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Glossary

Boundary Survey: Information used to illustrate a boundary (line) on the Earth's surface or its representation on a map.

Cartogram: A map that showcases a specific thematic subject as opposed to accurate area or distance. Geometry of the map can be distorted to express the thematic subject. 

Cartography: The art and science of chart and map making. This can include all steps of map production, including the surveying of information and the planning process. Usually, the term is used for the finishing steps of map production. 

Chart: A map used for navigation, typically used for aerial or nautical navigation.

Compilation: The use of existing information, including maps, aerial images and surveys to create a new or updated chart or map.

Contour Interval: The difference in elevation between two consecutive contours.

Contour: Imaginary surface line. All points on the line have the same elevation above or below an individual datum.

Coordinates: Linear or angular surface measurements that are commonly based on altitude, longitude and latitude.

Datum: An exact level or location that measurements are drawn from. A datum can be a vertical or horizontal level.

Elevation: The vertical distance above or below a reference point or reference surface.

Geology: The scientific study of the Earth's surface, its rock composition and evolution. 

Graticule: The system of meridians and parallels on a chart or map.

Hydrography: The science of measuring or describing features of aquatic bodies, such as oceans, rivers, lakes or coastlines. Used predominantly for navigation purposes.

Hypsometry: The measurement of land elevation or height in relation to sea level. 

Infrared: Electromagnetic radiation in the form of light. Not visible to the human eye as it has a wavelength longer than that of visible light.

Landmark: Material mark or structure with a fixed location used to create a boundary on the earth's surface; Can be naturally occurring or intentionally placed; Used to mark a location or direction.

Latitude: A geographic coordinate that specifies a place that is north or south of the equator. Conveyed in degrees, minutes and seconds.

Longitude: A geographic coordinate that specifies a place that is east or west of the Greenwich meridian. Conveyed in degrees, minutes and seconds.

Meridian: Imaginary circle around the Earth's surface that passes through both poles. All points on one meridian have the same longitude.

Meteorology: The scientific study of the atmosphere.

Orientation: The use of compass directions to understand the directions of locations and features on a map.

Parallel: An imagined circular line on the Earth's surface that is parallel to the Equator. All points on the line share the same latitude. 

Prime Meridian: The meridian of longitude at 0 degrees; Used as the base point for measurements of longitude. The meridian at Greenwich, England, is globally used as the prime meridian in most maps and charts.

Projection (map): The representation of part or all of a spherical globe onto a flat-surface map. Projection maps use a grid based on lines of longitude and latitude. 

Relief: Depressions and elevations of land or seabed.

Satellite Imaging: Photography of the Earth or other planets by satellites in space.

Thematic map: A map that expresses one subject or area of information, such as biodiversity, geology or epidemiology.

Topography: Relief of the surface of land; the visual expression of such information in map format. 

Troposphere: The lowest level of Earth's atmosphere. The troposphere is the level at which living things breathe. 

Urban sprawl: The expansion of urban areas or industrialized human communities.