NGS Style Manual‎ > ‎- M -‎ > ‎

MAP STYLE

Credits are punctuated the same way as on the masthead, i.e., with punctuation between categories but no period at the end of a block of type.  In general, commas are used to separate simple elements; semicolons separate elements that themselves contain commas; periods separate complicated elements and elements following a colon.

If each category falls on a separate line, punctuation may be omitted at the end of the line.  If categories break both within and at the end of a line, use punctuation at the end of all categories except the final one.

Only the first word of each entry in a map key is capitalized unless the words are proper nouns:
            Scheduled air service
            Hanseatic League trade route
            Elevations in feet and meters.

Initial caps are used on each word of labels such as Outer Limit of Continental Shelf.

In a series list words either in alphabetical order or order of importance.
            Use the singular form of the noun to define a symbol: Archaeological site, Battlefield.
            Complete sentences take a period in map notes: Scale varies in this perspective.
             Space permitting, the words less than are preferable to under and more than to over in map notes.

Use the following guidelines for page maps:
            Place-names follow either conventional or native spellings depending on the style used in the story.
            If space allows, the words Area enlarged should be followed by a directional (e.g., Area enlarged below).
            Elevations use a comma in figures of four digits or more.
            On maps showing an animal's range, include the scientific name on the map label if it does not appear in text or legends:
            Range of the arctic fox, Range of the great gray owl (Strix nebulosa)

Use the following guidelines for supplement maps:
            Place-names often use diacritical marks even for names transliterated
                        from another alphabet, and map notes or text should agree with the spelling on the map.
             Credits are treated the same way as on the masthead, i.e., with punctuation
                        between  entries but not at the end of a block type.
            Within a block of text, use punctuation between all entries even if some fall at the end of a line.
            Use a comma with a figure of four digits or more in scales and equivalents,
                        but in elevation figures commas are not used.
            Use initial caps on List of Abbreviations:
                        Hbr. .....Harbour but with the Geographic
            Equivalents use lowercase for the English equivalent: Baie.....bay.
            The political side of a supplement map carries a month/year printing date
                        at the bottom, which represents the first on-press date for the map,
                        as well as "Supplement to the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, month/year."

A list of common map abbreviations can be found in the National Geographic Atlas of the World.

National Geographic Maps policy is to recognize international de facto borders even though these borders may not be formally accepted by the U.S. State Department.

See also HIGHWAYS AND ROUTES.