What should a map have?

“No map is better than bad map.”

No maps is better than a bad map cause it can lead you to a hole that can cause all kind of loss with the confidence that you have something that is leading you to where you want to be.

Knowing the skills that make beautiful maps you need to know the skills that makes understandable maps too.

Kinshasa 2017| Openstreetmap

Here are basic things that every map should have:

  • A legend: The legend is the most important part of a map; it explains the Signs and Symbols appearing in the map. A legend should include all the representations appearing in the map for the end users to understand what they see.
  • A Title: A title is a very important part of a map, because it’s the name of the map. It should be short and clear.
    • Summary: Instead of making the title so big, it’s better to make a small summary that explain the title, A summary that explain the result(The map).
  • A North Arrow: Helps with positioning the map in the right direction while using it and knowing where the north on that map is so that you can navigate or use it properly.
  • A Scale bar: Very important in calculations and estimation of distances while using the map. No map should ever miss a scale bar.
  • Data Sources: It’s so crucial to know where the data came from and to put it on the final map, Remember that this is to be mentioned in the metadata if the data too.
  • The author name: It’s also important to know who to contact if there is a question about a map, Remember, Wrong usage of maps because of misunderstanding can lead to serious loss and damages.
  • The date: It’s sometimes necessary to put the date of the production of the map because data change with time and people who want to use a map should know if the map that they are using is still valid and updated or not. You can’t use the map of Kinshasa of 1995 to navigate Kinshasa in 2017, a lot of spatial changes have happened from there.

Thanks for reading this article, Hope you enjoyed it.