How to Read a Foreign City Map

If you've ever been lost in a foreign city, a map is the best way to find your way around. Though you might not know how to read one. Well this is how to read a foreign map.

Steps

  1. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 1
    1
    Acquire a map. This can be found at tourist centers, at some restaurants, and sometimes on the ground. They may seem a little dirty, but still work just as well
  2. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 2
    2
    Look at a key. This tells you what different symbols mean. Be sure not to mix up things by little details. The key is normally located in the lower right hand corner of a map.
  3. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 3
    3
    Consult basic color references. If the map is in color. Normally, green means ground and blue means water. This won't help much for directions to a hotel, but can help if you're looking for a beach or lake.
  4. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 4
    4
    Know your map. If there isn't a key, it is important to know basic land-forms like roads, buildings, and mountains. If you don't know:
    • Roads and highways are normally represented by yellow or gray lines.
    • Buildings are represented by the shape of the roof.
    • Mountains are represented by up-side-down V's or M's.
  5. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 5
    5
    Know how to read the native language you're in. If it is in a different alphabet to the one that you are used to, you will have to compare the lettering as if it were a picture. Most of the time the map will be in native tongue, so knowing how to read it is often essential with the key, landmarks, and buildings.
  6. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 6
    6
    Figure out where you are. You have your map and you're ready to use it.
    • Now you need to figure out where you are before you can plot where you're going. You can do so by matching what you can see in real life with what is on the map. Common features that help identify your location on a map includes road names, landmarks and prominent natural features, like rivers.
  7. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 7
    7
    A good way to find your location if you are unsure is to find two landmarks.
    • For example, if you can see a prominent tower which appears on the map in front of you, and a marked street behind you to your left. Find those two landmarks on the map. Hold the map so that the tower in front of you is at the top of your map, and the marked street is below where you are, on the map, so that all other points on the map represent all that you see around you.
  8. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 8
    8
    If you just want to go from one place to another, all you need to do is to plot that single route out.
  9. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 9
    9
    If there are several places you intend to go to, you may want to plan your route in such a way that you visit all the places in the shortest possible way. You can do so by visiting the nearer places first before the further places.
  10. Image titled Read a Foreign City Map Step 10
    10
    If you are using public transport
    • You will need to do the above map alignment, to make sure it is turned the right way around, at your destination(s) too

Article Info

Categories: Travel