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World Map Lesson 1 - World Grid Systems - Grade 6+

Activity Goal To learn how to use a grid system on a world map. Grids are used to help people find places on a map.
Materials Needed: A pencil and a Cram World map (see end of this activity).



A World Grid



The map included with this activity shows a world map with points of interest and cities. If you are not familiar with a world map, it would be difficult to find a particular place. The addition of a location finding system makes it easier to find specific places.


This location finding system is called a map grid. A world map grid is a series of lines that cross each other to form boxes. Sometimes the lines are straight and sometimes the lines are curved.



On many world grids the vertical columns are identified by a letter and the horizontal rows are numbered. Every area within this grid can be identified by a letter and a number. As an example, the "X" on the world map grid above is located in the square where row 3 crosses column C.


Using the World Map Grid



Look at the grid on the world map at the end of this activity. The vertical columns are identified by the letters A to L. The horizontal rows are numbered 1 to 6. Every area on the map can be identified by a specific letter and number. As an example, the location of D 4 refers to the box where column D crosses row 4.


Map grids are often used with a place name index. A place name index is a list of names found on the map. The world map at the end of the activity has a place name index for cities.


Imagine that you need to find the city of Jakarta. First find it on the city place name index. The list shows the location of Jakarta as J 4. Find the place on the map where column J crosses row 4, Jakarta is located in this box.


This is only a "rough" location, because the J 4 location forms a box which you must search to find the city. However, it is quicker than searching the entire world to find Jakarta. Practice using the grid system by finding other cities in the place name index.


??? Find each of the following places listed in the place name index on the world map. Determine its grid location. Record your answer in the space provided.





1. Ayers Rock Grid Location _________
This massive, single stone is located in central Australia and is over 1,000 feet high and 1 miles long.


2 Chichen Itza Grid Location __________
The large ruins of an ancient Mayan city were built about 1,000 years ago on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.


3 Colosseum Grid Location __________
The largest outdoor theater in ancient Rome was built about 2,000 years ago and was the site of gladiator battles.


4 Great Wall of China Grid Location __________
The longest structure ever constructed was built by hand to keep invaders out (unsuccessfully) of China.


5 Titanic Wreckage Grid Location __________
The "unsinkable" British ocean liner was sunk in 1912 after sideswiping an iceberg on her first voyage.


6 Victoria Falls Grid Location __________
This spectacular waterfall on the Zambezi River is over 1 mile wide and plunges 350 feet into a misty gorge.


Note of caution: A map grid may be created only for the map on which it appears. If someone else asks about a location, they need the same map you used to find the grid location.



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