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# Topographic maps

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• 1. Topographic Maps
• 2.
• Topographic maps model the changes in Earth’s elevation.
• 3. How are topographic maps useful?
• Determine your location relative to identifiable natural features
• Topographic maps also indicate cultural features such as roads, cities and dams
• Often used by hikers
• 4.
• 5.
• 6. What is a contour line?
• A line on a map that connects points of equal elevation.
• 7. What is a contour interval?
• The difference in elevation between two side-by-side contour lines.
• This # is constant for each map
• 8. What can you tell from contour lines?
• Contour lines that are close together = steep elevation
• -Mountains, ridges, valleys
• Contour lines that are far apart =
• slight change in elevation.
• 9. What is an index contour?
• A contour line that is marked with the elevation number.
• 10. How are index contours useful?
• You can determine the elevation of other lines around the index contour by adding or subtracting the contour interval number.
• 11. Contour lines always point upstream on rivers.
• 12. Basins and craters are represented with hachures
• 13. What do different colors indicate on topo. Maps?
• Green = area with vegetation
• White = area with little to no vegetation
• Cities, deserts, etc.
• Purple = dark - revisions to the map
• light - urban areas
• 14. Map Scales
• The relationship between the distances on the map and distances on Earth’s surface.
• Scale is often represented as a ratio.
• Example: 1:80
• This means that one unit on the map represents 80 units on land.
• The unit of distance could be feet, miles, millimeters, etc.
• 15.
• 16. Map Legends
• Topographic maps and most other maps have a legend.
• A map legend explains what the symbols used on the map mean.
• Some frequently used symbols on topographic maps are shown in the appendix in the back of your book on
• p. 806
• 17.
• 18.
• 19.
• 20. Map Series
• A map series includes maps that have the same dimensions of latitude and longitude.
• For example, one map series includes maps that are 7.5 minutes of latitude by 7.5 minutes of longitude.