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What would you call the polygon corresponding to a coastline theme? Land mass? It corresponds to continents and islands, but I'm not sure about the best word. The opposite of the sea.

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What do you need the name for? For a legend? If it's for a legend, I wouldn't even have continents/land masses there because it's obvious which is which (given that water is generally blue and continents other colours), especially if it's at a global scale. – Emily Apr 19 '12 at 15:27
"Best" word for what purpose? I imagine the answer will vary depending on application and audience. In general, "land mass" has a specific meaning including the idea of contiguity as well as large, which seems to rule it out when you want to include islands. A generic solution--but who knows whether it's "best" in your application--is simply "land". – whuber Apr 19 '12 at 15:28
I want to refer to it in the same way as I can have a road theme, city boundary etc. – Uffe Kousgaard Apr 19 '12 at 15:31
So you'd have different cartographies for each type of land mass? – Emily Apr 19 '12 at 15:34
no, this may not even be related to a map. I am just trying to find a better word than coastline, since it isn't the line, but the land mass that I want to describe – Uffe Kousgaard Apr 19 '12 at 15:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In terms of referring to continents and islands thematically, I would choose land mass, even though it implies something bigger than islands. If it were a theme in a legend, I would write "land masses" (as there are different types). I don't think there's anything else you can use.

edit: In terms of the coastline issue, I think coast would be a word for the 'area' or even shore, or even oceanfront/seafront/lakefront.

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