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Key vocabulary to use for describing maps

Example sentences:

Note that the grammar used to describe changes is in the passive.

 The offices were demolished and the surrounding area was redevelopedwith a new leisure
centre opening up.
 The shopping centre was extended and the parking area was enlarged to accommodate more cars
 The trees were cut down and a new office block was erected.
 A railway was constructed with the introduction of a new train station.
 The industrial area was modernised and made bigger with lots of new factories being built
 The local government had the sports facilities renovated and the small park was made into a
children’s playground
 The park was replaced with a new housing complex.

Vocabulary for showing location

When describing the location of something on a map you should use phrases like:

 to the north of
 to the east of
 in the west
 to the south of
 north west of
Prepositions are essential when describing location on a map, such as:
 on
 next to
 near
 from north to south
 from east to west
 by
 across from
 nearby
 between
 beside
 over
 along
Example sentences:

 The trees to the north of the river were cut down and a new office block was built.
 A railway was constructed to the east of the housing estate with the introduction of a new train station.
 The forest to the west of the park was cut down and a new housing complex was constructed.
 The industrial area to the south west of the station was expanded.
Prepositions:
 Houses were constructed next to the primary school.
 The forest near the river was cut down.
 A new railway running from north to south was built.
 The footpath by the river was expanded.
 Parking facilities were added in the city centre.
 The school across from the park was extended and new sports facilities were built.

Vocabulary for describing change over time

When we describe change, the present perfect and the present perfect passive is often used. Also time
phrases are used such as: over the 20 year period , from 1990 to 2000, over the years, in the last 10 years, in
the years after 1990 and so on.
The present perfect and The present perfect passive shows that something started in the past up until the
present moment (or near present) Examples:…has witnessed big changes.. ..has become more
industrialised… has been built …has been modernised
Theses sentences below are often used to give an overview of the main differences between two maps.

 Over the 20 year period the area has witnessed big changes especially to the farmland areas which
were redeveloped.
 From 1990 to 2010 a new housing estate was constructed where a school once stood.
 The forest and green spaces have been profoundly affected over the two decades and were
replaced by housing.
 In the period from 1990 onward, the leisure facilities were completely renovated.
 The city centre has seen dramatic changes over the years.
 In the years after 1990 the city centre was extensively modernised.
 The town used to be very green but it has become much more industrialised in the last 15 years.
 A new stadium has been built and more sports facilities have been opened up over the years.

The Overview
The overview comes just after the introduction and makes a general statement about the main differences
between the maps. The overview is quite short, maybe about 2 or 3 sentences. Do not go into detail in the
overview.