Map Definitions for Land Surveyors

map—A representation on a plane surface, at an established scale, (a the physical features (natural, artificial, or both) of a part or the whole of the Earth’s surface, by the use of signs and symbols, and with the method of orientation indicated. Also, similar representation of the heavenly bodies. A map may emphasize, generalize, or omit the representation certain features to satisfy specific requirements. The type of information which a map is designed to convey is frequently described in adjective form to distinguish the map from maps of other types. A map should contain a record of the projection upon which it is constructed.

map, arbitrary—An office “subdivision” or map made by a title company assessor, or others for their own convenience in locating property in an area in which all the descriptions are by metes and bounds on the subdivision, the “lots” are given arbitrary numbers. The deeds and other instruments affecting these lots are posted to what is called an arbitrary account.”

map, assessment—Maps made or used by tax authorities showing size and location of properties and improvements thereon.

map, base1 A map showing fundamental information, copies of which are used to compile additional data of specialized nature. Often used to define a large-scale planimetric map compiled from aerial photographs, copies of which are used for the addition of contours and other data using the plane table and photogrammetric methods. 2 A map containing all the information from which maps showing specialized information can be prepared; a master map.

map, bathymetric—A map showing the contours of the bottom of a body of water. This topographic map of underwater regions differs from a bathymetric chart in that it contains little or no navigational information.

map, cadastral—A map of the boundaries of subdivisions of land, usually with bearings and lengths and the areas of individual tracts, for the purposes of describing and mottling ownership. A cadastral map may also show culture, drainage, and other features relating to the value of the land and its use.

map, contour—A map on which the elevation and configurations of the ground are delineated by contour lines. Contour maps usually give no other details other than notations and contour elevations.

map, engineering—A map with information essential for the planning of an engineering project and for estimating its cost. An engineering map is usually a large-scale map of a comparatively small area. This map may he entirely the product of an engineering survey, or it may be drawn from information collected from various sources.

map, forestry—A map prepared principally to show the size, density, kind, and value of trees in a given area.

map, geological—A map showing the structure and composition of the Earth’s crust.

map, highway1 A map containing the planimetric configurations of a highway and its connections, at grade or by controlled access, to other highways. 2 A map containing the details of curvature, roadside and cross drainage, right-of-way boundaries, and delineations regarding adjacent occupancy and land uses. The detail in a highway map is dependent entirely upon its scale and the purpose of its use, such as for indicating travel routes or for depicting construction details.

map, hydrographic—See chart, nautical

map, hypsographic—Topographic map on which the elevations are referred to a sea level datum.

map hypsometric—A map showing relief by any convention, such as contours, hachures, shading, or tinting. See also map, relief.

map index1 A map showing the location of collections of related data, whether in the form of other maps, statistical tables, or descriptions. 2 A small scale map on which the position and other identifying information regarding a survey or a construction project are indicated; key map

map, isogonic—A map or chart showing isogonic lines properly labeled with their magnetic declinations. ‘lies of equal annual  change in the declinations are generally also shown.

map, isoplethicA map where lines joining points have the same numeric values. Also called an “isarithmic map”. Examples of isoplethic maps are topographic maps with 1,amnu lines; population-density maps outlining regions along whose boundaries the density of population is constant; and thermal-flow maps with line joint points indicating heat flowing out at the same rate.

map, keyThe map on which the boundaries of each of several maps of an area (or plans of a project) are delineated to portray the position and relationship of wit map (or plan) to the others. The scale of the key map is usually smaller than the scale of tile maps or plans it portrays.

map, land classificationA map showing the different types of soil, rock, etc. Each type is usually indicated be a characteristic shading color

map, landscapeA topographic map made to a relatively large scale .111(1 in great detail. Such maps are required by architects and landscape gardeners for use in planning buildings to fit the natural topographic features and for landscaping parks, playgrounds, and private estates. These are generally maps of small areas, with a scale ranging between 1 inch equals 20 feet to 1 foot equals 50 feet, depending on the amount of detail shown.

map, largescaleCommonly, a map at a scale of 1:50,000 or larger (e.g., 1:25,000).

map, magnetic—See chart, magnetic.

map, medium-scale—Commonly. a map at a scale between 1:50,000 an 1:500,000.

map, nautical—See chart, nautical.

map, official—The map outlining present and future street rights-of-way or other public areas, adopted as a plan-implementation device by the legislative body of a city or other governmental unit.

map, photographic-1 A photographic copy of an assembly of individual aerial photographs which were arranged along the flight line in the proper relative positions. This index is usually reproduced and used reduced scale (i.e., from about 1/8 to 1/10 the scale of the photographs index of photography. 2An overlay containing the delineated boundary of each photograph, keyed to a base map, and depicting the location and area of coverage of each photograph and/or flight strips photographs.

map, planimetricA map which presents the horizontal positions only the features represented; distinguished from a topographic map in omission of relief in measurable form. The natural features usually shown on a planimetric map include rivers, lakes, and seas; mountains, valleys and plains; and forests, prairies, marshes, and deserts. The culture lea include cities, farms, transportation mutes, public-utility facilities, political and private boundary lines. Special-purpose planimetric ma present only features essential to the purpose to be served.

