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9 Map Components, Their Functions and Complete Explanations


A map is a tool or medium used to view areas on earth at certain scales. The scale in question is a comparison scale set on the map where every centimeter represents the actual distance.

Example: a map with a scale of 1: 1,000,000 means that every centimeter on the map represents 1,000,000 centimeters in actual distance.

By using a map, we can see the position where we are and the relative position of another area on the earth’s surface.

In the map, we can also see the location and shapes of the earth’s surface, such as mountains, lakes, rivers, highlands, and so on which are marked with certain symbols.

Map Component

Map Component

On a map, you will find various regional signs and other elements that come together. The elements that become one in this map are called map components.

Then, what are the various components that make up a complete map? Here are some of the map components and their explanations:

1. Map Title

The title of the map is the title that is located at the top center of a map that describes the contents of the map. Example: a map entitled “MAP JAKARTA”, then the map shown is a map for the Jakarta area. This section is usually the part that people look at the most when looking for a map.

2. Legend

The next map component is the legend. Legend is a description of all the symbols on the map to indicate the geographical area of ​​the place. Usually the description of this symbol is in the lower left or right corner of the map.

The symbols presented also depend on the symbols on the map. These symbols consist of at least cultural symbols, natural features, and lines.

Cultural symbols are symbols that represent a situation, such as rails, roads, cities, and so on. Natural symbols are symbols that describe natural conditions, such as mountains and lakes. While the line symbol is a limiting symbol.

3. Scale

The scale in the map component is the ratio of the distance between the distance on the map and the actual distance in cm. For example, the scale is 1:300,000 which means that every one cm on the map will represent 300,000cm or 3km in actual distance.

4. Symbol

If the legend is a gathering place for the description of each symbol, then the symbol referred to here is the symbol that is directly on the map. These symbols will describe the situation in the area where the symbol is located and the state of the map. Here are the various symbols on the map.

5. Eye of the Wind

The first symbol in the map component is the cardinal symbol. The cardinal points on a map are usually symbolized by arrows pointing up, right, left, and down.

The up arrow represents the north, the arrow to the right represents the east, the left represents the west, and the down arrow represents the south.

6. Astronomical Lines

Astronomical lines are imaginary lines that can be used to determine a location on the earth’s surface. This line consists of two kinds, namely latitude and longitude.

Latitude is a line that runs from west to east, while longitude is a line from north to south.

7. Edges

Although the outline is included in the map component, the outline does not represent an explanation related to geography. These outlines are only used to delimit the map area.

8. Year of Manufacture and Insert Map

If you look at the entire map, then you will see the year of manufacture in the corner of the map. By knowing the year of manufacture, you can understand whether the map is still valid or not.

While the map insert is a map component that describes an area that is already outside the map boundaries. Usually the inset area of ​​this map will be marked in plain white. Another name for this map insert is the insert map.

9. Coloring

The color scheme on the map is used to indicate the high and low of the area. By looking at the color of the area, you can find out the relative height of the area.

Here are some color divisions in the color scheme on the map:


Lowlands are land that is at an altitude below 200 meters above sea level. This lowland has a relatively flat and wide condition.

Usually these lowlands are found in parts around the coast and mountain valleys. In the map component, the lowlands are colored in green.


Highlands are plains that are located higher than other places that are usually found between mountains and mountains. In Indonesia alone, there are quite a number of famous highlands, such as the Dieng Plateau, the Gayo Plateau, and other highlands.

If the lowlands are colored in green, then the use of color to indicate highlands on the map component uses a slightly warmer color, namely yellow.


Mountains are a land surface that forms a path that connects one peak to another.

Some of the famous mountains in Indonesia are the Bukit Barisan and the Jaya Wijaya Mountains. On maps, this area is usually marked with a brown color.


The use of color in the next component of the map is the use of colors used to mark mountains. For the mountain itself actually uses a triangle symbol. However, there are two triangular symbols, namely black and red.

The use of a black triangle indicates a volcano that is no longer active. While the red triangle indicates the mountain is an active volcano and can erupt at any time.

River, Lake and Sea

Coloring the next component of the map is the use of color to denote rivers, lakes, and oceans. The three regions are marked in blue. It’s just that each situation has a different form.

For the use of river colors, usually will use a blue line. The line to indicate the flow of the river, while the blue color to indicate the water flowing in the river.

The shape of the line adjusts the flow of the river. For lakes, still use light blue, just use area symbols, not lines.

Coloring the last component of the map is the coloring of the sea. The sea is a very wide body of water that is directly connected to the ocean.

Still using blue, it’s just that the use of blue in the sea has two kinds. Light blue to indicate shallow seas, and dark blue to signify deep seas.

Some of the things above are some of the components contained in the map. So that you can determine and understand the contents of the map, then you are obliged to know and understand each of the components above.

Thus a discussion of the map components and their explanations. Hopefully it can add to your knowledge and hopefully useful!