Scale, map projections, generalization, and symbolization are all similar to all maps and are regarded as basic map properties. A good map must be:
Scalable - shown to be accurate over a range of scales.
Projections - designed to make large areas appear flat.
Generalizations - able to show relationships between features that are not apparent at first glance.
Symbolization - intended to help identify features.
A good map is one that meets these requirements. However, in practice, there are many more factors to consider; for example, cost, availability of data, technical skill required by viewer.
The quality of mapping products can be assessed using reference tools such as the International Map Quality Assessment (IMQA) project. This project aims to provide a way for users to assess the quality of commercial maps. The results from each participant study are made available online for free.
Studies use a questionnaire to rate different aspects of maps such as accuracy, detail, completeness, usability, and aesthetics. These ratings can then be used to compare different maps or mapping projects.
Scale, symbols, and grids are all typical aspects of maps. Every map is a scale replica of reality. The scale of a map denotes the connection between the distances depicted on the map and the real distances on Earth. For example, a road map can be scaled to any degree from 1:64,000 to 1:5,000, while a bird's-eye view would be 1:1 or less.
Symbols are used to indicate places, things, or opinions. Symbols can be pictures, words, or lines. Lines can be drawn on paper or on screens. Lines on maps are called marks. Marks can be anything that helps identify a place on the map. Examples of marks include roads, rivers, cities, states, countries, and other physical features of the land or water surface. Markers in the form of small circles with letters inside them are used to represent points of interest such as towns, villages, landmarks, etc. These markers are usually placed by humans in the correct position on the map.
Grids are used to show relationships among places. A grid is made up of rows and columns. Places are identified by numbers or letters. The numbers or letters are located at specific intersections of the rows and columns. Scientists use grids to record data for studies or experiments. Surveyors use grids to locate features on land surfaces.
These important map characteristics may be found on nearly every map around us. They are as follows: title, direction, legend (symbols), north areas, distance (scale), labels, grids, index, and citation, which help people like us grasp the fundamental components of maps.
The first thing to understand about maps is that they are made up of four basic elements: the frame, the paper, the pencil, and the watermark.
Maps always start with a frame. It is the piece of wood or metal on which the rest of the map will be mounted. The frame should be strong and stiff; otherwise, it might cause the map to bend or fold when being handled later on. At the very least, it should provide a stable base upon which to hang the map. Frames come in a variety of sizes and shapes. But whatever type of frame you choose, it should be large enough to accommodate the size of the map you want to draw. If you have a small map, you will need a small frame. If you have a large map, you will need a larger one. There are many different materials used for frames, but most often they are constructed from wood. Larger frames usually have stronger wood than smaller ones. As long as the material of the frame is not too brittle, it can be painted or stained to match any wall or background color you wish.
Next, you need paper.