How to create a simple map with directions

Written by eva david
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How to create a simple map with directions
Use a ruler to draw straight lines and a clear map. (map image by Ewe Degiampietro from

If you are trying to find your way around a new place, written directions can sometimes prove to be difficult to follow. Today's technological advancements, such as GPS navigation, make it much easier for today's traveller. However, there may be times when there is no other alternative than to take pen to paper and create a simple visual map to accompany overly detailed directions you have been given. It is easy to create a simple map that gives more than just point-to-point directions.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Highlighter

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  1. 1

    Place the paper on a level surface. Have your directions next to you for reference. Place your compass in the middle of the paper. Mark the four edges of the paper with North, South, East and West according to what your compass tells you.

  2. 2

    Use your ruler to draw the largest or most populated streets that must be travelled on first. Start with pencil in case you make mistakes.Try to keep things proportionate, if a particular road has to be followed for a long time, make it a longer, thicker line. Measure the longest stretch of road and use the measurement as a guide for the length of the other streets if you like. Add side streets. Short side streets should be seen as shorter lines, to indicate a shorter distance. Keep all street names legible.

  3. 3

    Draw representations of where larger landmarks are located and label them. Include landmarks that are slightly out of the way to give a better idea of distance.

  4. 4

    Use small directional arrows to indicate the direction the map should follow. Write the approximate time it takes to go between points if desired. Highlight the path.

  5. 5

    Mark the end destination very clearly and write a small description of it. Explain any markings in the directions that might be confusing to the reader.

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