## A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Helping Your Child Learn Geography - October 1996

# Glossary

absolute location
The location of a point on the Earth's surface that can be expressed by a grid reference such as latitude and longitude.

altitude
Height of an object in the atmosphere above sea level.

atlas
A bound collection of maps.

boundary
A line indicating the limit of a country, state, or other political jurisdiction.

cartographer
A person who draws or makes maps or charts.

continent
One of the large, continuous areas of the Earth into which the land surface is divided.

degree
A unit of angular measure: A circle is divided into 360 degrees, represented by the symbol o . Degrees are used to divide the roughly spherical shape of the Earth for geographic and cartographic purposes.

elevation
The height of a point on the Earth's surface above sea level.

Equator
An imaginary circle around the Earth halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole; the largest circumference of the Earth.

globe
A true-to-scale map of the Earth that duplicates its round shape and correctly represents areas, relative size and shape of physical features, distances, and directions.

grid
A pattern of lines on a chart or map, such as those representing latitude and longitude, which helps determine absolute location.

hemisphere
Half of the Earth, usually conceived as resulting from the division of the globe into two equal parts?north and south or east and west.

international date line
A line of longitude generally 180 degrees east and west of the prime meridian. The date is one day earlier to the east of the line.

latitude
Imaginary lines that cross the surface of the Earth parallel to the Equator, measuring how far north or south of the Equator a place is located.

legend
A key to what the symbols or pictures in a map mean.

longitude
Imaginary lines that cross the surface of the Earth, running from north to south, measuring how far east or west of the prime meridian a place is located.

map
A picture of a place that is usually drawn to scale on a flat surface.

ocean
The salt water surrounding the great land masses, and divided by the land masses into several distinct portions, each of which is called an ocean.

prime meridian
An imaginary line running from north to south through Greenwich, England, used as the reference point for longitude.

scale
The proportional relationship between a linear measurement on a map and the distance it represents on the Earth's surface.

sea level
The ocean surface.

topography The physical features of a place; or the study and depiction of physical features, including terrain relief.

Glossary, in part, courtesy of Hammond, Incorporated.
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