map (or model), plastic relief—A relief model fashioned from plastic materials wherein the plastic material is forced into position by heat and pressure.

map, quadrangle—A map of a quadrangle. See also quadrangle.

map, radar—A map produced through the application of radar techniques. A radar set in an airplane or on a high point scans the area to be mapped with pulses of energy. The reflection from the area is presented on the screen of a monitor which is arranged to present a plan view of the region. Because of the difference in scattering of radio waves by different kinds of materials, variations in received energy are obtained. This causes differences in the intensity of the image on the monitor, thus giving the effect of a relief map.

map, reconnaissance—The plotted result of a reconnaissance survey.

map, relief—A map which shows relief (variations in elevation of the surface of the Earth) by shading, hachures, or contours. Relief maps are produced at a variety of scales and can show topographic conditions either specifically or generally. See also map, hypsometric.

map, rightofwayA plan of a highway improvement showing its relation to adjacent property, the parcels or portions thereof needed for highway purposes, and other pertinent information.

map, small-scale—Commonly, a map at a scale equal to or smaller than 1:500,000.

map, standard accuracy—A map complying with the U.S. National Map Accuracy Standards. See also Standards, United States National Map Accuracy; Appendix C, National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy.

map, stereometricA relief map made by applying the stereoscopic principle to aerial or terrestrial photographs.

map, topographicA map which presents die horizontal and vertical positions of the features represented. Distinguished from a planimetric map by the addition of relief in measurable Hi n1. A topographic map usually shows the same features of a planimetric map but uses contours or comparable symbols to show mountains, valleys, and plains, and, in Ow case of hydrographic charts, symbols and numbers to show depths in bodies of water.

map, zoning—A map which delineates the districts within which the provisions of a zoning ordinance apply. See also ordinance, zoning; zoning.

map accuracy—The accuracy with which a map represents the region it is intended to depict. Three types of errors commonly occur on maps: errors of representation, which occur because conventional symbols must be used to represent natural or man-made features such as forests, buildings and cities; errors of identification, which occur because a nonexistent is shown or is misidentified; and errors of position, which occur when an object is shown in the wrong position. Errors of position are commonly classified into two types: errors of horizontal location and errors of elevation. A third type, often neglected, is errors id orientation. See also United States National Map Accuracy Standards; Appendix C, National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy.

map accuracy standards—See Standards, United States National Accuracy. See also Appendix C. National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy.

map algebraProcess of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing maps by applying mathematical operations to map themes or layers.

map editingThe process of checking a digital map file for correctness and completeness, proper symbology and line types. Editing functions such as edge matching, closing polygons and lines, and squaring corners are also performed.

map legend—See legend.

map parallel—See principal plane [PHOTOGRAMMETRY]

map revision1 Complete revision involves the correction of all deficiencies in planimetry and relief features, including an improvement of the basic accuracy, vertical and/or horizontal, resulting in a class I map. Current cartographic specifications are generally applied. 2 Standard revision involves the updating and correction of a map to reflect changes that have occurred since the original survey or the latest revision. Tice basic accuracy of the existing map is preserved, and current cartographic specifications are generally applied. 3 Limited revision involves the correction of specified deficiencies only, on a map.

map scaleThe relationship between a distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the Earth. Map scale may be expressed as an equivalence, usually by different units, i.e., 1 inch = 1 mile; as a numerical fraction or ratio (1/63,360 or 1:63,360); or graphically, by a bar scale. Fractional map scale is representative in any linear unit, and it is often called the representative fraction, or R.F., when the numerator is unity.

map scale, graphic—A line on a map subdivided into pans and labeled to show the distance that each of its parts represents on the Earth.

map series—A family of map sheets with a unifying characteristic, which are usually of the same scale, conform to the same specifications, and are collectively identified by the producing agency. A map series may be identified by a name, number, or a combination of both. As an example, the term “National Typographic Map Series” of the U.S. Geological Survey is used to designate collectively several quadrangle and other map series of the United States and their metadata. The following series have been developed: I) 7.5-minute series (1:24,000); 2) Puerto Rico 7.5-minute series (1:20,000); 3) 15-minute series (1:62,500); 4) Alaska series (1:63,360); 5) 1:250,000 series; 6) Metropolitan Area series (1: 24,000); 7) National Park series; 8) State series; 9) United States series; 10) 1:1,000,000 series (IMW) (International Map of the World); 11) 30- minute series; 12) 1 degree series; 13) Alaska reconnaissance series.

map tests—The accuracy of topographic mapping can be tested by running traverse and level lines across selected areas of any map sheet, by comparing the geographic positions of map features with those determined by traverse, and by comparing interpolated elevations of points from the map with those determined by the level line. See also Standards, United States National Map Accuracy; Appendix C, National Standard for Spatial Data Accuracy.

Source: NSPS “Definitions of Surveying and Related Terms“, used with permission.

Part of LearnCST’s exam text bundle.