Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

Badge 20 Maps

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20. Maps

Our world is a complex, three-dimensional sphere. Maps 'translate' our three-dimensional world into a flat, two-dimensional portrait, and different types of maps have been created to help us understand different things about our complex world. To earn this badge, you should demonstrate your knowledge of maps of different types, what each type tells us, and how to use them. You might also go on to learn about making a map, where maps may be found, and how to use electronic techniques involving GPS for finding your way around the world.

Activity 20.1: Learning About the Different Sorts of Maps and How to Read Them

Most of us think of maps in terms of taking us from Point A to Point B, but that‘s only one sort of many maps. Different sorts of maps tell different stories. There are roadmaps, geographic maps, geologic maps, topographic maps, weather maps, and others. Buy a book or pick one up at the library to learn about different sorts of maps and what each one tells us. Make a chart of common sorts of maps and their characteristics.

Activity 20.2: Sources of Paper Maps

Learn about the different places where maps of different sorts may be found, then go out and get the map of your choice and demonstrate how to read and use it. Also, find out what companies and agencies publish maps.

Activity 20.3: Making Maps

Make a map of your choice. This could be a simple street map of your neighborhood, a roadmap showing how to get to a mineral or fossil site from your home, a topographic map showing the hills and valleys of a nearby park, or even a map of a room in your own home. How about a treasure map showing where you buried a can of crystals or tumbled stones? In crafting your map, keep in mind such considerations as orientation, scale, symbols, legend, and labels.

Activity 20.4: Using GPS

What do the words 'GPS' stand for? Find out, and learn how to use it. See if your club leader might take your group on a 'geocaching' adventure!

Activity 20.5: Maps on the Web

The World Wide Web has become a wonderful source for maps of all sorts, including ones that allow you to change angles of view, zoom in or out, fly around the world, and otherwise have fun. Explore the Web and report on what sorts of maps you can find there.