terms of what is important to you—the places you live, eat, work, walk, recreate, and
so on. Leave off things that are not important. Include the following elements and
Landmarks: prominent points of interest
Pathways: paths, streets, etc.
Districts: downtown, dorms, etc.
Nodes: meeting places, centers where pathways
Don't forget to put your name and date on the map when you are finished.
Communicating with Maps
Find a road map of the same area on the Internet. You can find maps for most areas
at several websites including mapquest.com , maps.yahoo.com , and www.multimap.
com . Print the map out if you can. What are the key differences between your map
and the online map? Are both maps showing the same things? How can you explain
the differences? Does it have something to do with the reason for making each
map? Which map is better for communicating?
Patterns and Processes
One of the most interesting things about maps is that because the paper and draw-
ing won't change by itself after you make it, you have to show things, such as a
house or store, in the same way as you show processes—for example, the way you
walk to a bus stop or drive a car to work. If you use multiple colors you can separate
things and events, but remember the map doesn't show the process, it only shows
an event that corresponds to the process.
Accuracy Is Also a Question of Use
Comparing the two maps, it seems to make sense that neither map is better than the
other for communicating. If you want to explain to someone the place you live in,
your mental map is much better in communicating the places you like, where you
live and work, and what is significant in this area for you. If you just needed to
explain to a visitor how to get to campus, downtown, a store, or park, than the online
map is probably better suited because it focuses on giving the information needed
for navigation in the area.
The potential use of a map is an important factor in determining the map's accu-
racy. While the online map is more accurate for general navigation, your mental map
may be better for explaining to a visiting relative how to meet you at the local park or
café you frequently go to.