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political map shows human-made things like borders, countries, capitals,
and major cities. They can also show roads, railroad tracks, important bodies of
water, parks, and many other human-made things.
I recommend that you do the
political map after the physical map. Why?
Because political borders are often determined by physical landforms (example:
the Columbia River forms part of the border between Oregon and Washington).
Here is an example of a
Making a Political Map – First you need to
decide where to make your borders for states and countries. States and countries
often make their borders along rivers, mountain ranges, and even lakes. They
also use lines of longitude and latitude. Check your physical map to
determine logical places to make your political borders.
Use a pencil to sketch borders. You can then darken them with sharpie or
colored pencils. You can color each state a different color or use different
colors to outline the borders. Next,
label the names of the states. Notice on the above map of India that country
names are written in larger capital letters, and cities are written with smaller
letters. The different size of the words indicates different-sized
units. Example: COUNTRY NAME, State Name, City
Name. The first letter of country, state, and city names are always
capitalized (they are proper nouns). Think of names for your
states that relate to your theme.
Now it is time to add cities. You cities should be located in
logical places. Cities tend to be
located near rivers or other bodies of water.
Usually cities are not located in isolated places like deserts or the
mountains, so look at you physical map for clues as to where your cities should
be. Again, make up city names related to your theme.
state should have a capital city. Your
country should have a national capital too.
Try to add lots of other medium and small cities. Give them interesting
sure your map key describes the symbols you use. An example of symbols for a
political map might look like this:
Big City (1,000,000+)
Medium City (250,000 – 1,000,000)
Small City (less than 250,000)
Important rivers, oceans, and lakes are often labeled on a political map but other landforms are usually not.
Add color to the entire map. Color all the "blank spots" with an attractive neutral color. Add some color to oceans and other bodies of water. Don't let the map be boring!