors to choose from, colors normally show entities that cover significant portions of the map. For example, vegetation zones are shown in green, bodies of water in blue, glaciers in white, urban areas in red, and areas with little or no vegetation in brown.

Map symbols are graphic representations of natural and man-made features. Point features such as campsites, lighthouses, or survey markers are shown as single symbols. Linear features such as roads, trails, power lines, railway tracks, rivers, or political boundaries are shown as dashed or continuous lines. Areas such as swamps, moraines, tidal flats, or sand dunes are shown as groups of identical symbols. Symbols are almost always shown at an exaggerated scale. Otherwise, they would be too small to be visible on the map.

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