Sketch Maps, Flow Maps & Field Sketches

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  • 0:04 Geographical Sites
  • 0:39 Field Sketch
  • 2:01 Flow Map
  • 2:23 Sketch Map
  • 2:42 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Matthew Bergstresser

Matthew has a Master of Arts degree in Physics Education. He has taught high school chemistry and physics for 14 years.

Maps are very useful when visualizing what is happening in an area. In this lesson, we'll learn about sketch maps, flow maps and field sketches. We'll also learn how to draw a field sketch.

Geographical Sites

Scientists believe that an asteroid or comet collided with Earth around 65 million years ago, which may have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Evidence of this collision is located in an outcrop of rocks near Drumheller, Alberta, in Canada. It's a thin horizontal layer of sedimentary rock that contains a high concentration of the rare element iridium, which is found in asteroids and comets. In just a minute we'll look at an image of the outcrop, containing an exposed iridium layer, as an example of how to draw a field sketch, a flow map, and a sketch map.

Field Sketch

A field sketch is a basic drawing where only the major features of an area are drawn using observation. No measurements are taken. Here are some guidelines when drawing field sketches:

  1. Pick a point at which to stand or sit in front of the area that you wish to sketch.
  2. Split your page in half, both vertically and horizontally, with two lines.
  3. Draw the boundary of the land formation, including the sky and the area between you and the formation, which is called the foreground.
  4. Sketch the major geological features, including any vegetation.
  5. Label the major features.
  6. Add any details that will help when interpreting your sketch such as the direction you're facing, location, and types of rocks present, and any other major geologic information.
  7. Title the sketch.

Let's practice making a field sketch using the area in Drumheller, Canada.

Outcrop in Drumheller, Canada

First, we'll draw the basic outline of the location.

Steps 1 - 3: the Basic Outline

Next, we'll add some geological features, including rock types, vegetation, and any other useful details.

Steps 4 - 7

Please note that this is not a professional drawing of the outcrop. Field sketches are only used to provide viewers with an idea of what's observed.

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