Describing a map can be a difficult task, even for a native speaker. What should you include, and what shouldn’t you include? Then there’s the question of language for describing maps… It can be so tough to do. Below, I’m going to offer a sample essay describing a map of Garlsdon that once appeared in the IELTS writing exam. You can see another sample map description here.

The Map

The map below is of the town of Garlsdon. A new supermarket (S) is planned for the town. The map shows two possible sites for the supermarket.

Sample Answer

The map shows two proposed sites for a supermarket that will be built in the town of Garlsdon. The main difference between these sites is that the first location is just outside the town, while the other is located in the town centre.

The first proposed supermarket location (S1) is situated to the northwest of Garlsdon, in the countryside that surrounds the town. It is not far from a residential area, and is near a main road leading to Hindon, a much smaller town than Garlsdon. It is also close to a train track running through the middle of town.

In contrast, the second possible supermarket site (S2) is located right in the middle of Garlsdon, in the town centre. Although there is no traffic permitted in this area, it is not far from two different housing areas. There is also a train track close by and several main roads leading to other smaller towns with populations less than half that of Garlsdon.