Simplified Maps

In the book, Straight A’s Are Not Enough, I promised to show you the simplified map of Africa. Later I decided to start with South America because it is so much easier. Then you will find the map of Africa. Each map is shown in three steps so you will understand how to create your own simplified maps. While I have shown entire continents here, you could do a simplified map of a country, a state, a county or city, or as in the book, of something like a college campus.

Simplified Mapping makes it easier to study a Map. It is very difficult to take a detailed map and remember and simplify it so it is easy to draw and easy to remember. I began with a fairly easy continent: South America.

Simplified Map of South America
Simple lines to show South America

The first line was the vertical line that is now the left side of the long triangle. Next I added the quadrilateral on top. Then I connected the right point of the quadrilateral to the vertical line to form a long triangle.

People who are familiar with South America can probably visualize Brazil to the left of the quadrilateral, Chile along the left of the triangle, and Argentina in the rest of the triangle. These are fairly easy. It is the rest of the countries that are harder to visualize on the map. Could you add ten more countries? It takes many tries to take a complex, detailed map

It will be easier on the next step of the map.Now the map looks like South America.

Notice that you could copy the map fairly well without much problem. It uses fairly simple straight lines.

If you are familiar with South America, you might be able to label them with this sort of map.

What are the three very small countries side by side?

What are th two countries just above and just below the line that separates Brazil and Argentina.?

And then, there are the countries around to right side of the quadrilateral.The simplied map now shows all countries in South America

Finally with come to the completed map. With a simplified map like this one, you can learn all thirteen countries are with very little difficulty.

The next simplified map I have attempted to draw is of Africa. If you feel brave, you might try to draw a simple map of Africa and label as many countries as you can.

Simplified African Map

Let’s begin with the assumption that you need to learn all the countries in Africa. Maybe it’s for a test. Maybe you plan to travel in Africa.  If you look at a map, you might be first step to a simplied map of Africaconvinced it’s hopeless.

You can certainly draw a simple pattern like this.

Africa is divided into two main parts, the north and the south.

Could you divide it any further and name some of the countries?

Below, you will find the next version of my simplified map. But this time, it is no longer simple. There are many countries in Africa.

I would suggest learning the countries in at least four sections: 1. All of the top except the expanded section, 2. The  expanded section, show to the right, 3. The top section of the Southern part 4. The lower section of the Southern part.Second step to create a simplified map of Africa.

Again, most of the countries are drawn with straight lines to make it easier.  The section on the right is the expanded section from the left side of the map. Actually, on the final map, It was necessary to expand another section to have space to write in the country names.

Before I began working on this map, I could perhaps have located 8-10 countries. I could have named many more but not known how they fit into the map. How many can  you actually locate on the map?  I had an advantage since I visited Kenya last year to go bird-watching.

The simplified map of Africa is still not easy to learn.

Here is the final map. I have learned a lot working on these maps.