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Student Reading 1.2: Cincinnati and Geography - Reading a Map

The map of Ohio is called a Political Map. A Political Map is a map that shows the boundaries of states, cities, and countries. While this map is black and white, these maps can come in many different colors. Around this map is an Alphanumeric Grid, which is a grid of numbers and letters that help locate places on a map. The boxes that are labeled from one to six, and go from top to bottom, form rows. Boxes that go from left to right and are labeled with letters form columns. To locate Cincinnati on this map, first find and place your finger on the point in front of the word Cincinnati. Look to your left, the number of the row where we find Cincinnati is labeled number five. Next, look up to the top of the column where you find Cincinnati. The column where it is located is labeled B. So, we would tell someone to look in box 5B to find Cincinnati.

Another type of map that you will use when traveling is called a Physical Map. This is a map that focuses on the geography of an area. Map makers use mainly colors like green, blue, and brown to show landforms like mountains, rivers, and lakes. A Map Key is very important when it comes to reading a physical map. This key will tell you what each symbol stands for on the map. The map key can also be called a legend. Different landforms you may see on a physical map include mountains, plains, plateaus, boundaries, and different types of water ways. A physical map of Ohio would probably show the Ohio River and where the bordering states of Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. If you look at the map key on the map of Ohio, the city marked with a star is the capital city of Ohio. Can you locate the capital city of Ohio?

Now, using the map of Ohio, take some time to locate the cities of Toledo, Cleveland, and Columbus. Now look at the Compass Rose located at the bottom of the map on the hand side. This is a tool that can be used to show the four main cardinal directions. Look at the map; you can see Cincinnati is in the south. What city is located to the northeast of Cincinnati? Cleveland and Toledo are located in the northern part of our state. If you had to tell someone where to find these two cities, you could tell them that Toledo is in the northwest part of the state while Cleveland is located in the northeast.

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