I'm trying to write up a specification for a bit of programming, but I'm at a loss on how to actually describe what the, well, things on the map are.

For context, this is a user-generated map that has the ability to have markers (points with icons), routes (lines defined by roads), paths (lines defined as-the-crow-flies), and shapes (circles and polygons).

So, my question is, is there a universal word or term to describe points, lines, and shapes on a map?

  • I was hoping that this page of map terminology might help. Alas, no.
    – Drew
    Sep 8, 2015 at 17:54
  • Ink? Take the points, lines and shapes off a map and what's going to be left? The fold lines? Could you distinguish what you're including and excluding here a little more exactly please. Sep 8, 2015 at 17:58
  • Instinct is to use "markup", but I'm a developer. Sep 8, 2015 at 18:04
  • "Chart-junk" :-P Sep 8, 2015 at 18:04
  • @CandiedOrange It's a generated Google Map. Google allows a lot more than I'm offering, but even they don't define everything under an umbrella term. Correction: I believe they actually call them "objects," but I'm afraid that's too broad for the average user, as they won't automatically associate the word with "class."
    – VampDuc
    Sep 8, 2015 at 18:11

1 Answer 1


In cartography any object or representation on a map is referred to as a feature. You can be more specific about what feature by adding geometric terms (point, line, polygon) or any number of things before the word feature.

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  • The irony is when you style a Google Map, everything is a "feature." I guess I was just staring at it for too long.
    – VampDuc
    Sep 9, 2015 at 17:31
  • I do it all the time :) Sep 9, 2015 at 17:59

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