The legend is usually placed on the edge of the map. It contains an exemplary representation (symbol, line or rectangular area) and a description of what is shown in text form.
For some official applications, there are mandatory character codes that are specified in a law or regulation . If maps or plans are created on the basis of such a character key, the legend on the map itself is often omitted.
Examples of map symbols for a legend
|Archaeological site ( loop square )|
|Mine ( mallets and iron ), closed / abandoned mine|
|Castle , castle|
|Castle ruins , castle ruins|
|Church , chapel , monastery ( ♁ )|
|Church ruins, monastery ruins|
Lines and areas
Roads are typically divided into classes and marked with different line widths: Motorway, trunk road (federal road, state road), regional road (country and district roads), local road, paved farm road, unpaved farm road (field path) and footpath.
The map information about the terrain is summarized under the term relief . This includes:
- Contour line (depending on the scale of the map and the shape of the terrain with an equidistance from 0.5 m), partly with hillshading
- Terrain level
- Rock representation
- Embankment (both sides: embankment , incision ); in some cases the height of the slope is indicated by the length of the horizontal lines on large scales. Example:
- Pit and depression
- River, stream, lake, additionally with water structures ( groynes etc.)
Character code for the Austrian surveying ordinance
In Austria there are such character keys for the following applications:
- Cadastral plan (current character code is specified in the surveying ordinance 2016)
- Zoning plan (key code according to the respective ordinance of the federal state )
- Austrian map 1: 50,000