Geography - Mapping Skills


Careers in Geography


On a map of Australia mark as accurately as you can
  • the state boundaries
  • the capital cities of each state
  • the major river systems
  • your favorite holiday destination

In Geography, maps are expected to show
  • border (a ruled line around the map).
  • orientation (a North arrow in the top right hand corner).
  • Legend (a list of symbols used and their meaning)
  • Scale (a ruled line indicating the size of the features in the map).
  • Source ( a statement explaining where the data for this map was taken from).

Download textbook from SIMON.

Review your maps of Australia.
  • What can be improved?
  • What skills would you like to learn?
  • What would you like to learn more about?
  • Check your accuracy by comparing your map to your Atlas p.10, or online @ http://Google Maps, or
  • What standard would you like to have by the end of year 10?

Mark in the size and location of the Murray Darling Basin.
Research and indicate the distribution of people in Australia. Show this on your map.

Map Symbols

Complete Map symbols exercise first as groups and then as a class.
ws_Maps_Symbols_Lattitude_Longitude. (SIMON)

Latitude and Longitude.

Notes and activities (doc).



Diagram, Presentation and Challenge.

Latitude Longitude Quiz.

Types of Maps

Latitude & Longitude exercise
Types of Maps Exercise

Contour Lines

Discuss what contour lines and cross sections are...
Contour lines:
  • join points of equal height
  • provide information about the height, shape and slope of land.
  • contour interval: the difference in height between adjacent lines (see map legend).
  • lines are close together = steep terrain
  • lines are far apart = gentle slope
  • circles = peak, or depression (e.g. lake).




Photo 1, 2, 3.

Text: Thinking Geographically - read p12-15, answer questions p15-16

The Kokoda Trail

The Kokoda Trail is said to be one of the most difficult treks available to travellers.
220px-New_guinea_kokoda.PNG kokodaflier.jpeg
The Kokoda Trail or Track is a single-file foot thoroughfare that runs 96 kilometres (60 mi) overland — 60 kilometres (37 mi) in a straight line — through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. The track is the most famous in Papua New Guinea and is known for being the location of the World War II battle between Japanese and Australian forces in 1942.

The track starts, or ends, at Owens Corner in Central Province, 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Port Moresby, and then crosses rugged and isolated terrain, which is only passable on foot, to the village of Kokoda in Oro Province. It reaches a height of 2,190 metres (7,185 ft) as it passes around the peak of Mount Bellamy.[1]

Hot, humid days with intensely cold nights, torrential rainfall and the risk of endemic tropical diseases such as malaria make it a challenge to walk. Despite the challenge posed it is a popular hike that takes between four and twelve days (depending on fitness). Locals have been known to hike the route in three days. (wikipedia)
Source: Kokoda Trail Topographic Maps

Complete the following "cross section" task

It will be graded on SIMON.

Types of Maps
  • Read p 7 - 9 in the text (downloadable on SIMON).
  • If you can find a graphic of each type, include this in your notes.
    • (If you are taking notes by hand make a quick sketch showing the key features of each type of map). Consider taking a screen shot of the map in your electronic copy of the text book and using that.
      • topographic maps
      • land use maps
      • thematic maps
      • weather maps
      • street maps
  • Identify and take notes on the purpose of each type of map and their key features.
  • Complete the thinking Geographically task on p9 (Q1-5).

Measuring Distances on a Map.
  • Read how to calculate distance on a map by reading the section on p13.
  • Look at Figure 1.16 carefully.
  • Take notes on the difference between
    • straight line difference (and)
    • distance along a road, river, or railway
  • Practise this skill using the tips on p13.
  • Using the "map of Mt. Etna" you downloaded in the "cross-section" task (above),
    • calculate the straight line distance from...
      • Bronte to Catania (to the first letter of the names in the map in each case).
      • The summit of Mt. Etna to Adrano.
    • calculate the distance by road from Bronte to Catania.
  • Compare the straight line distance with the distance by road for...
    • Echuca - Melbourne

Grid Lines on Maps
  • read "Locating places on a topographic map using grid and area references" (text p13).
  • read "Measuring areas using scale" (text p14).
  • define "relief".
  • define "spot height".
  • define "contour lines".
  • complete "understanding the topic" p15.

To complete the following exercise you will have to form groups, where each group has access to an atlas (Heinemann 4th edition).
Copy the following table into your notes and then complete the exercise.

For this question you will be given a series of page numbers and grid references related to natural features map and data spreads in the Atlas. You will be expected to name the major feature or place that is in the grid. Complete the table below.
Page numbers
Grid reference

(grid square)
Name of place or feature









Maps for the above activity can be downloaded in electronic form here, however the task would be easier if you had an atlas.

Wed 22/2
Complete activity 1 and activity 2 on page 29 of the text
Submit this work on SIMON for grading at the end of the lesson.